Fulfillment Quest – Questions to Discover Your Purpose, Values and Vision
“Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart.”
―Martin Luther King
Each person’s idea of what is fulfilling is unique. Fulfillment is never about getting more of something but about what fills our heart and soul. It is not about a future dream but about discovering fulfillment in every day of our lives – in the way who we are and what we do.
In this blog post I’d like to share some insights from my Co-Active Coaching training which might help you to discover your purpose, your values, and vision. You can use the powerful questions for your own reflection or with a coach.
Purpose – WHY?
“The WHY is the purpose, cause or belief that drives everyone of us.”
Purpose is the reason for which something is created, or the intention behind an action. Everyone has an unique purpose in life driven by personal values. You might answer the following questions to get more insights what difference you can make in the world:
- What has been a pivotal moment in your life, one when you realized nothing would ever be the same?
- You can fill a billboard with a message, what do you share?
- You are on stage and can share a message with the audience, what impact did you have? Who were you to have such an impact?
- Think of the last time you were in a state of flow and totally lost track of time. What were you doing? Who was involved?
Values – HOW?
Values shape our worldview, behaviors, and choices. They represent what is most important to us and are best extracted from life experience:
- Who in your life has helped make you the person you are today? What are specific attributes you admire most about them?
- What is important for you to live a fulfilling life?
- What does <value> mean to you?
- What is important to you regarding <value>?
Vision – WHAT?
A vision is a concept of something you strive towards. It is a way of thinking about the future that guides and inspires you to take action.
- What is one area in your life where you are already living your values?
- In what area would you like to live your purpose even more?
- In what area of your life will it make a difference?
- Who are you when…?
- What will be different if…?
By connecting with a specific time of our life, an event or interaction you can discover more easily what really fulfills you. Once you have noted down your answers to the questions, highlight reoccurring themes and search for contributions and the impact they made. Dig deeper into the emotions beyond the facts:
- How did that experience make you feel?
- What is it about this experience that you absolutely loved?
- How did this experience affect you and who you’ve become?
- What was the lesson from that experience that you still carry with you today?
- How did that person make a difference in your live?
Everyone has an inner leader referring to our inner wisdom, values, and guiding principles. It is an expression of who we are and who we are becoming. The following questions can connect you to your inner leader:
- What are your guiding principles?
- What inner wisdom do you draw on when you face challenges or make important decisions?
- How do you define success for yourself?
There is also a saboteur voice that wants to protect the status quo and undermines our confidence and motivation. The following questions might be helpful to overcome your limiting belief system:
- What are the thoughts that hold you back or make you feel stuck?
- What are the emotions that you most often associate with your saboteur?
- When do you notice your saboteur showing up most strongly?
- What are the patterns that you notice when your saboteur is in charge?
- How does your saboteur show up in your relationships, work, or personal life?
- What are the needs that your saboteur is trying to protect or fulfill?
Reflect on how you already live your values in your life:
- Where is <value> showing up in your life?
- On a scale from 1–10, how present is <value> in your life?
- What values do you sometimes neglect?
- Which are the values your will not compromise?
Using the power of the inner leader and being aware of the saboteur, the following questions can help you to gain more confidence to take action:
- What would it take to raise the score?
- What is the first step you can take?
- What resources do you need to take this first step?
- What is the benefit of taking this action?
- What are the potential challenges you might encounter, and how can you overcome them?
- What would it feel like to take this action and move closer to your goal?
- How can you celebrate achievements along the way?
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”
The closest I've got to this was when I fantasized about what would I like to see written on my gravestone. Not a bad technique either, but these questions listed in groups make the result very precise. Definitely, I'm going to go through the questions myself. Thank you!
Thanks for sharing these questions and impulses Tanja Schaettler. Really helpful for reflecting.
Hi Tanja Schaettler! Thanks so much for sharing! Such deep questions that help to get to know yourself...and others better, depending on whether one decides to ask these questions to someone else, too 🙂
Tanja Schaettler this is really good blog to read as I get started for the week. Thanks for sharing your perspective and insight.