My son went away to college this year. I was sitting at his orientation and the director said this,

“Mark Twain once said that the two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you figure out why.”

I love this theory of education – as being a path to discovering why you are here. For many people it takes a lifetime to discover. For some, they have always been clear on their purpose in life. Many people just never ask the question.

There are two kinds of purpose.

1. The big purpose – your WHY for your life; for your business; for your family. This is your overall guide. Everyone has it but few of us know what it is. Once your purpose is clearly articulated, you are much more likely to get what you want in your chosen career, family and life in general.

Knowing your purpose will bring you a sense of fulfillment, drive and motivation.

2. Your purpose for the present moment – why am I doing what I am doing right now? This is also something few people articulate. When you ask this question, you may discover you are putting your time and energy into the wrong things. When you choose your actions purposefully, you become far more effective.

For example, “Why am I having this conversation?” This can direct the words you choose, the people you invite, and the way in which you conduct the meeting.  And it is more likely to produce the result you are after.

Ask WHY for anything you want to accomplish.  It will make you more productive, more focused, more effective.

Ask WHY am I here if you want to create an overall sense of direction and fulfillment.  It will provide satisfaction, commitment and vision.

If you are interested in learning more about how to be purposeful throughout your day, or if you are interested in discovering your life purpose and/or your business purpose, we have a book study series coming in September that will help you do just that.

This is a book study on purpose creation, how to use a purpose to create motivation and direction, and also creating a vision (for whatever time frame) that is in alignment with purpose. It is also about being purposeful in everything so you are intentional and effective.

What does it mean to know YOUR purpose?

Knowing the reason for doing what you are doing (purpose) generates

Effective time management– you will be purposeful and directed and get more done in a shorter time
Clear and intentional communication– in being purposeful and directed, you will have effective communication and create better results
Ability to get what you want – quickly

From prior participants. Knowing my purpose…

  1. Allows me to make very strategic decisions in my personal life and business
  2. Helps me decide what to do when I am making difficult decisions
  3. Helps me decide what NOT to do, saving me time and making me more directed and fulfilled
  4. It is easier to say “no” to things that I don’t want to do, because I have identified that it does not serve my purpose
  5. For the activities that I say “yes” to, I look to my purpose to find the “why” and that helps me stay committed to my decisions
  6. Writing my purpose helped me to understand myself better and make changes in my practice that align with who I am and what I truly want


Purpose is a guiding principle that will help you understand what is most important in your life and help you make choices in keeping with that importance. Knowing your purpose will enable you to live all areas of your life with greater meaning, which in turn makes decision-making easier, and results in greater fulfillment overall. Knowing and living your purpose will assist you in ‘taking a stand’ against other people’s (and your own) drifts.…Your purpose provides you with a central guidance system, which makes you less likely to be swayed by other people’s agendas or to get off track.” (Coaching for Attorneys, Chapter 9, Purpose and Vision) We use the Coaching for Attorneys book, but the tools are applicable in all professions and areas of life.

Click here for more info: www.mclarencoaching.com/upcoming-trainings

About the Author

Picture of Cami McLaren

Cami McLaren

is the owner of McLaren Coaching. She has been coaching professionals and leaders since early 2008. She runs Transformative Coaching Essentials, a coach training program that produces first rate Professional Coaches and "Coach-Style Leaders." She coaches individually and works with organizations to improve communication, time management, productivity and ultimately bring greater results.

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