Your Purpose Defined in Four Questions or Less

By Liz Bapasola, Ed.D., Gallup Certified Strengths Coach and Founder and CEO of Liz Bapasola & Associates, LLC

According to Dr. Farrah Gray, a leadership speaker I hosted when I oversaw the Office of Leadership Development at Temple University ten years ago, your life has two “most important” days. The first is the day you were born. (Makes sense, right?) But the second, is the day you realize why you were born.

The question remains, then, have you lived the second most important day of your life?

If you haven’t, I’m here to help.

I’ve developed a model that will help you cultivate in yourself your Purpose, or your God/Universe/Divine/Birthright-given reason why you are here living right now. I know that sounds ambitious and maybe it’s true, but I want you to try out my Purpose Defined Model on for size.

There are four elements that make up your Purpose or “Why.” The first is Passion, the second is Profession, the third is Vocation, and the fourth is Mission.

Let’s start with Passion. Passion is made up of two parts: 1) what you’re committed to and 2) what you’re talented at. What I mean by this, is what you value, what you’re innately good at, and how you instinctively think, behave, and feel. How you see the world and in what you are convicted at the deepest depths of your spirit is what I’m talking about. The combined answer to “To what am I committed?” and “At what am I talented?” defines your Passion.

The second, is Profession. Profession is the answer to another two-part question: “At what am I talented?” and “In what am I vested?” This again involves how you naturally think, behave, and feel and what you innately are great at doing, but it also involves how you make a financial living, and what you invest in with regards to your time. Your profession may be your 9-5 job, or it could be as a parent or as an unpaid volunteer position where you invest your time.

The third part is your vocation. That is the answer to the two-part question: “In what am I vested?” and “What does the world need that I can contribute?” This involves your civic purpose or your contribution to society. It may be a 9-5 job, it may be a volunteer role at a non-profit, or it may be your role in your family. Whatever it is, the world needs it and you’re vested in it.

The last element of your Purpose is your Mission. This is a combination of what the world needs and what you’re committed to. Again, this includes your values, your concerns for the world, and answers the question of what you can do to help address a problem in your local or global community.

Together, your Passion, your Profession, your Vocation, and your Mission all create your ultimate Purpose, or the reason why you were born.

Take the time you need to reflect on these questions:

1.       What am I committed to?

2.       What am I talented at?

3.       What am I vested in?

4.       What does the world need that I can offer?

Those answers, combined together, will give you your Purpose.

My Purpose is executive coaching and life coaching for individuals, partners, teams, and organizations. I’m committed to helping people and organizations. I’m talented at coaching people to reach their full potential. I’m vested in working as the Founder and CEO of Liz Bapasola & Associates, LLC, a coaching and consulting company. The world needs more executive coaches, life coaches and business consultants to help individuals, partnerships, teams, and organizations reach their full potential. Therefore, my core Purpose is to be an Executive Coach, Life Coach, and Business Consultant, whether as a wife, mother, daughter, daughter-in-law, sister, aunt, AVP, paid coach, neighbor, church volunteer, or any other role I play in life.

So that’s my Purpose Defined.

Now what’s yours?


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