Monday, 08 August 2016 08:53

Your Inner & Outer Purpose

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Your Inner & Outer Purpose

Dear Maddisen:

On your website you have a quote by Robert Byrne, “The purpose of life is a life of purpose.” Why is that important?  How do I find my purpose in this big world of unlimited and limited choices?  Thanks, LL

Dear LL,

Great question!  The source of your answer lies inside of you, not outside in the big world of unlimited and limited choices. Although the outside world definitely gives us signs of what does and doesn’t interest us.

Clarifying our life purpose is a big step. Some people know when they’re very young and for others it can take longer to figure out. I didn’t get clear on my life’s work purpose until my mid-20’s. However, I had a clear idea of my inner or what I call my soul’s purpose in my early teens. Let’s refer to these as our inner and outer purposes.

Eckhart Tolle puts this concept into words very clearly on his website and in his books.  Here is an excerpt from Eckhart Tolle, taken from Tolle Teachings. 

Aligning Inner and Outer Purpose, by Eckhart Tolle

“There is no substitute in life for finding your true purpose. No amount of money, no degree of power, no activity will give you the satisfaction that a life of purpose provides you.

It is important to know that your life has an inner purpose and an outer purpose. Your inner purpose is primary. It concerns Being. Your outer purpose is secondary and it concerns doing.

Your inner purpose cannot be found on the outer level of life. It is not related to what you do but what you are. Your inner purpose, simply stated, is to awaken. This is the primary purpose of every person in the world.

Many people are very concerned with discovering their life's purpose. They are normally referring to their outer purpose. Outer purpose can change over time and is unique for every person. Inner purpose can shed light on your outer purpose. Inner and outer purpose, ultimately, are intertwined and aligned. The more you are connected you are to your inner purpose, the more your outer purpose will come into focus.

Living in alignment with your inner purpose is the basis for fulfilling your outer purpose in the world and doing so successfully. Without this alignment, you will most likely struggle in your attempts to express your outer purpose. Without alignment to your inner purpose, there is less joy in all of the activities in life.

Take time each day to reflect on your inner purpose of awakening. Do this by paying attention to your state of consciousness. Give yourself a daily discipline of practicing presence.

You cannot find yourself by going into the past. You can find yourself by coming into the present.”

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I see the wisdom in Tolle’s words, AND I also think it’s possible to get strong hints from the outer world regarding both our inner and outer purposes. For example, the outer world can help us clearly understand what we don’t want and what we do want both personally and professionally.

When I work with my coaching clients, we often begin by looking within and then using that information as a pathway to purpose. We look at life purpose as the combination of inner and outer purpose, meaning – we clarify: who we are and why we’re here as souls having a human experience (inner purpose), and how to express that with our work in the world (outer purpose).

And so LL, and all of my readers – life purpose is important because it’s why we’re here!  And life purpose can be anything that serves the greater good. For example, being a good parent, a waitress who enjoys people and her work, an actor who inspires greatness and goodness in others, a doctor who truly cares about his/her patients’ wellbeing, a phone sales rep who goes the extra mile to provide excellent customer service, etc. etc. 

If you need support fine-tuning your life purpose, consider working with a life coach, or asking someone you know and respect to be your mentor, or going to the library (or online) and reading books on “life purpose” or autobiographies of people you admire.  Life purpose is a hot topic, and I feel certain you will find yours, because you hold the answer inside yourself.

Your life coach,



“The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.” 
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

 “The purpose of life is to contribute in some way to making things better.” 
― Robert F. Kennedy

“You were put on this earth to achieve your greatest self, to live out your purpose, and to do it courageously.” 
― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”
– Pablo Picasso 

“Living in a way that reflects one's values is not just about what you do, it is also about how you do things.” 
― Deborah Day


Copyright 2016 Maddisen K. Krown M.A.


Read 2391 times Last modified on Wednesday, 10 August 2016 05:30

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