Rediscovering Your Purpose at Midlife Despite These Challenging Times

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Do you know your purpose in life? 

Unfortunately, far too many people are struggling to understand their purpose, having suffered losses of loved ones, long-time jobs, social status, financial security, etc., due to the global pandemic. For some, life feels confusing, uncertain and unfulfilling with so much social isolation. They’re stuck trying to figure out how to stay engaged, relevant and focused on a purpose-driven life during these challenging times.

According to Richard Leider, an expert in helping people define their purpose,

“Purpose is a verb…it is an active, inspirational aim; the power in purpose is activated when we wake up in the morning with our purpose foremost in our minds and when we go to bed at night knowing that we worked toward it.”

It’s really as simple as being clear on how you intend to live every day -- your commitment to how you want to show up and if you’re working/volunteering/ engaging with others somehow. It’s about doing something that makes you feel vital and needed while you’re making an impact on the world. 

Living a purpose-driven life should be centered around what you’re naturally good at, what you’re passionate about and it should be congruent with your values. It’s definitely not about trying to live the life someone else wants you to live. 

While some of you reading this may not feel the need to redefine your purpose, we all need to be needed; in other words, “mattering to others” is essential to our wellbeing.

People who find meaning and purpose beyond themselves, are healthier, happier and they live longer. 

Some people believe you’re born with a specific purpose in life, and it’s part of your destiny and others believe we choose our purpose freely and create the life we want. 

Neither belief is better than the other. What matters is what you believe so you can decide to leverage the purpose you think you were born with, or freely choose the one you want. 

Clarifying our purpose at midlife or anytime requires us to pay attention to who we have become because we are different at 50 than at 25 years old. We can use our curiosity, our motivation and our intuition to reset our purpose.

While many people believe we all have a purpose, most have no clue what it may be or how to find it. If you’re not clear about your purpose right now, you may simply need a different mindset -- a different way of thinking about it as suggested by Richard Leider:

“Having a mindset of living purposefully -- choosing how you will use your gifts and talents to create more meaning in your life -- is more important than focusing on having a purpose.”

He suggests that you ask yourself a few questions like…

1. Have you recently felt like you’d like to be doing more with your life? 

2. Do you often yearn to use your gifts (natural talents) to contribute more to the world?

3. Do you feel like you’re “majoring in the minors” -- wasting time on things that are too small for       you? 

4. Do you desire to “major in the majors” -- serve others in a larger way, but you don’t know how? 

5. Do you ever wonder if “this is it?

If you can say yes to any of these questions, you’re probably ready to rediscover your purpose.

Living your purpose means…

•You’re growing and expanding through experiences that light you up. 

•You’re excited to get up and out of bed every day to help someone, solve a problem, make someone’s day or create something amazing. When you go to sleep at night, you have this deeply gratifying feeling that you gave 110%, and did your absolute best.

•You focus on what matters and how to minimize negative energy or distractions.

•You feel more passionate about everything in your life. 

•You’re intrinsically motivated to do what you do. 

•You have more clarity about who you are and what you want, so you don’t waste time on irrelevant stuff.

•You live with total integrity because you know yourself better than ever and your actions are aligned with your core values. 

•You have a more positive outlook and you feel like you’re in flow a lot of the time.

•You feel more joy, fulfillment and freedom in your life.

I’m passionate about helping people do “the work” to rediscover their purpose. My own midlife experience with redefining my purpose was a catalyst for positive change and transformation years ago. 

If you’re interested in learning how I’ve helped others and how I could possibly help you, then I invite you to schedule a complimentary call with me by clicking here.


Jennell Evans, MA, CMMI | 
Leadership | Emotional Intelligence | Mindfulness | Advisor & Speaker

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