Discover True North: Unlock Authentic Life Purpose

Uncover how to find your True North, rediscover purpose, and define success on your terms. Transform your life with this insightful guide.

Discover True North: Unlock Authentic Life Purpose
Photo by Jamie Street / Unsplash


In today's rapidly evolving world, an invisible crisis is brewing, quietly eroding our well-being: The Crisis of Lost Direction. As we try to navigate the complexities of modern life, many of us find ourselves at a crossroads, feeling disconnected and drifting directionless. Each morning, we wake up to the days that blur into one another without a sense of accomplishment, as if on a perpetual treadmill, constantly running yet not going anywhere.

In our busy lives, the question we are not answering is - Why? Why are we doing all or any of this? Are we in this world to do a 9 - 5 job and please people, or work 8 hours so we can spend 3 hours with the family, tired and frustrated? Where are we going wrong?

The statistics are alarming: In a 2017 Pew Research Center survey, 70% of U.S. adults said that their job or career provided them with at least some meaning. This lack of direction isn’t just about career paths or daily routines; it’s about the purpose and meaningful life. Without a guiding compass - The True North, our choices often lead us down a path of unfulfillment, anxiety, and a sense that something crucial is missing. We lose touch not only with our aspirations but also with ourselves. The result? A life that feels more endured than lived, marked by a nagging sense of unfulfillment and restlessness, and yet we keep doing the same thing every day.

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This guide is more than just about discovering your values or defining success on your terms; it's about addressing this urgent, relatable crisis and transforming its negative effects on your life.

Discovering personal values and defining success in your unique way

Oscar Wilde once remarked, "To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all." 

In 14 of the 17 advanced economies surveyed, more people mention their family as a source of meaning in their lives than any other factor. Material well-being and health are also among the top three factors people cited. Source: Pew Research Center

In the pursuit of discovering personal values, the first step is introspection. This journey begins by looking inward, not outward. It's about asking yourself what truly matters to you, what principles you hold dear, and what brings you genuine joy and fulfillment. It often involves revisiting your past experiences, both the achieving moments and the challenging ones, since they are full of lessons that shape your values, beliefs & identity. Reflect on the times when you felt most alive or most distressed; these emotions indicate what is truly important to you. It's not about adopting someone else's definition of success but crafting your own based on what resonates with your true self.

Once you have a clearer understanding of your personal values, the next step is to align them with your definition of success. This means setting goals and aspirations that are in harmony with your values rather than chasing external markers of success that society often imposes, such as career, money, or fame. Although these are undeniably important in today’s society and can complement your life, they are still not the ultimate meaning & purpose of life.

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This alignment is crucial; it ensures that your path to success is fulfilling and sustainable in the long run. It's about making choices that reflect your values and, in doing so, crafting a life that feels authentic and meaningful. Whether it’s your career, relationships, or personal growth, every aspect of your life should reflect what you truly value. The journey of defining success in your unique way is ongoing and ever-evolving as you grow and your understanding of your values deepens over time.

Must Read: Unveiling Your Life's Purpose: A Journey to Discovering Your Ikigai: This article explores the concept of Ikigai, a Japanese term for finding your true calling.

Reflective Exercise: Discovering Your Personal Values and Defining Success

Socrates famously stated, "The unexamined life is not worth living."

On your journey of self-discovery and personal growth, take some time to reflect on the following prompts. These questions are designed to help you understand your core values and how they shape your vision of success. Write your thoughts and feelings in the space provided next to each prompt. There are no right or wrong answers here; the goal is to explore and articulate what truly matters to you. You may find it helpful to revisit these questions periodically, as your insights may evolve over time.

Through consistent reflection, patterns will emerge, revealing your true motivators. Trust the insights that resonate with your soul rather than succumbing to external pressures. Knowing yourself intimately is the first step toward defining success on your terms.

Copy & paste the below text into your own document editor and record your reflections.

Reflective Prompt

Your Reflections

What moments in your life have brought you the most joy and fulfilment?

[Your answer here]

Think about a time when you faced a significant challenge. What values guided your decisions and actions?

[Your answer here]

When do you feel most authentically yourself? Consider the activities, people, and environments involved.

[Your answer here]

Identify a role model or someone you admire. What specific qualities or values do they exhibit that resonate with you?

[Your answer here]

Reflect on a moment of success. What personal values did you celebrate, and how did they contribute to this achievement?

[Your answer here]

If you had to describe your ideal life in five years, what values would be most prevalent in this vision?

[Your answer here]

When have you felt the greatest sense of belonging? What values were being praised in these environments or relationships?

[Your answer here]

Consider a difficult decision you've made. How did your core values influence the outcome?

[Your answer here]

Envision a day where everything feels perfectly aligned with your true self. What activities, interactions, and thoughts comprise this day?

[Your answer here]

If you could leave a legacy or a message for future generations, what core values would it embody?

[Your answer here]

Must Read: Unlocking Your Full Potential: 10 Remarkable Strategies for Personal Growth and Mindfulness. It emphasizes introspection, acceptance, and change, which are key elements in the process of finding one's True North.

Aligning Daily Life with Clarity

Søren Kierkegaard provocatively claimed, "The unlived life is not worth examining." 

Once you've pinpointed your priorities, aligning your daily choices is crucial. Many of us inadvertently follow societal paths without considering their impact on our well-being. Assess how you spend your discretionary time and energy. Do these activities align with your motivating factors, just fill your time, or give you instant gratification?

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Small adjustments can significantly enhance alignment, such as volunteering in areas that resonate with core values like community service. Tracking daily decisions can help maintain focus on priorities and prevent regression. Accountability partnerships with like-minded individuals can also encourage consistent adherence to your True North, like committing to a 5k run with a friend. Living in alignment with your intrinsic motivations is far more fulfilling than seeking momentary happiness or external approval.

Must Read: Embrace Authenticity and Stop Deceiving Yourself with Powerful Self-Awareness Techniques. This article underscores the importance of self-awareness, a vital aspect of discovering your True North.

Continuing the Journey of Self-Discovery

An anonymous sage once said, "It is not happy people who are thankful. It is thankful people who are happy." 

Discovering your True North is an ongoing process of curiosity and growth, adapting to life's changing seasons and needs. Regularly engage in reflection and meaningful conversations to recalibrate your priorities as they evolve. Maintaining perspective during challenging times builds resilience. Daily expressions of gratitude for life's blessings, regardless of circumstances, will foster well-being and intrinsic motivation.

Continue to delve deeper into thoughts through diverse mediums and activities aligned with your motivators. Your True North will always guide you back to your true self whenever doubts arise or life seems off track. Celebrate each small victory as you authentically live out your potential and positively impact others.

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In this ever-changing world, finding and following your True North is not just about self-awareness but also about resilience and adaptability. It's a journey of continuous growth, where each step taken in alignment with your core values adds a layer of fulfillment and purpose to your life. By embracing this journey, you enrich your existence and inspire those around you to discover their paths. Remember, the quest for meaning and direction is a lifelong expedition that is as unique as you are. Keep your inner compass tuned to your True North as you move forward, and let it guide you through life's innumerable landscapes.

Also Read: 10 Remarkable Ways to Uncover & Embrace Your True Self. This article focuses on revealing the authentic self by stripping away pretense and unnecessary noise.

Books to Inspire You

  • "The Road Less Traveled" by M. Scott Peck
  • "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor E. Frankl
  • "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho
  • "Daring Greatly" by Brené Brown
  • "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle

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