strong purpose

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What is Strong Purpose?

Having strong purpose gives you the direction, drive and motivation to achieve what you want from your life. This might include your short and long-term goals, or creating your lived story in a way that people will remember good ways for years to come. Some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples might refer to this as following your dreams or your dreaming. 

A strong purpose will help you feel like there’s meaning in your life and in the challenges you may face. Your purpose may change from time-to-time and that is OK . When it does, think of what you have learnt on your journey so far and how you may be able to use this on your new path. We are collective peoples and we naturally feel good when we feel like we are adding positively to the lives of others. Think about how your purpose and goals might bring value to your family, your community, your spirit, your identity, your country or to mother earth.

Chasing a Strong Purpose

You choose what your purpose is. You might have a sense of purpose that has been passed to you through your ancestral kinship connection and totem relationships or spiritual or religious influences and that’s great. But if you aren’t aware of any of these that is OK too. You can determine your own purpose from scratch.

How to set a strong purpose

You are going to have to figure out how you want to fulfill your strong purpose. It can be a strong purpose with culture, school, work or relationships. 

Setting goals is a great way to start building a sense of purpose. By setting, striving for and achieving goals, you are dreaming your future each and every day. This will help keep your spirit and mind strong and help your overall wellbeing. How deadly is that! 

What can impact on your Strong Purpose

Achieving your purpose requires commitment, energy and attention. Think of it like a car, it only gets to a destination when it’s driven there. Achieving your purpose and achieving your goals is similar - you need to drive it.  For example, sitting on the couch all day, taking drugs, running amuck and spending too much time on social media will all make achieving your strong purpose more difficult. You may still get there but the journey will be more difficult than it had to be.

Whenever something doesn’t work the way you thought it would, take a moment to reflect on it and learn. Then keep on pushing forward with that new knowledge – there’s no need to fear failure with that mindset!

If you feel you need more help in finding your Strong Purpose, try speaking with someone who can help you map it out. This might be a careers counsellor at school or an employee assistance provider at work. If it’s your cultural purpose, community Elders are always up for a cup of tea and a good yarn. Mentors like youth workers or a coach are great for supporting you in finding purpose and achieving goals. You can always also contact a headspace centre or eheadspace to have a yarn and get some great advice.

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This resource has been developed in partnership with the headspace Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Youth Reference Group (Womenjeka Reference Group), Marumali Consultations, the headspace National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group and headspace National.

The headspace Clinical Reference Group oversee and approve clinical resources made available on this website.

Last reviewed 1 July 2021.


Wellbeing wheel reference:

Gee, G., Dudgeon, P., Schultz, C., Hart, A, & Kerrie, K. (2014).Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social and Emotional Wellbeing. In P. Dudgeon., H. Milroy, & R. Walker (Eds.), Working together: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and wellbeing principles and practice (2nd Ed.) (pp. 55-68). Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia.

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