As a startup co-founder and entrepreneur, I'm constantly questioning my purpose. I'm concerned about what I'm bringing to the organization every day and how to 10X the value of those efforts.

Like so many others, I'm a believer in Simon Sinek's philosophy "Start with Why". It challenges the status quo at its core, challenging you to identify your purpose in business and in life.

When I first started down the path as an entrepreneur, my goal was to become the CEO of a billion-dollar company. Over the course of several years, this mission has evolved. I made the decision that in my lifetime, I want to help one billion people.

As I've been on this journey of self-discovery, I've been journaling, meditating, and praying about how I can make a difference in the world. Now I feel empowered with this cause.

This quote from President John F. Kennedy summarizes why purpose and direction are key to achieving anything fulfilling in life. 

"Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction."

So now that I have a path before me, the question really is, "How I can help others to find their purposes in life?" I've posed this question to a lot of people over the past few months while doing one-on-one meetings, peer reviews, self-assessment reviews, and co-founder and partner reviews. 

Here are five questions to ask yourself to find your purpose in your career and your life.

1. What are my strengths and weaknesses?

This is really important to figure out, and knowing the answer to this question can be the reason you achieve your God-given greatness. Straight up ask for feedback from your friends, your mom, your neighbor, and your co-workers. Then have an open discussion about your talents and opportunities for development that they've identified. 

2. What am I most afraid of?

Knowing what keeps you from reaching your dreams is all about being self-aware. The more you know, the better you can prepare for anything that might happen. Looking fear in the face and challenging those fears is one of the bravest things we can do as human beings.

3. What brings out the best in me?

Personally, I thrive off time spent with my co-founders and colleagues where we are challenging the status quo and making a difference for our customers. What gets you out of bed in the morning? What drives you to keep working late at night? If it's love for the work, then go do it. You have to discover what brings out your very best.

4. What brings out the worst in me?

This also requires self awareness of your worst behaviors or moments. We all have those times we wish we could throw into the deep end of the ocean and forget, but we can't. Controlling this might the best step toward achieving greatness because you now know what create chaos in your mind.

5. What truly makes me happy?

There is that thing again. Happiness. Every day, we have to make the conscious decision to be happy. You know how difficult this can be, so take a moment to reflect on the happiest moments on your life. It's that joy you will find your purpose.

So, try answering these questions to find the commonalities between what matters and what makes you happy. The answer just might surprise you!
 

Published on: Jan 31, 2018
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.