Finding Your Life Purpose If You’re a Diplomat

Darrell’s avatar

Diplomat personality types: Advocates (INFJ), Mediators (INFP), Protagonists (ENFJ), and Campaigners (ENFP)

For many Diplomats, a life purpose may feel like a calling – something decided on a spiritual or cosmic level. Although not all of them do, they are the personality types most likely to believe that such things are preordained. They often favor the spiritual and mystical. Combine that with the value they place on helping others, and the blend can create a profound sense of mission in Diplomat personalities.

“She remembered who she was and the game changed.”


A life purpose is a guiding vision that is the core reason for all the significant activities in a person’s life. It’s a self-organizing principle based on passions and competency, and it’s different from a goal in that it’s not detailed but more a guiding umbrella concept that covers all specifics. A life purpose might change several times in a lifetime. For Diplomats, feeling that their existence has a reason is likely to be essential to their self-esteem. While there is still much to study, research has suggested that having a life purpose is linked to positive mental and physical health results.

People may discover or start a quest for a meaningful life once or several times from the cradle to the grave. If you’re a Diplomat personality type, and you’re not sure what your purpose in life is, here are suggestions that might help you in your journey to meaning.

What Is Bigger Than You?

Finding something bigger than yourself means not being confined just to your wants and wishes. It involves considering a big, more profound picture instead. Many (but not all) Diplomat ideals rest on the welfare of humanity, either locally or globally – something bigger than themselves. That doesn’t mean that Diplomats don’t or shouldn’t take care of their own needs and wants. But committing to a thing that they consider more significant than themselves helps define their sense of purpose.

Diplomat personalities may find their purpose by exploring their spiritual lives, political lives, philosophical lives, professional lives, family lives, or social awareness. Not all Diplomats will be mystics, altruists, or activists. Still, an exploration of these things can reveal what is vital to a Diplomat’s thinking and way of life.

What is something bigger than yourself that you connect with? What is your relationship with this more significant concern? How would you like to see your connection strengthen? Do any of your answers describe something about life purpose? (These alone may or may not suggest a life purpose. This exercise is just one way to explore the possibilities.)

Go Within

Diplomats, with their Intuitive-Feeling personality trait combo, prefer their answers coming from within. We Feeling types like to send our decisions through our guts. So trust that.

Close your eyes and envision the things that you might do with your life, based on your current interests and concerns. Listen carefully to your instincts. Notice the things that evoke a huge Yes! when you think about them.

Make it a practice to spend a few minutes each day meditating on (or merely thinking about) your interests and passions. See what’s consistent about your reactions – there is always the potential for something to look good today but not be as exciting tomorrow. Maybe even explore your reactions in a longer form by using a journal dedicated to your life purpose. Remember, there’s no hurry, and there are no shortcuts. But you may find your life purpose by considering how fierce your yeses are.

What Are Your Gifts?

It’s fun to talk about life purpose in expansive and dreamy terms. But, at some point, for it to matter, having a mission demands action. A mission involves doing something. So what can you do?

This exercise is the more practical side of discovering your life purpose. To find yours, you may need to inventory your skills and talents. It’s not enough to say, “I’m going to dedicate my life toward eradicating hunger.” What gifts do you have to dedicate to that cause? Leadership qualities? Communication skills? Fundraising skills? Organizational skills? More than one? Making a list might be helpful.

A skills inventory can work both ways. Once you know what gives your life meaning, you can apply the skills you have to your purpose or strive to learn more skills. But consider this: your skills might also lend themselves to creating a life purpose. For example, if you’re a creative and imaginative fiction writer, your life purpose might be to share as many of your spellbinding pieces with the world as possible, making the world a better place for having read your novels. You can always elevate your talents or craft to serve a broader vision.

Putting It All Together

After you discover your life purpose, two more steps might help solidify and memorialize your discovery: (1) write a personal vision statement, and (2) reduce your plan and purpose into a short “elevator pitch.” The mission statement should be relatively short (some advise three to five sentences), with the elevator pitch being shorter (a 15- to 30-second sound bite). The mission statement is a succinct definition of your purpose, and the elevator pitch is, in this context, less about networking and more like a motto or affirmation. Keep them uncomplicated – something a ten-year-old might understand. Both should strengthen any decision you come to about your life purpose and may help you stay focused on your mission.

In all cases, it’s easier to navigate if you know where you are going. Friedrich Nietzsche, the German philosopher, assured us that, “He who has a why can endure any how.” If you know your purpose in life, the why of your existence, then how to reach that destination likely becomes obvious. What’s your why?

Are you a Diplomat personality type who has discovered your life purpose? What approaches have (or haven’t) helped you? Share your experiences in the comments below.

Further Reading