The Purpose Triangle – Helping You to Define your Purpose

The Purpose Triangle is a new tool developed by Ian. It’s a simple but amazingly effective exercise that motivates you to do one of two things – either change the way you work or act, or keep doing what you’re doing, but with more focus!

Crucially, the Purpose Triangle also helps to reinforce and improve your resilience.

Whether you’re feeling under immense pressure or struggling to achieve certain goals, either in your career, business, sport or some other area of your life, doing the Purpose Triangle exercise will help you gain clarity on what you need to do.

With Ian’s wise guidance, the Purpose Triangle helps you to figure out what your true purpose is.

Why Do You Need Purpose?

Purpose is what drives us. It’s not a goal, it’s more complex than that. Purpose gives meaning to our lives. We need purpose to help us live our lives fully and happily. If we didn’t have purpose, we’d only be existing. And that’s not necessarily what most of us want.

We need to feel alive! And purpose evokes feelings in us, feelings that are different for everyone. You may want to feel success, peace, safe and secure, satisfaction, the thrill of winning, the warmth of being with or helping others. The list is endless!

Once you know what your purpose is, that knowledge will help drive your determination to achieve it.

How the Purpose Triangle Works

Devised and developed by Ian over years of coaching and training people from different walks of life, Ian has discovered a simple yet brilliantly clever way to discover what your purpose is.

Naturally, our purpose tends to change over the years depending on where we are in life, so do this exercise every few years or during times of significant change.

With Ian’s help, working through each step of the Purpose Triangle will remind you why you chose your current career path, wanted to start your business, achieve those goals or choose that lifestyle in the first place. Here’s how the process works:

Draw a large triangle on a piece of paper (A4 will do) to allow space to write what you need. Make it a pyramid, with the point at the top. Draw three boxes at the base, two in the middle, leaving the top triangle for your purpose.

  1. Step One: At the base of the triangle, write the three areas of your life that are most important to you – one in each box.
  2. Step Two: In each of the two boxes, write down a goal you would most like to achieve from the three important parts of your life. With Ian’s help, those two goals will help to define what your current purpose is.
  3. Step Three: Write your newly defined or redefined purpose in the top triangle. Decorate it if you like! Stick your Purpose Triangle on your wall as a constant reminder of what your purpose is when you’re feeling a bit low or losing your mojo.

This exercise is harder than it looks. It takes someone who’s completely objective to ask the right questions, helping to provide clarity and draw the right answers out of you. Ian’s excellent listening and coaching skills will help you to do just that.

Do this exercise regularly throughout your life or when you’re going through a low point. If you’ve lost your mojo, it could be that your purpose has changed.


One of Ian’s coaching clients, Chantal Cornelius of Appletree Marketing, agreed to share her experience of working with Ian on her Purpose Triangle.

Chantal Discovers Her PurrPuss

Yes, that is supposed to say ‘PurrPuss’. You’ll find out why at the end.

Chantal and Ian have spoken every month for nearly three years. On a recent call, they discussed how being in lockdown was affecting her. Chantal said that initially she felt fine, then realised that things weren’t as good as she was pretending they were.

After a bit more discussion, Chantal admitted that she felt like a hamster on a treadwheel and was really tired. Her ‘To Do’ list kept filling up and every day felt like a slog.

Chantal explained, “Ian really hears me. As he’s listening, he hears changes in my voice. It was then that my coach maestro said, ‘It sounds like you’re a bit disconnected from your purpose. Shall we see if we can reconnect you?’”

Knowing that Ian uses really helpful tools in his coaching, Chantal agreed to work with him on this new one.

Helping Others, Horse Time and Self Care

Step One – To find your purpose, think about what three areas in your life are most important to you. That was pretty easy for Chantal – she immediately said her business, riding her horse and self-development. Discussing what they all meant to her, Chantal realised that her business is what drives her – the results from that enable her to live the lifestyle she wants.

Chantal loves helping people with their marketing and seeing their businesses succeed. To do that effectively, she needs to have time with her horse riding in the countryside. She explained, “Riding helps me feel better about life, which in turn helps me to do the work needed for my clients and my business.”

The third important part of Chantal’s life is on continuous improvement. Enjoying learning new things, she also walks, runs, rides and does yoga. And she skis as often as possible.

Step Two – Figure out what two goals you want to achieve. As Ian and Chantal delved into what this meant for her, she realised that they were to live her perfect lifestyle and to continually develop herself through learning.

To Chantal, continuous development is for both her business and her health. On every ski trip, for instance, Chantal seeks out challenges to help improve her skiing technique. She constantly looks at how to do better in everything she does, including yoga, riding and marketing.

Step Three – Pull together steps one and two to define your purpose. “As we discussed what that is, it suddenly came to me – helping and supporting other people. Doing that helps me to feel good about myself,” Chantal said.

Later, Chantal created her colourful Purpose Triangle. It depicts her business, has a caricature of her horse and other illustrations to remind her of her purpose, and is topped by a gold glittery cut-out of a cat. “Now, if I have a wobble, I can look at my gorgeous image of my Purpose Triangle that’s stuck on my office wall to see my PurrPuss!”

Fresh Focus

Chantal was impressed with how Ian took her through the Purpose Triangle process. Listening and challenging her throughout, she said, “He’s good at teasing out what he knows about you. Ian asks questions, prompts you and helps you to realise what you need.”

Now, Chantal has a constant reminder of why she’s running her business – both to help others and to help her live her lifestyle choice. “Knowing my purpose gives me the resilience I need to keep going. It really helps me to focus on doing work that is in line with my purpose. And when I wonder why I’m going for a run in the rain, I remember that when I am fit and healthy, I am in a much better position to meet my purpose of helping other people.”

Find Your Purpose!

Are you feeling lost and unmotivated? Not sure what you’re doing with your life? Then it’s time to find your purpose!

To be guided through your Purpose Triangle to find your true purpose, give Ian a call today on 07776 292618. Or email him on

Resilience Coaching for Business (Available online, over the phone or in person)

Do you or your team need help getting back on track to achieve your business goals, have you lost your MOJO and need some support to remember your purpose or are you looking for someone to challenge and support you to achieve more with your business? Then a package of coaching could be for you! Individual or team packages available.

Resilience Coaching for Teachers (Available online, over the phone or in person)

Help your staff unlock their full potential in either group sessions or  individually, by assisting them with resilience in tough times, work/life balance, time management/workflow skills and self confidence issues. Delivered at a time that works for your staff, Ian becomes their confidential ear outside the school to share, grow and challenge current issues with.

Contact Ian For Pricing

For further information, an informal chat or to book Ian, please either contact him here, or book him by clicking here. You won’t be disappointed!
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