Your Soul Chose One of These 4 Reasons to Incarnate…

Question from a reader:

Hi Anna,

On your website you often talk about how ‘Earth is a school’ where we learn soul lessons. I’ve read books by spiritual teachers that claim that we’re not here to learn and that this concept of ‘Earth school’ is a myth. These teachers claim that as souls, we are not here to learn because we’re already ‘perfect’, instead we’re here to have fun and manifest what we desire in life.

What do you make of this?

~ Vanessa

Hi Vanessa,

I believe the reality is a lot more complex than some people present.

The Akashic Records say that souls incarnate here for different reasons. Each soul has their own individual purpose for coming here, based on what the soul’s goals are for this lifetime, and sometimes which soul group of origin the soul belongs to.

Some souls come to contribute something to planet earth, others come here primarily to learn, some come to support other souls in their learning & evolution, and then some souls come here just to have experiences and enjoy themselves.

So as an Akashic Record reader, those are the 4 main reasons I come across for souls incarnating here.

This is why it’s not accurate to make a blanket assertion about what “all souls” are here to do.

In this article I’m going to look at the four different types of lifetime a soul can have (aka reasons for incarnating). Perhaps you will recognise yourself and your own experiences in this lifetime, in one of these:

1. The Learning Lifetime

The learning lifetime is somewhat self explanatory — some souls come here primarily to expand their souls through learning.

Souls may choose this sort of lifetime when they have an energetic quality they are lacking in themselves that they need for a future lifetime.

On the soul level, we always have strengths (look to your soul group of origin and your soul trainings for those) but there are definitely also energetic qualities that we lack in ourselves.

It isn’t correct to say we’re already “perfect” on the soul level. The only perfected being would be God/Source/Spirit. That is because Spirit or God contains every energetic quality out there. God is all of it. As souls, we’re fragments of these energetic qualities. We’re some of those energetic qualities, but we’re not all of them.

To give an example, a soul who is naturally a very compassionate, loving soul (who has also developed healing skills as a result over the course of many incarnations) may excel in love and healing, but may be so used to helping others, that she lacks the ability to receive help and love from other people. And so she, in this lifetime, may be learning balance, which through various experiences that she has here on earth, gets integrated more fully into her being, as she learns and progresses through the lifetime she’s in.

God contains all of those energetic qualities, but she doesn’t. She excels in one quality (generosity), and lacks in another quality (receiving or balance). That’s how soul gifts work — there’s always an upside and downside to them.

So, the purpose of learning/evolution, is to give our souls experiences that change us slightly on the soul level, so that we can integrate other energetic qualities into our soul, and reach a greater sense of wholeness on the soul level.

When we reach a greater place of wholeness in ourselves by integrating these energetic qualities through our life lessons, we also help to raise the vibration of the planet. So those in a learning lifetime are not only evolving their souls, they’re also evolving the planet.

If you’re someone who is in a learning lifetime and you are into manifesting and the law of attraction, it can help to take your primary life lesson into account.

For example, let’s say your life lesson is persistence. This may indicate that in previous lifetimes you have quit when the going got tough, and in this lifetime you are learning to see things through to the bitter end. It is likely that whatever you try to manifest or create in this lifetime, is going to take sustained, persistent effort. And then by the time that lifetime is over, your soul has learned something impactful about the value of persistence, which will serve you in future lifetimes.

Or to give another example, if your life lesson is moderation (like mine is), your powers of manifestation and creation in this lifetime will be amplified if you avoid extreme behaviours and extreme patterns of thinking. People exploring moderation as an energetic quality would not be served by an ‘all or nothing’ mentality. Instead, they will be served by taking ‘the middle path.’

Signs you’re in a ‘learning’ lifetime include:

  • Having lots of challenging experiences (especially in one’s early life)
  • Manifesting and creating things in life come with conditions (and they don’t necessarily come easily, either)
  • Noticing that the same challenging experiences showing up again and again — and you’re getting better and better at meeting those challenges.

Note that most souls have some degree of learning and evolution to their lifetime, but for souls in a learning lifetime, the focus is almost exclusively on evolution, and it can be intense.

Now let’s look at a completely different type of lifetime:

The Holiday Lifetime

Do you know people who seem to cruise through life, with opportunities falling into their lap, left, right and centre? They rarely attract trouble and they can manifest what they want, more easily than most?

Such people are often in a holiday lifetime.

Souls sometimes choose a holiday lifetime when they have had a series of intense learning lifetimes and so this time around they want a bit of a break. These sorts of lifetimes tend to be easy and uneventful. And a person in a holiday lifetime usually has no problems creating a comfortable life for themselves. Their relationships go smoothly and they are more likely to be born into privileged families. If there’s anything not to like about a holiday lifetime, it’s that they can be a bit uneventful.

My guess is that the teachers who claim that earth is a playground (and not a school) may be in holiday lifetimes and they are assuming everyone else is. The fact is, earth is both a playground and a school, depending on what the soul chooses.

Note that souls may still learn and evolve a little during a holiday lifetime, but the rate of evolution will be miniscule, compared to a learning lifetime.

It’s common for people I read for, to be in a holiday lifetime — I have wondered if a holiday lifetime gives a soul the time, space or money to stop and take stock of their path through life, and so they choose to sign up for a reading. Whereas on the other hand, those souls in a learning lifetime may have bigger fish to fry right now and no breathing room to take stock and get a reading.

Signs you’re in a ‘holiday’ lifetime include:

  • Life has been relatively easy
  • You were born into a loving, probably financially comfortable family
  • You haven’t experienced many or any really major challenges in life
  • You realise you have been ‘dealt a good set of cards’ or had it easier than many of your peers in some ways
  • You know or suspect you’ve had some difficult recent past lives.

When I did a life between lifetimes regression several years ago (I wrote about it here), I was told that after a couple of intense learning lifetimes, I was quite tired on the soul level and as a result, was offered a holiday lifetime on an island in the Mediterranean beginning with ‘M’ (Madeira? Malta?) but I turned it down in favour of this lifetime, which has been an intense learning lifetime. (This is my third intense learning lifetime in a row.)

Let’s have a look at another type of lifetime I see sometimes:

The Contribution Lifetime

A contribution lifetime is one where a person has a soul contract to fulfil a particular role with a group of people, often involving being a public figure.

This could involve bringing through an important invention that will change the lives of many people, supporting a large (ethnic, political, religious) group of people in some significant way, or being a leader of some description (such as being Prime Minister). It could also be about fighting for a cause.

People often think they’re in a contribution lifetime but it’s not that common for a person to be in this type of lifetime.

Signs you’re in a ‘contribution’ lifetime include:

  • You have always felt a strong sense of purpose and you’re a very driven person
  • You enjoy contributing and giving back to society
  • You already fit one of the roles mentioned above (you’re a leader in a community or in the world at large, you fight for a cause, or you have created something that has made a big impact on the world.)

The Support Lifetime

A support lifetime is one where a soul incarnates partly to help someone else learn their life lessons. The best way to explain this one, is that when we incarnate here, it’s like we’re all playing parts in the play of life. In order to go through certain experiences, we often need other people to play a part. So let’s say for example, you have a child who has an illness or additional needs, that require a lot of support from you, even into adulthood. Perhaps your child is supporting you in learning something important through parenting him/her. It could be patience, love, acceptance or resilience (to give a few possibilities.)

This is the most common life focus for a soul to have.

Signs you’re in a ‘support’ lifetime:

  • You get the sense that a particular significant relationship you have had with another person (such as your spouse, sibling, child or parent) has been a big part of why you chose to incarnate here
  • Your personal relationships are your number one priority
  • Your relationships are very close ones
  • You have children.

So, there you have it — I hope this article has explained why we cannot make big, blanket assertions about why souls are here.

If you’re interested in learning more about your soul’s purpose, check out my Akashic Record Reading Program.

(And just a note for current Akashic Record Reading Program students: you can find instructions on how to find out this info on life focus, on behalf of your clients, in the course forums.)

Meet Anna

Hi, I’m Anna Sayce! My purpose here on this website is to provide practical techniques and information to help empaths to understand, and fix the root of their energetic overwhelm & also to help sensitives to embrace and develop their intuitive gifts. I believe that developing our spiritual & intuitive side is very powerful and allows us to improve our own lives, and if we wish, even make the world a better place for others. Discover more >


  1. Catherine Motteler

    I feel I have a learning lifetime mixed with a support lifetime to a lesser degree. Can these be mixed?
    Reading this has helped me understand, perhaps, why I have had such a diverse life and why I always feel so driven to learn. This perspective helps me feel less like a misfit. Your wonderful writings and the videos I have seen of yours have done me no end of good!

  2. Anna Sayce

    Hi Catherine, yes we often have a mixture of two focuses for one given lifetime. I’m so pleased to hear that you have enjoyed the stuff I’ve been sharing on here! x

  3. Regina A Forster

    Hi Anna, thanks so much for this very helpful info. I’m definitely in a combo of learning and support in this lifetime particularly in the last 20 yrs. with my spouse. Fascinating to read about the holiday lifetime!! I’d love to choose this the next time around as my current lifetime has been intense and very exhausting on all levels though I’ve learned an incredible amount.

  4. Anna Sayce

    Hi Regina, I think I would like a holiday lifetime next time around too 😉

  5. Tanya

    Hi Anna, I would agree that we incarnate for various reasons. I was actually “told” that mine was about learning early in my life…lots of intense, hard lessons…then I felt a shift in answers around age 32, where I was then told to share, or teach what I had learned. Now I am getting new info about my evolutionary purpose here, during this lifetime, and it seems to have a much, much bigger scope – though I am still growing into what it will ultimately be…

  6. Natalie

    Thank you for this, so much. I feel like I want to save this article and come back to it again, and pass it on too. I’m definitely in a learning lifetime, and strongly want a holiday one next time. My soul is so tired. I learned something with the support lifetime, though, and it confirms something I’ve been feeling about a relative. I think she’s in a holiday/support combo, and now that I’ve read this, I can stop worrying about her. Thank you!

  7. Anna Sayce

    Hi Tanya, we can have more than one focus in a lifetime, so perhaps yours “switched” part way through. Thanks for sharing x

  8. Anna Sayce

    Hi Natalie, so pleased to hear you found this article helpful! x

  9. Silvia

    Hi Anna,

    thank you for your article. I read Conversations with God and in that book the apparent message was that we dont come here to learn as your reader said, but we come here to remember and choose who we really are. What do you think?

  10. Victoria M

    I’m pretty sure I’m in a holiday lifetime. Much of my life, especially before my mid-20s, has been incredibly easy. It just flow. I got what I wanted or wanted what I got, and had complete trust in life. I only applied to one college and got in without issue, for example. My family wasn’t well off, but we had enough — and because of this I learned to take care of my finances at a young age, so money has never been an issue. When “bad” things happen, they always seem to have good or lucky outcomes. Like someone hitting my car, everyone coming out of it unhurt, and being paid out by their insurance company for more than I could have sold the car for. Or a tree falling and ripping out the electrical service attached to our house, but then a matter electrician friend offered to fix it for cost of parts and it was an unseasonably warm October so we were fine without heat for a few days while it was all getting sorted. Ended up being significantly cheaper than getting the tree cut down, too! The only times I run into trouble are when I resist or try to over-control. I’ve even had this enjoy yourself message come to me from time to time throughout my life. From “You have no purpose.” (Which made me feel oddly relieved) to “Be at peace.” to “You can’t screw this up.” I even experienced a highly dramatic situation with a bird in my house that very distinctly felt like a message that if I just trust Source, then everything will be handled, that if I struggle, then things won’t work out. Additionally, I always have a feeling that I *could* do something big, but at the same time a receiving messages that I don’t *need* to. I think that’s where my perpetual struggle is: trying to find some way to *do* something, because we are bombarded from every direction that we have some big purpose in our lives that the world needs. Not in every case, as you say! And I’m still learning to relax into that. So, it’s not like life is perfectly golden, but it is good. It is more, as you say, a tad boring at times. But I find that boring isn’t so bad. And when I lay on a blanket in the sun to take a nap, or take on a project for no other reason than that I feel like it, it does feel like life purpose in some weird way. Thank you for this article, as it is has created great clarity around this subject for me and is helping me settle even more into this lifetime focus. Now I think I can do this whole enjoying thing better!

  11. Ryan

    I guessing I’m contribution and support. When I was 16 I suffered a tramatic brain injury. I have a processing problem. I know what to say in my brain but cant put it in words right away. In the past it was worse than it is now and I had sleep paralysis What I’m trying to say I suffered for years and helping people that have it worse than me in other areas in life gives me some peace. Im also a single father with a son with vision impairment. But I feel driven to have more purpose in life more success. Are all lives on this earth? Souls?

  12. Anna Sayce

    Victoria – that’s lovely – thanks for sharing! x

  13. Anna Sayce

    Silvia – I loved that book back when I was becoming interested in metaphysics, but I don’t agree that life is not ever going to be about learning, for all the reasons explained in this article. That doesn’t fit with what I have seen when reading for people.

    Remembering who we are, is effectively about remembering who we are on the soul level and bringing our soul gifts into the physical plane. I agree that that is part of our soul purpose. You can’t choose who you are. You simply are who you are to a large extent, through nature and also nurture. However you can choose your behaviour and your reactions to situations.

  14. Anna Sayce

    Ryan – thanks for sharing!

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