I think you’ll agree with me when I say: We all want to have a great life purpose and success.
But what if what you believe right now could be setting you up for failure instead of success? How aware are you of your own thoughts, beliefs, values, and emotions?
Today you will learn about how living a purposeful life begins in your mind, how your purpose might not be ‘found’ and how you might be thinking your way away from purpose.
Here’s a cliché: We all want to get to the top of the ladder in life. But what if the ladder is leaning on the wrong wall? How would you know? And would you keep climbing? Or would you get off?
We get sold by the society that life purpose has to do with a dream house, a dream car, a dream job. So we lean our ladder on those things.
But does having material riches equal to having a purposeful life? Not necessarily, and if you make this your sole life purpose, your ladder is on the wrong wall. So I challenge you to think bigger. While there’s nothing wrong with having wealth, our life purpose is bigger than our material wants.
Mark Manson puts it well in this article:
‘Discovering one’s “purpose” in life essentially boils down to finding those one or two things that are bigger than yourself, and bigger than those around you. It’s not about some great achievement, but merely finding a way to spend your limited amount of time well. And to do that you must get off your couch and act, and take the time to think beyond yourself, to think greater than yourself, and paradoxically, to imagine a world without yourself.’ – Mark Manson
Your life purpose is your reason for living. So it should be unique to you, impactful, and worth your life’s devotion. Most of us have no idea where to start. Many of us can’t seem to find it.
We mistakenly believe that we are supposed to somehow ‘find’ our life purpose.
You read that right. I can guarantee you that if you spend your life trying to find your life purpose you will spend your life doing just that. You would have spent your whole life searching for something you already have.
What if the key to living a purposeful life is not to find your life purpose, but to notice it?
The first step to ‘finding’ your life purpose is to realize that you have one.
Even if you don’t know what your purpose is, just knowing that you have one should change the way you approached problems, habits, and people. You would value your time differently, right?
You would be mindful of who you are and what you are doing, right?
According to Jay Shetty, a successful entrepreneur that once lived with monks, you don’t know what you need until you know who you are.
You want to get from A to B, but you feel lost because you don’t know where B is but…do you even know where A is?
Feel free to take a moment, and do this brief exercise:
- Describe 3 aspects of your character. Do this honestly. For example, I think I am direct, growth-oriented, and truthful.
- What do you value? Describe 3 important things to you. For example, I value the well-being of my family, having integrity in my life, and my faith.
- What do you want in life? Why? For example, I want to have financial freedom and impact as many people as possible because I believe I can do more for this world.
Here’s one more question: How well do you think your character and values will lead you to having what you want in life?
You see, your beliefs about yourself are crucial in determining your future and the kind of person you become. By being mindful of where you are at, you can move towards where you want to be.
For example, all Olympic athletes believe that becoming better at their sport is possible. All successful entrepreneurs believe that success is a function of adding value to others. In contrast, people that don’t improve often believe they can’t improve. This is a psychological state called learned helplessness.
Let’s assume you want to live with purpose, and you know who you want to be, how much money you want to make, and you believe you can get there.
There’s still one more thing to know:
Our beliefs in a great future will only lead to said great future if we take action.
And we can only take proper action if we are aware enough to notice why we are spending our time in certain ways.
In order to be self-aware, acknowledge the consequences of your current activities. Know who you are and who you want to become so that you can make good decisions on what you spend time on.
For example, sometimes I spend time mindlessly browsing Facebook or YouTube. Being aware of that, I acknowledge how what I am doing will not lead me to where I want to be in life. Upon that realization, I stop the pointless activity and regain focus.
So in all that you do: align your actions with your character, values, and goals. Move towards the person you want to be, and the future you want for yourself.
It might sound awfully simple but:
Purpose is found by being purposeful in all that you do. Fill your life with the intention to make a bigger impact and purpose will come to find you.
To sum up:
Don’t live your life searching for your purpose. Live your life on purpose towards where and who you want to be, and your purpose, which is your reason for doing so, will become clearer to you in time.
We haven’t exactly explained how to specifically define your purpose. That is for another post. However, you should now realize that even without specifically knowing your purpose, you can live differently as long as you believe are meant for something greater. In order to live differently, know yourself, and be aware of your actions.
Take Action: What is one thing you would stop doing, and one thing you would start doing if you lived your life on purpose? Try it out for this week.