These days I spend a lot of time working on myself trying to figure out what I should be doing with my precious life and time, in a way that fulfills me and adds a healthy dose of meaningfulness.
Today, I will share with you what I’ve seen as the biggest obstacles I’ve needed to overcome to not feel lost in the jungle of life. Plus some ideas to overcome them, what I’m doing to overcome how I feel. Given I used to be a Manager, Vice President, and Narcissist, there’s nothing I like more than dealing with obstacles (ones I’ve created or need to manage).
Many people get stuck, including me, before the starting line. We’re all trying to wrap our heads around the idiom of what “living your purpose” even means.
Is purpose the same as vision or mission or goals or something else entirely?
Here is what I feel the answer might be…
We all have a similar general purpose…To fully express the most authentic and unique expression of ourselves in a way that causes us to expand into our full potential, that serves others and serves what I call the “greater good”.
Let’s say it another way; I think our job on planet earth is to draw on what makes us truly unique, in such a way that it causes us to keep growing, expanding and evolving, resulting in us making the world a better place.
In essence, our “general” purpose is to bring more YOU (US) to life.
So, let’s not get stuck on the terminology. We can move past this obstacle by getting to know ourselves even better. Some guy named Socrates (lol) once said something about “Know Thyself”. When you think about it, it makes sense.
Who are you getting your advice from? Hopefully, it’s not just me! Who is telling you what you SHOULD be doing with your life? (Be wary who you accept “shoulds” from. Personally, I avoid “shoulds” like people walking their cats on a lease.)
Who are you listening to that has never done what you want to do?
Who doesn’t want you to change, or leave the state or country, or leave them behind in that dead-end job, or leave them in a disharmonious relationship, or make them look bad?
I think you get the picture. Bad advice can crush an amazing life adventure. Best to tip-toe around this barrier, and then when you silently get past it, run until you put some serious distance between it and you. Or cycle like Ginger-Bella and me.
I love the movies. But I often need to remind myself they are just movies. Life doesn’t start and finish within 2 hours, and it’s often a lot less glamorous and happily ever after, than Disney wants us to believe.
Sometimes we miss our purpose, because we think our life is not glamorous enough, or epic enough, or big enough, or it’s not the same look and feel as someone we might know.
Purpose does not have to equal becoming a celebrity, a multimillionaire, an Olympian with a dozen gold medals, or a life filled with exotic adventures.
Living our life purpose can be seen from the outside as very ‘normal’ while still being deeply and personally meaningful. The measure isn’t external, it is more about how does it make you feel. Maybe our purpose includes experiencing success as a deeply meaningful, internal practice, which we feel in our bones.
The final point is to please, please, please, let’s not get caught in the trap of comparing the look and feel of “living our purpose” with someone else. Ours might be a little messier, or less glamorous, or less clear, or quieter, but that is totally ok.
The questions to think about are; How does it make you feel? Do you feel like you are being authentically you? Do you feel like you are stretching yourself? Do you feel good about what you are doing?
If you can say “yes” to 3 of the 4 questions above, then you’re definitely on the right path. Well done!! Now please offer me advice!!
I know we’re all awesome, so there are a plethora of things we can do. We’re all smart, capable and competent at an abundance of different things. But what are you specifically doing when you are working in your “genius zone”? What allows you to bring your A+ game to the party? When do you come alive?
I am not that interested or want to focus on what we’re good at.
Think about it; What are you awesome at? What creates passion in your life? What’s your thing? (The thing you do better than most and would do it for free because you just love it) What truly makes you sing? (Not what someone else likes or thinks)
For me, I love people and watching them grow. Especially when it comes to human psychology and behavior. I also love to talk (my friends tell me I could talk under wet concrete… which might be true). I love seeing people have ah-hah moments when they see something clearly for the first time. And I love to learn through teaching, trial an error, people watching, travel, and cultural experiences.
So think about it… What do you love to do? What will determine which door you open next? what’s driving your ‘life passion’? The passion that allows you to live your purpose!
Here’s a tip that works for me: You don’t have to try everything or open every door at once. Although, like me, you might end up starting/stopping, entering/coming back out of a few journeys as we navigate through life and get clearer and clearer about what we do/don’t want. That’s life! That’s the journey. That’s what makes us unique.
What’s cool about a hologram is it actually takes limited energy to produce something very large in scale. A hologram can increase in size and make the unreal, real.
To change the hologram into something cheerful, we need to go back to the source. This has been my experience… Most obstacles are not real! They’re ‘perceived‘ obstacles. Aka: colorless holograms.
The perceived obstacles are usually the result of poor internal dialogue, crappy beliefs, untrue stories, incorrect memories, bad advice, and disconnection from reality. That is, the projection room inside our head is playing the scary movies and not the happy ones. So let’s stop fixating on the hologram and start looking inside our head. And I’ll tell you firsthand, this sucks. Our brains are programmed to protect us and through life, we often forget what was true and replace the stories with what we want to believe.
So, let’s ask ourselves a very simple question: “Is the story I am playing in my head the REALITY and an absolute FACT?” If the answer is NO, then it’s time to rewrite the movie in your mind.
Another way to deal with perceived obstacles is to come up with a much better plan. When I’ve been working with my Psychiatrist over the past 4 years, I’ve been addressing movie playing on the projector in my head, as well as coming up with a strategy to make sure the plot of that movie never changes, and new accomplishments create positive sequents of events (success builds on success).
The Little Stuff Matters
I was speaking with my doctor last week and one of the things that we realized which would be impactful on life, was to start exceeding at taking care of the little stuff.
I often find there are just small things that I can tweak or change that have a massive impact on the end results… The results helping me find purpose. I am always looking at the little things that have a considerable impact on life’s ROI (return on investment).
So if you’re feeling off, or discontent, or as if something is missing; know that the solution might not be as earth-shattering as you imagine. Maybe they’re only minor adjustments to make, that will have a disproportionately positive impact on your life and purpose.
Think about it, your purpose doesn’t need to be a hologram, it’s waiting to be found.
In summary, you’ve got this, we’ve got this together! I believe in you and I hope you believe in me.
By Brian Nadon