The Secret to Living A Life of Purpose

If you were asked about living a life of purpose, what would your reaction or answer be?

If you were asked about living a life of purpose, what would your reaction or answer be? Would you feel anxious as you look at your life and wonder if it reflects your purpose? Would you wonder what was meant by this question? It can be a daunting task to think about. What if you were told there is a Secret to Living A Life of Purpose? This article is your first step in creating a life of purpose. 

What is Living a Life of Purpose

A quick search for Living a Life of Purpose will return a lot of results. While this does venture on the spiritual side of life, I will be focusing on the more mundane aspects of including it into your life. The difference is that you dont have to have a spiritual focus for your life to have purpose, it just understanding what that purpose may be.

Living a Life of Purpose means doing what truly matters to you as it aligns with your values and beliefs. These are the things that make you, you. What those things are for me is different, in many aspects, than they are for you. 

So be true to yourself. That sounds simplistic but how do you know if you are or aren’t being true to yourself? Here are 7 ways you can work on feeling true to yourself, they are brought to you by the folx over at Entrepreneur.com.

  1. Understand what life should feel like – this means do what matters to you and aligns with values and beliefs.This alignment causes things to just feel right, like you have that rare bit of luck you need to make things happen. You feel connected and passionate instead of foggy and tired all the time. 
  2. Tap into your calling within – We all want to go to someone or something else for answers on how we should feel or be. The simple truth is we already have the answers inside of us, we just choose not to listen. You already know what makes you feel like, you just need to slow down and listen. Practice connecting with yourself. This can be done with journaling or even asking yourself “What do I need to know or listen to in this situation?”
  3. Trust yourself and forget what others think – Okay I admit this one is super hard for me. As a kid, we do what feels right in the moment and we are truly happy. That is until we are forced to learn the “rules.” The ones that tell us how to act or not act. Here is a secret, there is no right or wrong way to live. Remember that Confidence and Self-belief are key to this. Try this exercise. Place you hand on your heart and repeat “I trust my ability to make the best decisions for me.”Do this for any area of your life that’s important to you
  4. Feel the fear but take the first step anyway – Fear is a mechanism that warns us of danger and can keep us alive. But it can be a crippling hurdle, if not properly managed. We all feel fear, the difference between some is the ability to accept that fear and continue onward. The unknown is scary and we take safety in things that make us feel comfortable or dont change. We have to learn to not let that fear rule us and keep taking action instead. We are never truly ready so there is no reason to wait until you feel ready. Just take action.
  5. Rethink your to-do list – The one thing we humans never have enough of is time. It’s a precious commodity and we should value every second we spend. This will require you to look at every growing “To-Do List” and reassess if it is valid to being true and connecting to yourself. Are the things on that list part of your dreams or goals? If not, maybe it is time to rethink your priorities. Will your current to-do list matter a year from now? To paraphrase my boyfriend, “Sometimes, paying others to do the small trivial things in your life will allow you to focus more on the important things that truly matter.”
  6. Check in with yourself daily – One thing I have started doing, since my cirrhosis diagnosis, is thinking about what is important to me each day. It has allowed me to take stock of what and who is most important in my life and make those the things I focus on. You can do this in the morning just after you wake up. Before you take any action, ask yourself if this is something you want to do or does it feel right. If not, think of what would make you happy or feel right. This helps you break old patterns and move to new ideas.
  7. Recognize that you have everything you need -There is a simple truth that my mother tried to instill in me, you choose what you get in life. Even not making a choice is still a choice that will lead to a result. It is time for you to take back those reigns, you can choose to deny yourself or say yes to your heart. You have to do the work today to create the dreams of tomorrow. You have yourself and that is all you need to start working towards the things you want in life. The rest comes with it.

Pursuing Purpose

Researchers believe that developing a sense of purpose can enhance a person’s life immensely. The basis for their theory comes from various studies carried out over decades that studied the effects of happiness and having a sense of purpose on health outcomes. These studies found that those who had a sense of purpose in addition to happiness displayed better physical and health outcomes than people who experienced happiness alone.

So what is needed to develop a sense of purpose? There are many ways to accomplish this and what works best for you may vary. But here are a few ways you can develop a sense of purpose:

  • Helping others in your community, within a family setting, through a job, or on a wider basis.
  • Being recognized and valued for your contribution. This also implies being valued by yourself!
  • Being respected by others.
  • Having a sense of identity or finding your tribe.
  • Recognizing a sense of achievement from what you do.

Having a purpose helps to build confidence and self esteem. People who lack purpose are often unhappy and lonely. An example of this could be the person who has retired from a career that gave her life purpose. She may have lots of time on her hands and be involved in a range of recreational activities but remain unfulfilled as there is no sense of purpose anymore. Involvement in these pursuits simply helps to fill her day.

Hard work is worth it

How often have you thought about what you would buy or the problems that may be solved by a lottery win? Yes, we have all dreamt about this and there is nothing wrong with having dreams.They can open up our minds to possibilities and sometimes lead us to pursuing goals and a course of action in their pursuit.

Yet, how often do we hear about people who have had this stroke of luck and discover that their lives are not necessarily enhanced in any meaningful way by this, or are even worse because of it. Headlines in the local press have told us about the families who have broken up after winning money. People who have quit their jobs and gone on shopping sprees and drinking binges. People who long for the company of others who are not solely interested in them for what they get. The world, in our eyes, may be their oyster but what they may find diminished is a sense of challenge.

There is some truth in the saying that if you have to work hard for something you will appreciate it more.Sometimes the achievement itself is not the most rewarding aspect, but the process involved in its acquisition.

What provides someone with a sense of purpose will vary from person to person. For some it may simply be taking care of another close to them. Others may choose to travel, get involved in regular exercise, or in learning something new. The options are limitless. Whichever you choose, your commitment to this will also benefit you by keeping your mind active. When you do one of these activities the chances are that you will also be more optimistic and hopeful as a person. Having something important to aim for encourages people to be less likely to give up when things go wrong and to look for any learning opportunity instead.

Now, go and live your life with purpose

Having a sense of purpose tends to make people more involved in taking care of themselves. They will pay attention to their health. Involvement with other people means that they are less lonely and that they also have other people around for support. Peers can also be useful for giving you feedback and helping you see things about yourself which may otherwise go unnoticed.

The Secret to Living A Life of Purpose requires a bit of hard work. But a few simple steps can help you get on your way. Just remember to have a strong sense of self identity, recognizing the achievements in your life ,and to know the value of yourself. These are your first steps into a greater journey into finding your purpose.

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