Many people know what their dreams are. They are simply too scared to pursue it.
What do you do, however, if you don't know what your dream is?
While pondering and planning the new exciting year ahead, I reflected back on 2013 and realized how often I was asked the same question: "What is my life purpose?"
Firstly, it's fine if you don't have the answers yet. It really is all about the journey of discovering yourself (in the more spiritual sense of course). The part that I find heartbreaking, is to witness how many people wander through life without even pursuing to find true purpose.
From many amazing experiences, I can guarantee you: If you are actively looking to find your answers and doing the ground work to figure yourself out, you will find it. But, be careful of a common pitfall...
Too many people believe the answers will simply cross their paths. They suffer from what Tony Robbins refer to as "The Niagara Syndrome". They believe that life is like a river. They are quite happy to jump in and see where the streams take them, without deciding on a destination. They get caught up in currents and have to spend most of their time reacting just to survive. They come across forks in the road and don't know which to choose as they have no guiding direction. They live day to day purely reacting to what life throws at them, constantly fighting to not plummet down the massive waterfalls.
I don't believe you can live a purposeful live like this. Be prepared to work hard, research and seek to find your purpose. Or you may wake up after decades of unsatisfying job hopping and finally realize: I don't have a clue what I am meant to do with my life.
Once I finally figured out my true calling, my life changed forever.
We can get very philosophical about this subject. Especially if we invite some wine to the party. But today, I want to rather gift you with three practical tips which you can use to jump start your year in the right direction.
Although I can be a very spiritual person at times, I am also a big fan of science. I believe in psychology. I believe that people are born with personal passions, strengths and weaknesses. I also believe that once you are aligned with your core abilities, passion and talents - you can be the best at whatever it is.
Once we figure out a general direction of personal purpose, it's almost magical how our individualized paths get revealed to us one small step at a time.
Keeping in mind that there are loads of mambo jumbo on the internet, I am offering you the quality answers, that will get you to your core ASAP.
Here are three steps that helped my clients to rapidly find their answers:
a) Do a formalized personality test. Having a better understanding of which personality category you fall in, will significantly narrow down your options and assist you in your search of purpose. Through using tools such as Myers Briggs and E-Disc, you can better understand what your most suited areas of purpose will be. It will be something that lies within your natural born talents and as such it will require the least amount of stressful energy and will make you will feel fulfilled, purposeful and happy.
b) Buckle up, here comes a cliche: Think about the activities you loved most when you were young. Especially spend time recalling some memories between the ages of 6 and 14. Which subjects did you love? What hobbies did you enjoy? What were some of the more significant dreams at that age that you can still recall?
c) Decide on your top 5 Values. This will become your guiding light until you really nail down your purpose. Values could be: Love, Freedom, Success, Happiness, Health, Wealth, Intelligence, Cheerfulness, Honesty, Integrity, Passion, Fun, Learning, Growing, Investing, Achieving, Creativity, Being the best. The list goes on and on. What do you value most? Spend some time and rank your 5 top values. Remember - what you focus on in life, is what you get - often to the exclusion of other things. If you focus on your health and exercise like a maniac you will see results in this area, but this may be at the cost of say, your relationships. Or if you focus on your work and wealth, this could come at a cost of your health. We make these daily choices mostly subconsciously based on our underlying set of values and prioritization. What is yours? Write it down and see how it ties in with the results you are currently seeing in your life. What would you like to see more of in your life? What would your new values ranking need to be to get you those results?
In the words of Steve Jobs:
"The only way to do great work is to love the work you do."