Creating Your Purpose
As we approach the end of another year, many people take time during the holidays to reflect on the past year and their life. Some folks are so overwhelmed that they can’t find time to reflect. Others are disappointed when they reflect and so they avoid it. Still others don’t mind reminiscing but they don’t want to set any goals for the future, I mean they never work out anyway so what’s the use, right?
As I speak to folks every day and get to know them through coaching, I’ve come to realize that a lot of people are waiting to find their purpose. They continue to do what they’ve always done or what well-meaning teachers and mentors have suggested to them 5, 10, 20 years ago. Others are sitting on their couches, eating Doritos, absentmindedly watching the experiences of others flash by their eyes on TV… afraid to take the first step until they know what their purpose is in life.
How about we start 2015 off by dropping the ridiculous baggage of the “life’s purpose” question? In 2015, let’s get out there and discover, dare I say, CREATE our purpose.
STOP trying to find your purpose. The universe isn’t in the business of hiding it from you. You aren’t here to play some cosmic game of hide-n-seek. God hasn’t buried your purpose under a sacred rock, at the bottom of a bag of Doritos, or at the end of an episode of Survivor.
Passion and Purpose are a RESULT of action, not the cause of it!
So, where do you start? Great question!!
Over this holiday season I’d like you to ask yourself these questions to prepare for your Best Year so far!
What fascinates you?
What captivates you?
What activity do you find yourself doing where you lose track of time? What engrosses you, mind, body and soul? … to the point that you suddenly realize daylight has turned to dusk? where minutes turned to hours and you suddenly realized that you had to pee three hours ago? or you say, “Oh crap, I forgot to eat lunch!”
Here’s an example from my life. I remember when I used to spend time learning every fun fact about every major American sport. I was engrossed in the games and the strategies used to win them. I know that baseball pass is a term used in basketball and that icing is a term used in both football and hockey (not just baking) and that a pooch punt has nothing to do with kicking a dog and that chin music doesn’t involve a musical instrument.
What can I garner from this? Well, challenge and strategy are important to me. Now rather than vicariously living through Ben Roethlisberger, Sidney Crosby, and Andrew McCutcheon, I realize that my passion is for the growth and learning that comes from challenges.
For you it may be something else. Maybe you like sitcoms or reality TV? Maybe you like to organize everyone and everything? Maybe you like parties and social gatherings? Maybe it’s a fantasy world in an on-line game? Maybe it’s teaching or giving or solving difficult problems or reading or writing? Now, look at what it is exactly that fascinates you about these things. How can you experience that fascination in another way?
What did you love to do when you were 6 or 8 years old?
If that 8 year old looked at your life today, what would they miss doing?
I remember in 6th grade, I would sit in my room and write funny stories on a little note pad. I remember one story had someone try to put out a TV fire with a blow torch that they had mistaken for a fire extinguisher (because TVs always caught on fire back then and blow torches looked like fire extinguishers???) ¯\_(⊙︿⊙)_/¯
In high school, I would try to write poetry even though I had to make up my own words because I thought all of my poetry should rhyme.
Now, if your 8 year-old self asked your current self, “Why don’t you do that anymore?” How would you respond?
And how would your 8 year-old self respond to that answer? I believe 8 year-old Traci would have cried tears of grief because she’d really, really miss writing.
How are you going to save the world?
To live a happy, meaningful life, we must live in congruence with our values. Our values allow us to struggle and fail as well as triumph and succeed. Our values hold more value than our own pleasures or comfort or satisfaction. If you are only seeking pleasure and comfort in this life, you are really short-changing yourself. STOP IT!
In case you haven’t noticed, our world has a few problems and we need you. We need your gifts, your talents, your strengths, your ingenuity, your compassion, and your uniqueness. Nobody on the planet is like you. You are the only one who has your unique combination of gifts.
Pick a problem, any problem, that you care about and start solving it with real action; not thoughts and rhetoric. You’re not going to do it all by yourself and it’s not going to be easy but it will be WORTH it. You can make a difference. You are a creator!
A Parting Thought
Captivation – Contemplation – Creation
You see, my friend, it’s those feelings of fascination, captivation, and creation that ultimately what leads to making a difference and to your happiness, fulfillment, and purpose.
The universe’s purpose is to provide you with a venue and the “stuff” for your creative experiences. It’s through those experiences that you will must CREATE (not find) your purpose.
Here’s to CREATING a grand (or small) purpose for yourself in 2015.
Merry Christmas & Joyous, Peaceful Holidays to you and your family.