Nothing gives a person inner wholeness and peace like a distinct understanding of where they are going.
Fulfilment is a right and not a privilege. Finding fulfilment in life starts with understanding exactly WHY you do what we do.
Simon Sinek, author of Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Finding Purpose for You and Your Team, explains:
Once you understand your WHY, you’ll be able to clearly articulate what makes you feel fulfilled and to better understand what drives your behavior when you’re at your natural best. When you can do that, you’ll have a point of reference for everything you do going forward. You’ll be able to make more intentional choices for your business, your career and your life. You’ll be able to inspire others to buy from you, work with you and join your cause.
Robert Bryne once observed, “The purpose of life is a life of purpose.”
In order to get somewhere, you need to define your end goal. That is essential. And the sooner you define it, the clearer everything else will become. A life without a purpose is a life without a destination.
Finding the right direction in life is an existential problem for all of us.
What do you look forward to in life? Living without purpose is dangerous.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky once said, “The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.”
Finding the right direction in life is something you create. You make the decision to act. To try. To do something. No matter how small.
At some point in life, you’re going to have to stop thinking about taking action and act.
Your purpose in life is to find and do the things that make you smile, laugh and forget time. Even if you aren’t sure yet, move into the exploration and experimentation phase of your life and enjoy the journey.
In her book, The How of Happiness, A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want, Positive psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky wrote that only 10% of happiness comes from extrinsic incentives like money, fame, and status.
Commit to a purposeful life.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe sums up the idea and intention at its best: “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.”
When you commit to living your life with a purpose, amazing things can happen.
You can’t put time on it. You can’t force yourself to find your “why” tomorrow or next month, or even next year. But by all means, search for clarity and move closer to the life you crave.
In the 1940s, Viktor E. Frankl, was held prisoner in Nazi concentration camps. With all the agony and brutality, what kept Frankl from giving up his relentless fight for his life was purpose!
He found meaning in his struggle, and that’s what gave him the power to push forward through unimaginable pain.
A quote by Viktor nicely sums up his philosophy on how people were able to survive the camps, without losing the will to live.
In “Man’s Search for Meaning”, Viktor says“Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.”
Once you have defined your aims and what you want, it is easier to deal with doubts. Easier not to get distracted from what is important, keep your focus, and keep moving.
Only sustained movement in one direction can bring tangible results.You have permission to change your goal, rethink, choose another, by all means.
It’s hard to maintain any momentum if your direction lacks definition.
In order to reach big goals, you need time, during which you must continue moving in your chosen direction, not veering off course.
Defining your direction as early as possible is the most important decision in sports. But, curiously enough, this is also the most important decision in life in general, but much fewer people realize it.
Living “on purpose” means you live intentionally.
Napoleon Hill once said “There is one quality that one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.
In order to get what you want, you have to choose one direction and move towards it, constantly improving over a prolonged period of time.
Maximum speed and output requires a precise framework.
People who have made genuine changes in their lives and managed to attain difficult goals are not stronger, more intelligent or fearless than you. The only difference is the decision to act in the direction of their dreams.
A strong sense of purpose fuels your motivation.
Successful people have a definite sense of direction. They have a clear understanding of what success means to them.
Everything they do is consistent with their goals. They look forward and decide where they want to be. Their day to day actions helps them move closer to their vision.
Once you find your why, you will be more careful and selective about your daily actions.
In her book, “Brave: 50 Everyday Acts of Courage to Thrive in Work, Love and Life, Margie Warrell, writes: “Knowing your why is an important first step in figuring out how to achieve the goals that excite you and create a life you enjoy living (versus merely surviving!).
Margie continues “Indeed, only when you know your ‘why’ will you find the courage to take the risks needed to get ahead, stay motivated when the chips are down, and move your life onto an entirely new, more challenging, and more rewarding trajectory.”
William Cowper said “Existence is a strange bargain. Life owes us little; we owe it everything. The only true happiness comes from squandering ourselves for a purpose.”
There’s no better feeling than suddenly becoming clear on something that had previously been a road block in your life.
Those “aha!” moments are a real blessing when they come. “The only journey is the one within,” says Rainer Maria Rilke.
Clarity of purpose challenges you to do better and commit to actions that get you closer to the one thing you really want in life.
With clarity, you can pull together resources, ideas and people for a common cause. Without it, there is wasted effort and even chaos.
Bud Bilanich, an executive coach says to develop your personal clarity of purpose you need to do three things:
First, define what success means to you personally.
Second, create a vivid mental image of you as a success. This image should be as vivid as you can you make it.
Third, clarify your personal values.
Getting clear about what you want is a process of trial and error! Try something. Then ask yourself: Do I like this? Yes. No. Get a journal and start putting down your feelings, thoughts, actions, and behaviors.
Use what you write as a way to pinpoint areas you are constantly exploring. Evaluate your results constantly.
What actions, thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors are you attracted to the most?
The key is to do more of what you enjoy and brings out the very best in you and you will continually clarify what it is that you want to do, be and have in life.
Their negative mindset is like a wet blanket, smothering anything productive or beneficial before it can ignite.
A positive mindset is critical to achieving your goals and dreams in life, according to mindset expert Angie Zimmerman, author of 7 Steps to Master Your Mind to Increase Sales and Boost Productivity. This kind of mindset can be cultivated, but only if you are willing to open yourself up to new ways of thinking.
I recently sat down with Zimmerman to discuss some of her observations about what it takes to put your mind on the path to success.
According to Zimmerman, the most important thing you can do is to embrace a growth mindset. This is the mindset that will allow you to dream big and push the boundaries of your ideas to new levels.
She subscribes to the maxim, “Everything on the way rather than in the way,” which comes from leading educator Dr. John Demartini.
Instead of judging experiences in terms of failures and successes, frame them in a positive light. You will have challenges and obstacles along the way. Recognize that all of them can help you grow and become a better person.
Another mindset expert, Carol Dweck, explained that if you aren’t in a growth mindset, you probably have a fixed mindset, which is dangerous because it will ultimately stifle your ability to reach new achievements.
“A fixed mindset is when people believe their basic qualities, intelligence, talents and abilities are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that’s that,” Dweck said.
With a growth mindset, people believe that their talents and abilities can be developed over time through experience and mentorship, so they push themselves and “go for it.”
“They’re not always worried about how smart they are, how they’ll look or what a mistake will mean,” Dweck explained. “They challenge themselves and grow.”
“Sometimes you just have to jump off of a cliff,” Zimmerman said.
Do something completely out of your comfort zone and your mind will become more nimble. As a result, you’ll learn to push yourself to new heights. Those who fail to get out of their comfort zone often end up with a rigid mindset.
An unwillingness to take risks stymies progress, and you will ultimately fizzle out.
Just like the high achiever from high school — the person voted “most likely to succeed,” but who doesn’t accomplish anything beyond that — you have to push yourself or you will fail to launch.
“They become afraid of making mistakes. They become afraid of tarnishing their image,” Dweck said.
Part of taking risks is being able to learn from your mistakes. A blunder can also be an amazing blessing because you can use your misstep as a jumping-off point toward something new.
“The universe gives us gentle
reminders of what we need to do,” Zimmerman explained. “However, if we ignore
that advice for too long or fail to understand the message and take action,
that is where we receive our greatest life lessons.”
Instead of trying to hide or make excuses, consider what you can take away from these experiences as you go forward.
No matter what your level of education, you should never stop learning. According to Zimmerman, a thirst for knowledge is something that can never be quenched, and should be a lifelong quest.
She explained having an endless supply of curiosity is key to seeing beyond what’s in front of you, discovering what you are truly capable of and keeping yourself in a growth mindset.
“I can honestly say that no amount of knowledge is ever enough to quell my thirst in life to know, have and be more than I am today,” Zimmerman said.
“Another important factor is to cultivate gratitude by celebrating and sincerely being happy for other people’s successes,” Zimmerman said.
Acknowledging and delighting in others’ successes will help you shirk feelings of bitterness or resentment, and will allow you to focus on the positive things you have accomplished as well.
“In life, you cannot receive that which you resent,” Zimmerman added. “Therefore, if you resent or are upset about other people’s success, this leads to you being unable to achieve the level of success you desire.”
As a rule, you reflect the characteristics of the people with whom you surround yourself. As motivational speaker Jim Rohn has said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.”
In the same way, your mindset will reflect whatever information you feed it. That’s why it’s key to fuel your mind with positive information on a daily basis.
“Most importantly, you must surround yourself with positive influences that can help you live your best life and become your best self,” Zimmerman said.
Don’t discount the importance of both physical and mental agility.
Zimmerman recommends embracing both, since they work together to keep you alert and focused.
She says being fit and healthy creates more positive thoughts than negative and helps you to take the daily action necessary to achieve your priorities.
“What I mean by that is, by staying fit and healthy, you have endless energy and enthusiasm for life, and act in a more loving way.”
When you are feeling low on energy and neglect to work out for a little while, your enthusiasm and positivity wanes, which in turn allows negative thoughts to take hold.
Zimmerman likened those negative thoughts to a river of energy running out of your body. “You lose your vitality and you are far less likely to attract all the positive things, people and opportunities that you want from life,” she said.
Energy equals momentum, which is particularly important in business. It’s about having the drive and endurance to manage your daily activities.
“Physical exercise and positive thoughts assist with that, and give you a constant boost of ‘feel-good’ endorphins,” Zimmerman explained. “It all works to make it easier to attract positive circumstances into your life.”