How Can You Design A Fulfilling Life With Purpose?
The art of designing a fulfilling life with purpose isn't a set of teachings or formula we can memorize. It's a practice that requires constant work.
In that sense, it's not enough to just think about our potential purpose. Work on discovering it, living it, making it a reality. You can start by paying attention to how you spend your two most precious resources, time and energy.
We all go through periods where you feel lost at sea. You'll robot your way through the motions, dreaming how you'd like life to be different, fantasizing how much happier you'd be if you had more money, felt engaged at work or simply had more time to look after yourself. You tell yourself that it's not meant to be, you're destined to continue living and feeling like your potential is just beyond an arms reach.
This is where simplification shines, by acting as a tool to narrow your scope of focus. Illuminating the hidden insight that comes from viewing your challenges from an objective standpoint. You get an opportunity to view the problem with a brand new set of eyes, a filter that gives you clarity.
Right now it might feel like chaos, a racing mind anxious about the future and unforgiving about the past. If I asked a clarifying question along the lines where does that leave you today? Would I receive the answer, "I'm unsure about how to make those changes."
Feelings of uncertainty could show you're deep in the trenches, battling to control the sliver of your life that feels manageable.
Being present with your thoughts at a time like this is a lot like the ride a rag doll takes inside a washing machine. The calmness of the machine at work eludes you when you're being tossed around, begging for the world to stop so you can feel like your feet are firmly planted on earth.
If I pull you out of that washing machine and ask you to shut the door and step back and observe what you see, there is a calmness to the cycle. A fluid motion of clothes flowing in the same direction, the cathartic low hum of the machine as it works in perfect unison of every other part. There's a common mission in mind. Get your clothes clean.
Think of your resources as a tool to narrow your focus of impact with a purpose in mind. Were your time and energy utilized with intentionality in mind last year? I heard that a staggering 90% of businesses use their resources on the same things as last year. It's probable to believe that number could be the same for our own lives. I know it was for me and many, if not all the people I Coach.
Step one is to remove ourselves from the washing machine. Otherwise, we're oblivious to the patterns that we fall into. And the problem is, many of our patterns don't serve us. It's like carrying around a 70lb backpack just for the hell of it. It's no wonder you don't have the energy or motivation to make the changes you want. Your patterns are stunting your growth. They'll continue to keep you from stepping into the best version of yourself. If your habits serve you, you take on the mechanics of a well-oiled machine.
But as we are living, breathing, dynamic creatures, our needs and desires change. Clarity on how you spend your resources is a chance to align your needs and desires with your actions. It doesn't make sense to use your resources the same way if you're looking to build innovation into your life and business.
That's what I mean when I say the art of living is a practice that requires constant work. Seek a close friend, a mentor or a Coach who challenges your thinking. These incremental improvements to your habits and patterns are the bridge to the life you want. It's challenging work but when treated as an experiment, you discover a whole new world, with the addition of a plan to take action.
If it's permission you're after, you don't have to continue living the life you do even if it's great. There's always room for improvement. That's the beauty behind human optimization, there are no limits. Beyond the self-imposed obstacles you construct for yourself, it's one big blue ocean.
Closing the gap between your current reality and dreams takes nothing more than a decisive decision to live life on your own terms. It boils down to how do you want to spend your time and energy?
Need help with taking action? Don't worry, I wrote a piece called What Do I Do With An Idea? Successful Creatives Do This that'll walk you through it! And if you’re looking to go a little deeper, try Wondering How To Be Successful In Life?