People have become more aware. We are beginning to realise that by not following the crowd like a group of Lemmings jumping off a cliff, our lives can have so much more meaning. We know instinctively that by allowing one day to follow the next, we are not living, we are only existing.
In the media we read about living your purpose, your truth and a number of other catch phrases. So what does it really mean? In most instances, the writers of these articles or books are referring to finding out what you are passionate about and developing a plan to get yourself to a place where what you do for a living is in line with your passion. This is a fantastic idea and something everyone can strive for.
What do you do if you haven’t “found your purpose”, if you are not quite there yet, can you still be living a purposeful life? Absolutely! But how, you may ask? Simply put, by living consciously.
Living consciously means that you are present within your life at any given moment. You are not merely following routine out of habit. You definitely don’t have your head down living like any other hamster in the mill of life. Monday is no longer that dreaded day after the weekend. Every day of the week becomes fulfilling. Because you want it to be.
This still doesn’t answer the question of “How” though. It’s all fine and well hearing about these concepts and wanting to strive towards living a more fulfilled life. However, our society as done a very good job of creating people who can fit into pre-prepared moulds. We have not been given the tools to live our lives. It’s time to break out!
Start by taking the time to assess what your day look likes. Are you planning ahead? Do you know in advance what you need to achieve in your day? Are you simply falling into each day and hoping it works out? . And no, keeping everything in your head is not optimal.
Find a mechanism that works for you to allow effective planning of your time. Whether it is an app on a smart phone or an “old fashioned” diary. On a weekly basis write down on specific days what you need to achieve. Be realistic with the time you allocate to tasks. Also remember to ensure that you allow for enough down time. Your company does not own you! Put everything into your daily schedule, from when you get up to when you go to sleep.
Yes, most of your time is spent at work, however, you can choose to make it productive and interesting, or you can choose to hate it. It is all about the attitude that you choose to have.
Now that you have your time sorted to get the day-to-day running smoothly, it’s time to dream. What else would you want to achieve with your life? Oh what’s that? You don’t have time to dream! Really?
Have a look at your diary. What are you spending your time on? While it is good to occasionally “just veg”, this can become a habit and before you know it you are spending 20 or more hours a week watching tv. Sound familiar?
Nothing is impossible to achieve, some things may simply take a little longer. Okay, a lot longer. You are probably going to have to develop different habits around what you do with your time. If you start today, you will be one step closer than yesterday.
The most amazing feeling in the world is when you can look back on your day or week or month and see what you have achieved. It is even more amazing when you have actively chosen not to allow circumstances or people dictate how you view your life. Now I know that’s a big ask, because every now and then it feels as if all the wheels have come off.
Don’t allow circumstance to force you in a direction not of your making. This will only mean that you are living according to someone else’s decisions and quite frankly, they are not taking your needs into account. By having written down what you want to achieve it makes it easier to focus when circumstances seem to be against you. Yes, sometimes the best laid plans don’t work out either. That’s ok. Regroup, re-access and amend your plan. Nothing is written in stone.
The key to living on purpose is to take action. Without action, no idea, dream or plan will ever become reality. One small action step everyday is better than sitting back and thinking that you’ll start tomorrow or next week when circumstances are better.
I know it sounds like a schlep. Yes, to make positive changes in your life does take work. With a bit of practice, conscious decisions become second nature, planning becomes easier, taking action a part of life, and pretty soon you find that you can not live your life in any other way. In a nut-shell, life becomes purposeful.
Now give yourself permission to live life on purpose!