“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Howard Thurman
Ever feel like your life is running on autopilot? You wake up every day going about the same old routine. Its not bad enough to change, but it is far from what you dreamed about back when you were a child.
At some point a while back, your dreams gave way to your sensibilities. You let go of your childhood fantasies and bought into the idea of getting a job, paying the bills and doing what everyone expected of you.
For some, the question of doing something else, something more fulfilling, never enters their mind and they live out the rest of their years without realising their full potential.
But not you. Something deep inside of you is telling you that you are destined for more. It might still be quiet now, but I promise you, before too long, this thought will begin to dominate your every waking thought. You will eventually reach a point where you are compelled to do what that voice is telling you to do, which is live the life you were put here for.
So how on earth do you do that?
There is a pretty good chance you already know your purpose, but it might take a while to remember. Typically, your purpose is a combination of things that you are naturally good at and which you enjoy doing.
Step 1 – Figure out your natural talents and what you love to do!
In one column, make a list of all of the things you are naturally good at. In the next column, make a list of all of the things you love to do. Don’t be in a rush with this, make an exhaustive list.
Once you have these two lists, try combining your natural skills and talents with something that you are passionate about. Take a moment to imagine how it would be to live a life in which that was how you spent your time. The combination with the most emotional energy will be the one that is closest to your purpose.
For example, I recently sat down with a friend of mine who had reached the point where he realised he needed to do more with his life. He was in a job which paid the bills but did little to awaken his inner passions. The aspect of his job he enjoyed was working with the businesses and helping people (this is what he loved to do), however, he wasn’t using his natural talent (even though he was excellent at what he was doing). When I asked him what he was really good at, he told me he used to be an artist but hadn’t drawn anything in over 15 years. Even just remembering what he loved to do allowed him to realise some of the options he had before him. We brainstormed ideas of how he could use his art to help businesses and individuals in all kinds of ways. In the next few weeks, he started to develop these ideas further and also started drawing again, and I can assure you, he is certainly talented.
For most people, the struggle is often finding a way to make their passion financially viable. Well let me tell you, there are so many different ways to turn a passion into a business, or at least be able to make a living from it, that this shouldn’t be your concern. We will certainly cover those strategies in more detail at some point, but for now I’ll point you in the direction of Brendon Burchard who I think is probably the best at this sort of thing right now.
2 – Start small and build momentum!
Also, having run seminars for thousands of people across the years, I have seen a lot of people reach this point. Often, they will get to the point where they are so frustrated with their life that they decide they are going to quit their job and follow their passion immediately. This is certainly admirable, but often these people run out of finances before they are able to support themselves in their new endeavour. Nothing extinguishes passion faster than a complete lack of finances.
Instead, I recommend people starting to follow their passion before they make that huge jump. Most people can easily find an extra hour or two somewhere in their day which they can invest into their new venture. Setting the alarm clock a little earlier, working at it during your lunch break or outsourcing it to someone else while you are still working are all options that will allow you to get started immediately without needing to dramatically jump ship.
Step 3 – Do something, anything, that gets you started!
The last step is to simply get started. As soon as you decide on what your passion is likely to be (and don’t worry if you don’t get it exactly right away, just start and it will become clearer as long as you are on the right path!) you will immediately start to encounter resistance… especially from yourself. All of your fears and limiting beliefs will kick in telling you why this is such a stupid idea, why it will never work and why you should just forget it. Action is without doubt the best cure for fear.
Do something, anything, that is in the direction of your new passion. Assuming you haven’t jumped in with both feet, you should try to enjoy this time of learning, or remembering. Believe me, the first draft of anything is terrible (you should have seen the first copy of my book Next Level Persuasion… it was ugly!), but after a while it will get better. Eventually, you’ll get into flow again and everything will seem a lot more natural.
This might seem a little simplistic, but overcomplicating this process makes action less likely. Plus, once you have got started, you will almost certainly make new distinctions into the actual direction you want your path to take. The key to living a life on purpose is action in the direction of your passion. Get moving as soon as possible, and never look back!
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson