Most humans are not born consciously knowing what their purpose is - it must be found through exploration.
Most living things belong to a particular soul group and are born knowing their purpose in life.
An animal will spend its day foraging for food, taking care of itself and its young, and creating a home.
No one tells an animal to do this, yet it instinctively knows how.
Humans, for the most part, are not born consciously knowing what their purpose is.
Purpose gives our life meaning.
When you discover your purpose, you can live your life with intention and make choices that serve your objective for why you are here on the planet.
Finding your purpose is not always easy.
You must embrace life wholeheartedly, explore many different pathways, and allow yourself to grow.
Your purpose is as unique as you are and will evolve as you move through life.
You don't need anyone's permission to fulfill your purpose, and no one can tell you what that purpose is. Finding and fulfilling your purpose can be a lifelong endeavor.
To figure out what your purpose is, ask yourself what drives you – not what forces you out of bed in the morning, but what makes you glad to be alive.
Make a list of activities that you wish you were involved in or think about a career path that you would love to embark upon.
These are the endeavors that can help you fulfill your purpose and bring you the most satisfaction.
Picture yourself working on projects that don't interest you or fulfill your purpose, yet they help satisfy your basic survival needs.
Imagine how living this way each day would make you feel. Next, picture yourself devoting your time to projects that spark your imagination, inspire, excite, and satisfy you.
More often than not, these activities are some of the ways that you can fulfill your life purpose. Time spent on these endeavors will never feel like a waste.
Live your life with purpose, and you will feel significant and capable because every action you take and each choice you make will have meaning to it.
It’s not what you say to everyone else that determines your life; it’s what you whisper to yourself that has the greatest power.
You know this is true.
The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.
The mind is indeed your battleground.
It’s the place where the greatest conflict resides. It’s where half of the chaos you thought was real, was completely fabricated.
There’s no escaping the fact that you are what you think—that you can’t change anything if you can’t change your thinking.
The key is calming your mind...
As you begin each day, be mindful and take a second to think about what a privilege it is to simply be alive and healthy.
Breathe onto the bathroom mirror, just to see how amazing your breath looks.
When you start off in a mindful state like this, it’s easier to focus effectively, step into the day on the right foot, and carry the momentum forward.
Easier said than done, of course, but practice always helps. So, practice reminding yourself…
- The problem is rarely the problem—the problem is the incredible amount of over-thinking and over-analyzing you’re doing with the problem.
- Many people make themselves unhappy simply by finding it impossible to accept life just as it is presenting itself right now. You don't have to be one of them.
- Never force anything. Do your best, then let it be. If it’s meant to be, it will be. Don’t hold yourself down with things that are out of your control.
- Learn to trust the journey, even when you do not understand it. Sometimes what you never wanted or expected turns out to be what you need.
- RELAX. You are enough. You have enough. You do enough. Inhale. Exhale… let go, and just live right now in the moment.
Again, making these kinds of perspective shifts—thinking better—takes guidance and practice.
12 Tiny Changes To Help You Get Your Life Together
5. Eat the frog.
“Life together” feels kind of subjective, right?
What makes you happy won’t be the same as what makes me happy.
One person could strive off climbing the corporate ladder while you could be thrilled working at your local coffee shop.
So no, this won’t be a generic guide on how to make your life fit into the stereotypical mold of what society deems “the dream.”
This article is to help you live a life that’s authentic to you in the most effective way possible.
Because, if we’re honest here, without a little effort and organization, life can quickly get ahead of us.
We can feel lost in the chaos.
Like we’re barely treading water instead of flowing with the current.
That’s because life is an unpredictable journey.
You can’t prepare for what you don’t know is coming.
But what you can do is set yourself up for the best possible chances for success.
With a few tiny changes to your habits, you can feel like you’re floating with life rather than fighting against it.
You can finally “get your life together” in ways that feel authentic to you.
What are those tiny changes? Let’s dive into them based on the different aspects of your life they can help:
Write things down.
We’re said to have at least 12,000 thoughts a day.
Numerous studies show our thoughts affect our reality and, therefore, our mental
If you don’t take inventory of your thoughts, they can slowly eat away at your happiness.
Once you feel consumed by self-criticism, doubt, and negative thoughts, it’s hard to accomplish much of anything, ever.
So I pose to you this: start writing your thoughts down.
It can be as simple as a few stream-of-consciousness sentences in the morning.
Or perhaps you journal what you’re struggling with most.
Maybe even start a gratitude practice to bring some positivity into your life.
Stop wasting time on things that don’t add to your life.
You don’t need to say yes to everything, plain and simple.
In fact, agreeing to every plan that comes your way may make you feel like you’re less connected to your life, simply because others dictate your schedule.
It’s OK to say no to your co-worker’s holiday party.
You can let your friend know that you can’t make it to their gender reveal party because you need to take that day on other things.
Once you stop allocating your time to everyone but yourself, you can finally do the things that feel like they’re piling up, like building that Ikea nightstand that’s been sitting in your room for
Or simply relax. Sometimes, we all need a day off to unplug, disconnect, and do whatever we please.
If you don’t reflect on your life, you’re bound to make mistakes or choices that hurt you over and over. What brought you to the point you’re currently at is the culmination of your past.
So when was the last time you learned from it?
I changed my love life by taking note of what went wrong in my relationships.
I found a career I love by considering how much fulfillment I felt in my past jobs.
I worked through bouts of depression by making peace with painful memories.
But I wouldn't have accomplished any of that had I not taken the time to reflect on how my life had gone thus far.
The same applies to your situation.
If you want to feel like you’ve got your life together finally, consider what lessons you can learn from the life you’ve already lived.
If you want to make moves, make plans.
I mentioned above that I changed careers.
And that wasn’t even the first time.
I’ve changed careers twice in the short time I’ve been alive.
But let me be clear: I wouldn’t have been able to make either of these changes without a plan.
I took a coding course to gain that skillset, and I worked as a nanny until I made enough money from writing that I could do it full-time.
If you want to make big moves in your professional life, you need the stepping stones to get there. Sit down, plan those out, and then move forward towards something more rewarding for you.
Eat the frog.
I came across this term when my friend and fellow writer,Eva Gutierrez
, posted it on Instagram.
When you wake up each morning, start your day with the hardest or most annoying thing on your to-do list.
When you’re hung up on the things you need to do but don’t want to do, you’re more likely to procrastinate.
That scroll through Instagram becomes a scroll through TikTok, which somehow ends up with you binge-watching The Office.
See what I’m getting at?
When you tackle the hardest parts of your to-do list (or life in general), you feel more motivated to accomplish other things rather than putting them off.
Make schedules the night or week before.
Whether this applies to your full-time job, side hustle, or fledgling career aspirations, save yourself some time and headache; make schedules.
There’s nothing that eases my foggy morning brain, like knowing exactly what I need to get done that day.
If you find it hard to start your mornings or don’t know how to organize your days to fit in all your goals, adopt the idea of schedules.
It doesn’t have to be anything crazy complicated. I keep mine in the Notes app on my phone.
That way, each morning, you’ll be able to hit the ground running, rather than feel overwhelmed by having everything and nothing to do.
Get more sleep.
When you’re deprived of sleep, you’re in a worse mood, make crappier decisions, and
your memory is impaired.
It’s not a badge of honor to boast that you only slept four hours; it’s shooting yourself in the foot.
Prioritizing my sleep is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for myself.
At the very least, I know that being cranky and exhausted won’t be an issue when I’m enjoying life and working through my goals.
Experts suggest getting an average of 8 hours of sleep per night.
Begin prioritizing your time in bed and watch your overall mood about life begin to change.
Use the Pomodoro Technique.
The fact that humans sit for hours and hours during the time they’re awake is slowly killing us
But I understand to an extent; most of us have to sit to get our work done.
But what you can control is how long you sit.
So I want to introduce to you the Pomodoro Technique.
The method is used to instill a sense of urgency in people to improve productivity, but I want you to implement it to improve your health.
Every 25 minutes, stand up and stretch. If you can walk around your apartment or work desk.
The goal is to break up how long you sit for, rather than being slumped over in a chair for hours of your day.
See a doctor.
You know that ache in your back you’ve been having for months?
Or that mole you’ve been meaning to get checked but are too afraid to? Or the fact you feel dizzy easily when you stand up?
It’s finally time to stop putting it off and see a doctor.
Part of getting your life together is being in your best physical health. But you can’t do that if it’s been years since you last saw a doctor, dentist, etc.
Scheduling an appointment is essentially eating the frog of your over-arching life to-do list.
Once it’s over, you’re going to feel a lot more at ease.
Talk about your feelings more.
There will never come a day when you’ll regret learning how to talk about your feelings with those closest to you.
You’ll strengthen your relationships and move through any resentments that might be lingering.
You’d be surprised how much more fulfilling your relationships are, friends and family included when you can talk about deeper things than what’s been going on with sports lately.
Or the fact you’ve been “fine” whenever someone asks how you’ve been.
So the next time you’re talking with someone, don’t shy away from speaking up about your experiences and how people affect you.
Sure, you might be met with some resistance at first, but it’ll be better for all your relationships in the long run.
Learn better conflict skills.
Everyone argues, plain and simple. In relationships.
But when you learn better conflict skills, you can take a disagreement from a full-out fight to a constructive argument.
Plus, your relationship with that person will sustain less injury from doing so.
This looks like learning how to communicate issues without name-calling, deflecting blame, or belittling someone.
It’s learning to solve problems with a team mindset, rather than pitting yourself against everyone.
Listen with intent.
How good are you at listening to people?
I’m not just talking about hearing what someone says.
I want to know how much you process, understand, and empathize with the people in your life.
Because not many people do this.
Between having our attention span glued to our phones and always wanting to get the next word in, not many people have solid listening skills.
You’ll strengthen the bond with people closest to you when you learn to silence distractions and listen with intent.
When you start implementing these tiny changes into your life, you’ll start to notice a domino effect. Improving your health makes you a better friend. Being a better friend helps your mental
health. Your mental health improves your work-life. And so on.
These might be tiny changes, but they’re powerful. Because, with only one life to live, there’s no better time to get it together in a way that feels authentic to you, then the present.
Experts Advice on Self Help and Self-Improvement
10 Things You Do NOT Need to Be Happier in Life
Written by Marc Chernoff
Saying yes to happiness means learning to say no to the desires that drain you.
They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.
I don’t think anything could be closer to the truth, and yet all too often we find ways of complicating things for ourselves.
We look for happiness where it does not exist – in shallow goals and desires – in possessions, quick thrills, and impressing the wrong people.
Angel and I were recently reminded of this when we met a family of six staying at a hotel in near our home.
We saw them hanging around outside the lobby, sharing stories and laughing hysterically.
As we walked by, Angel and I said hello to them and asked where they were from. “Oh, we’re from here,” the mother said. “Our house burned down to the ground yesterday, but miraculously, all of us
made it out safely. And that makes today a day worth smiling about.”
Talk about a wake-up call.
Some people might say they had lost everything, and yet this family knew better – they knew they had it all.
Because there really is nothing like joyful tears and deep breaths after a long, hard laugh with the people you love – nothing in the whole world like a sore stomach for the right reasons and a
grateful heart to back it up.
That’s a situation where true happiness is surely found.
And there are many other sources of true happiness as well.
But as I’ve said, there are also lots of common traps – goals and desires that we think will bring us happiness, but actually do the exact opposite.
Recognizing these traps is the key. In fact, I believe one of the best feelings comes when you realize that you can be perfectly happy without the things you once thought you needed.
With this in mind, consider the ten goals and desires (traps) below and how they may be holding you back. Each of them is popular in our culture, and thus common in our lives, but rather than
contributing to our happiness, they rob us of it.
So say it out loud with me:
“To be happier, I do NOT need…”
- To please everyone – Be careful not to give so much of yourself to others that you end up completely losing yourself. When you go around
pleasing everyone but yourself, you are the one that gets hurt in the end. The late and great Herbert Bayard Swope said it like this: “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is
trying to please everybody.” That is spot on advice if you ask me. Because truthfully, you are never going to please everyone anyway. At some point you will hold an unpopular opinion – one that gives
you meaning and makes you feel alive. And when you do, you ought to hold on tight, tune out the noise, and make it count.
- Everything to be easy – You have to do hard things to be happy in life. The things no one else is doing. The things that frighten you. The
things others can’t do for you. The things that make you question how much longer you can hold on and push forward. Because those are the things that define you. Those are the things that make the
difference between existing and living – between knowing the path and walking the path – between a life of mediocrity and a life filled with happiness and success.
- Certainty and guarantees – Some people build too many walls in their lives and not enough bridges. It sounds crazy, but they would rather be
certain they’re miserable, than risk being happy. Don’t be one of them. Open yourself up. Take chances. Run free. To accomplish amazing things, you must not only act, but also dream, not only plan,
but also believe. Be a dreamer, a believer, and a courageous and cheerful thinker. Be a positive motivator, a productive doer, and a go-getter who keeps her head in the clouds and her feet on the
ground. Let the spirit of passion and possibility ignite a fire within you to do something worthwhile today and every day, and don’t forget to spread your enthusiasm to those around you. (Read
- To be better than others – The size of our universe shrinks dramatically when we place ourselves at the center – when we think everyone is our
competition – when we think we have to be richer, smarter, and more attractive than the person sitting next to us. Such a goal just keeps a person alienated and tirelessly running in place. Now, on
the flip-side, take someone who doesn’t keep score, who’s not looking to be richer, or smarter, or more attractive, who has not the slightest interest even in being better than anyone else: she’s
free. Bottom line: Compete with yourself only.
- More control over everything and everyone – Sometimes we put too much interest into trying to control every tiny aspect of our lives. Learn to
relax and ride the path that life takes you sometimes. Incredible change will happen in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what
you do not. Freeing yourself from trying to control the insignificant and uncontrollable things lets you experience more of the goodness around you. In fact, the greatest joys are often the
unexpected surprises that arrive when you are flexible and open to life’s twists and turns.
- Immense moments of glory – Graduations, wedding days, lavish vacations – these times are often fun-filled and deeply celebrated, but these
times pass, because time passes. This is something we rarely grasp at first. True, lasting happiness is found in the appreciation of all the small things. For me, there are random moments – tossing a
salad, coming up the driveway to our home, ironing the seams flat on a dress shirt, standing at the kitchen window and looking out at the sun rising over the Austin skyline, hearing a giggle from my
son who’s playing in the other room – when I feel a wavelike rush of joy. This is my true happiness: arbitrary moments of sudden, throbbing appreciation for a life I feel privileged to lead.
(Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Simplicity” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
- Other people to constantly validate me – Relationships are essential, but happiness originates from within. It is not exclusively dependent on
external validation or on other people. You become vulnerable and can be easily hurt when your feelings of security and happiness depend entirely on the behavior and actions of others. Keep this in
mind. Never give all your power to anyone else. Until you make complete peace with who you are, you’ll never be content with what you have or who you’re with. Learn to love and respect yourself
first, before loving the idea of other people loving and respecting you.
- Perfect harmony in all relationships at all times – Harmony in relationships is nice when it’s sincere, but too often we try to fake it.
Effective communication is king. You have to talk it out sometimes. After all, the only way to be happy in life is to live with integrity. This means: Not settling for less than what you know you
deserve in your relationships. Being clear and asking for what you want and need from others. Speaking your truth, even though it might create occasional tension. Behaving in ways that are in
agreement with your personal values. Making choices based on what you believe, and not just what others believe. (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Boundaries & Expectations”
chapter of our BRAND NEW BOOK, 1,000 Little Habits of Happy, Successful Relationships.)
- A superior time and place – The reason many people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the
present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be. The key, of course, is to do the opposite. Appreciate your past without reliving it, handle your present with confidence, and
face your future without fear. Life is simply too short to spend at war with yourself. Letting go of the past and future is your first step to happiness and peace in the present. Realize that you are
today where your thoughts and actions have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts and actions today take you. Bottom line: You can’t stop the future. You can’t rewind the past. The
only way to live is to press play, and dance.
- Happiness 24/7 – Absolutely no one is happy all of the time. Because you simply can’t be happy unless you’re unhappy sometimes. This is a
harsh truth, I know. Just keep in mind that it’s perfectly normal to experience considerable fluctuations in your level of happiness from day to day, month to month, and even year to year. Believing
and expecting otherwise will only lead to disillusionment. But even when life is less than blissful, you are still in charge of how you respond. Choose positivity, always. The greatest act of faith some days is to simply get up and face the day, with a smile.
And let me leave you with this to think about: According to a recent scientific study published in the Journal of Research in Personality, overall levels of happiness decline from one’s
teens until one’s 40s and then pick up again until they peak in one’s early 70s.
So the chances are that your happiest days are yet to come.
Hopefully that gives you something to smile about today.
Just keep doing your best by taking life moment by moment, complaining very little, and being grateful for the little things that mean a lot.
Think Better, Live Better
Two (incredibly common) toxic, confidence-killing behaviors to avoid:
1. Subconsciously seeking approval from everyone around you.
Some people love to stir up controversy and drama for no apparent reason.
Don’t buy into their propaganda.
Instead, imagine what would happen if you spent this entire day, and every day hereafter, with all your energy directed toward your most positive possibilities.
Rather than being annoyed, be amused.
Instead of getting angry, become curious. In place of envy, feel admiration.
Life is too short to argue and fight for the approval of those who can't be pleased.
Stop focusing on them, and start focusing more on YOU!
Believe in yourself and your ability to succeed.
Believe in your intuition, especially when you have to choose between two good paths.
Believe that the answers are out there waiting.
Believe that life will surprise you again and again.
Believe that the journey is the destination.
Believe that it’s all worth your while.
Believe that you are confident enough to see it through, without everyone's approval.
2. Disempowering yourself with weak self-talk.
“Why me? Why me?”
That's the kind of self-talk that holds so many of us back.
What we need to be thinking is, “Why not me? And why not NOW?”
But, again, so many of us feel like we have to wait: to be hired, to be good enough, to be chosen—like the old Hollywood cliché, to somehow be “discovered.”
What you’re capable of achieving from this point forward is not a function of what happened in the past, or what other people think is possible for you.
What you’re capable of achieving depends entirely on what you choose to do with your time and energy starting now.
In every situation you have ever been in, positive or negative, the one common thread is YOU.
It is your responsibility, and yours alone, to recognize that regardless of what has happened up to this point in your life, you are capable of making choices to change your situation.
And it all starts with changing the way you think about it.
When you think better about your circumstances, you are able to live better in spite of them.
Darker days are just as much a part of life as are the days graced with sunshine.
When we refer to a "beautiful day," we are often describing a day that is sunny, clear, and without a cloud in sight to mar a sky that is a brilliantly perfect
We find ourselves bouncing along, light in spirit, free from worries, and enjoying the moment.
That is until the clouds begin to form.
The sky may turn grey, and fog may roll in. Puffs of white take on whimsical, darker shades, and our beautiful day disappears along with the sunshine... or so it
A clear blue sky often inspires in us good cheer, bringing on a lighter, more carefree day.
We may find ourselves spending time outdoors, breathing in the fresh air, and basking in the warmth of the sun.
Yet should clouds appear to wash the sky with shadows, we may let this change of weather decrease our energy and enthusiasm, pulling us into our own cloudy
Darker days are just as much a part of life as are the days graced with sunshine.
They show us a different perspective of our world while helping us appreciate the moments of illumination that inevitably follow.
A rainy day with clouds helps to clear the air, washing away stagnation.
Still, it's hard not to feel gloomy or think that the day has been ruined when there are clouds hanging over us.
Yet if you can remember that these shades of grey won't last forever and that hidden behind the clouds is the blue sky, you will find that the beauty of your day is
merely playing a game of peek-a-boo with you.
Like the mishaps and interruptions that occasionally block the brilliance that is our own lives from shining through, clouds eventually
clear away so we can open up to a brighter horizon.
The next time you wake up to a cloudy day, remember that these shades of grey in life are there just for the moment. And that no matter how hard the rain falls or how chilly the fog is, the clouds
will go away, the sun will break through, and you will be able to see the sky that has always and forever been a beautiful and brilliant blue.
The time has come! Our 21-Day Simple Living Challenge begins tomorrow.
As we step into this collective experiment in living more simply, here are a few thoughts to keep in mind:
There's No Wrong Way To Do This. :) We'll be sending out a daily email with a prompt for each day. If a particular action doesn't feel applicable to you, or if you're inspired
to practice simplicity in a different way -- go for it!
There are countless ways to deepen our expression of simple living.
Remember Your Intention. Our thoughts have powerful implications on our actions.
When we tune into this truth we begin to live from the inside out. Throughout the next three weeks remember that intention. Return to it each day.
Share Your Stories. We have found this to be a great source of inspiration and resolve. Login to KindSpring, head to your Challenge Dashboard and click on our challenge feed.
From here, you can share how the challenge is going for you and read about what others are up to.
Remember to have fun! Looking forward to all that’s ahead. For some inspiration, read Roman Krznaric's article that details the arc of simple living through history and its impact on happiness.
In the spirit of service,
Shaileen - Happiness Coach
Happy Life Habits - Positively Impacting Happiness & Well Being Levels
What Makes People Tick?
Many people are very different from ourselves and coming to a place of acceptance can make the road easier
All people have their own way of being in the world.
It is easiest to comprehend this basic yet profound fact when we consider that every human being on the planet occupies a distinct role in the universe. We grow up in different environments,
affected by a unique range of influences.
The preferences, values, and beliefs we embrace are frequently related intimately to our origins.
And the need to individualize our experiences is instinctive, as doing so enables us to cope when we must face challenges on our own. Consequently, each of us has developed a perspective that is
Interacting peacefully and constructively with people from all walks of life is a matter of first understanding where they are coming from.
Then we can adjust our expectations so that we avoid making undue assumptions about what they are about.
In the face of emerging interpersonal conflict, it is easy to assume that others are being difficult, unreasonable, or stubborn.
We are apt to grow frustrated when someone in our environment does not share our opinions or feel compelled to support us in our endeavors.
It is likely that the individual or individuals before us may simply possess differing notions with regard to what is and what is not important in this life.
We can ease the tension that exists between us by reaffirming our belief in the fundamental right of all beings to determine their own destinies.
To foster a harmonious relationship, we need to do our best to relate to the unique universes they inhabit.
And as we discover what makes them tick, our ability to find a mode of interaction that is pleasing to both of us is enhanced.
When there are barriers keeping you from connecting with someone else, think of questions you can ask them to gain a more thorough understanding of their point of view.
You may discover that in addition to the differences in perspective dividing you, they are subject to insecurities and other personal issues that influence their way of seeing the world.
It is likely that you will never fully grasp the myriad complexities embodied by humanity, but you can go a long way toward encouraging mutually satisfying relations by reaching out to others in
the spirit of sympathetic comprehension.
How to Live ON PURPOSE and Maximize Every Freaking Day
Today can be as great as you want it to be.
Your fate isn’t set. You get to decide how much of yourself you’re going to put into today.
Rather than saying, “Well, we’ll see what happens,” you must powerfully state, “Today, I’m going to make it happen!”
When you go into the gym, you get to decide how hard you’re going to work out. But one thing is for certain, you’ll feel far better if you walk out 30–60 minutes later having given it
everything you’ve got.
The same goes for your day.
It’s actually far more exhausting to not work than it is to work.
It takes far more energy sitting with internal conflict and justification than it does to just get to work.
Said Steven Pressfield, “Most of us have two lives: the life we live and the un-lived life within us. Between the two stands resistance.”
If your life feels out-of-whack or out-of-balance, you’re likely avoiding the very thing you should be doing. It’s only in doing that thing that you’ll regain balance and peace. Avoidance
leads to busyness and distraction.
The Invisible Difference When You Fully Live
When I give everything I’ve got at work, I’m a different person. I’m happier. The world is a more beautiful and abundant place. Other people smile at me as I walk past them and I have no idea
On days I’ve actually done what I intended to do, it seems like more people look me in the eyes and smile at me as I walk past them.
And I’m certain I’m not initiating those smiles. Yet when I receive one of those smiles, I look at that person for a few moments after they’ve looked away from me.
I feel love toward them and wish them happiness in their lives.
Moreover, on days I’ve actually lived my purpose, I leave my work more energized than before I started.
When I walk through my front door, my kids often run up and hug me, and ask me to play with them. As I look at them in such moments, I see only perfection. Love fills my heart and I feel an
overwhelming sense of gratitude and humility for my life.
To adapt a quote from Goethe, “The way you see [a child] is the way you treat them and the way you treat them is [who] they [will] become.”
Conversely, on days I’ve spent my working time in distraction and self-sabotage, I come home feeling like a fraud.
My family still loves me all the same.
Yet, it’s so much harder for me to give them the attention and love they deserve and need.
On wasted and un-lived days, I end up sucking more energy from those around me than I emit.
I see only the problems in my children and am highly irritable.
You can’t see the energy field around you, but it’s there.
You Can Make the Shift
I know what it feels like being stuck and without momentum.
You can feel absolutely powerless to change your life and circumstances.
But that’s a complete lie.
I know it feels more real than anything else.
But it’s not.
Feeling guilty about all the time you’ve wasted won’t help.
If you make a few tweaks to your approach, you’ll be surprised at how quickly your perception of the world and yourself will change. As your perception changes, everything around you will
Give one or two of these a try and watch what happens:
1. Have a weekly reflection and planning session
“The game is won or lost before it begins.” — John Wooden
One day per week (my preference is Sunday), take 10–30 minutes reflecting on your past six days. How did they go?
Try asking yourself the following questions:
· Who did I not meet this week that I should have?
· What did I not do?
· What did I miss?
· What should I tighten up?
Getting down on yourself isn’t the purpose. Rather, being aware of how you’re doing is the purpose. Awareness facilitates empowerment to change.
After assessing your previous week, make better plans for the next six days. Then, in six more days, do it again.
This need not take long, but it can dramatically improve the quality of your weeks and the days within those weeks.
2. At the end of each day, make your game plan for tomorrow
“Never begin the day until it is finished on paper.” — Jim Rohn
Having a plan eliminates the burden of choice.
If you wake up without a plan, you will undoubtedly bounce from thing-to-thing without really doing anything. You won’t be focused or purposeful.
It’s so much more powerful to wake up with a purpose. To get up and go. To be intrinsically pulled out of your bed rather than clinging desperately to your tired body, without a clear
reason to get up.
Taking just a minute or two at the end of your day to make a game plan for the next day will provide you the needed structure to purposefully move.
The same is true of any creative task. Taking just 5 minutes to create an outline for a book, and article, and agenda, or whatever the task is can save you hours.
3. Focus on today, not tomorrow
“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.” — Jesus Christ
During your day, don’t worry about anything else. Follow your plan. Crush it. Live today to the fullest and be the person you intend to be. After your day is complete, take a minute or two to
outline your next day. Then, forgot about it until tomorrow morning.
4. Three-month energy cycles
When it comes to your future, you have three vantage points.
· Your vision (your WHY) = 10–25 years’ out
· Your long-term goals (AKA your wild guess) = 36 months’ out
· Your actual goals (AKA your realistic game plan) = the next 90 days
In the 20th century, it was a solid practice to have five-year goals. Things were more stable back then. Today, things are changing too abruptly to realistically determine where you’ll be in five
Framing your goals in three-month increments gives you a clear and realistic future to sprint toward. Of course, these goals are based on your longer-term goals. However, your 3-month
goal cycles are your main focus.
Just like your weekly planning sessions, every three months spend a few hours or even a full day reflecting on your previous three months. Make any adjustments you need and make better
plans for the next three months.
5. Organize yourself
“Happiness lies in the cultivation of the garden.” — Voltaire
Your life is a garden, cultivate it.
Organize yourself. Clean out the weeds. It doesn’t matter how long it takes. The very act of cultivating your garden will enliven you. You’ll never be finished. But every day, week, and year, you
can make your garden a little more beautiful and fruitful.
Clean up your finances.
Clean up how you use your time.
Clean up your relationships.
Just a little bit every day. Once you start to get things organized, the soil of your life will be better suited for what you plant in it.
6. Always choose the harder right or “higher road”
Perfection is not the goal. However, consistently making better choices is the only way to get momentum. And momentum is exactly what you need. If you’re stuck, momentum is working
It takes some work pumping the water-well to get it going. But it’s worth it. And it really only takes one great day to get it moving.
You are one great day away from having a breakthrough. Steven Pressfield tells of “resisting” what he wanted to do for years. Then one day, he forced himself to write. He threw everything
in the garbage he wrote that day. None of it was any good. But when he walked away from that work session to clean a pile of dishes sitting in the sink, he felt changed. “The water felt
warm,” he said. He knew that he had just had a breakthrough.
That’s all you need.
Don’t worry about the output when you’re trying to build momentum. Instead, just get yourself to do whatever you feel you need to do.
Regardless of how you feel during the experience, you will feel hope and optimism when you’re done.
You can get to the point where you consciously make solid choices in every situation you’re in.
Consistency = confidence.
Consistency = momentum.
When you woke up today, how did you feel today was going to go?
I challenge you to wake up tomorrow with this feeling, “Today can be as great as I want it to be.”
Having that feeling will come out of nowhere.
You’ll need to set yourself up to have that feeling. However, setting yourself up isn’t all that hard. It may be as simple as spending 2 minutes the night before writing a plan. It may be spending
15 minutes the Sunday before making a plan.
Whatever it is, you have a reason to live your life to the fullest.
You may not know exactly what that reason is, but you’ll find it once you get moving. More than likely, you’ll realize that everything in your life is actually far more beautiful than you
could previously perceive.
From this level of joy and purpose, you’ll be empowered to consciously create a future you are worthy of.
Competing with Yourself
When we are satisfied with our life, we do not look for experiences of winning and losing to define our self-worth.
The urges that drive us to compete with others tend to be straightforward. Years of both evolution and societal influences have shaped us to pit ourselves against our peers. The needs and desires
that inspire us to compete with ourselves, however, are entirely personal and thus far more complex. A need to outdo our earlier efforts--to confirm that we have grown as individuals--can motivate us
to reach new heights of accomplishment. We are capable of using our past achievements as a foundation from which we venture confidently into the unknown. Yet if this drive to compete with our former
selves is the result of low self-worth or a need to prove ourselves to others, even glowing successes can feel disheartening. Examining why we compete with ourselves enables us to positively identify
those contests that will enrich our existence.
There are many reasons we strive to outdo ourselves. When we are ambitious in our quest for growth, we are driven to set and meet our own expectations. We do not look to external experiences of
winning and losing to define our sense of self-worth. Rather, we are our own judges and coaches, monitoring our progress and gauging how successful we have become. Though we seek the thrill of
accomplishment tirelessly, we do so out of a legitimate need to improve the world or to pave the way for those who will follow in our footsteps. Be careful, though, that your competitiveness is not
the result of an unconscious need to show others that you are capable of meeting and then exceeding their standards.
Consider, too, that successful efforts that would be deemed more than good enough when evaluated from an external perspective may not satisfy our inner judge, who can drive us ruthlessly. In order to
attain balance, we have to learn the art of patience even as we strive to achieve our highest vision of who we are. When we feel drained, tense, or unhappy as we pursue our goals, it may be that we
are pushing ourselves for the wrong reasons. Our enthusiasm for our endeavors will return as soon as we recall that authentic evolution is a matter not of winning but of taking pride in our progress
at any pace.
The Purpose Of Life Is Not Happiness: It’s Usefulness
For the longest time, I believed that there’s the only purpose of life:
And that is to be happy.
Why else go through all the pain and hardship? It’s to achieve happiness in some way.
And I’m not the only person who believed that. In fact, if you look around you, most people are pursuing happiness in their lives.
That’s why we collectively buy shit we don’t need, go to bed with people we don’t love and try to work hard to get the approval of people we don’t like.
Why do we do these things? To be honest, I don’t care what the exact reason is.
I’m not a scientist.
All I know is that it has something to do with history, culture, media, economy, psychology, politics, the information era, and you name it.
The list is endless.
We are who we are.
Let’s just accept that. Most people love to analyze why people are not happy or don’t live fulfilling lives. I don’t necessarily care about the why.
I care more about how we can change.
Just a few short years ago, I did everything to chase happiness.
- You buy something, and you think that makes you happy.
- You hook up with people and think that makes you happy.
- You get a well-paying job you don’t like and think that makes you happy.
- You go on holiday, and you think that makes you happy.
But at the end of the day, you’re lying in your bed (alone or next to your spouse), and you think: “What’s next in this endless pursuit of happiness?”
Well, I can tell you what’s next: You, chasing something random that you believe makes you happy.
It’s all a façade. A hoax. A story that’s been made up.
Did Aristotle lie to us when he said:
“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.”
I think we have to look at that quote from a different angle. Because when you read it, you think that happiness is the main goal. And that’s kind of what the quote says as well.
But here’s the thing: How do you achieve happiness?
Happiness can’t be a goal in itself. Therefore, it’s not something that’s achievable.
I believe that happiness is merely a byproduct of usefulness.
When I talk about this concept with friends, family, and colleagues, I always find it difficult to put this into words. But I’ll give it a try here.
Most things we do in life are just activities and experiences.
- You go on holiday.
- You go to work.
- You go shopping.
- You have drinks.
- You have dinner.
- You buy a car.
Those things should make you happy, right? But they are not useful. You’re not creating anything. You’re just consuming or doing something. And that’s great.
Don’t get me wrong. I love to go on holiday, or go shopping sometimes. But to be honest, it’s not what gives meaning to life.
What really makes me happy is when I’m useful. When I create something that others can use. Or even when I create something I can use.
For the longest time I found it difficult to explain the concept of usefulness and happiness. But when I recently ran into a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, the dots finally connected.
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived
And I didn’t get that before I became more conscious of what I’m doing with my life. And that always sounds heavy and all. But it’s actually really simple.
|Seeing The Bigger Picture
by Madisyn Taylor
We have created imaginary boundaries, sectioning ourselves into countries and states, forgetting that in reality we are all living together.
Seeing an image of the planet Earth taken from space inspires awe in many of us, since we can clearly see the connectedness of all of us who live upon this planet.
We have created imaginary boundaries, sectioning ourselves into countries and states, forgetting that in reality we are all living together, breathing the same air, drinking from the same water,
eating food grown from the same earth.
We share everything on this planet, whether we are conscious of it or not, with other people, and those people are our brothers and sisters.
Keeping a photograph or painting of the planet Earth in a prominent place in our homes can be a positive way to remember our interconnectedness.
Meditating on the fact that any sense of separation we have from one another is truly an illusion, we will naturally begin to make more conscious choices in our daily lives.
The simple act of preparing food, or determining how to dispose of our refuse, can be done with the consciousness that whatever we do will affect all our brothers and sisters, no matter how far
away they live, as well as the planet herself.
When we foster this kind of awareness in ourselves out of a feeling of awe, it becomes easier to be conscious than to fall back into old habits of thinking of
ourselves as separate.
When we contemplate the earth in her wholeness, we attune ourselves to the truth of the bigger picture, which is the Earth, and all of us, every one of us, living on her body. We are connected to one
another in the most intimate way, because we literally share our living space. As more people become aware of the reality of our interdependency, things will shift in a positive direction, and much
of the discord that we see now will give way to a more cooperative, loving conscious. This is happening already, so as our consciousness grows, we can join with the many other minds working to live
in the spirit of togetherness.
It comes down to this:
What are you DOING that’s making a difference?
Did you do useful things in your lifetime? You don’t have to change the world or anything. Just make it a little bit better than before you were born.
If you don’t know how, here are some ideas.
- Help your boss with something that’s not your responsibility.
- Take your mother to a spa.
- Create a collage with pictures (not a digital one) for your spouse.
- Write an article about the stuff you learned in life.
- Help the pregnant lady who also has a 2-year old with her stroller.
- Call your friend and ask if you can help with something.
- Build a standing desk.
- Start a business and hire an employee and treat them well.
That’s just some stuff I like to do. You can make up your own useful activities.
You see? It’s not anything big. But when you do little useful things every day, it adds up to a life that is well lived. A life that mattered.
The last thing I want is to be on my deathbed and realize there’s zero evidence that I ever existed.
Recently I read Not Fade Away by Laurence Shames and Peter Barton. It’s about Peter Barton, the founder of Liberty Media, who shares his thoughts about dying from cancer.
It’s a very powerful book and it will definitely bring tears to your eyes. In the book, he writes about how he lived his life and how he found his calling. He also went to business school, and
this is what he thought of his fellow MBA candidates:
“Bottom line: they were extremely bright people who would never really do anything, would never add much to society, would leave
no legacy behind. I found this terribly sad, in the way that wasted potential is always sad.”
You can say that about all of us. And after he realized that in his thirties, he founded a company that turned him into a multi-millionaire.
Another person who always makes himself useful is Casey Neistat. For three years he posted a new video about his life and work on YouTube. And in every video, he’s doing something.
He also talks about how he always wants to do and create something. He even has a tattoo on his forearm that says “Do More.”
Most people would say, “why would you work more?” And then they turn on Netflix and watch back to back episodes of the latest TV show that came out.
A different mindset.
Being useful is a mindset. And like with any mindset, it starts with a decision. One day I woke up and thought to myself: What am I doing for this world? The answer was nothing.
And that same day I started writing. For you it can be painting, creating a product, helping elderly, or anything you feel like doing.
Don’t take it too seriously. Don’t overthink it. Just DO something that’s useful. Anything.