Why You Should Start Following Your Purpose In Life Today // Guest Post
For some reason, many of us grow up having this notion that we are supposed to go to school, go to college, get a good job and work until retirement. This idea has been wired into our brains that this is how we’re supposed live our lives to be happy.
And then we wonder why so many of us are actually unhappy in our daily life.
I personally believe this is because too many people don’t follow their true purpose in life. And this could be because their true purpose may not follow how most people conventionally live their lives or how they are expected to live their lives. It could take a path that defers from the conventional route of going to school and then getting a job until retirement.
And most of the time, that path is neither clear cut or easy.
But that shouldn’t stop you or be the reason that you don’t follow your true calling in life, no matter how unconventional it may be. On Lewis Howes’ podcast, The School of Greatness, one of his guests says that there is a reason that the mid-life crisis exists. And it actually is a miracle that it does. So many people will do what is expected of them by either getting a corporate or a well-paying job right after they graduate and then realize that they spent half of their lives doing work they don’t even like or enjoy. And then they realize that they never followed their true calling in life.
As an artist, I realized early on, after graduating from college, that I was not following my purpose when I immediately got a job working for a paint night company. It surely helped me start paying my bills, which is definitely a necessary responsibility, but I recognized early on that I wasn’t serving the people that I wanted to serve; and I wasn’t doing the meaningful work that I always wanted to do in my life. I immediately started to resent the work I was doing and I quickly lost interest in showing up and putting my heart and soul into this job. It soon became very clear that this was not what I was supposed to be doing with my life, even if it was temporary.
But How Do I Figure Out My Purpose in Life?
When I first started to realize that I wasn’t on the right path, I started to take time to journal on a daily basis. I would write out what my dream day would look like – where I would be living, who I would be with, and how I would feel. And then I would write out everything that I wanted to accomplish in my life. I wrote how I wanted to give back to the world and everything that would make my life and the world a better place.
It is so important to have a vision of what you want for your life. Where do you want to be in one year? In 3 years? In 5 years? Although it may seem overwhelming and scary because you wonder how you’re going to get there, it is the first step to realizing that you need to make a change and there is a destination that you want to reach along your journey.
This vision will probably change as your grow and evolve but you always need to start somewhere. Once you have a destination in mind, it makes it much easier to start working backwards and take small steps to getting there.
Another great question you can ask yourself is why you were born? Why do you think you were brought into this Earth? What work were you supposed to accomplish while you were living? How are you supposed to give back or contribute to the world during your lifetime? How do you want to be of service to people? These are big questions but if you take the time to think clearly and journal your answers, you may be surprised in what you discover about yourself. You may realize that you are exactly on the right path to following your purpose or maybe you have to start making a few changes in your life that will allow you to start accomplishing those life goals that align with your purpose.
How Do I Start Following My Purpose in Life?
After you create your vision, think about the first small step, or the smallest action that you can take to start accomplishing your goals and make a change in your life. Chris Winfield, a well-known entrepreneur and success coach, says that as humans, our brains tend to bulk together all the tasks that we need to do in order to reach our goal. And then that idea becomes so overwhelming and seemingly impossible that we often decide to just continue following our same old daily habits, which prevents us from taking the steps to transform our lives. But if we decide to simplify everything, and think of the first smallest action we can take to achieve our goals, and then take that first step, then we will start creating change in our lives.
I also believe it is so important to have a place that you can easily travel to when you need to think clearly. I discuss this in my free 9 Step Guide to Living a Happier, More Fulfilling Life. When I was miserable in my first job, I would often travel to the local beach nearby whenever it was a nice day, and I would just sit in my car, look out at the ocean, and everything in my life started to make sense. It became so clear to me that I needed to get out of my current situation and make a change in my life because I wasn’t living the fulfilling or meaningful life that I wanted and needed to be living.
While I was staring at the beautiful Long Island sound, I started to create a list of all the job opportunities that I could apply for or reach out to. At that time, I had no idea how I was going to make a living as a full-time artist so I was looking for work that would lead me closer to doing the meaningful work that I craved. Once I had that clarity, I returned home, and I started to make those phone calls and immediately set up those job interviews, which led me closer to being in line with my purpose and my life goals.
Once you start taking those first small steps to making a change in your life, start planning out what you want your life to look like in the next 90 days. What do you do want to accomplish in the next 3 months? Where do you realistically want to be in 3 months? Todd Hermann, a high performance coach, says that as humans, our brains can’t process planning further than 90 days in advance. So although it is so important to have a vision of what you want your life to look like in the future, it is essential that you take the time to plan for your next 3 months so you can break it down and plan what you would like to accomplish in the next month, in the next 2 weeks, and in the next week so you can turn your dream (or desired outcome) into an actionable plan.
I am not telling you to quit your day job or to take a leap of faith without having a realistic plan in mind. I still believe it is important to be responsible and make sure that you can pay your bills until you know that your new job, business or role that you created for yourself can take over those expenses. But it is important that you start taking steps today that will bring you closer to living the life that you were meant to live. I believe all of us have so much potential to do amazing things in our lives and even have the ability to change the world for the better. But you first need to start by looking within, discovering who you are, what you care about, and what you want to accomplish in your life. And then start taking action toward those steps that will lead you in the right direction.
And whenever you start to face resistance, whether it is with yourself, or with others who just don’t understand what you’re trying to do, start hanging out with like-minded people. They say that you are a combination of the 5 people you spend the most time with. And I am personally starting to realize this more everyday. Start listening to podcasts, reading articles and books, watching videos, and traveling to places that will continue to inspire you.
This path will not always be easy but the result can lead to something amazing. They say that the people who succeed are the ones who don’t quit. So I challenge you to start taking steps that are going to lead you to accomplishing your dreams and creating the impact in this world that you always dreamed of.
And if you would like to learn more about how you can create an amazing life for yourself, please download my free 9 Step Guide to Living a Happier, More Fulfilling Life. I cannot wait to hear about the amazing things that you accomplish in your life.
Samantha Kaplan is a New York based abstract landscape painter who creates paintings and drawings that celebrate the life and forces that exist on this planet. Her collectors have said that her work has added a sense of serenity to their living space and have taken their minds to a fantasy place that they only thought existed in their dreams.
Samantha loves to inspire people to follow their purpose in life so they can make a positive difference in this world. She is an environmental supporter, a wellness advocate, and a lover of dark chocolate. You can view and purchase Samantha's art at www.samanthakaplanart.com and download her free 9 Step Guide to Living a Happier, More Fulfilling Life.