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At Last! Be Who You Want to Be

Discovering your "purpose" in life essentially boils down to finding one or two things bigger than yourself, bigger than those around you, and you have to get off your couch and do something.
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Let's say you're feeling unmotivated. Ask yourself: If you weren't tied down by your (job, family, friends, or anything else), what would you be doing right now? Sometimes it's hard to figure out what you need. You have to put yourself first. Remember, it's okay to put yourself first, because no one else will. If you're not clear on what your purpose in life is, yin good company -- most people are in the same boat.

Well, here's the truth. During the time we are on this earth, we do things. Some of these things are important. Some of them are unimportant. The important things give our lives meaning and happiness. The unimportant ones basically just kill time.

It doesn't matter whether you're 25, 45, 65, or older. It doesn't matter who you are, where you're from, or what you do. Life is a whole different experience when you understand what guides you.

Ever have a conversation that goes like this...?

"What do you want to do?"
Shoulder shrug

"I dunno, whattaya wanna do?"
Shoulder shrug and sigh

"I dunno; Nothing."

I've had conversations like that myself, but not any more because I learned how to make use of my passions. Too often when we look for "fun" things to do, we only think of passive, or expensive options like taking in a ballgame, going on vacation, or going to a movie.

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It can be easy to fall deeply into a boring routine life. However, you have the power to break out of your rut. You might have to step out of your comfort zone, but once you realize there is nothing stopping you from living a more exciting life, you will never look back.

When we say, "What should I do with my life?" or "What is my life purpose?" what we're actually asking is: "What can I do with my time that is important?" This is an infinitely better question to ask. It's more manageable and it doesn't have all of the baggage that the "life purpose" question does.

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SO, WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH YOUR TIME THAT'S IMPORTANT?

What makes you forget to eat or pee?
We've all had that experience where we get so wrapped up in something that minutes turn into hours and hours turn into "Holy crap, I forgot to have dinner."

Supposedly, in his prime, Isaac Newton's mother had to regularly come in and remind him to eat because he would go entire days so absorbed in his work that he would forget.

Maybe for you, it's organizing things efficiently, or teaching somebody something, or solving technical problems. Whatever it is, don't just look at the activities that keep you up all night, but what's behind those activities. Because that enthusiasm can easily be applied elsewhere.

What do you want to do that embarrasses you?
Right now, there's something you want to do, something you think about doing, something you fantasize about doing, yet you don't do it. Think about this: Before you can get good at something and do something important, you must first suck at it and have no clue what you're doing. If your reasons are, "My spouse would hate it," or "My friends would make fun of me," or "If I failed, I'd look like an idiot," then chances are, you're actually avoiding something you really care about because it scares the shit out of you.

Embrace embarrassment. Feeling foolish is part of the path to achieving something important, something meaningful. The more a major life decision scares you, chances are the more you should be doing it.

If you were kicked out of your house all day, every day, until it was time to go to bed -- where would you go, and what would you do?
Sign up for a dance class? Join a book club? Go get another degree? Invent an app that can help people find their keys? Learn to hang glide?

Discovering what you're passionate about, and what matters to you is a trial-and-error process. None of us know exactly how we feel about an activity until we actually do the activity.

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Try some of these:
  1. Shake up your routine. If you take daily walks, try a new route. If you always enjoy a certain meal at a restaurant, pick something else or even a new restaurant next time. These small variances from the norm can be just the pick-me-up you're seeking.
  2. Make life a challenge. Push your limits without having to spend loads of money, relocate or wait until the time is right. It's not necessarily where you are, but what you do with your time there.
  3. Change your style. A new look can lead to meeting new people. Getting a new look can be as simple as trying a different haircut or color.
  4. Make a to-do list every day. Make the most out of your day by focusing on how much you can accomplish each and every day.
  5. Create a bucket list. You are never too old to accomplish all the things you wanted to do in your life. Do something you've always wanted to do. Go for it with all the gusto you have.
  6. Start a new hobby or take a class to learn something new. Learning new things stimulates the brain and helps to keep your mind sharp. Knowledge is power. Whether it's painting or playing video games, a new activity is refreshing.

Discovering your "purpose" in life essentially boils down to finding one or two things bigger than yourself, bigger than those around you, and you have to get off your couch and do something. You'll have to take time to think beyond yourself, and ironically, to imagine a world without yourself.

So, who do you want to be? I'd love to hear from you. Contact me for more information about wellness coaching or in home personal training.