Ever pondered what it is that you truly want? Not clear on your purpose in life?
From what I’ve noticed it seems so common for many of us to drift through life living the desires of someone else at the expense of our own dreams.
If you don’t have your own plan you become a part of another’s ~ Unknown
By not being clear about your own wants and desires or purpose, you run the risk of – and probably already are – inadvertently being a part of someone or something else’s ‘plan’.
External influences can and do take advantage of your lack of clarity purely because these same ‘forces’ can be very clear and purposeful, and sometimes very methodical about their agenda and how you could fit into it, to benefit them over your own best interests.
Taking many different forms, they could be your boss at work, a parent, a partner, society or maybe more insidiously even the powers that be via the media through your can’t-live-without 50-inch HD plasma TV set!
All of a sudden staying in your ‘comfort zone’ doesn’t seem so comfortable anymore now does it?
Think about it, are you working in a job that you don’t really enjoy? Do you spend a large part of your waking hours being instructed about what to do or how to do things? Are you easily influenced by other people, the news, or the latest trends? Do you feel trapped or hopeless about your current situation?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, ask yourself why would you do this if it’s not what you would want or deliberately choose to do?
Chances are it’s because either you think you don’t know what you want or are scared of going after what you really do.
After so much conditioning and so many distractions over the years you’ve more than likely simply ‘forgotten’ as a result of being preoccupied with the daily grind of your current situation.
More than anything, the secret to reconnecting with what you want is just a question of peeling back the layers of thoughts, attitudes and beliefs that no longer serve you. In effect, the process is about getting to the core of who you really are and being true to your values and your ‘big why’ in life!
This ‘unpeeling’ need not be arduous though, to the contrary it can be a lot of fun and here are some exercises on how to clarify your purpose in life.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
What was your answer to that question when you were 4 years old? Well, you’re all grown up now aren’t you? Is what you are now what you wanted to be when you were a child?
Toddlers for the most part seem oblivious to responsibilities, obligations and commitment. Yet to be shackled by the soul crushing limitations of religion, societal dogma and a left-brain dominated educational system, children live in a world full of play, imagination and adventure, a world where anything and everything is possible!
I remember when I was a kid I wanted to be two things: a scientist & a wizard! The funny thing is, after more than 30 years of life experiences, several different careers and a whole lot of soul-searching and personal development I am in a way being both of those things and having a whole lot of fun at the same time!
From an adult’s perspective I guess studying business, marketing and psychological principles and seeking to understand universal laws is a form of science, while on the other hand, the results of hypnosis, neuro-linguistic programming and most importantly massive ACTION could appear to many to be a form of magic!
So now is the time to ask yourself, how can you make the answer from this cherished childhood questioning game a part of your adulthood reality?
Hobbies, interests & where you spend your ‘free’ time
I know you more than probably have heard this before, but this time I want you to take a serious stock-take of all the things you actually really enjoy doing in your life with the intention of finding clues to help you to rediscover what you would rather spend your life doing than what you currently are.
We all have things that we are passionate about and love doing when we have ‘free’ time. For the most part, almost everyone of us excels, or is very good at at least one activity in their life. We’re all unique, so if cross stitching or celestial navigation rocks your world, maybe you could create an online business in either one of those niche fields? In so doing, a former pass-time could now reward you richly as a new career? In effect you’d never have to work another day in your life as you would be spending your time doing what you truly love!
In my case, I am a big fan of technology and the internet, I love communicating with people and really enjoy anything to do with personal and professional development. At the same time I have always been passionate about travelling and would ideally love to be able to work from anywhere in the world I so choose. This blog for me is one way of integrating these interests, hobbies and passions with the aim of being my own form of Barefoot Executive!
So what turns you on and how could you possibly do this for a living?
The magic wand
What if I told you that I had a magic wand, and even better, that if I waved it, your life would magically be any way you wanted it to be. Although your first thought might be ‘Who the hell is this crack pot?!?’, do your best to put this apprehension aside in order to get some insight from this revealing activity. So what would your ideal life be like?
I know what mine would be like! I’d spend part of the year seeing clients in person and holding workshops in various locations around the world, the remaining months of the year I would spend travelling with friends & family to various destinations or basing myself in a place for an extended period where I could continue my work by blogging, running webinars and working with clients remotely. My leisure activities would include attending conferences, retreats, and workshops, learning new languages, practicing yoga and meditation as well as anything else that takes me out of my comfort zone or helps me to grow.
A million dollar lottery win
OK, If this is too fanciful or difficult for you and I know that it will be for many of you due to the numerous reasons I’ve mentioned earlier, imagine instead that you won a million dollars in the lottery, actually, let’s make it 5 million dollars! We all know these days that a million dollars doesn’t buy nearly as much as it used to!
Imagine that all your financial concerns were addressed, there was no need to work to support yourself and as a result you were free to spend all your time doing whatever it was that your heart desired.
What would you do? Where would you be? Who would you be with?
Hmmmmmmmm? Now what does this tell you about what you really want? And more significantly, what does it tell you about what’s really important to you?
If, by now you still feel that you are clueless about what you want, you could always harness the power of affirmations.
By repeating a word or phrase over and over, either by saying it or thinking it to yourself, overtime your subconscious mind will eventually accept that word or phrase as being the truth.
All too often we see the evidence of this principle expressed in negative ways, for example, through people who have been told whilst growing up by parents, peers and society that they are ‘not good enough’ or ‘will never amount to anything’ and that in effect becomes their reality!
So let’s turn this unfortunate situation around by taking matters into our own hands and make affirmations work for us in a positive way!
‘I know what I want, I know what I want, I know what I want’
Make this your daily mantra, say it over and over 100 times or more as soon as you wake up in the morning or even more effectively before you go to sleep at night!
Intention & repetition
It may not happen over night, but it will happen
Keep up the practice of repeating you affirmations every day for at least a month and have the intention and expectation that they work. Then all you need to do is stay alert to insights or flashes of inspiration that you may receive all of a sudden.
Your subconscious knows everything whether your ‘logical’ and ‘rational’ conscious mind is prepared to believe this or not. So reaffirm to yourself that you know want and your subconscious will be obliged to bring this to your conscious attention.
What is hypnosis? A quicker, more direct way to access your subconscious mind. It can be achieved whilst in a hypnotic trance.
A hypnotherapist can guide you into an altered brainwave state where they can communicate directly with your higher self, help you recall past memories and make suggestions designed to elicit your desired outcomes. In this case a session could focus for example on reconnecting with the part of yourself that truly knows what you want.
A life coach can take you through a series of activities that focus on clarifying your values, motivations and intentions so that you can then start making plans and setting goals to move you towards an idealized future.
Life coaching can be invaluable in helping you to determine what you really want, who you really are and what you are here to do. Once you you are clear on your purpose, passions, unique talents, skills abilities and history, you can then make use of these to move forward, fulfill your potential and really make a difference in the world!
The process of elimination
If none of these methods appeal, you could always take the scenic route and play a type of life wants ‘Guess Who’.
Instead of flipping down the faces of characters who do not fit the description of your opponent’s hidden card, you could instead flip down or eliminate things in your life that you have already tried and then discovered that you don’t actually like.
Follow your inklings and attempt new things, you’ll soon get feedback in the form of feelings as to whether whatever you are undertaking is a fit, or resonates with who you are. No big deal if it’s not for you, flip down the face and move onto the next thing and repeat the process again.
I played this same game through most of my twenties. I tried out many types of jobs, traveled to many different places and had a number of amazing as well as some not so amazing experiences. Some things I tried had certain aspects that I liked and other aspects that I didn’t.
Over time, I gravitated towards things with more of the aspects I like and fewer of the ones that I don’t, in effect cherry picking from a buffet of potential experiences, people and places more aligned to my values and interests.
Go with the flow
Life is a journey but sometimes some of us get fixated on reaching a destination. There is an advantage to thinking that you don’t know what you want or where you are heading. The ‘mystery’ can open yourself up to an endless number of possibilities and this can instill a sense of adventure into your life. As long as you are open and willing to listen to your intuition and take the right actions at the right time, floating downstream in the river of life and enjoying the ride might just be everything that you could possibly ever want!