Human nature drives us to need a purpose to survive in life, but often the purpose we follow is arbitrarily placed on us by someone else.
Unfortunately, many of us allow others to influence what we do, say, or feel. Be it the print or social media, peers or celebrities. But, if we allow others to push us to think, feel or do something we do not fundamentally agree with, it won’t last for long. It will result is us feeling unmotivated and unhappy.
To successfully achieve what will make us happy, we have to truly and honestly believe in the purpose we follow and to do that we need to look within.
Every person I speak to who has a sense of purpose that they believe in is happier than anyone else I know. For many of us, our sense of purpose is being a mother, father, daughter, son or friend. For others, it’s having a career we’re proud of or a hobby that makes us smile.
Whatever that purpose is, you know it when you find it. It’s easy, it’s enjoyable, it makes you feel fulfilled, and you feel the need to do it without ever being told you should.
So, how do you find it?
The short answer – by listening to your needs, accepting who you are and allowing yourself to be you.
Unfortunately, as easy as this sounds, it’s not always as easy to do as it is for me to write.
The problem is however much these things make us feel fulfilled; often they are not easy to attain. You see a sense of purpose is something that sets us a challenge, a challenge to be our best self, and being your best self means set backs, obstacles, and times when you would rather give up.
People run marathons, lose inconceivable amounts of weight and help those in need even at a detriment to themselves. None of these feats are easy, and each time a person does something amazing they have points where they want to give up… but something keeps them going. This is their sense of purpose.
“Anyone who has something enviable, which cannot be bought or given, worked hard to achieve it.”
That point when you decide to give up is the point when you realise you’re not doing it because you really want to; you’re doing it for someone else. If you really want something, you will never give in.
Even if you achieve a goal set by someone else, it will never fulfil you in the same way as if you’d had the burning desire to reach the goal for your own need. We are powerful – we can all achieve amazing things if we truly believe in them.
Listen to yourself, do what’s right for you and don’t let others live your path for you. You are your own person; if you listen to your inner feelings you will take the path that’s right for you.
Try this exercise:
Ask yourself: what do I really want?
It’s likely you’ll come up with a broad answer like ‘to be happy’ or to spend more time with the people I care about, to lose weight or to have more money. If it’s ‘to be happy’ or something similar, ask yourself: what do I mean by happy?
Define happy for you. You might decide it’s any or all of the things listed above. Whatever it is, ask yourself: what is it about this thing that will make me happy? Then ask yourself: what’s stopping me from making this a reality?
If it’s to have more friends or family around you or to laugh and share time with people you care about, make it happen. Put time in the diary to do just this. Don’t leave meetings to chance; take control of time spent with the people you love.
Is it to feel accepted by your peer group by having the latest gadget or piece of clothing? Ask yourself: why do I want to be accepted? What makes me think I’m not accepted? Then ask yourself, do I want to be accepted by my peers or do I want to accept myself?
If you want to accept yourself, ask yourself: why you don’t I accept myself?
“Accepting yourself for who you are is the key to many of life’s struggles. Once you love you for you, many of the issues you face seem to go away.”
Want to learn more about how to accept you for you? You can find some great tips here.
Strangely, just as I have found, the more you accept yourself, the more you find others accept you too.
Find your sense of purpose; the purpose that drives you and you will achieve your goals. It might not be easy, but if you want it, you will find ways to make it happen.