“When I grow up, I want to be an astronaut.”
I never said that. That’s what I lot of my friends, or the kids on television, would say.
I would always say this:
“When I grow up, I want to be a professional soccer player.”
That’s what I always wanted to be. I played soccer every day, every night, every weekend, every month, every year, all the way up until I finished high school and went into college to study audio engineering.
Then, my ideas changed. I no longer wanted to be a professional soccer player.
I was now saying this:
“I want to be an audio engineer.”
I wanted to work in the music industry, working in recording studios and live concert venues recording and producing music for the world’s greatest established and upcoming musicians.
I failed miserably at it.
Back at ground zero, I was completely lost. I was stuck in a state of drifting. Over the next several years, I shifted from job to job: The night shift at Fed-Ex, tile worker, Montessori school aid, and beach attendant. I had no clear idea whatsoever where I was going or what I was going to do with my life.
I was now saying this:
“I want to be a……………………………………………………”
This time, when I asked myself that question, I couldn’t give myself an answer. I had completely lost any idea of what I wanted to do with my life. It totally vanished.
Then, one day, while looking for a new dead-end job, I got a random phone call from some stranger I had gotten in contact with over the internet about a sales job. By a totally insane and unforeseen turn of events, that stranger ended up becoming my mentor. He asked me a question, and in time, I ended up using that question to make a life-changing decision, a decision which ultimately led me down the path to discovering my passions and doing what I absolutely love and feel privileged to do for living.
Now, instead of saying I want to be something, I say this:
“I am a Life Coach, Personal Development Trainer, Speaker, and Writer.”
That leads me to the question I want to ask you. Or rather, it leads me to the question I want you to ask yourself:
If you could decide to do one thing for the rest of your life, one thing that defines who you are, brings out the best in you, and makes you feel unbelievably happy every single day……….what would that one thing to be?
In my opinion, this is the most important question that you as a human being can ask yourself. This question, in and of itself, causes you to ask yourself even more questions:
“What am I living for?”
“What am I going to see when I look back on my life 50 years from now?”
“What kind of impact or legacy am I actually leaving in the world?”
The most important decision you risk never making is never deciding on what you want your life’s purpose to be.
What is your life’s purpose? What’s something that you want to dedicate your life towards every day for the rest of your life? What’s that “something” that you can do that defines who you are, brings out the best in you, and makes you feel unbelievably happy every single day?
If your response when trying to make this decision is, “Well, I don’t know what I would want my life’s purpose to be”, that’s not uncommon at all.
If you’re trying to decide on what you want your life’s purpose to be, but are having trouble to finding the answer, here’s a couple ways to help find it:
1) What talents or skills do you have in any specific area?
What do you have a talent for? What skills have you acquired, or could acquire? If you have a natural talent for something, or a skill that you’ve acquired, that’s a good place to begin looking at and seeing where you could go with those things.
2) What knowledge and/or experience do you have in a specific area?
If you’re knowledgeable about something, or have experience in any given area, you can use that knowledge and/or experience to help other people trying to excel in that area, and helping people is the best/fastest way to build a career, business, or purpose.
3) What are you obsessed about?
What are your biggest interests? What do you really, really love to do, or be a part of? What’s something you have an obsession towards? Passion is such an unbelievably important aspect of figuring out what you want your life’s purpose to be, as your life purpose should be something that you love and allows you to bring out the best of yourself. Passion accomplishes both of those.
If you’re not sure how to answer both of those questions, simply take out a piece of paper and try to write out the answers. Write down what talents and skills you have, what knowledge and experience you possess, and write down what you’re passionate about/love doing/obsessed with. Seeing yourself written out on paper will help you to better organize and direct things.
By simply taking action and at least thinking about these things, you set in motion the momentum to finding the answers you’re looking for. As you go about your daily life, your mind will start to keep an eye out for clues and pick up on things that may help you answer those questions. That’s exactly how it worked for me. I never would have dreamed in a 1,000 years that I was going to be a Life Coach. I never even realized I had a passion for it until I discovered it.
But, in order to discover it, I had to make a conscious effort to find it.
You might be saying, “Well, I have a great job. I make a decent living and I like what I do.”
Fine. Feel free to completely ignore what I’ve said. However, these are the benefits of doing what you love, and what you’re passionate about:
1) Every day feels like it has a purpose to it.
You’ll go through each day with a sense of purpose and meaning, knowing that what you’re doing is exactly what you’re meant to do. No day will feel like it’s worthless or a waste of time (Unlike most jobs). Overall, you’ll feel much more alive, much more complete, and much more fulfilled.
2) Enthusiasm, Motivation, and Desire will come naturally. You won’t have to force them out of yourself.
When you’re doing what you love, it’s naturally easy to feel enthused, motivated, and desiring, and those qualities lead to a much better use of your talents and your potential. You’ll squeeze every ounce of energy out of yourself everyday doing what you’re passionate about…..and you won’t have to force it either.
3) Your earning potential will go way, way up.
The value of the work you produce is what determines how much you get paid, whether that’s a regular 9-5 or if you work for yourself. Doing what you love allows you to have a much, much higher earning potential, because since you love doing it, putting value into your work is both easy and enjoyable. You’re always better at doing something you love then something you hate.
Let’s look at the flipside. What are the negative consequences of not living your life’s purpose?
1) Every “work day” feels like it’s meaningless.
Sound familiar? A recent survey said that around 80% of Americans hate what they do. And, if you hate what you do, where does the positive, valuable meaning for each day come from? What are you getting up for? So you can go to work, collect a check, and pay the bills? There’s no meaning or freedom in that. That’s called slavery, not freedom.
2) You have to force yourself to feel Enthusiastic, Motivated, and Determined.
Ever tried to get up the energy to do something you don’t want to do? We all have, and it’s not easy, nor enjoyable. Any time you have to force yourself to feel enthusiasm, motivation, or determination towards something, then you don’t actually want to be doing it…….and spending your time doing things you don’t want to do is a waste of precious time and potential.
3) Your earning potential is non-existent.
As I talked about before, the value of your work is what determines your earning potential. How much value are you really going to put into something you don’t care about? My guess is, probably not very much. This causes your potential to earn more to decrease or become non-existent, because your work is going to lack passion and value.
If you never make the decision to try to find your life’s purpose, you risk drifting through life aimlessly. You’ll be carried away by the wherever the proverbial currents drag you and you’ll be lead to plummet over the waterfall, instead of being in charge of your own life and taking it where you want it to go.
Picture yourself. You’re 90 years old. You’re sitting on the back porch of your home looking out into the evening sunset, and you begin looking back through your life and combing through all the memories and experiences you’ve gone through. You start thinking about the kind of career you’ve had, the choices you’ve made, and the life you’ve lived.
What does it look like? Can you see memories and experiences that you want to enjoy seeing, memories and experiences of a career you genuinely loved, and a life and legacy you can feel satisfied with leaving behind?
Or, are they memories and experiences of having a career and a life filled with missed chances, frustration, and regret?
How that picture looks is completely up to you. It’s your decision.
Are you going to make it, or not?
I hope that you do.