When I was 19, I remember my dad asking me “what is the purpose of life?” It’s a question that beleaguers many, while others have attempted to answer it. Some feel confident when first asked because of a doctrine they have come to believe, whether through their upbringing or another route. Even then, it is still a deeply personal question that most of us attempt to answer in individual terms.
When I published “Be Who You Were Born to Be”, the number of people that read it was 10 times my normal audience, the innate knowing in people resonating with the title alone. We all have different ways of listening to our inner voice, our true nature, but in today’s world there are so many things vying for our attention. The times we touch upon some of the more important questions in our life become fleeting, and there’s a sense throughout our packed-out days that something else is eluding us.
What if you chose this life for a particular purpose? Imagine you are eternal, and every life you learn something new, you grow and the universe grows with you. That doesn’t mean you remember every detail of everything you ever learned, rather that you have a deeper sense of knowing within you, that resonates when you read, see or hear something familiar. Of all the answers that have run through my head since dad asked that question many years ago, it’s the only one that makes sense to me.
I’ve often talked about the concept of being who you are in the sense of being the person with the traits, gifts and talents you were born with, rather than the person you’ve become (nature versus nurture) layer by layer. When you are acting from your own true nature, you’re happier, more passionate about the things you do, and great to be around – inspiring even!
As we take on other people’s beliefs and perceptions – you’re good at this, you’re not good at that, you’re too loud, you're too quiet, and so on - finding out who you are, the true you before you took on all that other stuff, takes a conscious effort.
Effort, yes, but keep it simple. How do you discover the real you? For a start, refuse to feel bad, seek out things that make you feel good. If you’re doing something that makes you feel sucked of all energy and it’s ongoing (like a job, for example), even if you're doing it for the end result, my suggestion is to either stop doing it or to make a plan to stop doing it. Take control of feeling good.
I recently listened to an interview with Sir Ken Robinson whose most recent book, written with Lou Aronica, is titled Finding Your Element: How To Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life. What a wonderful title. He talks about the point where talent and passion meet being where you feel most inspired, most ‘at home’ in yourself.
What if that is the purpose of your life? To find those things and to do as much of them as possible, imagine that, you’ll start to feel inspired, and when you feel inspired you tend to learn and grow.
It’s important to take time out for that reason. We all know our own answers when it comes to what’s best for us. The trick is to access and trust that inner voice more than the fear stories your mind (or other people) create when you give them too much attention.
I have a friend who loves sewing, but she has no desire to do it for a living. The job she is in has the potential to give her great joy, because she certainly has a talent for it and is very passionate about it; however, she isn’t confident of her talent. The stories of doubt that play in her mind have been getting the better of her inner knowing. When doubt strikes, you feel bad – so go and do something that makes you feel good, anything, get those good vibes flowing and your perspective changes dramatically, your confidence grows.
There is no doubt there are things you need to do for an end result, be it making money or maintaining good health or fitness, but 'there are many means to achieving the same ends' and certainly no reason you should feel anything less than good in the process of trying.
When I tackled my fitness a few years back, I persevered with repetitive cardio and muscle strengthening exercises for ages, even spending money on a personal trainer to keep me focused. The truth was though, I hated it. Eventually I switched to yoga and walking, and can tell you without a doubt I love both.
There’s no age limit on feeling good, we all spend 24 hours a day doing something, so for goodness sake, do things you enjoy. Start today, or at least start making a plan today. If you find yourself distracted and feeling bad again an hour, a day or a even a week, down the line, just start again. There’s no limits on feeling good, or the number of times you attempt to. You’ll feel inspired to do more, to learn more and in the process you will grow, and the world will be a better place for having you in it.
This article was originally published on LinkedIn.
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