Finding Purpose in LIFE
“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” – Roy Disney
What do you want? Make a list. What do you want? is an easy question. We’re programmed to respond. Usually with a long list of things. I’ve had that list. I wanted an expensive watch, a cool sports car, money, a sexy woman by my side, a great loft apartment in a luxury high rise, a great body and wardrobe to go with it. I want everything everyone else wants because that’s the game, right? I want stuff I don’t really want because that’s how great marketing works… to make me want things I really don’t need to impress people I really don’t like.
Luckily, like a child, I’ve learned to ask WHY? Why do I want what I want? The more I asked why the more I discovered I don’t know what I really want. I know I’m supposed to want stuff. Capitalism doesn’t work if nobody wants stuff… I want stuff to fit in. I want stuff to feel good enough. Somehow I want stuff that everyone else wanted for me. The more I questioned why I wanted the things I wanted I didn’t want it anymore.
So, what do I want? Maybe I want is to choose what I want myself. I rarely have made choices in my life that were truly my own. I chose to pursue things, goals, etc. Many of my achievements have been note worthy but to me disappointing. While I should have celebrated, I usually just started toward another goal that inevitably led to another disappointing accomplishment. It became clear. My goals are not my goals, and my wants are not my wants. They are the wants of my fears… Then what are my wants and how do I find them?
I’m at a point in my life that the more important question is what is my purpose? A far more difficult question to answer than, what do I want? After a lot of thought and writing, I came up with a simple acronym that encompasses fairly well the purpose of a GREAT LIFE. I believe the purpose of LIFE is to Love, Inspire, Forgive, and Enjoy. In searching and finding who and what I love, what inspires me and how to inspire others, a practice of forgiveness, and enjoyment through pleasure, connection, and meaning, I’ve found my purpose to life. Today, for me, what I want is directed by what I feel my LIFE purpose is.
I offer you this simple exercise in finding your purpose. Simply answer some of the questions to uncover the LIFE you may choose to pursue.
LOVE. Try writing about it. What do you love? Who do you love? Who loves you? What are you passionate about? What excites you? What would you do if you couldn’t fail? What could you do if you had no fear? How much time do you spend with the people you love, doing what you love? What are you willing to do to spend more time in love?
INSPIRATION. What/who inspires you? Do you inspire others? How? Does your life inspire others to follow their dreams? Are you an inspiration to those who love you?
FORGIVENESS. Do you have a practice of forgiveness? Do you hold onto resentment or anger?
Enjoyment. Where do you find pleasure? Who do you enjoy connecting with? Who’s presence makes your heart beat? What brings you a sense of challenge and fulfillment? When are you most excited?
How much time do you spend in your purpose? Are you actively pursuing the LIFE that would bring you the greatest sense of fulfillment, meaning, and joy?
What do I want… I’m a broken record. I want to be successful in my career, I want to be married to a beautiful, loving, considerate, passionate, intelligent woman, and God willing, a healthy daughter or son. I want to have time to spend with people I love. I want the people I love to have all the I could wish for myself. I want to help people through my writing, workshops, speaking and coaching. I could go on… I know what my LIFE purpose is and everyday, I choose to live my LIFE.
The GREAT LIFE is driven by commitment to purpose. I strongly feel that if you uncover your LIFE purpose and have the courage to choose to live your LIFE everyday, you will one day look back on a truly GREAT LIFE.