I want to talk about a question that many people often ask themselves. That is - what is my life purpose? I think I started thinking about purpose recently because of the GTD altitudes that I discussed a while back. I did a little research about life purpose and one of the things I discovered was something from Steve Pavlina that walked you through how to figure it out. I really like Steve's stuff but I had to laugh when in a nutshell he said that once you figure it out and write it down, it will make you cry. So, while I found his article informative, I didn't find it completely useful for me specifically because I just didn't see that happen. I guess that I am too practical.
I think that defining my life purpose and boiling it down to a few sentences is difficult because it is just too broad a topic to do that. I mean it's easy to define your purpose for say - a workout program. You can really visualize what done looks like. Our life purpose is always a work in progress and it's also never done, or it shouldn't be in my opinion.
If you look at the GTD altitudes, I think it's easy to grasp the concept that projects are things that require more than one next action. And while I have never seen it defined this way, areas of focus are things that require more than one project. I guess that you could say that your life purpose is just something that requires more than one area of focus and that is helpful but how do you wrap that up into a concise statement that motivates you into action.
It's a very difficult challenge to do that.
For me, what I have decided to do is to look at my life from a long term perspective and ask myself what would have made me happy if I looked back. In that case, it does make things become a little clearer and least in how I think I want to define my life purpose.
I figure that if I wanted to achieve anything in my life it would be to live up to my potential. To not look back at what I accomplished in life and say, I could have achieved more. I could have been better than I was and really didn't do it.
As we get older, I think that thought creeps into our minds more as we see time slip away and regret not pushing ourselves to realize our potential.
I compare it to a gifted athlete who never practices and wastes his gift versus someone who practiced their butt off to be great. Who got more out of their athletic careers and why?
The difference in that example is what is the perceived potential. Did you maximize it? And the only person that really knows that in your life is you.
For me, my life purpose is to maximize my potential by taking action every day towards the goals I set in each area of focus quickly and consistently on a daily basis.
And while I didn't cry while I wrote it down, I think that's a good start.
This Month's Thirty Day Challenge And Update To Last Month's Challenge:
For those of you who have been following my thirty day challenges, I successfully completely last month's challenge which was not to eat anything that came in a bag or wrapped in plastic unless it was a whole food like a vegetable. The only exception that I made to this was that I could have dark chocolate. The challenge was pretty easy as I have noticed each one is getting easier as I do it.
Past successful challenges include:
- No diet coke
- No fried food
- Walking everyday
The one challenge I wasn't able to complete was getting up at 6:00 am. That was too tough for me. Otherwise, I have gotten through all of them. Once I complete a challenge, I maintain it and the one that I am most proud of so far is walking every day. I have 61 days completed so far.
This month's challenge is to write every day on this site. Day one complete!
Nice one. Stephen Covey has a good, if a little morbid, way of doing this. You thing of six ( I think it is) people who inspire you, from various areas of focus. Then you think of three word each you woul like them to be able to use to describe you at your funeral (. At the end of a healthy life). You then weave each of these works into your perusal mission. Works well.
This was really good. It really trigger my thought process. I need a 30 day challenge. I am going to set down this evening and see what happens.
I have found the thirty day challenges have got me moving when I am stuck. Start with something easy you know without a doubt you can do so you'll be successful and then make them progressively harder. Good luck and report back your success.
Lol...that is kind of morbid. While I have read some of Covey's stuff I hadn't remembered reading that. Thanks for the input! What is your personal mission statement? Are you willing to share it?
Excellent article. I completely agree with your thoughts.
I've been able to walk everyday...but....NO DIET COKE! Wow that is hard.
Yes diet coke. Can't believe I haven't had one in ages. Used to be hooked up to an IV...lol.