“Live your life with purpose.” This phrase is becoming increasingly popular, but if you’re like many people today, you may wonder what, exactly, that means. You’re living … Isn’t that enough?
Unfortunately, for many individuals, “living” means going about one’s daily routine with little to no enthusiasm. You wake up, get the kids to school, go to work, get stuff done, come home, make dinner, go to bed, repeat. Between all that, you may find little to no time to do things you actually enjoy. How can you, you wonder, when you’re constantly doing things for others? That’s the question we want to attempt to help you answer here.
Living with purpose doesn’t mean throwing caution to the wind, quitting your job and going to live on a secluded beach in the Bahamas (though that would be nice). It simply means finding enjoyment in the everyday. Before you scoff at this concept (Who enjoys dragging a sleepy toddler to daycare or inputting data into a spreadsheet?), bear with us. Though everyone is different, there are common threads of our existence that give each of us purpose. Below are just a few.
Individuals who have mastered the art of living their lives with purpose have priorities. These people identify activities that matter and that add value to their lives, and they focus a great deal of time and energy strictly on them. Without setting priorities, it’s easy to drift aimlessly from one activity to the other, doing a lot but accomplishing little.
Beliefs and Values
You don’t have to be religious to hold a core set of beliefs and values. In fact, regardless of your stance on organized religion, it’s important that you develop your own moral code by which to live, by which to base your decisions and that influences your day-to-day actions. By doing so, you can be sure to live life with a clean conscience and spend more time doing what you want to do or know to be right rather than on letting others influence you.
It’s unrealistic to think that everyone has found a career they’re passionate about. However, it is realistic to hope that everyone is passionate about the lives they choose to lead. Those who live their lives with purpose wake up each morning energized and ready to begin the new day with fervor and zest. They put their hearts into everything they do, even if it’s something as mundane as cleaning the kitchen. If you don’t wake up each morning at least happy about your life, it’s time to make a change.
There’s something to be said for a life of contentment. Though some people always need to do more, have more and be more, it’s okay to be perfectly happy with what you have and who you are. In fact, once you achieve inner peace, you may discover that you’re far happier than when you were constantly chasing the American Dream. A good way to measure your self-worth is to ask yourself the following: Who would you be and what could you offer if you lost all your money? Would you still be happy?
Mindfulness is closely related to purpose, as mindfulness involves cherishing every moment. Though you don’t necessarily need to feel happy at all times (that is not what mindfulness is about), you should make it a point to be present, acknowledge your feelings in each moment and seek to live without regrets. By practicing mindfulness, you can more easily live your purpose.
“Live your life with purpose” may seem like a hokey phrase, but there’s actually something to be said for giving it a try. If you feel stuck in a rut and struggle to find joy in your life, set priorities, develop your own set of beliefs and values, find a passion, stop chasing after “more” and be mindful in all that you do.