My last post was called “LIVING YOUR LIFE FOR YOURSELF”
It was about a big change in my life that I have made in order to follow my dreams.
In this post I received a question from “TheFourthIdiot” owner of the blog http://inspiringinfinity.wordpress.com/
His question was essentially this:
How do yo proceed down your path if you are not even sure if it is the right path? How do you develop the unshakable faith required to take great leaps towards this dream in the face of risk?
First, I will speak about my general perspective on finding life’s purpose and then I will give practical tips to help you find out what your purpose is, or build confidence in the purpose you already feel.
I have always struggled with the idea of a single purpose or dream.
I wrote an article about this some time ago when I was contemplating the future in a panic, wondering if I’ll ever figure out what I want to do with my life.
I had tried so many things and failed spectacularly at every single one of them. I had gone deep into different paths and realized that none of these things were right for me.
But what I didn’t realize back then was that each path had led me to the next. Not only that, each path gave me new tools to carve my way through the next.
Learning drums taught me the universal truths to learning anything. Being in a band taught me how to get people to work together towards a goal. Doing sales taught me the ability to articulate myself more efficiently and convincingly.
Alas, none of these paths were right for me. I’m writing this blog and doing these videos right now and I still can’t be sure if this is my life’s mission.
But now I have confidence that moving forward down this path will give me new tools and lead me where I need to go.
Your dream will change as you grow.
This is inevitable. You aren’t meant to just do one thing with your life.
But you are meant to pursue things in your life that are meaningful to you. If you aren’t going after any dream then you won’t be lead to the next one.
My main point here is that you should never fear whether your path is right or wrong.
You will never have to retrace your steps on this path and start over.
If it isn’t meant to be, a new path with appear somewhere down the road when you are a new person with new tools and different perspectives.
But you have to start somewhere.
So here are my practical tips for figuring out what you should be doing right now.
Some questions with some important answers.
Answer this list of questions over the period of a week. Keep them in the back of your mind and write down anything you come up with throughout this time.
What are you hobbies/passions?
I don’t just mean flying kites and collecting stamps. Write down anything you do that you don’t get paid for and enjoy nonetheless.
Blogging, video games, gardening, meditation, yoga, fitness, dieting, helping people, building, drawing, photography, knitting and a world of others can fall into this category.
What are your talents/skills.
What have you learned throughout your life that you are good at?
Can you play an instrument? Are you good with your hands? Are you good with words? Do you have a knack for organization? What have you shown an aptitude for in your current and previous jobs?
Write down all of your talents because more than likely some of these things will be incorporated in your path.
When have you been happiest?
Think back to your past jobs, experiences and hobbies to further define what makes you happiest. These things will be clues to what the overarching theme of your life should be.
What do you want to be remembered for?
This is a question that gave me a lot of insight into what I wanted to do with my life.
After much thought I realized that I wanted to be remember for helping people. I didn’t know how I would help people or who I would be helping, but I knew that I wanted to make people’s lives better.
How do you want to be remembered? As a millionaire business guru? As a creator of beautiful works of art? Or as someone who raised a beautiful family that will go on to improve the world?
Combining these answers with the next exercise will get you that much closer to knowing what you should be working towards.
Invigorate or debilitate?
Write down everything you do for a week, even the boring tasks.
Breakfast, showering, playing video games, projects, work, social life, everything.
Once you have done this I want you to create two columns on a “T Chart”. One for things that invigorate you, giving you energy/happiness, and one for things that debilitate or drain you.
Split everything you have done that week into these two columns.
You will often find that the path you should be working towards involves things you are already doing. Look through the list of invigorating things, combine it with your list of passions and your list of skills.
Lay it all out in front of you and look at it every day. Let these things cultivate in your mind.
Now that you know what you enjoy, what you are good at, the things that invigorate you in your life, the times you were happiest and the way you want to be remembered, I am confident that your next path will appear from the fog.
No one can tell you what your path is.
And you can’t even be sure that you will stay on the same path for the rest of your life.
But follow the path that lies before you now, one that leads you to a dream, and you will gain new tools and perspectives that will open new paths in the future.
That is what will give you the confidence to move forward.
You never have to worry about failing. I’ve failed a million times, but moving forward towards a dream has always lead me in the right direction.
But being afraid to follow a dream, that will only lead to nightmares.
Steven Farquharson, 2HG.