5 Tips for Living Life Filled with Purpose
Everyone wants to live a purposeful life. One that doesn’t feel like you’re lost at sea, drifting aimlessly. Having a strong sense of purpose gives your life direction. It gives you confidence, happiness, success, and helps you feel fulfilled.
Chances are, you’ve already caught glimpses of what living with purpose feels like. This tends to happen when your passion is allowed to shine. It’s that electrifying feeling when your passion is freely applied to yourself or the world.
For some doctors, this may be helping people heal. For an entrepreneur, it may be having their product make a difference in the world. Or for parents, it may be nurturing their child and seeing them thrive.
Whatever gives you that gut feeling of fulfillment is going to give you a sense of purpose. The challenge is knowing how to cultivate that sense of purpose so it doesn’t get drowned by busy everyday life. Here are 5 top tips for keeping that sense of purpose alive and strong.
1. Dream Big (Really Big)
Do you ever doubt your ability to accomplish a dream or goal because it’s viewed as too ambitious? If you want to live a purposeful life, follow your dreams with conviction, no matter how grand they may be.
More often than not, the big dreams or goals that you come up with are strongly aligned with your passions. It doesn’t matter if you’re not able to accomplish these goals in the short term. The pursuit of these dreams can set you on a path to a life with purpose.
Dreaming of traveling around Italy? It might take time to save up for a once-in-a-lifetime vacation. But in the short term, you can take an Italian cooking class, or start Italian lessons on the weekends to bring yourself closer to your passion and have a greater sense of purpose.
2. Don’t Let Fear Dictate Your Life
Fear is the ultimate suppressant of life. It holds you hostage, keeping you away from progress and self-improvement. This is why living a life with purpose is impossible with fear in the equation.
So, if your dream is to open your own business, you might drag your feet because you’re afraid of failure and the unknown. These things can be intimidating, there’s no denying that.
But this is your life. You only have one. Don’t risk the regret of looking back on your life wondering what it would be like if you had pursued your dream. In most cases, the fear itself is much bigger than any challenges you will face.
No matter what your dreams or passions are, the same principle holds true. Fear can keep you from living a life of purpose. To overcome it, start with small steps towards your goals to build your self-confidence.
3. Live in the Moment
“What day is it?”, asked Pooh.
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.
While Winnie-the-Pooh was written for children, there’s a surprising amount of wisdom in his approach to life.
He doesn’t focus on worries of the future or the regrets of the past. He simply enjoys the moment as it is. This quote from Pooh perfectly captures the essence of what it means to live in the moment with contentment.
When your life is controlled by thoughts attached to past events and future outcomes, it’s difficult to find a sense of purpose. Your mind will be too preoccupied with regret, worry and other negative emotions.
This is the opposite of living in the moment—the opposite of Pooh. But if you can live in the moment, it will bring more happiness, focus, and productivity into your life. The building blocks of life are filled with purpose.
4. Keep a Journal or Vision Board
People often have a hard time picturing what a life of purpose would involve. That is to say, what kind of journey would provide the greatest sense of fulfillment? It’s completely normal to be unsure.
But if you don’t have a general idea of your destination, how do you know where to begin? This is where journaling comes into play. Journaling is a great way to dive deep into the workings of your mind and distill what fuels your sense of purpose.
Try committing to a strict journaling routine. Every morning or night, write down three things you’re grateful for and then write a page on where you want your life to go. Explore what path would provide you with the greatest sense of purpose. Get into the details.
5. Let Go of Negative Emotions
How often has worrying, anger, or any other surge of emotions gotten in the way of your life? More often than you would like to admit, right? When you’re faced with a stressful situation, emotions often take over.
The cost of not being in control of your own emotions is high. For instance, let’s say you were waiting for test results on whether you had a Thyroid issue. You worried the whole day over the results, forgetting important details about a client presentation, and end up losing the account. At the end of the day, your phone rings and you find out that the test results are negative after all.
When you aren’t in control of your emotions, it can quickly derail you. That’s why it’s important to practice living your life free from the control of negative emotions. The next time you become worried over something, stop for a second and question the worry.
“Does it serve a purpose?” No. “Will this worry negatively affect my life?” Possibly. Then focus on the moment and breathe through any negative emotions that surface. With practice, you will become a master of your own emotions rather than them controlling you.
Living a life full of purpose can bring joy, fulfillment and focus. But it takes a commitment to finding what matters to you, and being prepared to pursue your passion.