Take action now.
Are you a “self-worrier” — spending time thinking about how much effort you put into your day or life, and stressing about the potential impact your effort did or didn’t have? Do the topics of life purpose and passion simultaneously inspire and terrify you?
Stop stressing! The irony of life purpose is that everyone is living a life of purpose. By the nature of putting an effort into taking action to step out of bed in the morning, you’ve already made a difference.
The distinction of the grand words “living your purpose” and just living life is about the deliberation and intention of your actions.
This is where you get to ask yourself — are the actions you’re taking leading you toward the life you want to live?
You create your life automatically through your behaviors. When you operate on auto-pilot, you subconsciously and unconsciously design your life. The key to empowering yourself and feeling like you’re making a difference comes when you can clearly communicate what you stand for and what you live for — and then put some muscle into taking the necessary actions to manifest that.
So pay attention to your current actions for clues to see if they are intentional and on target. If not, it's time to focus on clearly articulating your goals. Once you do, the new-found command you'll have of your days will empower and lead to more confidence and energy!
Here are five ways to clue in and power up your intentional actions:
1. Think of your purpose as a way of being rather than doing.
For example, if “teaching” is your purpose in life, there are countless ways to teach. But if you narrow your definition and consider yourself “a teacher” you’ve automatically limited your possibilities.
Evaluating yourself on how you are — your core values, effort, and beliefs — automatically elevates your self-esteem and frees you to live life as it evolves. By not being rigidly attached to one outcome, you guarantee success because you measure it by values and principles.
2. Watch yourself and what you do with your time.
Pay attention to what you instinctively like to do, are curious about, and feels effortless to you. What do you lose time doing, or do for others regardless of whether or not you are paid? Being in the “zone” or state of flow is an expanded state of consciousness that we reach when our body, mind and unconscious is interconnected. Those are clues to what you are meant to do in life.
3. Listen to what everyone else is saying.
Others can be a wonderful mirror at showing what you forgot you’re good at because it comes so naturally to you. Ask around — what do your friends, family and colleagues think you do effortlessly? Yep, another clue.
4. Think of the activities and interests you had when you were young.
Consider where interests and activities are represented in your life today. For example, did you come home from school and set up another “classroom” in your home only to find today you are coaching others? Look for patterns, no matter how tenuous they may seem.
5. You feel it in your gut.
Always pay attention to how an activity makes you feel. Your body is a built-in guidance system to truth. If you think something sounds like the best idea ever but your stomach and head scream, “NO!” Listen.
Connect the dots. Life isn’t a literal road map. It’s filled with metaphor. Look at the clues you’ve accumulated and connect the dots. Pay attention to what makes sense for you.
Remember, you’re already living your purpose by making a contribution in your unique way.
To other people, you are probably fabulously successful at whatever you’re doing. But if you aren’t blissed out in at least in a quiet internal way — you haven’t put words to your purpose. Do that, and power up!
Jan L. Bowen is a passionately authentic thought leader who helps clients align their lives so they find more joy and greater connection through articulating and living their purpose. To get Jan’s latest book, "Why Do You Get Up In the Morning? How to Demystify Your Life Purpose," download it now. You will also receive her newsletter, with articles only available by subscription.