Your Life’s Purpose, How Important Is Finding It?

Why Am I Here?

Why am I here?  Have you ever asked yourself this question?  I started asking this question when I was 16.  Why am I here on earth?  What am I meant to do with my life?  Big questions for a 16-year-old.  I’m now 58 and I still ask myself this question.  The difference between The Question at 16 and The Question at 58 is context.

When I was 16 I was looking for a life long purpose, some insight into the direction I should take.  Should I consider going to college for a Psychology Degree or a Fine Arts Degree?  Should I stay close to home and family, or explore the world?  

At 58 the question is more of a status check-in than a question.  Have I done what I set out to do with my life, do I have time to do more?  If more, then what more?  

I also find myself using this question much more pragmatically now, and more in the moment.  I often ask myself why am I here, in this room?  Do I want or need to be here in this room, with these people, doing this task?  If not, then, really, why am I here, and how can I not be here in the future?

The Context Of Time

What really changes the context of the question of “Why am I here?” is time.  When I was 16 I felt that I had forever to Be, Do, and Have whatever I was supposed to Be, Do, or Have.  At 58, I am beginning to truly understand the time limitations of being human.  

Yes, there’s the obvious time limitation, death.  Sometime in the next 50 years, I will die.  There are also the less obvious time limitations.  How long will I have good physical and mental health?  How long will I have the ability to earn an income at will?  How long will I have the support of friends before they pass away or simply move away?  How long will I have the support of family before they’re ready to give up on my life because I’m old?

Our Calling

Some of us feel called to a particular purpose early in our lives, most of us don’t.  Some of us, discover our calling later in life.  Most of us don’t.  Most people end up living a life of mediocrity waiting to be enlightened on what their true life purpose is.  

There are all sorts of books I’ve read to help me find my purpose, such as The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, Finding Your Own North Star by Martha Beck, and A New Earth, Awakening Your Life’s Purpose, by Eckhart Tolle.  All good reads, but still no spotlight on my perfect purpose.

Perhaps this is the ultimate example of free will.  Maybe, those of us who don’t receive a calling are given the opportunity to choose our life’s purpose.

Taking Action  

I have never been one to just sit around and think.  I am a doer.  If I don’t know what to do, I do something, anything.  Action has a tendency to make the path appear.  

Theodore Roosevelt said,  “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”

It’s not always clear if the action I’m taking is the right thing or the wrong thing until it’s all over, but at least I am involved, not sitting on the sidelines watching and then being stuck living with the consequences of my non-involvement.

My Why, Right Now

I am one of the many who have not had the benefit of finding my calling.  I’ve discovered lots and lots of things I like.  I’ve had many careers and lived quite a few places.  I’ve traveled more than a lot of people I know.  In all of my adventures, nothing has popped up and said, “Here I am, your Life Purpose.  Embrace me and you will live happily ever after.”  

I’ve adopted a way to take advantage of my experiences and not get stuck in the muck of looking for my purpose.  I call it My Why, Right Now.  It’s really taken the pressure off of the whole lack of life purpose thing for me, because it’s much more short term, and it always takes me to my next Why Right Now.

My Why, Right Now is a large overriding goal.  In his book Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill refers to it as a Definite Major Purpose.  It could be something like, getting a law degree, or raising my child to the best of my abilities or paying off all of my debt.  

It needs to be very important to me and have a positive impact on my life.  It can take a few months or many years.  It has to be something that I feel I can accomplish, with the right actions, even if I don’t know what those actions are, yet.  I have to believe I’ll be able to discover those actions when it’s time to do them.

The Steps  

Here are the steps to creating your Why Right Now:

  1. Decide what it is you want to accomplish.
  2. Decide what you want to give in return for getting what you want.
  3. Decide on an absolute end date for accomplishing your goal.
  4. Create a plan of action, and begin fulfilling the action steps.
  5. Write out a clear concise statement of what you plan to accomplish and why.  Include what you will give in return for getting what you want, and the plan you have for accomplishing this goal.
  6. Read your statement out loud at least 2 times per day, but always first thing in the morning and right before you go to bed.

I’ve adopted these steps from Napoleon Hill’s book, Think and Grow Rich.  The words have been modified to meet modern verbiage and the context of this article. 

I currently have 4 Why Right Now goals, pertaining to 4 different areas of my life:

  1. Relationship with my Significant Other
  2. Finances
  3. Home Remodel
  4. Business

I have found that limiting my Major Goals to 3 or 4 work best.  It keeps me from becoming obsessed with only focusing on One Major Goal, and it keeps me from spreading my attention and time too thin by focusing on too many Major Goals at one time.

Reading my 4 Why Right Now Statements each morning keeps me focused on what is important to me, at this moment of my life.  It helps me to set my intentions for the day.  I always face the day with a plan that will lead me to exactly what I want to accomplish.

Reading my 4 Why Right Now Statements each night reminds me of what is truly important to me no matter how the day went.  It allows me to reset my focus on my current Why’s, and to go to sleep with positive thoughts about what tomorrow will bring.

If you’re interested in learning more about creating your Why Right Now Goals, go to my facebook page and sign up for my mailing list, then follow me on FaceBook, watch for my Facebook Live videos. https://www.facebook.com/LAIVA-Connections-183745755815777

Living Gigantic Lives

I believe that each and every one of us has the ability to live gigantic lives.  I don’t mean run of the mill gigantic lives, like professional athletes, or actors.  I mean GIGANTIC LIVES.  Lives in which you are bigger than you ever imagined you could be.  How do you get big?  By making a positive impact on someone else’s life.john-torcasio-564037-unsplash 

The state of the world is the proof that we are not living gigantically.  In fact, it’s proof that the vast majority of the 7 billion + people on this earth are living very, very, small lives.

The World Never Changes.

In reality our world has been the same since the beginning of time.  We are living in a world filled with hatred for one another, a world filled with fear, with war, with famine, and kids who go to bed hungry.  A world with kidnappings, and rape, and murder, and pestilence.  A world where the haves lord over the have-nots.  Where we refuse to treat others with dignity just because they look different from us, or dress different from us, or speak different from us, or have a job we would never lower ourselves to have, or because they don’t have a job at all.  The homeless, the sick, the incarcerated, are all looked down upon. 

matt-collamer-555626-unsplash

Read a few history books, or even the Old Testament and you’ll see that I’m right.  Man hasn’t changed.  In centuries, man hasn’t changed.

Why Hasn’t Man Changed The World For Centuries?

The reason he hasn’t changed is fear.  Now,  you’re human, so you know I can fill a book and still wouldn’t be able to list all of the fears that man has created for himself, but those fears don’t matter, because it’s one fear and one fear alone that keeps us stuck in the same world our ancestors were stuck in. 

It’s our fear to live into our true potential as human beings.  We are afraid to live gigantically, even though each and every one of us was born with the capacity to do so.  It doesn’t matter what country, or family, or body, we were born into.  We all have the capacity to live much bigger then we are.  Much more powerfully then we are.

Our Real Power Is Our Compassion.

Our true potential, our real power, lies in our compassion for each other.  It lies in our ability to love each other unconditionally.  It lies in our creativity to imagine and then build another way to exist in this world.

Think of it!  Can you imagine what this world would look like if we chose to live in a mindset of abundance.  One where we truly believed that, to quote Zig Ziglar, “We can have anything we want in life, we just have to help enough other people get what they want.”nadi-whatisdelirium-313214-unsplash 

Zig actually said that from a utopian mindset.  In our world today, there are billions of people who have needs, not just wants, but real survival based needs. 

Our Needs Aren’t Being Met.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, are physiological, safety, love/belonging, self esteem, self actualization.

With today’s technology and delivery systems we should see 7 billion + people in the self actualization stage.  But we don’t, do we? 

We see billions of people in the bottom level, the physiological level, where they are struggling every day for air, water, food, clothing and shelter.  This alone should be absolutely unacceptable to us.  This alone should be driving us to be living much bigger lives, trying to level the playing field, by making it possible for every human to have these basic survival needs met.

timothy-eberly-601880-unsplash

With today’s technology we should never have people in this world who live in fear of their physical safety, the safety of their health, the safety of their nest eggs.  We should never have to fear someone will take these away from us once we have them.

Technology alone can solve these issues for the most part, the upper 3 levels of the hierarchy pyramid, love/belonging, self-esteem, self actualization, is what would guarantee that the bottom 2 are secure. 

The upper 3 levels may even take care of them selves if the bottom 2 were guaranteed. 

It’s Not An ISM.

I’m not talking socialism, or communism or any other kind of ism.  I’m talking about getting out side of yourself and doing your part, what ever that looks like, to make sure every one of us has a chance to live big.  To live to our full potential.  To live gigantically.

That could look like being the best teacher you can be.  That could show up as being the best scout leader, or soccer coach you can be.

heather-mount-607071-unsplashIt could be providing a blanket to the homeless person who sleeps in the bushes out side of the building where you work.  Maybe it’s creating a real education program to the incarcerated that doesn’t need federal funding to survive. 

Maybe it’s donating to your local free clinic, to help the unhealthy get healthy and able to work again.  Maybe it’s giving a job to someone who really needs it. 

Maybe it’s just standing up for someone who is being bullied, and maybe it’s just being kind to everyone you meet on any given day.

You’re probably thinking that some of these sound like little things.  My question to you is, are you even doing the little things?

Little things, done consistently, with a purpose, over time can become big things.  Even the little behaviors can have a huge impact on the lives of the person on the receiving end.

I don’t know what living up to your potential looks like for you.  I’m not even sure what it looks like for me. 

Here’s the fun part, whenever I think that I’ve reached my potential, I look up and realize that there is so much more I’m capable of achieving, creating, doing, giving, being.

It’s entirely possible that I may never reach my full potential to live a gigantic life in the years I have on this planet.  BUT, just imagine how impactful I can be along the way!  You have the ability to be positively impactful, too.  We all do.  We all must.

Is This Just Some Weird Tangent?

You may know that I teach people how to build their most powerful personal network, and you’re probably wondering why I’ve gone off on this tangent of Living Gigantic Lives.  Maybe, just maybe, I have a point.

What if, now open your minds, what if, when you walked into that next networking event you weren’t looking for your next lead?  In know, a weird thought, but hang in there with me.

What if, now keep your minds open, you were able to look around the room and be able to determine who were living their lives small and who were living their lives gigantically?

If you could do this, who would you walk up to, and why?  

What do you think this says about your efforts to live gigantically, and why?

Could it be possible that we can live gigantically and don’t even know we’re doing it?

Really take the time to think about your answers.

This could be my positive impact on your life.  This whole article could possibly be me living gigantically in the world.  I’ll only know if you tell me what your answers to these questions are, for you.

Please share your thoughts.  I do really want to know what you think.

What Is A Real Network?

Networking.  This is a word that we throw around regularly, as in, “I’m going to a networking meeting.”, or “I need to network more.”, or “I wish I had a network.”

Have you ever stopped to think about what a network really is?  Everyone seems to have their own idea of what that word means.

freestocks-org-128787-unsplash

Some people imagine that their net is more like a spider web, strategically placed, and covered with a sticky substance that will capture their prey (read client), and gives the client no other choice but then to work with them.  Once the client is caught, a new net must be built in a strategic place to catch the next client.  This is an extremely transactional network.  Think of most retailers.

fredrik-ohlander-401681-unsplash

Some people imagine their net is more like a fisherman’s net.  One that is thrown out into the seas (read meetings and cocktail parties) to catch any fish (read potential client) that happens to swim buy and again gives that client no other choice then to work with them.  The only way anyone will get into the net is when the fisherman throws it out and traps them, and getting out is a bit problematic.  Think of utility companies, cell phone carriers, cable companies, etc.

andy-holmes-700012-unsplash.jpg

Some people imagine their network is more like a solar system with themselves as the sun and the people they find to work with revolving around them like planets, but the planets never interact with each other.  This net is gravitational, invisible to the eye, but yet has somehow kept the planets (read clients) from wandering off into deep space.  If the gravitational force weakens the clients will wander off to a new solar system.  Think of doctors, and coaches.

peter-john-maridable-54264-unsplash

I like to imagine my network as more like a highway system.  It exists for the benefit of anyone I chooses to let on it.  It’s purpose is to propell everyone to the place they want to go as quickly as possible.  It works best when everyone on it is co-operating with each other and looking out for each other.  A well built highway system will get the drivers anywhere they want to go, more efficiantly then they could have gotten there using any other road system.  

My highway system network is built for more then just clients.  I also want my friends, family, mentors, potential clients, past clients, anyone whom I believe would find benefit to using my system, to have access to it.  

The catch is that I must give someone access to my highway system.  Not just anyone can hop on.  Once I give someone access they must treat the system and the other people on the highway with respect.  They may not throw trash out of their car windows, they may not run over those whom they percieve to be in their way.  

If along the route they find someone who needs help and they have the skills to help them, they can expect to be asked to use those skills for their benefit.  The same will be expected of the person they’ve helped.  

This system only works when the drivers understand that generosity and reciprocity will keep this highway working at the highest level.

That is the network that I am striving to maintain for myself.  Like our national highway system, my network is in a constant state of construction.  That’s how it should be.

You might wish that you could build a network once and those people would be your go to people forever, but that’s not life.

Life is all about change and movement.  As I grow and change and move, the people whom I have and would like to have in my network are growing and changing and moving.  Sometimes we just go in different directions, and sometimes I need to ask someone to choose another route.  I am always looking for new people with whom I would love to build relationships, especially those whom are traveling the same road I’m traveling and who see a relationship with me as a way to propell us both forword at a much higher speed.

I believe we can build stronger networks by using our nets as tools to move everyone in our system forwad in the direction they choose to travel, not nets to capture just our clients for one transaction.

A well built network will support you for a lifetime, not just a transaction.