There are many ways to live a life. Today’s world is full of choices, and you can do almost anything you want to. Yet, despite these freedoms, many people still try to conform to a prescribed way of being. It’s almost ingrained that to be happy you need to look good, be in a relationship, have a busy social life, and have a successful career.
By trying to follow a set “happiness blueprint,” you may be more likely to undermine your happiness. When you make decisions based on what other people expect of you, you can sometimes ignore what is best for your true self. If you’re constantly looking elsewhere for justification and appreciation-via social media or other people-it can be difficult to work out what you truly want. However, you may be able to find true, deep, happiness with clarity of purpose.
By my late 20’s I had reached a pinnacle of success in new car sales. I was top salesman at the number one Chevrolet dealership in my small town. Yet with all that success I was still unsatisfied with my life. I blamed my wife and children, so I divorced. However, that did not make me any happier. They were not the cause of my dissatisfaction in life. Maybe living in the small town was the problem. Maybe if I sold more Chevrolets, in a big city, then that would “fill me up.” So, I decided to go the largest Chevrolet store in the county. Within months I was the top salesperson there. My next steps would have been to become a General Manager and later, owner of a dealership. This was not at all satisfying, to me. So I quit the car business.
A few months later, I met a brilliant teacher who thought differently than anyone I had ever met. He and the people around him were the happiest folks I had ever met. He gave me an exercise to practice and it forever changed my life and the last thirty years have been glorious. I was taught that in order to create a full and happy life, that I would need to re-discover my individual purpose in life. Gregg then gave me an exercise to help me gain clarity about my purpose. I have shared it with hundreds of people in the hope that it will be useful for them in creating the kind of life that most people only dream about.
First, make a list of your ten most prominent personality traits, without judging them. Next, list the ten things you most enjoy doing or ways you like to express yourself, without worrying whether you could earn an income doing them. Now, write down your vision for a perfect world or what social issue troubles you the most. With all this information you will then develop a personal mission statement or purpose by drawing from the information above. It will look something like this:
My Purpose is to use my ( enter 3-4 personality traits ), _____________, _____________, by ( enter 3-4 ways you like to express yourself ), ________________, ______________________, _____________________, to create ( enter your vision of a perfect world ).
For example: My Purpose is to use my passion, my ability to learn, and my charisma, by exploring, touching people in new ways, talking and encouraging others to create a world where decisions are made from the awareness of our oneness with each other and all things in the universe.
Here’s another example shared by a friend of mine: My Purpose is to use my integrity, my receptivity, willingness to forgive, and clear self expression by teaching, writing, and talking to create a body and society filled with everlasting physical life, love of God, and abundance.
This exercise will re-inspire new ideas and new opportunities that you may have overlooked in an attempt to satisfy others, instead of satisfying yourself. Choosing this path is not always easy, but overcoming the obstacles that come with living your life “on purpose” are much easier and more fulfilling than trying live a life to fulfill others’s expectations of you.