“You are the only You there is, and your creator is not happy that you don’t treat yourself better because he/she/it lovingly created every last cell of your body with meaning and a deep sense of purpose.”
You’ve been searching for it all along, but still can’t find it. It keeps evading you with every life decision, wrong or right. It must be something profound, something only wise, old-folks figure out just before they take their last breath. You can’t seem to find it by searching on Google, and it’s not in your fortune cookie. It’s not hiding in your grandma’s old journals or in that amazing novel you just finished. It’s not hiding somewhere in parenthood, money, acts of charity, or your passion-filled career. Many have figured out it’s not even religion.
I Know The Secret to Life
So, what is the secret to living a happy, successful, peaceful life?
I know the secret to life and I’m not going to make you read much further before I tell you. But I have to warn you first. You’re not going to like what you read. You will be annoyed. You will accuse me of being too simple and hate me for leading you on.
You’re going to say, “That’s not profound at all.”
You’ll dismiss it, but I’m going to risk all of that and tell you anyway.
But first I’m going to make a prediction: I predict one day, when you finally get your shitty life together, when you finally feel the joy and peace you’ve been seeking all these years, when you’ve finally found the strength to give up your addictions or leave your leach of a partner and make room for your true self, you’ll think back to this article. You’ll remember my words and and you’ll say, “She was exactly right.”
Are you ready for it? The secret to life, folks, is to love yourself.
That’s right. The secret to life, the most important thing you can ever truly learn, is to LOVE YOURSELF. Love yourself in your thoughts, love yourself in your actions, and love yourself in your words.
You don’t have to love God, or create beautiful art, or forgive your family, or anything else. All of those things add true value to your life. But they are not what’s going to fill the hole in your soul. You can do anything I said above, but if you don’t love yourself, you’ve got nothing. You will always feel like something is missing and will tear yourself apart trying to find the right piece.
Loving yourself will unlock the door to the Universe and the power in your soul.
Negative feelings about life tend to fall into one of these categories: love, money, health, and life-purpose. Read below and decide which category affects you the most.
I Need Love
You’re not happy in your relationship or you’re not happy being alone. Maybe you don’t think you can do any better. Maybe you’re not in a relationship at all and long for your soul-mate. Maybe you’ve settled for a person who is not right for you. Maybe the person you love doesn’t love you. You constantly wish for that special someone to make it all better.
I Need Money
You don’t have any or you don’t have enough. You’re constantly thinking, I could DO this, or I could BE that, or I could HAVE this…if I had money.
I Need Better Health
You’re sick, overweight, underweight, or addicted to drugs or alcohol. You’re depressed. You don’t like what you see in the mirror or you wake up every day with a physical or mental affliction and you resent it. It isn’t who you are or who you want to be. You feel helpless. If you could look a certain way, kick your addiction, or miraculously wake up tomorrow cured, then everything would change.
I Need to Find My Life’s Purpose
You’re not satisfied with your job or the role you play in life. Your career isn’t fulfilling. Your role as a parent is not what you thought or feels overwhelming. You can’t figure out what you were put on this stupid planet to do. You’ve made too many mistakes so far and you’re too scared to try again. Time is running out. You feel like you’re wasting life and the clock is ticking.
Does this sound familiar? We all spend life trying to mend these categories. We fill up our time torturing ourselves about these areas of our lives and spend enormous amounts of energy fretting over them but never really taking big enough steps to help them.
The Missing Piece
So, what is the missing piece?
YOU! YOU are the missing piece. You are the only You there is, and your creator is not happy that you don’t treat yourself better because he/she/it lovingly created every cell of your body with meaning and a deep sense of purpose.
You have to LOVE yourself as the universe loves you. You have to be in a relationship with, and actively seeking to love and evolve your truest SELF.
Loving yourself will attract the right people and more money because you will no longer be accepting of people or jobs that are below your standard of worth. Loving yourself will heal you because you’ll no longer want to damage your body or waste more time than necessary being sad or angry about life. Loving yourself will propel you faster towards your life’s purpose because you will no longer burden yourself with such immense pressure to discover it, and you will eventually understand that every life experience you participate in is not a mistake, but a stepping stone on a journey to your inevitable destination.
Love yourself. And you will never be alone.
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“Stop telling yourself you’ll do something “someday”. Everyday you say that is a day wasted because you can absolutely do something today.”
My life today, though not very far into my new journey, is completely different then it was even 3 months ago. Why? Because I finally figured out what I want to do in this crazy ass world! I finally discovered my life’s purpose.
The funny thing is, I always had a basic knowing… but I didn’t develop it because I convinced myself it wasn’t possible. I spent years filling out applications and working various jobs, plus thousands of dollars in education, trying different avenues to satisfy my desire for personal growth and life satisfaction.
And none of those avenues ever led to a place where I felt even 50% satisfied with my life. My husband, Universe love him, must have decided I was a job-switching and education pursuing lifer. But why spend so much time, effort, and money on jobs, and education when I knew deep down it wasn’t quite right for me?
Because every decision I made was a result of some underlying fear.
“Fear is a powerful motivator. It can and it will control your life if you allow it.”
My education was decided in fear. Originally I wanted to be some kind of creative writer, but I feared not making money and ended up pursuing technical writing instead for my B.A. Recently I finished my Master’s degree, which I began 2 years ago. I started that program because I feared not getting a full-time teaching position.
My career paths were decided in fear. I took my first corporate job right out of college because I feared not making money fast enough. I ended up hating it and took another one less than 2 years later even though it wasn’t much different from the first. I needed a change but I was afraid of not making enough money or losing great benefits. I took a third job after that which allowed me a little more creative freedom, but the place operated like a high school drama club. I took as much as I could stand before walking out on a lunch-break one day and never returning.
The career moves I made were not a result of my passions. They had little to do with what I REALLY wanted to accomplish. None of my choices were actions meant to bring me even one step closer to my dreams.
Then, about three years ago, I got a little braver and finally decided to pursue teaching. I never had the guts before because I feared not being smart enough, looking like a fraud, disappointing my husband, and standing up everyday in front of tiny judgmental eyes. But I started facing my fears. I got my substitute certification, studied to be fully certified in my state, worked as an assistant teacher and finally landed a certified teaching job. It was part-time but it was the beginning of being on the right life path.
Fast Forward to Now
A few months ago, I read a book that changed my perspective and gave me the guts and the grit to move forward with my dream of writing and coaching. I’m still teaching but I’m actively pursuing my goals to be my own boss of my own coaching and writing business.
I’m more satisfied with my job now. I LOVE inspiring young people to make good life choices. I LOVE reading their journal entries about their weekend adventures. And I LOVE knowing I have the power to motivate one or two of them to take their lives in a positive direction.
But like all jobs, I work for someone else and have very little control over my financial future. I know my work matters but I also know my effort is worth more than I’m paid.
“I don’t want to work for the system anymore. I want to create a system and let it work for me.”
I became so tired of trying to make myself look exceptional on a piece of paper, spending months interviewing for teaching positions, and waiting and hoping someone would hire me full-time. And even if someone had hired me full-time, I was putting so much effort into making an entry-level salary with little room to grow.
I heard of a new personal development book called You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero and decided to listen to the audio version to and from my way to work. I’m not sure what it was, but while listening to it, something magically clicked into place.
Ask Yourself the Number One Question
My first realization was that I had to stop making decisions in fear. I finally understood that we have to have faith that our dreams will happen and meet that faith with action. This is hard for a lot of people. It was hard for me. But think about it: what you want IS possible because someone else has already done it. And how did they do it? Without excuses.
“Okay,” you say. “I’m dropping the fear. I’m ready to take action! But…wait. What action should I take? What do I want to do? What is my purpose?”
Jen talked about this in her book also. There’s one big question that helped me decide I wanted to be a professional blogger, author, and life coach. And I wasn’t going to just “try” it this time. I imagined the life I could create, invested money in necessary tools, and became hell bent on achieving it. The one important question you can ask yourself right now if you want to discover your life’s purpose is this:
“If time, obligations, and money were no obstacle…how would you design your life?”
If you didn’t have a judgmental spouse/parent/friend to worry about or disappoint, if you had a nanny to help with the little monsters, if you have money coming out of your ears, if you had all the time and freedom in the world…what would YOU do? It’s like having a magic wand. Empty your brain of guilt and worry. What would you put into place so your life would be full to the brim with joy and purpose?
The answer to this question may or may not be completely obvious to you right now. That’s okay. If it’s not obvious, it will be, but you have to give yourself time to really soak in the question and let your brain explore the possibilities. It’s almost too much for some people to handle. It’s like dreaming about the lottery because your initial reaction is that it will never happen.
Would you work? Travel? Volunteer? Start a business? Move to Europe? Build a house? Hire a chef to make healthy meals? Get plastic surgery? Send your children to private school? Start a clothing line? Write novels? Design websites? Be a famous singer?
It doesn’t have to be an extreme lifestyle. You may not want to open orphanages in Africa or own a mansion. It’s just whatever you think your best life looks like. Think about what this means for you and then come back here.
Consider the Dream Life Is Possible
So what’s this say about your purpose? Your purpose is to create this dream life. It’s to do whatever it is you love to do. Believe this life is possible, take the necessary actions, and use your passions to create cash. Basically, get over your shit and just do it already.
If you don’t believe this dream life of yours is possible, it’s almost always because you’re afraid of something. Are you afraid you can’t make money? Don’t think you’re talented enough? Pretty sure you’re not brave enough? Maybe you’ll disappoint someone? Scared to put yourself out there? Don’t want to like a fool? Can’t risk being ridiculed by family and friends?
These are all completely reasonable and understandable fears. We all have these fears, especially when we decide to do something new.
“Here’s the thing. The life you designed, it’s pretty awesome. You deserve to live it. And it is possible if you could just get over yourself and stop ignoring the fact that you want it. What’s the point of living this life if you can’t truly enjoy it or follow a purpose that’s exciting for you?”
I mean, you can go on and on about how grateful you are to have a job, a roof over your head, amazing children… and that’s great. Gratitude is wonderful. But you don’t have to settle because you think you have “enough”. You don’t have to feel guilty about wanting more because there’s more than enough to go around. By more, I don’t necessarily mean more money. I mean more joy, more love, more fun, more excitement, more purpose in your life!
Getting Started on Your Purpose-Full and Joy-Filled Life
Discovering your life’s purpose isn’t a simple thing, but actually deciding to go for it, now that’s WAY huge! If it wasn’t terrifying, then everyone would do it. Unfortunately, most of the human population lives their entire lives in a state of mediocrity.
“Let’s face it. Most people settle for basic. Not because they’re not capable of being awesome, but because they’re scared of being awesome.”
If you’ve decided basic isn’t enough anymore and you’ve got the grit to chase after your purpose-full and joy-filled life, then here are five lessons I’ve learned to get you started on your way:
1. Regrets Are Not Allowed
Don’t bother spending time in regret. Many people simply decide they can’t pursue their best life because they’ve screwed up so royally in the past. Yes, I spent a lot of time in jobs I didn’t like. Yes, I spent a ridiculous amount of money in college education that I may very well have to pay back for the next 50 years. But I do not regret it. Those experiences add to your overall life experience. They shape who you are. They teach you something valuable. They give you wisdom that you will inevitably use in your new life. Don’t spend another second wishing you did something different because your old life has laid the foundation for your new life. And don’t let your next regret be that you didn’t start sooner.
2. Fear Will Guide You
If you need to make a decision, the best way to make it is to pick the answer that isn’t fear based. Here’s an example. Say you really want to back to college and study graphic design. But it’s a hard decision because you’re afraid it’s too much money and you won’t have enough time with your family. The answer is clear. Go back to college. The reasons you might decide not to are rooted in fear which automatically means they are the WRONG answers. Are your fears valid? Of course! But if going back to school is what you want, then instead of just not going, spend time and energy resolving the fears around going, rather than accepting it can’t be done. Are you willing to do what it takes or are you going to roll over and give up?
3. Action is Faith’s Best Friend
You may have faith that your dreams can become a reality and spend hours daydreaming about it, but are you actually doing something about it? You have to meet your faith with action. You have to do something…anything…to move you in the right direction. It may not necessarily be the perfect thing and you may not be sure it’s even the right thing…but it will take you somewhere better than here. You may not be able to quit the job you have now, or pay for an online course you really need to get going just yet, but there is probably something smaller you can do until you can do those bigger things. Give yourself tiny tasks and slowly move up to something bigger. But don’t let even a single day go by without do something that moves you closer to your new life.
4. Excuses Are Just Excuses
We’ve all heard the saying, “You’ll find a way or you’ll find an excuse”. I’m here to tell you – that’s no joke! You can find your way or you can find your excuse but actively make the decision to find one or the other. Be honest with yourself. Stop telling yourself you’ll do something “someday”. Everyday you say that is a day wasted because you can absolutely do something today. You can set goals and make plans. You can prepare. You can write down action steps. You can checkout books at the library and look up free online resources. You can Google. You can create a vision board. The point is…your excuses are just excuses no matter how big or how small. Having an excuse is just your way of protecting yourself from the fear of failure. But the only real failure is never trying or giving up.
5. Your Purpose Will Be Done
While finding your life’s purpose is a big burning question for a lot of people, and you may feel like you’re just never going to figure it out, just try to relax about it already. Everyone on this planet has the same #1 purpose…that is just to live. Live life and let life be. If you don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing, follow my advice and just do something. Doing something will lead to you doing the thing you are supposed to be doing a lot faster. But your #2 purpose is already written. That’s why it’s called your purpose. It’s been pre-decided. You can’t stop it from happening so just relax your muscles and allow it to flow.
If you need help answering some other questions in your life, don’t forget to check out this post!
I’m so excited I got to share with you the question that helped me find my life’s purpose! Did it help you? Be honest! Let me know in the comments. If you love this information, share it with your friends! Feel free to connect with me for a bigger discussion.