A couple of weeks ago, I noticed a glut of posts in my social media about ‘create a life you love’ ‘live a life you love’ ‘why aren’t you loving your life’ and that sort of thing. I noticed I was getting irritated about them. As I explored that irritation, I had a ‘oh sh*t’ moment. I realized that what’s more true for me (and may be for you too!) is that living a life you love isn’t always about striving for something ‘greater’ or ‘better’ than your life now. It’s actually about not just settling for what you *should* do, but rather consciously living your life on purpose.
Living Life On Purpose vs Finding Your Purpose
Part of this whole ‘create a life you love’ realization that I had a ‘oh sh*t’ moment about was the idea that you must have a life purpose. Some kind of noble goal that’s going to change the world. You *should* be clear about what that life purpose is. Every day you *should* take action to strive to meet that purpose.
Yet, when I work with my clients to help clarify their purpose, they often arrive at statements like “to live my life in joy” or “to feel and express unconditional love” or “to tap into and express my creative passion”.
That sounds good, doesn’t it? I want a life where I live in joy every day. Tapping into and expressing my creative passion sounds good too! I’ll take that!
Yet in looking at those purpose statements, they weren’t these big noble goals that people *should* have. I often found myself saying ‘this is a great start and maybe one day you might find that it grows into something bigger.’ If I said that to you, I’m sorry. Overall, in my new awareness I realize I missed the mark with that feedback.
What I realized is that while you can choose to take on a noble goal, what’s really important underneath that is living life on purpose.
What do I mean by that? Ask yourself this question. 5 years from now, can you say that you chose your life? Or just that you settled for it?
Living life on purpose means simply that you chose your life and that you are aware of having made those choices.
It’s Not Just Striving or Settling
For a moment, set aside the idea of finding and fulfilling your life purpose. Does a sense of panic set in? How will you know you are successful in life if you don’t have a life purpose to fulfill? If you don’t have that noble goal to fulfill, doesn’t that mean you are settling in life?
I don’t think so.
There’s a sweet spot in all of this. A space where you are simply living life, if you are living life consciously. That is to say consciously choosing your life. If you hate your job and spend time regularly complaining to your partner or friends about it, it means consciously choosing something new. Are there parts of your relationship with your partner that you really don’t like? It means consciously choosing to speak up and do something about it. If you’ve always wanted to do something, it means taking conscious action to make it happen.
There is also space in this to reach for something different. To make choices that create new situations and experiences that are better for you. These are the kinds of choices that help you to live your life on purpose.
These choice are conscious choices that lead you in the direction of what you want your life to be like. You are making these choices consciously and not just settling for the things you *should* do to meet outside expectations.
Are You Ready?
If you’re having the same ‘oh sh*t’ moment (or maybe it’s an ah-ha moment) like I did and you’re ready to live your life on purpose, check out how to work with me here. Together we can explore what living life on purpose means to you and what small changes you need to make to begin making it happen.
Photo Credit: Leo Hidalgo | Flickr.com