People who live with purpose may actually be adding years to their life. But health benefits aside, there’s no doubt that living with purpose goes hand in hand with success, happiness, and a sense of personal fulfillment.
But what exactly does it mean to live with purpose? And how can you go about doing it?
Keep on reading to learn more!
What Does It Mean to Live With Purpose?
The human brain is a funny machine. We can achieve every success in life–buy a house, raise a beautiful family, have a successful career–and still feel as though something is missing.
That thing is often a sense of purpose. We humans naturally strive for a life with meaning. If that’s missing, we tend to feel it. We might feel dissatisfied, unresolved, or even depressed.
A strong sense of purpose is the answer to the question: “Why am I here?”
So how can you live a life with purpose? Here are six sure-fire hacks to get you started.
1. Identify Your Values
Meaning is different for everyone. For some, raising children is what gives their life meaning. Others might find it in climbing the corporate ladder. There’s no “right” way to find fulfillment.
Living a life of purpose does rely on you identifying what type of meaning you’re searching for. To do that, it’s a good idea to focus on determining your core values.
Do you prioritize integrity over progress? Are you focused on the present or do you value a sustainable future? How do you want to be remembered?
Once you know what your core values and beliefs are, you’ll be able to use them to determine your short and long-term goals. They will influence your decisions and help you live your life with purpose.
2. Identify Your Passions
We all have our passions. Some have been able to turn those passions into a viable career. Others use their profession to fund their passions. One thing’s for certain: our passions are life’s must-haves. Living a life with purpose means putting our passions at the fore.
To figure out your own passions, sit down and list those things you couldn’t live without. Music, games, travel, charity – just as there are no “right” values there are no “right” passions.
Once you have a list, brainstorm how you can better incorporate your passions into your life. They needn’t take up most of your time, but they should be a priority when setting goals and planning milestones.
3. Set Goals
Goal-setting is a tried and true method for plotting success. But it’s not enough to have a vague 5-year plan in your head. The best goals are realistic, measurable, and written down.
Sit down with your core values in mind and brainstorm where you’d like to be next year. Look at your life holistically but prioritize your passions and areas you’ve determined will bring your life more meaning.
You might start with:
- Career and work
- Family and friends
- Health and fitness
- Finance and money
Write down 1-year goals for each facet of your life. Then break those goals down into quarterly steps.
Say you want to be an author. Maybe you want to have written a novel in a years time. In 3 months you will want to have written 15,000 words. Breaking big goals into steps lets you evaluate their feasibility and better measure your progress.
When you’re working towards meaningful goals, you’re living your life with purpose.
4. Restrategize Regularly
Life tends to throw us curve balls. Rather than dreading these changes, you can learn to roll with them with some forward-planning.
Sit down once a month and look over your goals. Celebrate your progress but be realistic when something isn’t working. Accepting your failures lets you learn from them which will make your next plan of attack all the more effective.
Regularly restrategizing also lets you catch missteps early. We’re constantly learning about ourselves. Maybe something you thought would give you purpose is actually leaving you dissatisfied.
Don’t be afraid to reevaluate your values and change course if needed.
5. Focus on the Present
Having long-term goals is an essential strategy for ensuring your life is pointed in the right direction, but you shouldn’t be focused on the future 100% of the time. That way lies a wandering mind and other acts of inattention.
Attention is the brain’s process of deciding what’s important and what’s not. Harnessing your attention is one of the best ways to ensure your time is spent effectively and purposefully.
This is where breaking your goals down into small chunks also comes in handy. Rather than constantly focusing three months into the future, you can break your tasks down into daily to-do lists.
6. Cultivate a Sense of Progress
Know where you’re going but celebrate where you’ve been. Setting realistic milestones is only one half of living with purpose, the other is recognizing how far you’ve come.
Get into the habit of keeping your ticked off to-do lists and refer back to the pile when you second-guess yourself. Frame certificates, awards, and other physical proof of your progress.
Hell, you can do the same for your failures. Successful writers routinely keep rejection letters from editors. Some go so far as to frame them.
Having a strong sense of progress will help you cultivate a sense of personal fulfillment. You’re living with purpose, and you’ve got the receipts to prove it.
It takes work to live with purpose. You have to know yourself and your values through and through. Only then can you plot effective goals, hone your focus, measure your progress, and live your best life.
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