Figure out what matters, because most things really don’t
A happy life filled with purpose starts with writing a simple list.
Why did I call my practice One Life Coaching? Because we’ve each been given the gift of this one life and – most importantly – we are the ones responsible for how happy and fulfilling it’s ultimately going to be.
To live a life with purpose is the greatest feeling in the world. But to do that, we first need to openly and honestly get to know the person in the mirror. So check in with yourself. Take some time to shut out all distractions and ask yourself what excites and really matters to you. Make sure you write these things down, because making a list makes it real. Thoughts come and go, but a list consolidates your choices and provides you with something tangible to refer to whenever you feel you’re losing your way.
Your list will be made up of people, careers, places, pets, hobbies and causes … and it will be 100% unique to you. People are our greatest source of both joy and frustration, so choose wisely, my friend! Make sure you’re primarily investing in those you truly believe you can count on. Commiting to flakes will bring you nothing but frustration. And make sure these people actually make you happy and bring out your best! Personally, I also like to invest in folks (some of them quite new to me) who don’t reflect who I am this minute, but embody the person I would like to become.
Will this mean closing the door on some relationships that have been holding you back? Probably. If you’re honest with yourself about what you’re getting (or not getting) from a relationship, it will quickly become apparent which you should embrace, and which no longer fit the path you’ve chosen to take.
What we each choose for work is also really important because we spend so much of our lives doing it. What type of career do you want to pursue? If you’ve settled for a job that’s meaningless to you, ask yourself why. Time is all we have, so why are you wasting so much of it doing something you don’t care about? Be brave enough to put on your list the work that feels important, the work that will bring you fulfillment and joy. And if you’re not in that career today, pledge to take the steps that can get you there. Fear will try to stop you in your tracks, so you must push through! The pursuit of a career you desire is fulfilling in-and-of itself, and is certainly much more gratifying than continuing to stay in the soul-crushing job you’ve settled for.
Also important for your list – experiences and things. The earth is an exciting and beautiful place, so take a moment to ask, “What travel adventures do I want to experience during this one life?” What magical places do you want to see for the first time … or return to? And, yes, things have their place too. In what type of home do you want to one day live? What type of car or boat would you like to own? Be realistic, for sure. But also challenge yourself and be ambitious.
One of the profound ways this list will impact your life, is that it will suddenly become clear what you need to say no to. And the truth is, once you’ve written down this short list of what matters, you’ll realize that many things you thought you needed, actually don’t matter. There will always be the distraction of outside drama and gossip vying for your attention, but indulging it is a trap. It can totally derail you. Challenge yourself to have the discipline and focus to honor only those things you’ve identified as truly important. And keep your blinders on when there’s petty drama going on that others around you are consumed by.
When you’re done putting together this most precious list (take all the time you need!), the next step is crucial. To put it into action, go ahead and arrange your coming week, and every week moving forward, around serving these things that matter. Literally block out time in your calendar! And if you don’t know where to start, make a mini-list for each item so you can define baby steps for yourself. Then feature these first steps in your calendar and commit to it.
I promise you, if you’re honoring these most important things every week it will feel amazing.
When you start to “walk the walk” and take action, you’re going to feel a rush. And that rush, my friend, is a little thing called purpose. And living a life with purpose – honoring and embracing the people, places and things that you’ve chosen to serve in your one life – that is the most wonderful feeling in the world!