There is no greater gift you can give or receive than to honour your calling. It’s why you were born. And how you become most truly alive.Oprah Winfrey
At this moment in time, in a world that continues to adapt and evolve more than many thought possible, how many of us can honestly say we have realised our true purpose in life? And not only that, but how many of us can say we are living our everyday lives in direct alignment with our purpose and doing things we genuinely love on a frequent basis? After all, recognising something can be tough enough, but implementing a plan or a passion can be a whole different story. Especially given the heightened responsibilities surrounding things as family, friendships, housing, employment and finances in the current generation, to name a few, people can be heavily burdened by the weight of these expectations or priorities, therefore following what you believe to be your ‘true purpose’ can be viewed as unrealistic. A pipedream. Something that is simply speaking, way out of your reach. Something that only the most intelligent, rich and successful people can do. How can it happen to me, you might ask?
Now I ask you that as a person who’s been in these positions myself. Having recently left university, moved places and unquestionably at a crossroads in my life, I’m currently torn between getting a job that will simply secure me more financially, a job I am more likely to enjoy but will inevitably be harder to find, or thinking ‘fuck it’ and risking everything to set up a community interest company (CIC) and live my dream of working in local communities to generate conversations and shine a brighter spotlight on mental health. Each have their own advantages. Yet sadly, each have significant drawbacks too. The question is: What do I do? And what should you do if you find yourself in a similar precarious situation?
Firstly, set out a clear plan or vision. Weigh up the pros and cons. Write them down in a comparative list as this can increase clarity of thought and direction. Get to a place where you know (or close to know) whether the possible rewards outweigh the potential risks. Difficult choices and an intense fear of doing something wrong or regretting it naturally makes us unsure and indecisive, therefore it’s crucial that we are well informed and don’t wait around forever not choosing one route or the other. After all, no decision is still a decision. I know it’s extremely hard, and this is something I continue to contend with daily, but umming and ahing about a million different things benefits us very little. Trust me I know. The only thing it does is create unnecessary anxiety and compound feelings of powerlessness and worthlessness. Without clarity, we are simply nothing because we won’t know what we want or why we want something.
With the average adult making approximately 35,000, yes 35,000 conscious decisions each day- and 226 on food alone (Cornell University)- this means it’s paramount that we reduce or simplify the smaller choices we are tasked with so we can focus more on preparing for the ‘bigger’ stuff. The stuff that really matters. Otherwise, we’ll be there all fucking day and never get anything important done will we? We’ll never be able to grow, develop and say we’re living in accordance to our true purpose because the cycle of procrastination, overthinking and harmful habits will repeat itself. Again and again and again. Much like that movie Groundhog Day where actor Bill Murray finds himself in a time warp and the very unfortunate position of reliving the same day continuously.
Sometimes we’ll be forced to make quick, immediate decisions, yes, however predominantly we need to both think and act SMARTER. Calmer. Logically. Not quicker. Not recklessly. Not impulsively. While it may free up more time in the short-term, making decisions in destructive states of high emotion and irrationality can deeply hurt us in the long-run because we may change our minds another 50, 100 or 1000 times. And that’s dangerous as the more accustomed we become to doubting our gut instincts, the greater the likelihood of that it’ll keep happening and we’ll never trust ourselves again. Self-doubt is the worst!
Nobody is perfect. It’s okay to make mistakes. You will have your ‘down days’ and moments of weakness. And nothing is going to dramatically change overnight. That being said, there’s no reason that you can’t become optimise productivity and live a life full to the brim with purpose should you work hard and remain focussed on a key goal. Never forget your ‘why’ and how a particular activity makes you feel inside!
Thanks for reading,