If your goal is to live a purpose driven life you may be struggling with where to begin. The good news is that you’ve already started; you don’t know it yet. Even better news is the process is a lot more fun and easy than you may think. This visual guide is a quick and easy way to expand your paradigm of thought and help you become better at defining what excites you and refining what you would like to pursue.
Step 1: Learn to be a learner. Explore as many topics as you’d like; go wide by choosing a different topic until you find something that interests you and then go deep by repeating the process and consuming the second piece of information on the subject of interest. As you learn more your findings will be combined with your collective observations, experience, and knowledge and new ideas will form, bringing us to step 2:
Step 2: Record your Ideas. Get in the habit of writing your thoughts down, even the ones that may not be original. As you continue to learn and expand your depth and width of knowledge, you will create some exciting thoughts which are why the practice of recording them is critical. Recording ideas has never been easier in the history of human existence. If you don’t have a personal notebook just email/text yourself and file it away in a “Ideas” folder for future review; personally I will open up an email, activate Google’s voice recognition, and let it all flow out. Recording your ideas allows you to review them in the future for further exploration. Eventually, you’re going to find an idea that excites you and excitement is a critical part of becoming your purpose. Exciting ideas bring us to step 3…
Step 3: Explore Ideas & Act. Exciting ideas are great because they are worth making time for. Once you’ve found an idea you’re excited about it’s time to go deep, continue exploring that subject individually as well as other topics related to it. If your newfound knowledge has turned you off from the idea don’t stress, go back to step 1 and continue learning. If after more research you are still excited, and your new knowledge supports your idea choose to gather more information or take action. Think of taking action as a tiny step; don’t bog yourself down with analyzing every potential scenario of what could go right or wrong. Take the time that would be spent on analyzing and do something. That something could be writing a business plan, contacting a local volunteer organization, writing your first article, taking that Jiu-Jitsu intro class, or going to buy some seeds for your future garden! The list is endless, but the theme remains the same, action! Small little steps compound into a broad vision when repeated enough times.
You write your story every day with small actions that accumulate over time; these actions can be conscious and proactive or unconscious and reactive. Becoming your purpose isn’t something that is static; it is a continuous journey that will evolve through exploration. The methods above have helped me find meaning in work and life over the past seven years, inspiring this article. Whichever path the technique leads you down, go boldly!