Updated: Feb 18, 2021
Why is it so hard to live a purposeful and intentional life? I know for me there are a few things that frequently stand in my way.
Lack of Direction: When I'm not sure what I need to do next or am trying to operate in a chaotic environment I lose my direction. You can blame this on my Enneagram 9 but it's been consistently true for me. I'm a person who needs to always be headed a specific direction. I need goals, dreams, problems to solve and awesome things to do. If I don't have those things I lose personal direction and lack motivation. If I have a job that doesn't require anything more of me than to show up and do the same thing everyday or I'm unclear of the expectations placed on me I lose direction. I need something to pour my heart and soul into so that I can live my life on purpose.
Helping Others: I really enjoy helping others succeed and do amazing things. I love it when a team works together well or communicates through a conflict or problem and comes out on the other side better and stronger. I will bend over backwards to help people succeed. If you want someone who will be at your side through thick or thin I'm your girl.
What can happen to me is I can lose myself in the process. I can get so wrapped up in helping others succeed I forget to intentionally work on my own projects, goals or self development. I can cheer so hard for others success that I forget about my own. Helping others turns into codependency and I lose sight of the goal. With time and practice this one has improved a ton but I still catch myself putting others wants, desires and needs in front of my own. Some of that comes from a healthy place and some of it doesn't but as long as I remain self aware and stay in a healthy place a can continue living on purpose.
Saying No: Living on purpose is something that's done through a lot of hard work. We have to say no to good things so that we can say yes to the great things. We may have to say no
to people we love and events we enjoy because they are taking too much time away from the things we need to be focused on. Living on purpose means we run our lives instead of our lives running us. For example, I may need to tell my child they can't go to a friends house or be involved in a specific activity because we're going to spend time together as a family. Then I'll have to deal with the emotional backlash and a sulky kid all evening. I may have to say no to a night out with friends because I'm tired and need to rest and take care of myself. I may have to say no to a big project at work because it will take time away from my regular tasks, friends and family. When we struggle to say no it usually isn't because it's something we don't want to do. Usually it's something amazing that we'd really like to be involved in. Living on purpose means we focus on the bigger picture and the long term goal as opposed to instant gratification.
Distractions: Life is full of distractions and some of them are necessary. Jobs, families, hobbies, friends, social media, movies, and TV can all distract us from living on purpose. We start eating healthy then get busy running our kids to all their sporting events and start living on pizza and fast food. We want to spend time with friends but work is so demanding it keeps us from going out. We want to save money but my oh my those shoes are just too cute.
We want to exercise but after a hard day at work just don't have the motivation. Where do the distractions end? The truth is that they never end. Distractions will always be there just waiting for you to pay the slightest attention to them. When we are living on purpose we choose what we will spend time on and what we will do with that time. We say yes to the things we choose and no to the things we don't. Don't get me wrong life happens, things come up and that doesn't mean that we aren't living on purpose. Living on purpose means we choose the things we spend our time, energy and money on. When we can't remember the last time we made a decision about our life because we're so busy reacting and responding to our lives we might want to take a closer look.
If you'd like to learn more about living a life full of Passion & Purpose or about The Pathmaker assessment you can find me at www.pathwaycoaching.net When you visit, make sure to schedule a complimentary discovery session!