Sunday, July 31, 2011

Living Your Life of Purpose: Five Steps to Discovering Your Passionate Purpose

purposedImage by frances bell via FlickrBy Allison E Turner

I run into people all the time that seem to be living a life filled with boredom, drudgery and frustration. The job they do pays the bills but doesn't fulfill a passion in their life. Some dread going to work after the weekend; others find the job alright but not fulfilling in any sense.

Some feel that the job they do does nothing to help change the world or impact others. Living your life of purpose is not about making more money or accumulating more stuff; it is about living a life that you love, that helps others, and makes a contribution to the world. If you are happy and fulfilled then your relationships and interactions with others will be positive and life-giving!

We have a unique calling for this world; each of us has a talent that impacts the world in a positive manner. I believe that each person has an ultimate calling or purpose in life. What is your purpose? Experiences shape our lives and sometimes our purpose changes. I, personally, had a different purpose and way of contributing to the world 15 years ago than I do now.

My purpose has shifted and I have moved forward with that calling. How do you know your purpose? Do you ever have that gnawing feeling that there is something greater you should be doing? You may be satisfied with your job but realize that something bigger and better is out there that allows you to make an even greater contribution to society. Have you felt this in your own life? What will fulfill your passion! Are you afraid to dream big and pursue your passionate purpose?

Fear dominates our society. As children, we are open to what the world has to offer us. As we grow up, we are influenced by the schools we attend, the people who surround us and our daily interactions. Many of us fear change so imagining another life that is bigger, better and inspires us is beyond our reach. If you are one of the people who feel that life is passing you by and you are not living your purpose then the following five tips start to help you to discover your purposeful path. Live a life filled with greatness, passion and no regrets!

1) Give yourself permission

If this does not happen, finding your true purpose won't happen. Give yourself permission to dream, feel and live outside the box. We get stuck thinking inside the box that we and others have created for ourselves. For example, if you grew up in a family where going to college and getting a "good, paying job" was the norm, you may have done just that. That does not mean that you are not living your purpose.

You may be doing just that, love what you are doing and feel like you are making your contribution to the world. Great! Not everyone feels this way. Our box is created by the influential people in our lives when we were growing up, the feedback we were given, how we reacted to that feedback, and how we continue to react to that feedback. Sometimes (not always) our life of purpose does not fit neatly inside this box we have created for ourselves. Today, give yourself permission to dream outside the box. Forget your fears, what you perceive as your limitations, and the chatter around you. What drives you to your purpose?

2) Money is no object

Tomorrow, you are handed a check for $100 million. What would you do? What would your life look like? Can you picture how your life would change? Many of us fear change due to a lack of money or financial security. If financial security were not a problem, what would your life look like? What would you do immediately? What would your long-range plans look like? Envisioning the $100 million is not about accumulating more stuff but it is about what changes you would make that would lead you down your path of purpose.

3) Commit to your Spiritual Purpose

We interact and relate with people daily; people's thoughts and opinions influence our direction and path. Sometimes we are afraid of letting those people down. Some of us know our purpose and how it will help those around us and the world, but we have to commit to it first. This quote came from Esther and Jerry Hicks' work on unconditional love, "I love you so much I don't care what you think." Loving a person unconditionally regardless of what they say or think about you is difficult. Not everyone is going to agree with your path but you must follow where you are led to go.

4) Look back on your life

Imagine that time has marched forward and you are now 25 years older. You can use any number for this but I would recommend using at least 10 years. If your life stayed on the same course as it is now, would you have any regrets? If yes, can you name them? How can you alter your current path so you do not have any regrets? If you follow another path, how does that feel when now looking back on your life 25 years later? Do you feel complete?

5) Visualize your ideal life

Practice visualizing your ideal life five years from now. Visualize living your purpose. Many of us have problems visualizing an ideal future. It is difficult to get out of your current existence and into a place of excitement. If you don't know what that looks like, try the following:
  • Visualize the people in your life. Who are they? How do you interact with them? How do you relate to them?
  • Visualize where you are living. Are you living in the same place? A new home, town or city? What does that look and feel like?
  • What are you doing? Are you working in the same career? Have you switched to a new career? Is there something that you have always wanted to do that you have put off over and over because of negative feedback from those around you?
Upon moving through these exercises, you may be asking, now what? Realizing your passionate purpose is just a starting point. Now, you are called to act and create the life that you long to live. If you feel you are having trouble acting on your purpose, find the support you need. The support may come in the form of a spouse or partner, close friend, or life coach. The more support you have, the easier it is to create your life of purpose. Good luck!

Allison E. Turner is the founder of Pathway to Mind and Spirit that offers the tools and resources to drive you towards your passionate purpose. Through a long career of playing and then coaching tennis, Allison found that her true passion was encouraging and coaching individuals to feel that anything was possible on a tennis court and in their lives. It became less about the winning and losing and more about the mindset of each person. Today, she offers coaching services, workshops and writes a weekly blog. Go to today to sign up for a FREE 30-day Affirmation service that will provide you with an inspirational daily Affirmation and Photograph. It is a great way to start your day!

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