I’ve been talking a lot the past few weeks about purpose. I took a survey and asked my community what the thing is that they struggle with most? So many of you said,
I just don’t know what I want.
I’m not sure why I feel aimless, why I don’t feel like I have a purpose.
If those statements feel like I’m reading your email, or if you feel like you’re in transition and you don’t know what to do next, I’m going to share three ways that you can know.
One of my most favorite and terrible transitions in life was when I gave up my job as a family doctor, and came home to be more available for my family. I even homeschooled my kids. If you could have witnessed that part of my life, it would have been very entertaining!
I didn’t know what people did who stayed home. I felt like I needed to treat staying home like a job that I was striving hard to do better in. It’s hard for me to get away from that mindset because that’s the mindset that I grew up with. I came from nothing, poverty and alcoholism, and my way out of that was to achieve, achieve, achieve!
Achieving eventually ran me into the ground. I don’t recommend it, but it’s just my default. So when I came home, I just set it up like a job. One of my jobs was to learn how to bake bread. I decided that people who stay home should make homemade bread. I bought a bread book, and I bought a special pan, and I started making bread.
I did it with all the gusto I could muster! I had been so used to defining myself by my job that, despite the fact that I was making a beautiful loaf of boule artisan bread most days, I got to a point in my life where I was not fulfilled. I didn’t feel like my life was purposeful or meaningful. Actually all I’d done was gained 10 pounds!
That was the beginning for me of realizing that there was never going to be anything external that was going to give me what I was looking for.
God created you. He gives you all the purpose and value you’re ever going to have, and until you start believing that, you’re going to search for it everywhere else.
You’re going to want your job to give it to you, and jobs are terrible at giving it to you. You’re going to want your family and your marriage and your kids to give it to you. Then your kids are going to go away. You’re going to look for it in all the wrong places.
Stop hating where you are.
The scripture says as a man thinks in his heart so is he. My entire coaching program is based on the principle that if you want to change your life, you first have to change your brain and your thoughts.
Another scripture I love is Romans 8:28 that says be transformed by the renewing of your mind. We won’t be transformed by changing our habits. We won’t be transformed by getting a new job or new circumstances. You are transformed by the renewing of your mind.
It’s really important what you think about all the time.
Some of you spend 99% of your time hating where you are. You think about it all the time. You tell everybody how you hate where you are. The more you think about it, the madder you get. Then you resent where you are, and you resent the spouse you’re with, and you resent the job you have, and then you talk about it some more. You give it too much time and energy.
If you spend 99% of your time and energy thinking about how much you hate your situation you’re going to get to keep it, because that’s what you’re spending all your time and energy thinking on.
The first step in changing where you are, or deciding where you want to be, is to stop hating where you are.
Stop giving so much energy to it. I think about many times in my own life, when I’ve had to learn to appreciate and love where I was before I could make any change. I believe that’s true wherever you are.
Wherever you are right now is exactly where you want to be. How do I know? Because that’s where you are. There’s some part of your brain that likes being there, because you stay there. You have to own that it’s not anybody else’s fault.
It’s not the government’s fault.
It’s not your dad’s fault.
It’s not your mom’s fault.
It’s not your spouse’s fault.
It’s not your kid’s fault.
Where you are, like it or not, is a result of what you think about.
Those thoughts give you feelings, and you take action from those feelings, and those actions becomes your life. You have chosen this in some way. Here’s the good news. If you accept responsibility that where you are is, in some way serving you, and is in some way where you have chosen to be, then you have agency over it.
Now you can decide that you’re going to stop giving it so much energy. You can decide that you’re going to stop thinking about how much you hate being where you are.
Stop giving it so much air time.
You get to decide what you think on. The scripture says whatsoever things are pure, lovely, and of good report, think on these things. Notice it doesn’t say do these things. It says THINK on these things. If you meditate on these things, that will become who you are.
The opposite of that is also true. If you don’t like where you are, it’s a result of what you’ve been focusing on and thinking about. Stop giving so much energy and emotion to hating it.
Start deciding where you want to go.
About 10 years ago I got to that point, that most of us get to in our marriage, where everything was driving me crazy. I started to sort of brainstorm everything I didn’t like about how Stevie did things and about how things were between us.
I want you to realize when you get to that point in your job or your relationship, you get to decide what that means. It doesn’t have to mean, “Oh my gosh, this is terrible. It’s all over.” It can mean, “Oh my goodness, this is going to be an amazing opportunity for me to grow.”
I started deciding how I wanted to think and feel about my husband. I decided on purpose.
I love him.
I love these things about him.
I want to be connected to him.
I want to create an amazing life together.
I just started deciding what I wanted in my relationship, and how I wanted to think and about him.
This is so powerful, because you can do this with anything! It’s so powerful when you do it in a relationship, and it’s so powerful when you do it for your own life. You just decide. Nobody has to give you permission. The other person doesn’t even have to give you permission.
Deciding sometimes feels like a fraud because it doesn’t feel true yet. I decided ahead of time how I wanted to think and feel about my spouse, and I practiced thinking and feeling that for about six months.
At the end of those six months, I don’t know if he changed, or if it was just the way I decided to change how I looked at it, but things changed! The exact same thing is true for your life.
When you don’t know what you want to do, when you don’t know what your purpose is, when you feel aimless, just decide.
Trust that down deep, you do know what you want. You want a life that’s fulfilling and purposeful, so think about that instead of how much you hate your life.
Don’t think, “I feel aimless. I don’t have any meaning. My life has no purpose. I don’t know who I am without these kids here.”
Decide what you want to think instead, and practice thinking it. It’s just like faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. We don’t see any evidence, necessarily, that the Kingdom of God is here on earth, or that Heaven will be our home. You place your faith in something you can’t see.
If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.~ Wayne Dyer
When you decide ahead of time with intention how you want to think about your life, and you practice that belief, it’s a very powerful thing.
Start living from that place.
What does someone who knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are living in their full purpose, that they have answered the calling of God on their life, and that they are living exactly the life they were created to live, show up in the world?
What do they talk about?
What do they think about?
How do they relate to other people?
What’s their general conversation like?
Start showing up that way to your own life!
You will witness the power that lies within you to create whatever life you want to create.
You decide how you want to show up in your marriage. You decide how you want to show up to your family. You decide how you want to show up to your business. How would a person who was like this or believed this, show up? You start showing up that way.
What you’ll notice in six months or a year or two years or five years, is that you became the person that you thought yourself into.
You have to decide this is the way you think and feel about your life, and then you can show up to the world that way and watch the magic that happens. It seriously is amazing!
If you’ve been telling yourself that you don’t know what you want, that’s a lie. You do know what you want. You just have to decide what it is.
When you decide on purpose, and you begin to believe the things that you actually want, and you live from the place you want to be, pretty soon it becomes your reality.
Get your free Live Your Purpose Guide here!