Open Up to Your Life's Purpose - Part 2
Hello everyone! Here is the second installment that I received...may it help to guide you and inspire you!
“Opening up to Your Life’s Purpose - Part 2”
Recognize crisis. Does your job feel like a grind? Are you spending your free time on something you love? Take an opportunity to appraise your happiness. One of the keys to living a purposeful life is recognizing when you are unfulfilled.
Part of the questions life coaches are asked in our training is to really evaluate why we are becoming life coaches, and what about coaching other brings us Joy? Often, time I ask this question on my clients or participants at my seminars for change, and they are unable to find the answer because the joy has been displaced by work, family and day-to-day demands. I encourage in my one on one coaching sessions and seminars for women to set aside a half hour to write out at least three things that have brought them joy, and be specific. After a few days, I challenge people to ask themselves what is keeping them from joy and to identify ways to invest in that happiness and make small but immediate changes.
I recently read an article and statistics on “What the Happiest and Most Successful Women Do Differently” and I found it to be simplistic and inspirational. Often times we complicate those things that makes us happy and confuse joy with material things. I love this quote from Martha Washington, the first first lady, who said that, “The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our disposition and not on our circumstances.”
The research certainly confirmed this. The women who could answer positively to the questions above had, on some level, simply decided that they were going to be happy.
Who Was Studied
The frustrating thing (from a researcher’s perspective) is that happy, successful women look so very different from each other. Some have broken through the increasingly cracked glass ceiling at work and are now running countries, companies, newsrooms. Some are happy clambering up the corporate ladder, while others have long ago jumped off the ladder and found fulfillment in running their own business or devoting themselves to charity work. Some are employed full-time and have their kids in daycare. Some stay at home. Some used to stay at home while their kids were young but now have on-ramped back into the workforce.
Thousands of women were polled on the following five questions and interviewed in-depth those women who could respond “every day” to four of the five. If you want to self-diagnose the kind of life you’re living, try them out on yourself:
1. How often do you get to do things you really like to do?
2. How often do you find yourself actively looking forward to the day ahead?
3. How often do you get so involved in what you’re doing you lose track of time?
4. How often do you feel invigorated at the end of a long, busy day?
5. How often do you feel an emotional high in your life?
Focus on Moments, More Than Goals, Plans or Dreams
Certain moments in your life create in you strongly positive emotions—let’s call these “strong-moments.” Not all moments are strong-moments—some moments spark negative emotions, while some don’t spark any emotions at all. But when you do experience a strong-moment, it is authentic. It is true, in the sense that the emotions you feel are true. You may not know exactly what you should do with your emotions, or what label you should give each emotion, but you know how a specific moment made you feel. You know this more certainly than you know virtually anything else in your life.
It could be that moment yesterday when, as you again sat hunched over the year-end results, you found a revealing pattern in the financial report you were reading; or the snuggling of your grandson into the crook of your shoulder as you read him the last chapter in The Magic Tree House book, or that glorious sentence you wrote last night on your blog, or the way you managed to calm down your colleague after your boss changed everyone’s schedule.
Whatever you are picturing, it will be a vivid, detailed moment, and as you think about it now, you feel yourself change. You are sitting up a little straighter than you were even a minute ago. Your shoulders are back. You’ve slowed down your breathing just a hair. Perhaps you are smiling. This moment, and the emotions you feel as you relive it in your mind, is you, in truth.
When you commit your life to being true to yourself, you are not committing to some far-flung destiny, some grand dream or some disembodied list of values, no matter how worthy. Instead, you are committing to the truth embodied in this strong-moment, the truth that this specific moment, for no rational reason, energizes you.
How committed are you to changing your life, and begin living the life you were meant to live?
Hi Darkness Angel,
Thank you so much for posting these. I love the part in the first installment you posted about Sissy Spacek because of the simplicity of the way she described getting involved in acting. Basically, think about what you want to do and get started. Or as Nike would say, Just do it! I also love the quote from Martha Washington in this installment.
I hope you are doing well. It's really good to see you back here!