“Stop thinking life is happening to you and start believing it is happening for you”
I never thought I would be writing these posts about cliché quotes I read while scrolling through Instagram. But lately, I have been thinking a lot about living intentionally and living with a purpose. And I opened with my disclaimer mainly because I had a hard time with this topic. Not because it is difficult, but I always thought this topic was what you would find at the display table in the “self-help” section of the bookstore. Or something Joel Osteen would preach about. And nothing wrong with any of that, especially since I love doing this and it means so much to me. So here I am…
But what I really want to discuss is living intentionally. My husband and I had a lengthy conversation a few nights ago about an article we both read about how our generation has been dealt a bad hand because, among many other things, we were raised by parents who told us we were special and that we could do anything we wanted to which has resulted in laziness, impatience, and entitlement.
What upset me most is the impact it is actually having on people who read this and believe it. I cannot stress enough how these topics are all just opinions. This is not the end all be all of all mankind. And although there are valuable tidbits we can all take away from some of these articles, because they certainly are trying to help, we always have to remind ourselves that we each have our own unique path to follow. So just like everything I write about is just my own opinion from personal experiences, so are most of these articles.
You Are Special
At the end of the day, Yes, we are all special and no one should take that away from anyone. And yes we really can do anything we want if we put our minds to it. and by that, I don’t mean that we should just sit on the couch and hope and pray for a bag of money to arrive at our doorstep, or for a house to build itself. Or wish for someone to approach you in the street with a hefty check to invest in your business. It doesn’t work like that. And neither does complaining about rising interest rates, low wages and whining about having to actually do some work for money because nothing in life changes without action.
Truth is, I don’t believe any generation is ever dealt a bad hand. If you read novels and stories from hundreds of years ago, everyone in history has complained about their generation or their time. But I want to say that none of this even matters. All we need are the actionable next steps.
Action! Action! Action!
“You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result”
You have to take action. This thought is intimidating, especially if you are starting from ground zero. And this is exactly where most people give up…the starting point. Why? Because you have to do stuff.
The reality is, nothing will happen overnight. Sorry if you expected me to provide a “get rich quick plan” but you probably won’t lose 50 lbs. by hitting the gym once. You may not get promoted just by showing up on time a few days a week. And you might not be able to start a business by reading one book on entrepreneurship. You have to do stuff.
But allow me to at least ease the pain a bit.
You don’t have to do it all tonight or right now. You don’t have to have it all figured out next week. And unless you have something in mind already, you don’t even really have to have a plan. Start with what you can and what you have, and TRUST me it will begin to flow if you are consistent. I promise you. If you have even a slight idea of what you want and pin down that goal. Write it down even if it’s a little vague. That is literally the first step.
The next day, do one thing that is working towards your goal. One little thing. Even if it is 20 minutes of research. Look up a studio you want to join and plan your route and schedule, look up healthy recipes and plan out just the first week of meals. Or write down one task that will bring you close. When you actually start and think things through, your goal will begin to refine itself and become clearer and as you take these small actionable steps you’ll be able to start seeing a little path. Its super easy, just make the decision, that’s all it takes.
Live on Purpose!
Now going back to living on purpose, this is the definition, at least according to me, for whatever that’s worth :). When you consciously choose your next steps in your life, even if for the next ten minutes like “I’m going to read this”, or “let me research that” or “let me take ten minutes to do some gentle stretches”. That, my friend, is living on purpose. Deciding what YOU want to do right now, and doing it.
The opposite of that is accepting whatever life throws at you. Accepting that, “I’m not flexible enough so I can’t start yoga” or “it’s raining outside so I can’t go to the studio” or “I don’t have the money so I can’t get started on this or that”. Life throws you these tiny obstacles all the time, and you can choose to accept them or you can do yoga in the living room, for example, or read a book.
But if you are constantly taking the easiest route you can possibly take right now, something that requires no effort or thought, you are not living the life you really want. And this is OK from time to time, but if this becomes a habit, you will have a hard time finding your purpose. But if you’re not looking for your purpose, then that’s OK too. It’s your life, after all.
So, constantly ask yourself: Am I doing things on purpose, or am I allowing things to happen to me?
P.S. I promise I will have a “Part 2” this time. It is already in the works since I didn’t want this post to be too lengthy.