Finding your purpose
Work has such a massive impact on home life, our relationships and our happiness. When you don’t like your job it not only affects you but also your loved ones. We only have one life, one chance in this world, why waste the majority of it in a job which brings you no fulfilment.
I’ve thought long and hard about over this during the last few months, watching countless inspirational videos and listening to podcasts.
My first ‘wow’ moment came from the Minimalists. On Boxing Day, I was sitting amidst all the ‘stuff’ we buy as we’re ‘supposed to’ under the realisation that I’m going to be rather poor for a few months. None of the ‘stuff’ meant anything. We buy as we’re supposed to – like consumerism robots. We then work to pull ourselves out of the debt we created, buying the stuff which was only ever going to provide us with temporary happiness. This realisation dawns on us annually, as we return to work after New Year. Perhaps we’ll buy a holiday for that January blues pick-me-up.
As when we break down our lives into what really matters and what we gain genuine happiness from it’s actually quite simple. Relationships and passions.
I watched this video ‘Everybody dies but not everybody lives’ from Prince Ea. A lot of us go from week to week, and forget to truly live. We don’t take risks and are left with a life full of regrets and ‘what ifs’. Where we take risks and live fully we leave behind the fear of death which is ultimately living without achieving the things we would like to do. I love this video. And would urge anyone who is feeling disillusioned with life to watch it.
Work is such a massive part of our lives. Through the Minimalists, I realised that what we tend to do is pacify ourselves with the purchasing of stuff to take away from the fact we’re not leading fulfilling lives. For example, a car brings us happiness, we gain freedom and are able to go places. A new car doesn’t bring us any additional happiness, however many of us buy them regardless. Not only this but some of us attach our self-worth to those cars. We do this to ourselves in careers also. And when we lose these things our feelings of self-worth disappear also.
The Minimalism documentary is available on Netflix and features the stories of Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. They went from very successful yet unfulfilling careers to become self-employed writers and work coaches, who tour telling their story about how they reevaluated their lives to become…simply happier.
Here’s where the hippy stuff comes in, apologies – when we truly love and are kind to ourselves none of this matters. However, we don’t even need to leave our homes to have our ‘faults’ pointed out to us. Showing us how imperfect we are is big business. We buy products to help us adhere to consumerism’s ideas of beauty. We judge one another but appearances not from the bits that actually matter.
When we die we can live on. We are carried by the way we have made people feel. This is what matters and this is what only matters. How you make other people feel around you is your true beauty. I’ve lost countless people in my life but their kind acts remind me of them every day. I repeat their sayings with a smile and adjust how I live because of them.
Nobody lives on in the things they buy, only the way they make other people feel. And that is completely our choice. We can be grateful for all the positives in our life or focus on all the things that didn’t go to plan.
A lot of this is letting go of control. When we attach ourselves to expectations when these expectations are met, we’re disappointed and life becomes unfair. When we change this around and realise that each day isn’t an entitlement but a gift to be grateful for, our whole perspective on life shifts.
I’ll be happy when… It’ll be fine when… I hate my job but I’m retiring in ten years… We all do this. But this sentiment takes for granted that we will be around to see such an event. Putting off life until when ‘such and such’ happens. It leaves us with a lifetime of regret of things we would have liked to have done but never taken up the opportunities to do so. We always think there will be a tomorrow and put off living until that day. But the secret to a happy and fulfilling life is in the present moment, the here and now. If every day we make ourselves happy in the moment, we begin to lead a happy life.
Most of us have a dream career in life. Not those careers to choose in an effort to impress others and feel like a success. The things you enjoy, that mean something, in line with your values and make you feel like you are doing something worthwhile. Where you get up in the morning and no longer dread that alarm clock.
Because we associate people’s jobs to their worth as human beings many of us think more of the company director than we would of the barista in a coffee shop. But what if that barista loved meeting people and was passionate about coffee and was genuinely happy – who’s the mug now?
A happy life is a fulfilled life. We need to disconnect our self-worth from what other people think about us. When we live our lives for others we neglect living it for ourselves – a waste of a life.
So what is it you would like to do? Really like to do. If nobody else matters, what would you go and do? How about stories, have you always enjoyed telling stories? Are you a keen photographer, fell walker? How can you make a career from something you love? To live your life for today and not tomorrow.
‘To live is the rarest thing in the world – most people exist, that is all’ – Oscar Wilde