Few people report having one, singular life purpose. That’s a myth that grew out of the time in which we were trapped in the jobs of the tribe or village; you had to choose to be a baker or a blacksmith, and because you died young, in your 20s or 30s, you had to choose quickly.
Today, there’s more opportunity, no borders, and longer life-spans. So you’ll have multiple purposes and missions throughout life. Here’s how to narrow them down to what matters:
Live the best quality of life that you can. This should be one of the main missions for us all, don’t you think? Make it a priority to grow and excel in your health, relationships, career, finances, spirituality, hobbies. Improve each of these areas and you’ll start to feel on purpose.
Follow your interests. Whatever you are deeply curious about is worth exploring. So, whether it’s design, photography, fashion, food, or coding, go down the wormhole. Explore your passions with enough verve and you will find what is right for you.
Allow yourself to transition from one thing to another. To find your most meaningful mission, you’ll have to try a few out. Give yourself permission to move between jobs, careers, companies, and passionate pursuits. The only boundaries are boundaries of belief.
Serve! You can travel the world looking for some magnificent purpose, but after all the belly gazing the truth that always emerges is this: by serving others we feel more purposeful. So just look around you and ask, “How can I help?” In the spirit of service we will soar to our full potential.
Be bold, bounce around, try new things, discover what is important to you, and suddenly you’ll start to feel what we call The Charged Life!
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Let’s talk about your life’s mission, your life’s purpose. What you’re here to do.
If you know what that is, phenomenal. That’s incredible and congratulations because so few people will ever find that but I also want to rattle it a little bit if you think you know what it is and also make it okay if you don’t know what it is.
There is this big myth that all of us have to have this one narrowly defined mission on the planet. And I’m not sure that that’s so true. And if you track it back into the times of philosophy or you track it back into times of the more of the modern era, you start to see: It really started to emerge as a big conversation really around that time when people were supposed to be apprentices in little villages.
That time they’re really animated in the popular culture was when it was all about the industrial revolution. Figure out your niche, your skills, the thing that you were supposed to do and I don’t see that as relevant today where you have so many people who are doing multiple passion projects that they are:
· Deeply engaged with,
· They find meaningful,
· They find fulfilling, and
· They’re difficult to put on a business card as one thing.
I actually believe that as cultures continue to become more developed. As the worldwide global sort-of phenomenon happens of freelancers, of very flexible workplaces and work ideas that we will start to see more and more people getting away from this idea that they have to be one thing. You don’t have to be or do just one thing.
A lot of the great leaders, scientists, thought leaders of the past, they did lots of things; they had lots of goofy passions. Einstein didn’t just do one thing. He actually had an incredible diversity of interests. So did Leonardo da Vinci and so did Michelangelo, so does Bill Gates. Come on, it’s like very few people have just this one thing.
They might become known for one thing but as you see the more wealth someone gets, or the more influence they get, the more they tend to diverge out into multiple areas of interests that draw their passion, and it’s hard to just define what’s their one mission.
Today, with so many opportunities, I think it’s not about just one mission because you’re going to have lots of missions that you go on in your life. But rather, it’s about finding messages that are important to you. Things that you say, “I believe in that message and I’m going to support it in every way I can. And I believe in this over here too. I’m going to support it in every way that I can. And I believe in this project. And I’m going to support it in every way I can.”
It’s important to have a diversity of interest and missions in life, I believe. But to those who say, “No, you got to have this one thing. Brendon, I feel so lost and confused, I got to have a thing. What’s my thing?”
Well, here’s some ideas for you:
First and foremost, if you’re looking for one defined mission in your life, make it this: To live the best quality of life that you can. And what that means is it’s going to be not just focusing on one thing, it’s going to look at your overall life.
What do I mean by that?
– Well, when you think about your life, there’s so many areas of your life, right?
· You’ve got your health.
· You’ve got your relationships.
· You’ve got your intimate relationships, if you have one.
· You’ve got your finances.
· You’ve got your spirituality and your practices.
· You’ve got your hobbies.
· You’ve got your ability to do something, to have a job or a career or a mission or a purpose.
· You’ve got all these 7 or 8 major areas of your life.
I think that everyone’s missions should be, “How can I grow in each of those areas and live each of those areas by my own standards, by my own ambitions; contributing what I really desire in this area?”
· How can I optimize my health?
· How can I optimize what I do during the day?
· How can I optimize my relationships?
It’s that idea that we can all grow and develop a greater level of self-mastery in all areas of our life. And I often tell people, if you start optimizing all the different areas of your life, the mission begins to emerge. Because what you’ll have to go through to improve each of those areas of your life will start connecting you with
· New learning,
· New ideas,
· New mentors,
· New role models.
And in that process, you’ll start to see more things because it’s hard to have a mission in life if you’ve never seen anything. So, what I always tell to high schoolers or college graduates or something, “Go out and see stuff. See that world. Go explore a little bit.”
It’s hard to say, “Well, here’s what I’m supposed to do if you’ve never seen anything.”
So, go try a bunch of different things.
I would say, “Also, follow your interests.”
If you’re deeply curious in your off-hours; you’re paying attention to photography or you find yourself always so fascinated by this one topic—whether it’s fashion or music or the arts, or whether it’s geeking out and coding on cool stuff. It’s like whatever it is that you’re just passionately interested in,
· That interest might develop into a calling.
· That interest might be worth exploring.
That interest … like go down the wormhole. Don’t be scared of it. You’ll be like, “Oh wow, I’m really, I’m interested in this for some reason. I wonder if I can do an internship on that. I wonder if I can get a job in that.” And really or do something to earn some revenue doing something like that.
Like really get passionate about your interests and as you do that, you’ll start to find out what’s really right for you. And sometimes, after doing something right for you long enough and being rewarded for it, you say, “This is my thing. This is what I’m supposed to do.”
I’m sure the last idea is that: If you can free yourself at this point in your life to allow yourself to transition from one thing to another, you’re more likely to find the mission. A lot of people never find the mission if that really exists because what ends up happening is they get stopped and blocked and stuck into doing one thing. And they’re scared to transition.
Those who tend to find their real mission; if you talk to them, they transition to a lot of different things. They had a lot of different interests and they weren’t scared to bounce from:
· One job to another,
· One career or company to another.
· One passionate pursuit to another.
In other words, they tried a lot of things; they had a lot of resilience and a lot of self-reliance in trying new things and bouncing back from those things that didn’t work.
And so, if you just feel totally stuck in, “I just have no idea what I’m supposed to do”, then what you’re supposed to do is change.
If you’re at that place where you’re just like, “I am so confused about what I’m supposed to do”, you need to shift. You need to get into your heart, into your head, into your spirit and say, “What would be something that would draw my passion right now? What can I be really interested in?” And bounce. Go to that thing. Try that thing. Really get into it because, if you’re stuck, you’re never going to find it.
Oh, and bonus idea for you. If you don’t know what your mission is, you’ve pursued all your passions, you’ve gone down the wormhole of your interests, you’ve seen the world and you still don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing—a simple thing: Ask how you can help.
Sometimes we think we’re going to figure it out in some esoteric, amazing moment of “Woaaaa! I found my calling or my passion.” You’re like a certain day, you’re going to walk out the door and the piano of purpose lands on you. It might not happen that way. You might not actually be able to figure out your mission or your purpose until you serve, until you help people.
So, on your personal journey, to try and figure out what you’re supposed to do, don’t forget to stop and ask others, “How can I help? Do you need anything?” Sometimes, in those moments of service and helping other people, we get our greatest levels of transformation and clarity.
I hope that serves you and I hope that you find a little piece of your own mission in this world whether it’s multiple missions, or it’s one message or multiple message, or it’s one grand unifying thing that enlivens you every day. Whatever it is, once you feel like you have tastes of those, once you know you have some of those, follow them, put your whole heart into it, go at it with full excitement and engagement, and you’ll start to have what we call, The Charged Life.