“What if you had the wrong dream all along?”
This is a line from a biographical crime film, Blow, when Diego (antagonist) meets George (Protagonist) in prison and finds out why George was sentenced.
Lately I have been feeling that I have lost my sense of purpose. Having no purpose leads me to feeling more tired, unmotivated, angry, sad, overwhelmed, useless.
Pretty critical don’t you think?
My motivation is at an all time low, and I keep asking myself “why am I doing what I am doing?” “How can I find my purpose?” “Is there more to life than a to-do list?” “Did I forget how to dream?”
This only steers me to run in circles, like a hamster on a running wheel or a dog chasing his own tail.
Maybe I am asking the wrong questions? Maybe I am being too vague with my answers?
I have always envisioned that my purpose was to: Help those in need. To amplify people’s lives so they can be there best versions of themselves (What does this even mean?). To teach others what I have learned. To be a mentor and a guide. To be a good boyfriend, and a good father to my fur-children (if you are still trying to figure that one out, my dogs). To run successful businesses that turn a profit and provide jobs in the community.
Is this the purpose that I live for? How can I help others if I myself feel lost?
Do I want to be a guru, self-help life coach? No, in fact those titles repulse me. I am not a coach of any sort. I am a student and always will be.
Then I Imagine I get to where I want to go, what then? I think this part scares me the most. It is thinking that at the end of the road there is nothing left for me. How will I ever know if I quit now?
I suppose the core question that I should be asking first is “what do I love to do?”.
Well I love to read, write and spend time with my loved ones. I love to experience new things by being spontaneous and adventurous. I love to discover and observe. I love to work, create, and imagine. I love to question things that people don’t question. I love to be successful without having to fail.
That last statement I should reconsider.
Loving to fail will only lead to success. This I learned from Gary Vaynerchuk who is my indirect mentor and runs multiple highly successful ventures.
You know what really gets me going is, you. You who is reading this post, who is responding to what I am writing. “My life has changed because of you” Those words strike a chord with me. Those are the words I yearn for.
What happens after hearing someone say this? Do I fall back into the slump I am in now? Does it make me sound weak questioning my purpose, my future, my lack of focus?
Do you ever go threw this challenge?
Why does life have to be a rollercoaster? Why can it not just be a constant ride up to the top?
If it was always a ride to the top without having any downfalls, how will you ever know how good you have it without experiencing the bad too?
Yes, there are obstacles that will come in the way and that will question what you are doing. I believe I hit one of those obstacles.
I wanted to build an awesome website and it is just about done. I wanted to be a good boyfriend and good parent, and I think I am succeeding at that too. I wanted to have a sustainable business, and so I have that too.
What is always left unsaid is that once you reach the top, it’s your job now to maintain that momentum, to scale even higher, if possible. To do things better than you have already done.
Could this be the problem? The things I am doing are never good enough? When will they be good enough?
Let me tell you when, when I decide they are good enough. When I change my perception and begin to see things from the opposite side of the room. When I look at the analytics and measure what I have done in the past compared to what I am doing in the present.
Sure, that makes me feel good for a moment, but what about the next time I am in a slump and all of these things matter less to me than they do today. What is there is another purpose I am suppose to be pursuing? Maybe this isn’t it? Maybe I have had the wrong dream all along.
Today was a real struggle for me to even think about or beginning to write. I am truly starting to believe in the breathing analogy. Breathe inspiration in, and exhaling creativity out.
I began by reading Mark Manson’s “Not giving a f*ck” excerpt from his book. The timing of this read was appropriate. For a week this article has been in my inbox. Today I decided to read this:
“Wanting positive experience is a negative experience; accepting negative experience is a positive experience. It’s what the philosopher Alan Watts used to refer to as “the backwards law”—the idea that the more you pursue feeling better all the time, the less satisfied you become, as pursuing something only reinforces the fact that you lack it in the first place. The more you desperately want to be rich, the more poor and unworthy you feel, regardless of how much money you actually make. The more you desperately want to be sexy and desired, the uglier you come to see yourself, regardless of your actual physical appearance. The more you desperately want to be happy and loved, the lonelier and more afraid you become, regardless of those who surround you. The more you want to be spiritually enlightened, the more self-centered and shallow you become in trying to get there.”
Do you ever feel that this happens to you? That you are chasing something yet the process becomes more painful than the desired outcome? That’s how I feel. I feel I am putting all the pressure on figuring out my purpose when in reality I need to let the purpose figure out itself and I need to continue to work on the things I love, the things I am good at.
“The failures in business are what lead to a better understanding of what’s necessary to be successful. Being open with your insecurities paradoxically makes you more confident and charismatic around others. The pain of honest confrontation is what generates the greatest trust and respect in your relationships. Suffering through your fears and anxieties is what allows you to build courage and perseverance.”
Mark goes on to say,
“Everything worthwhile in life is won through surmounting the associated negative experience. Any attempt to escape the negative, to avoid it or quash it or silence it, only backfires. The avoidance of suffering is a form of suffering. The avoidance of struggle is a struggle. The denial of failure is a failure. Hiding what is shameful is itself a form of shame. To try to avoid pain is to give too many f*cks about pain. In contrast, if you’re able to not give a f*ck about the pain, you become unstoppable.”
I Hope this inspires you too. Mark is another one of my indirect mentors who in fact inspired me to begin writing almost one year ago. His unique style of writing is unlike anything I have come across.
After that great read I moved onto prsuit.com. One of the contributors, Ashley Olafsen really got my wheels moving after having talked about her writer’s block while she was writing her first book. This post is the byproduct of those articles.
“You’ve got to keep going, tap into your intrinsic motivation and keep pushing through.”
Thank you Ashley and Mark for giving me that push today. To create, to inspire, to continue to produce.
Sometimes it is okay to not know your goals or purpose. There will be a time when you come across something that you feel accomplished in, then you can set a goal or purpose to achieve. Let me give you two examples so you can understand where I am going with this.
Starting my first sustainable business (a business that turns a profit) was a milestone of which I wanted to do more of. So I set out to establish 2 other businesses that I am currently working at making them sustainable. Once this goal is established I will keep pushing forward. Ultimately building an empire. I did not see this after my first business was established. In fact, I didn’t even envision establishing any business before the first business.
Same idea goes into my writing. I begin writing without any intention of being published anywhere maintaining my focus on the clear message that I wanted to deliver. After one of my articles was published on Thought Catalog I set a goal to get published in five other publications in 2 months’ time (I have achieved that goal).
Once you do have a goal in mind you should also outline how you will do it, break it down to smaller steps, most importantly set a deadline.
What I am saying is; it is okay to not know the goals ahead of time. What is not okay is; to do nothing at all, that leads you to a stand-still. As a matter of fact, you are going backwards if you’re not moving forwards.
I feel this requires an explanation; You are moving backwards if you’re not doing anything because time is always moving forward and you can never get that back.
Don’t wait too long, because what you can measure, you can understand better and become smarter and faster at any desired outcome.
I want to teach you about stretch and smart goals, but then we will get off topic, so will save that for another time.
Let’s wrap this up.
As you can see I feel back on track, I feel energized and I feel this rollercoaster is now heading back up hill. What will happen tomorrow when I wake up? How will I keep this momentum?
What I learned today are three main components:
1. Keep moving forward, don’t focus too much on the overall purpose because this can bog you down. What is important is to recognize where you are now and what you can do to make yourself better.
2. Sometimes goals/purpose are not clear until you accomplish something. Take action, try things out, and find what works for you. Then double down on what works.
3. Inspiration does not always come from within. Find out what inspires you and make it a habit of turning to that inspiration.
One last thing before we end this post: Welcome failure into your life and business. Letting go of the feeling of needing to succeed becomes over powering and actually helps you in becoming successful.
Thank you for reading this post. To be continued….
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