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How To Find Fulfillment And Purpose In Your Life

So many people today are suffering with a deficiency. Not one regarding nutrition and health, but a deficiency of direction and purpose in their life.

This is really the great issue of our current age. With so much opportunity, and so many possibilities, it can be overwhelming to even get a bead on what you’re supposed to be doing.

Not only that, with all of the noise and nay-sayers, the vast majority of people in our world today are doing jobs that don’t fit them… they’re sacrificing their life and not receiving any fulfillment in return. It’s a crime that isn’t accounted for today. Many lives are thrown away because people don’t have the audacity to find their purpose and live it.

Today, that’s all going to change. Every person who reads these words will know exactly what it takes to find their purpose. From this day forward you will understand the secret to fulfillment and living a life that you love everyday.

You have to be clear

Now, let’s get clear on a few things. This is not going to be a bunch of airy fairy talk. I’m not talking about some hypothetical, mystical, magical purpose that’s supposed to be unveiled to you. “Oh, look and me, I’ve found my purpose rainbow… I’m living in my bliss…. ohhh”

No. Seriously, no.

Your purpose is simple. Your purpose is right there to be taken. Your purpose is…

Whatever you say it is.

Most people have this idea that their purpose will be revealed to them in some magical moment. I’m sorry, it just doesn’t happen like that.

It can seem magical once you’ve made the decision and committed to it, but it’s a simple science that gets you there.

Idea + Passion + Decision = Purpose

Why don’t people just jump out of the gates of life living their purpose? Well, it’s because one of these 3 factors gets disoriented in some way. Let’s talk about them.

Idea 

When you’re a child, you have ideas about everything… so many grand things are possible in your imagination. You can be a firefighter, an astronaut, the president of a company, or the President of the United States. Everything is fair game. Until someone tells you that you can’t.

Your ideas get stomped out.

You may want to sing, and a well-meaning family member tells you that there’s no future in it. “You can’t make any money in the music business.”

The truth is, today, more than any other time in history, if you’ve got even a little talent in making music, you’re decision to live your passion can explode.

With all that the internet world allows you to do to make and share your music, there really is not limit to the type of success you can achieve. Just check out the story of Alex Day.

The crazy thing is, even if you don’t have the talent to sing (but talent helps a whole heck of a lot so don’t go twisting my words up) you can still have a great deal of success and reach millions of excited people. We all remember William Hung, right?

To uncover your purpose, you absolutely must allow yourself to explore ideas again. No matter where you are in your life, it’s never too late to write a new story. The pen is in your hand, but you’ve got to realize it at some point, squeeze it, and start freakin’ writing.

Ask yourself these 3 questions:

“If I could do anything with my life, and I knew I couldn’t fail at it, what would I be doing?”

“What talents or skills do I have that can help people?”

“What would I love to do everyday of my life?”

Even if you don’t have any experience in it, even if you don’t know how you could do it yet, don’t worry about that right now. Just allow yourself to dream, think big, and have ideas again.

Passion

This is the secret sauce of living your purpose. But again, it’s got a lot of misinformation surrounding it.

Passion for something doesn’t mean that your heart is racing, you’ve got smoke coming out of your ears, you’re yelling out at the top of your lungs, and you are completely infatuated with it. That’s what being in love can do to some people (and for some people it happens if they eat chocolate). But please understand that passion does not equate to being in love.

All relationship experts will agree that being “in love” is a phase. It’s important, but it’s temporary.

Having passion for something is more wholesome, long-term, and keeps everything progressing. You may be in love with a lot of things. That is fine and that is natural. The problem it can lead to, however, is trying a bunch of things, getting bored with them, tired of them, and then putting them down.

Passion doesn’t give up. Even when things are looking bleak, passion doesn’t give up.

It’s ok to try new things, but have the awareness to know what fits you well. Have an eye open for something that matches up with the deep-seeded ideas you carry in your heart.

Passion for something is expressed differently based on the person you are. Just because you’re not running around like a wild person doesn’t mean that you’re not passionate about it. Some people do that, yes. But trust me, they’d likely be running around like a wild person no matter what they do.

Passion means you care. Passion means you’ll have patience. Passion means you’ll do it for no reason accept the pleasure of doing it. Passion means you’re willing to be in it for the long haul and grow.

If you have these things, plus the idea to get started, then living your purpose is just a decision away.

Decision

You’ve got one life, and each day has a 24 hour expiration date on it. Time is going to pass anyway, so you might as well spend it doing something you love.

Make a decision. Even though this seems like the easiest step, it’s actually the hardest by a long shot.

I say this because, those ideas that you carried as a child to be a certain person when you grow up, they’re still there. You can find them if you just shut out all the noise and give yourself permission to want what you really want.

And the passion… it’s there. By the very nature of you being alive, there is a life-force within you that’s strong enough to move mountains. Even those born in the most challenging circumstances have been able to change the world by connecting with their passion. If you don’t believe me, just ask Sean Stephenson (same name, different spelling, but every bit as awesome).

But to make the decision to DO what you’re passionate about… to tap into those ideas and actually make them real. That, my friend, takes courage.

Even if it wasn’t shunned in our society to do what you’re passionate about, it would still be challenging to do.

Deciding to live your life the way that you want to is really a rite of passage. It’s both a scary and exhilarating experience that we all must go through in order to reach mental, emotional, and spiritual adulthood.

You see, millions of people are running around in adult bodies, but they’ve never actually grown up. They’re living lives of quite desperation, getting up and going to work at a job that really belongs to someone else.

Because they never made the decision to want what they really want, to share their passion with the world, they are blocking the possibility of fulfillment showing up in their lives.

Not only is this unfair to them, but it’s also unfair to the person whose job they’re filling because they’re too selfish to let go of the past and decide to live fully right now.

Is this you?

If it is, that’s ok. But now it’s time to decide to do something about it.

Decision is from the Latin de meaning “from” and cidere which means “to cut”. So when you make a true decision about doing something, you cut away any other possibility accept having what you’ve decided upon.

You can probably be successful in any number of fields or businesses, but what can you see through to completion? Not because you feel obligated, but because you want to.

So exercise your decision making muscles by making more decisions starting NOW.

You’re literally just one idea, and one decision from changing your whole life.

The decisions you’ve made thus far have brought you to where you are in this moment. You can literally check back and look at the decisions that helped to shape who you are and where you are in your life. But now, to know that the pen is in your hand, and to be the conscious creator of your life from this point on is truly empowering stuff.

Make a real decision for yourself, and have the courage to see it though.

The juicy bonus stuff

I didn’t want to just leave you hanging without giving you some of the caveats. So let me make a few things clear on this whole purpose and fulfillment thing.

First of all, fulfillment comes from giving. Sure you have all the right in the world to receive, and you absolutely deserve it. However, it’s in giving that you will be filled up.

Fulfill comes from the Old English fullfyllan which means “to fill up, to make full”. What you receive from giving will make you overflow with happiness, gratitude, and a sense of purpose. You will truly be fulfilled.

You can be rich and successful by living your purpose, but you will be fulfilled everyday by what you give.

The second thing to understand is that success in living your purpose will always be connected to the happiness of other people.

The people who tear you down can help to define your resolve, but the people who build you up can help to define your legacy.

You want people to talk about you behind your back… but in a good way.

Make such a mark on people’s lives, that even when you’re not there, your gifts and presence are still remembered.

This video brought me enough joy to last a lifetime. I didn’t even know that the video was being created in the first place, but it’s a shining example of the impact that giving to others can have on your life:

[responsive_youtube UC6MUTYb_bw]

 

The last thing is knowing who you are. Living your purpose does not mean quitting your job, and it definitely does not mean that your life does a complete 180. Although those things can happen, it’s not anywhere near the real goal.

Just because you have some ideas, doesn’t mean that you’re an entrepreneur and you should start a business. It may mean that you should work in an organization that has a similar purpose, and bring your ideas to the table. It may mean that you should write a book or speak about it. It may mean that you need to share or sell the idea to someone else.

Yes, you could see it as a business you need to start, and it very well may be the right thing for you. But that’s something that YOU decide by knowing yourself, your work habits, and your personal nature.

Just because you don’t like your job, doesn’t mean that you should start a business. It may just mean that you need to wholeheartedly find another job. One that’s in alignment with your own passion and purpose. Or maybe you’re at the right job but you’ve misplaced your ideas of why you got into it, misplaced your passion, and haven’t yet decided to turn them back on yet. Just some important things to consider.

“Know thyself” is echoed throughout time as an ultimate lesson of the human experience. By knowing who you are, what you’re about, and why you’re here you can make a difference AND make plenty of dollars along the way.

Knowing who you are enables you to decide who you’re going to be. And guess who gets to determine what you’re about, why you’re here, and who you truly are?

You do.

I hope that you received a lot of value from this. And now I’ve got a question for you. Which of the 3 components of uncovering your purpose have you been stuck on: idea, passion, or decision? Was it in the past or more recent? What did you do to change things, or what in this article is helping you to get on track? Share your answer in the comments section below.

7 Comments

  1. traci s. on 08/27/2013 at 1:58 AM

    You never cease to amaze, Shawn. Thank you for all that you do for me and others, for YOUR passion, and for sharing the gifts that you hold. Not only have you challenged me, but you encourage me constantly to challenge myself. The words in this article are heartfelt and POWERFUL!! Huge smile and hugs!!♥

    • Shawn on 08/28/2013 at 11:13 AM

      You put a big smile on my face, Traci. I truly, truly, TRULY appreciate that!

  2. Bonnie C on 08/28/2013 at 4:10 PM

    Great article, Shawn! I think for me, the “passion” part of your equation comes to mind. It is one thing to make that decision to live life tailored to one’s self, but then to keep the passion going for the “every day” work that is required is a challenge. Especially when life’s obstacles pop up. Those who follow the light faces many trials, but those who find value in the every day work will succeed. Thanks for the inspiration today! Sending lots of positive vibes for your continued success. 🙂

  3. Jasmine W on 08/28/2013 at 4:22 PM

    This was an awesome post. This really spoke to me, ESPECIALLY this:

    “When you’re a child, you have ideas about everything… so many grand things are possible in your imagination. You can be a firefighter, an astronaut, the president of a company, or the President of the United States. Everything is fair game. Until someone tells you that you can’t.

    Your ideas get stomped out.

    You may want to sing, and a well-meaning family member tells you that there’s no future in it. ”

    My biggest battle along with myself has been my family, namely my parents telling me that the things that I wanted to pursue, didn’t have a future and I should focus on other things. I regret listening to them to much because I know that where I am now is not what I want to do for the rest of my life. I’m trying to take steps to figure out what I want to do. I always worry that I missed my chance and that it’s too late. But a friend of mine told me, that the only time it’s too late is when you’re dead.

    I’m trying to turn my life around (emotionally, mentally, financially, and physically). It’s been a very long road with so many setbacks. I look forward to hearing you speak on Saturday and hopefully I will take away more points from this upcoming seminar.

  4. mindy on 08/29/2013 at 6:08 PM

    Wow. That was really powerful. I always loved to paint and write. Talk with people help people I was a cna for a few years I love old people.Animals plants. I love life I love earth. It’s so beautiful I just want everyone to see the beauty I want everyone to experience beauty. It makes me sad to see so much suffering inflicted on people because of mean greedy people. I have a very helpful nature And I love to paint and write. But Having grown up in a very abusive family I never thought I could do it.But lately There is a fire in my soul deep down in my soul it keeps moving me to get healthy get strong And move it. To heck with those mean people there always going to be there but I don’t give a flying detonators I am doing my thing. Wow what you bad to say triggered my energy flow thankfully I love I am going to keep reading it everyday.

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  6. Chris on 04/30/2015 at 10:13 PM

    Dear Shawn – this makes me smile! I just realised I have found my purpose after years of trying so many different ways and then retiring from work wondering if I’d wasted my time … I always thought I’d like to make an “American quilt” (I’m English!). Just the one would be fine. Something to tick off the list … I made my first quilt for a friend who was expecting her first child and from that point I was hooked! I decided that when I retired I’d find a group making quilts for sick children and Just like magic I discovered Project Linus which had a group close to where I live. I’ve made some great new friends, we meet every week and sew and laugh and I just love that I can fill my days doing something that feels so important. Fabric is donated to us so it costs us little more than our time. You’re right – this isn’t necessarily about setting up in business or making a heap of money, it’s about being excited to get up in the morning and dive into the day. A lot of love goes into our quilts and a lot of appreciation comes back to us from the children and families who receive them. Everybody wins! Thank you for all your podcasts – you are an inspiration. Much love.

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