Chapter 5 – How to Identify Your Destination
Sometimes, it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination.– Drake
Desires and Purpose
What are you looking for? Would you read this book if you were not looking for something more? The pathway and journey of success is simply this: providing a new perspective and framework for something more. It could be more satisfaction, peace, contentment, happiness, or joy.
What do you most want in life? The purpose of this chapter is to present possibilities and perspectives and an intentional approach to help guide you in a plan to realize your goals and dreams. Ask yourself, what do you enjoy doing? What makes you happy? What have you always wanted to do? What activity do you default to for entertainment? Write whatever comes to mind, even if it is just for enjoyment. For instance, you may like to play a sport but know monetizing it professionally isn’t realistic. Please write it down anyway. I would say avoid recording things like watching TikTok, YouTube, or TV for hours, getting plastered, or other such activities, which are little more than an addictive way to not deal with life. I provide three text fields, but don’t limit yourself to that if you have more. Use some old-fashioned paper or your journal if you have one.
Take a moment and write down your top three desires:
If you have more than one, then out of the three listed, what are the top two desires, and which would you list first as number one?
Now, take a few minutes and write your purpose in life. Don’t get bent out of shape and freeze up; this is a first draft, so write whatever pops into your mind. You will refine it in the future or even change it completely. The one thing we don’t want to do is to cause additional stress. This is a journey to enjoy, not a forced march. You may want to check out the mindfulness chapter because I know people can get so focused on something that it is no longer fun, happy, or enjoyable.
[a short phrase like “I want to share my artwork to promote [name a social cause],” or “I would like to help teenagers understand keys to success in life.”]
[Be specific, not general. “Help people find success” or “I want to have $10m” is too broad. How would you do this? Who is your target audience? E.g., “I want to save $10m to help people who cannot afford housing.”]
[Consider from the perspective of what you want to be known for when you are gone. Your legacy.]
Here is the critical question. How do your desires line up with your purpose in life? The idea is that your purpose in life is something you really want to do or wish you could do. For example, if you are an insurance agent, your purpose is not to be the best agent or make many sales. If you enjoy what you are doing, what do you like about it? It probably isn’t paperwork. It could help people get the best possible policy and cost for their risk. Maybe you enjoy working with people. It isn’t to say you don’t like financial gain; it just isn’t a good purpose in life to say, I want to be rich as it is too undefined with little motivation once you attain it.
Most people I talk to have not considered and do not know their purpose in life, but they have all kinds of wants, wishes, and desires. Some are in a relationship and want out. Others are not and want in. Many clients desire happiness, yet only some have defined precisely what that means.
Everyone seems to be looking for something they do not have or cannot possess. Yet, isn’t this the antithesis of peace and contentment? Is not this desire for something more, perhaps the drop of poison in our water of life, causing us discontent and emotional pain? If you like to pass the time watching video shorts (videos on your phone that are less than 60 seconds), how much do you have to watch to feel satisfied? How many partners does it take to satisfy your desire? How much work, play, food, drink, drugs, or sleep will fill the appetite without wearing off for another round?
Without knowing your purpose in life, you are taking your bow and arrow (your time and effort) and randomly shooting at nothing. No target: just pulling back and letting it fly, hoping it doesn’t do any damage. How much better to have an objective in mind and intentionally practice hitting the target and, eventually, the bullseye? In this case, the target is your life purpose, which you can hit daily. It only takes some change in perspective and intentional action.
If you want your ‘sweet dreams’ to become a reality, there must be a time when you ‘wake up’ and begin to form a plan of action. Here are some steps you can take to invest positive energy into those unrealized dreams.
- Determine your purpose in life.
- Set Objectives for that purpose. What can you work towards in the next year to move closer to realizing your purpose?
- For each objective, create shorter-term Goals to meet each objective.
- Determine the priority order of your goals.
- Set a weekly schedule to make progress toward your priority goals.
- Get Accountability. Friends are not the best accountability. Consider working with a professional coach.
Here is a graphical illustration.
Let’s pretend you are an insurance agent and enjoy helping people lower risk and save money. As an example, you could map out the following:
Purpose and Being Happy
Purpose needs to have the weight of Legacy behind it, something that speaks of a life well lived. It should be specific and not too general. “I want to be happy” doesn’t work mainly because happiness is an Internal condition and not a result of external situations. Also, “be rich or famous” is too high level. What is the motive behind being rich or famous? Sitting in a lovely home with a beautiful view and having gold bars stacked on the counter will not fulfill your longing and purpose in life.
If you do not know someone with much money and things whom you can ask, quickly search “Rich and Miserable or Unsatisfied.” The statistics are clear (see Catey Hill’s 2018 article, “The dark reasons so many rich people are miserable human beings”). You already know this: More of something does not increase satisfaction or lead to contentment and peace of mind. Partially, it is doing what we love and being with the people we love mixed with a good dose of other-centered love and respect (for yourself and others).
The World Happiness Report indicates that European countries and North America have a relatively high percentage of satisfaction and happiness at 7 out of 10 or higher. However, that may be overly optimistic based on my own experience. Most people I know are unsatisfied with their job, family, or life and do not consider themselves happy. They are seeking happiness but never end up living in it. It is a sweet dream that shatters with waking reality.
It’s essential to distinguish between happiness, peace, and contentment. You do not have to be happy to experience peace and joy. In the middle of the worst circumstances, you can be serene and at peace. The key to this is your attitude and perspective.
- Write your top 3 desires in life.
- Quickly jot down your purpose in life, first pass.
- Compare how your desires line up with your purpose in life.
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Authored by H Mark Taylor – An Independent Certified Coach, Teacher, Trainer, and Speaker with Maxwell Leadership Certified Team
Copyright © 2023 H Mark Taylor. All rights reserved.