At this point in the series, we have spent some time defining what we really want in life, which is vital to understanding what our Life Purpose is. And remember, you don’t have to be grandiose about it! You can see your purpose as being the best grandmother on the planet, or you can decide at mid-life that you’re ready to start a business and make it happen.
Life After 50: Incorporating Higher Purpose
The thing about living a purposeful life is first and foremost not comparing it to what other women are doing. We are unique, we are individuals — and no two of us are exactly alike! We all have a reason for being here, but trying to match that to anyone else’s lifestyle, experience or endeavor just takes us away from our core being, our inner voice — our own truth.
When we observe what others are about, it can inspire us and encourage us. Too often, however, by comparing ourselves to others, we get the notion we come up short. If we keep it to appreciation of what they are doing, and can admire them for being true to themselves, then we can move into the realm of self-awareness — making sure what we do is a right fit for us.
Do a Self-Assessment
So, the first practical step is: do a self-assessment, ask really good questions, go back to the “what do you want, what are you willing to give up to get it” exercise and decide the direction you feel most fulfilled about. Then set some meaningful goals and strategies to go there.
My Higher Purpose Statement is: I believe we are here to love ourselves, each other and our lives, master the business of life and turn our lead into gold.
The way I incorporate that into my life looks like this:
- I keep it in mind, have it memorized and make sure that I look at any activity I have scheduled each day is somehow related to that purpose
- So, if I need to run errands, I look at them as ways to keep the “business” of my life in order.
- Even taking things to a tailor to be altered or buying groceries all fit into keeping my life “business” running smoothly!
- When opportunities arise, I ask myself if they are a fit for me. I make sure that they lead me into self-love, teaching others how to love themselves, or just basically contribute to society as a whole.
- Volunteering to help a non-profit organization can fit into that.
- Taking time to mentor others keeps me on that path.
- Even listening to my son download his issues at work apply here!
- And as a Business or Personal Life Coach, I make sure that the goals of the clients are compatible with my basic truth.
- I would not feel comfortable coaching an entrepreneur who had questionable ethics.
- If I work with someone over a period of time and realize that we aren’t getting to a positive direction, I easily bow out and hope they find another Coach to help them get where they want to go.
- My point here is money isn’t the main motivator for me doing business. Fulfilling my Life Purpose is.
Those are a few examples of how I keep Purpose a part of my daily life. Now let’s see what some other ways might be.
Example 1: You work a full-time job that you are good at but are not particularly happy with.
Once again, do some soul searching to understand the why of the situation. And the best way to do that is to clarify what your higher purpose is in having a job in the first place! Are you there for the paycheck? Are you there because it fit your criteria of ideal job when you took it on? Are you marking time until something better comes along?
- Once you clarify those things, take some action:
- Your expectations of the job may have been different from what it turned out to be. Can you discuss this with your employer?
- If you are more interested in the paycheck than the work, can you find a way to link doing the work with fulfilling a higher purpose?
- Say you are a lawyer and you’re good at litigation, but you aren’t comfortable with some of the clients the firm assigns to you.
- Can you sit down and discuss it and come up with a strategy for getting more of the clients you feel are a fit for you?
- Can you be more proactive and go out and find clients that are a better fit for you?
- Can you work out a strategy with the firm that starts you on a different path?
- Often people change jobs to solve a problem when they might be able to change themselves in the job to solve the problem!
In my years of study with various teachers, one of the most important lessons I learned was how to link daily tasks to higher purpose. You can master that skill! Make a list of things you do, especially things you feel you have to do daily. On the right side of the page, put a column headed by what you understand your higher purpose to be.
Then take each task and figure out how to link it to that purpose and write it in the column on the right. You may be amazed at what you come up with! Here is an example of linking that might spark you to do this exercise:
Linking example: You own a company and you are frustrated with dealing with your employees
- Link personal development training for yourself with giving you better tools for dealing with people
- Figure out how skills in dealing with employees enhances your ability to manage your clients or customers
- Recognize that the more flexible and relaxed you are with people, the more able you are to grow your business because the “brain noise” of frustration is no longer in the way!
What I’m building on here is the concept that Life is an Inside Job. What you believe about yourself and others and the degree of self-direction from a sense of higher purpose you have make a dramatic difference in how you live that life. More on this later….
>READ: HOW WOMEN ARE LIVING PURPOSEFUL LIVES
>READ: WHAT (REALLY) GOES INTO LIFE OVER 50: DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT
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