Finding Purpose: Things You Love and People You Admire

Something hasn’t quite felt right lately. I’ve been struggling with a lack of motivation. I made more money in April than I ever had in any single month before – far exceeding what I considered an ambitious goal. And I was left empty, with a feeling of “Now what?” and “Can I do this month after month after month for another 20 years?” And the answer to that is, “I don’t think so.”

Despite achieving a major goal, I still felt void. I needed to figure out why.

And despite a few weeks of introspection, I still don’t have all the answers. But it dawned on me in the last week that I was never afforded the luxury of consciously deciding what I wanted my life to be like.

For various reasons, I was forced into a life of survival, a life of trying to make the most out of being dealt a bad hand, a life of oftentimes choosing the lesser of two evils, a life of trying to keep my head above water after dousing the ship in gasoline and lighting it on fire of my own accord.

A life of myopic decision-making to make ends meet and a life of trying to get myself out of bad situations. A life where I was dragged along and pushed around, not one where I could make any thought-out conscious decisions about anything really.

And even though I’ve managed to escape that life for over five years, I’m starting to understand that this mindset is now rooted in me.

I’m still being dragged along. I’m still not thinking bigger and longer-term. I’m still just asking myself what’s my best move in the short-term.

I was challenged to reflect on, “What if I could live a life that really excited me NOW instead of the usual stepping stone of ‘I need to do XYZ in order to pay bills, and once I have enough money, then I can figure out what I really want to do’?”

The problem is that doing things you REALLY care about is a lot scarier than making money doing things that are safe.

You’re not left vulnerable to failure, the outcome isn’t truly important, you’re not putting your heart and soul into anything. If you fail, you lose the fantasy of “I can still make my biggest dream come true.”

So, I’ve been stuck. I’m not wired to let myself dream about what type of life I could lead that would truly EXCITE me.

Right away, resistance kicks in, and I’m flooded with “that’s a stupid idea,” “there’s no market for that,” “you can never get that done,” and “you’ll never be good enough…”

And I’m realizing my brain can’t quite grasp the idea of a truly exciting and thrilling life. It just won’t go there. Wanting something badly is scary, and it feels safer to not allow myself that hope.

So, I’ve been stuck.

And then suddenly, and seemingly out of nowhere, two questions popped into my head:

“What are things that you absolutely LOVE?” and “Who are people that you TRULY admire?”

And I took pen to paper, drew up two columns, and started listing as many as I could for each.

And this hasn’t answered the bigger question of what am I going to do with the next 20 years of my life, but I’ve never had such a clear vision of what really excites me, what I love, the type of person I want to become. And it’s been truly reinvigorating.

The next step is to figure out how to create a life where these things are front and center, and a life where I can become one of the people I admire.

And that’s an incredibly exciting journey to embark on!

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