Monday, January 5, 2009

How to get (back) a purpose in life

Do you sometimes think - why I am where I am, doing what I am doing and living life the way it is now? Is this what I was meant to do and be? It is not uncommon in the human life to be in the highs or lows and forget or lose sight of purpose in one's life. Here are some tips I'd like to share on how to get a purpose (back) in your life.

1. Ask yourself questions - What do I want to do? What do I enjoy doing? When am I most happy? What keeps me most satisfied? How would I like to be remembered? Why am I doing this? What should I do instead? How long ago was it that I last learnt something new? I'm sure you got the hang of it by now....all questions leading you to know more about yourself. Ideally this itself could be a blogpost...maybe I will come back and write it out later...

2. Stop thinking, start doing - If you believe that this should have been the last point on this blog, well - it's good to start with the last sentence first...and that's why I have put it here. It is easy to say - I will start doing what I like someday. Instead, begin it now. Whether it is learning to play the piano or start blogging - do not wait for everything to fall into place before you start taking action - begin NOW.

3. Assume you are a third person and look at your life - Look at yourself and your life as if it is someone else - your neighbor or friend's life. What would you think about it then? What would be your guess on the purpose of this person's life? This will force you to think differently and regain composure of yourself - find ways to define your purpose.

4. Close your eyes and imagine your near and dear ones gathered in your funeral - What are they saying about you? Are they talking about the things that mattered to you? Do they think you contributed to them in some way? Do they remember the time you soaked yourself wet in the rain instead of sitting in traffic to make it to their birthday party on time? Sometimes we might not be giving the appropriate time to relationships that matter and fret over ones that need not necessarily mean alot to us. This imagining exercise will help you refocus your energies and realize importance of the relationships that matter. Take your time on this one. Think of every individual close to you while doing this exercise, to gain maximum benefit.

5. Eat healthy - Now you're wondering - how can that help me get insight into my purpose in life. Well, unless you are healthy and fit, your life will remain purposeless - you will continue to spend your time in trying to get well - doing doctor's appointments, trying new remedies etc. So the real purpose of your life will be lost. It is extremely important to eat healthy and exercise to ensure that a fit body will lead to a fit mind. Only then you will be able to think about your goals in life and how you want to accomplish them.

6. Set small goals and write things down - It might be difficult to think of our ultimate purpose/goal/aim in life - it is easier to break it into smaller immediate goals and then work on it. For example, you might think that the purpose of your life for the next 5 years is to be a good parent, the next 5 might be to be a good programmer or whatever. The idea is to take small steps, think and act. Most importantly - write it down - it will give a great sense of relief when you have your thought process out of your system. Also, if you write down and put it in a place where you can see it, chances are, it will help you get back focus to it when you are lost.

People often think, when one is successful, they do not sway and need to refocus - this is not true. Whether we are achievers or would-be-achievers, there are always times, when we lose focus and need to shake ourselves up or pick ourselves up from an experience in life and get back on track. Please share your stories on how you managed to get (back) purpose in your life.

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