In this post I’d like to invite you to go back to the question: “What would I love to do with my life?”…and your answer to it.
You will have the opportunity to expand and clarify your answer by identifying a key element: your perspective on life .
First, let me double check:
Do you really want to do something with your life?
I mean…you may be perfectly content with your life as it is. Or you may feel that just going with the flow is enough…
You know that you really want to do something with your life when you experience one, several or all of the following:
– You are not happy with where you are right now
– You feel a sense of emptiness – a lack of inner fulfilment
– You know you can do better and that bothers you
– You feel frustrated and tied up by circumstances
– You feel the need to contribute more, to leave a valuable legacy
So… Do you really want to do something with your life?
If you are absolutely sure that you do…let’s ask that question again:
What do you want to do with your life? Or even better: What would you love to do with your life?
Do you remember your answer?
Would you like to clarify and strengthen it?
I believe that what we do with our lives depends largely on how we see our lives, on the perspective we have on our lives. (This applies to those who don’t see their lives in any way, too. Because they don’t have a perspective, because they don’t “see” their lives in perspective…their lives are deprived of the clarity and meaning that perspective brings.)
What is your perspective? How do you see your life and life in general?
Take a minute and think about it. Do you see your life as a journey ? An opportunity ? A burden ? A competition ? A mission ? An adventure ? A puzzle ? A mystery ? A learning experience ? A celebration ? A story ? A gift ? A free ride?
Each one of these perspectives will make you approach life in a uniquely different way. You may also favor different perspectives at different times in your life. But overall you should be able to decide on a particular perspective that you feel drawn to, and that has probably already informed your choices so far.
Once you identify your preferred perspective your answer to the “What would I love to do with my life?” question is bound to gain depth and substance.
It works both ways, by the way: you can better understand your perspective by looking closer at your answer.
Together, your general perspective and your specific answer should give you the clarity you were looking for.
Let’s take “ life is a journey ” – a relatively common perspective. Many of us use it as a generic description but we rarely stop to look at what it really means. What does “life is a journey” really mean to you? To me, for example, it means that every step of the journey is interesting and important; it means that I can be pleased with my experiences and my progress so far whilst looking forward to what lies ahead. I am sometimes thinking about the destination too. But my focus is making the journey of my life an enjoyable one.
Believing that life is a story makes me want to actively co –write it and ensure it is meaningful, rich and even inspirational.
Believing that life is a celebration makes me want to celebrate with every opportunity, every day!
On the other hand, if I believed life was a burden , or a punishment, I would feel constantly oppressed and victimised and helpless.
And if I believed life was puzzle I would alternate between being confused and lost and being curious and motivated to solve it…
Do you see how our perspective influences our attitude towards life ? How it informs the way we interpret our experiences and the way we navigate through life?
Spend some time thinking about your own perspective. If you feel sad and helpless…or frustrated, see whether you somehow believe that life is against you. If you feel threatened or inferior or if you feel that you always have to prove yourself…see if you bought into the idea that life is a competition.
Once you identify your perspective you have two choices.
You can change your perspective if you feel it makes you unhappy.
It might take time, but the first step, the fact that you know the root of the problem…is the most important one.
It will feel liberating to know that you can change your life just by changing a belief. Your perspective is just that: a thought, a belief. And by choosing to change it, you choose a new life!
Pick your new perspective carefully and build on it. Enjoy!
If you are happy with the perspective you already have, use it to inform and further define what you will do with your life.
To put it all together:
– Think of your answer to the question: “What would I love to do with my life?”
- Ask “Why ? Or “What makes me want this?” to find out your underlying perspective .
- Check how your answer matches your perspective and how this perspective can help you better understand what you want to do.
Here are some examples:
“I want to spend my life learning and travelling.”
“Because I believe that life is a journey. I want the journey of my life to be exciting. Learning and travelling will make my journey enriching, exciting and worthwhile.”
“I would like to live my life with passion and energy and inspire others to do the same”.
“Because I believe that life is an adventure. I want my adventure to be exhilarating.”
“I would like to make a contribution to those around me and to the world.”
What makes me want this?
“I believe that my life is an opportunity. I want to take this opportunity to do good and leave a mark.”
As we said, you can also start by uncovering your perspective and use it to clarify your answer:
” I believe life is a mission”
“What is my mission?”
” I believe my mission is to help others stay healthy and fit”; or “I believe my mission is to raise my children with love and wisdom”; or “I believe my mission is to be a great sportsman/woman and inspire others”; or” I believe my mission is to create beautiful houses”…etc.
Take your time to clarify your answer, your perspective on life and how the two work together to empower you to design and create the life you desire.
Join me in my next blog where we will explore the next step.