Three actionable steps that helped lead the path to living out my purpose. I cannot be the only one that spends most of their day staring out the window, pretending they are in a music video. Contemplating my past decisions, worrying about my future ones. Every car ride with my husband includes a few moments pause, followed by the question "What are ya doing?" "Thinking..." Answered simultaneously between the two of us. I am guilty. I am an over-thinker. What consumed my bottomless mind most was thinking I wasn't enough or I wasn't doing enough. That needed to end.
Creating a Purposeful Life for Myself, Today
Map It Out & Put Your Purpose on Paper
Writing is something I have always had a heart for, but never imagined it was possible to pursue. Dreaming of being an author seemed almost childish. You know, the response to “What do you want to be when you grow up?” & you answer with “an author” probably goes along with “actor, astronaut, or firefighter”. Are these careers that people actually obtain? Absolutely. However, they are big dreamy dreams for wide eyed kiddos that see the world as their oyster.
Honestly, I want to be a mom. If you have followed me on Instagram, read a single blog post, or sat in a room with me for 24 minutes, you would know this information all too well. One of the hardest things I have come to learn while on our infertility journey is that even the most planning planner cannot plan their life. Even the strongest control freak cannot hold on tight enough to controlling their life. Living your life for so long while having a one track mind to a single purpose, for me it’s motherhood, & then not being granted the capabilities of reaching that said purpose. Yeah. It is tough. This is when I like to think God’s sense of humor plays a part. If God granted me that "job" right off the bat, I never would have started writing. I never would have met you or have stepped out of my comfort zone! Are you in a place too that you want something, you want it so deeply you burst into tears in your car? I pray so hard for you that you are granted this want. My bigger prayer, however, is that you slow down & see what is currently in the works. That you find joy & comfort knowing that each day you are being prepped & trained to be the absolute best version of yourself.
My challenge for you is to write it down. Map out this life full of purpose that you are imagining. Whether you know exactly what you want or exactly what you should want. Whether you have no possible clue what God wants for your life. Map it out. Get a piece of paper & a pen, that's right, no pencil! This is permanent! I have notebooks on notebooks of information that I have heard or read. Things I do not want to forget. Lists of what I want my life to be like. There is a magical realness that comes with putting these seemingly intangible thoughts onto something that is tangible. Something you can fold up, put in your pocket, & look back at every day.
Here is what you do. First & foremost, in the middle write down your want. Whether it is a job, a gift, a feeling, a virtue. Write down all the things that put it at the top of your wish list! This is the idea in your mind that fills you up with thoughts. This is the thing that you are constantly thinking about. Something that can & will give you a purpose.
Underneath that one word or short phrase, write down all the reasons you want it. Think of these reasons as supporting why you believe this is your purpose. Or think of them as the foundation to why this dream is your dream.
Next to this item, on each side, write down what is preventing you from reaching this said "want". What are your roadblocks? What are your negative thoughts keeping you from pursuing this purpose? What are the uncontrollable aspects in life that are holding you down? These are the things & thoughts that we tend to level with our dreams. For some odd reason, we put all the negative, yucky things keeping us from pursuing our dreams at the same stage of importance as our goals. Instead of supporting ourselves, we justify our laziness & lack of oomph while we quarrel at the scary parts that come with following our dreams. Just as much as we think about our goals, we stress about the reasons we haven't “reached” them yet & what is keeping us further & further from them.
Now, above all of this. Above all this all consuming, mindful thoughts that keep us up at night. Both the good & the bad. Above your dream, above the foundation of it, above the insecurities. Above your want, I want you to acknowledge & write down the things that have happened & are happening in your life while on your journey to reaching this purpose. Jot down the story that is being written for you in the meantime. Fill this section with all the good that you are learning & the true, authentic person you are becoming while battling whatever fight it is that you are on.
This does not have to be an atlas sized road map of your life. It could be a sticky note for all I care. But what I do care about is your happiness & you seeing the great & perfect work that is currently being done in you. We are unable to see the bigger picture until after the painting is complete. This makes us feel lonely, lost, incapable & inadequate. The amazing thing is that during this time is when we are shaped most. Your character is being built stronger than ever. You are being given a story that you will have a chance to read to help so many others. I want you to stop & see all these things that you are becoming. Because it is truly amazing.
Fill Your Atmosphere With This Purpose
Now that arts & crafts are over, I am hoping you have a slight idea of what it is that makes you authentically you. That you see the parts that are moving in your life right now to be shaping you & molding you into the person you are meant to be. Now it is time to support that. It is so important to consume your life with positive & encouraging aspects that do nothing but motivate you to be you. There are several routes you can go to fill your atmosphere with your purpose.
Eyes - Find books geared around your passions. Subscribe & support other bloggers & Instagrammers that share their goals with you. The best way to learn how to get to where you want to be is by seeing what others are doing. They put their stories out there for the sole purpose to inspire, teach & lead. This past weekend we enjoyed a weekend away from the hustle & bustle & went camping. I am no reader, but being in the outdoors away from technology really gave me the time to settle down & learn from someone I am so inspired by. Jordan Lee Dooley just wrote her first book. She is a fellow self claiming multi-passionate creative that aspires to inspire. After reading the first chapter of her book “Own Your Everyday”, I was astounded. So many of her words felt like they came right out of my brain. What a talent she has to say the thoughts that I have been working so hard to unravel. By her pursuing this dream of hers, I am inspired to feel like I can do it too! So to fill your atmosphere with your purpose, first fill your eyes with it.
Ears - I have said it before & I will say it again. Podcasts are a huge asset in this technology filled age. Reading is not my thing, but I have lots of time to listen to things! Listening to podcasts is a free resource that just gives & gives & gives. These episodes are full of knowledge, experience, references & advice. Not only are they entertaining, but they are quite connecting. You can build an entire notebook of notes & strategies to help get you to your next step. Listening might be the strongest trait someone can have. Why not work on perfecting that trait while also learning how to do what you want to do, better!
Mouth - One of the scariest things for me to do before really pursuing this dream, was saying it out loud. I was very fearful of the negative thoughts others would have of me. I was afraid that if I hit a wall or if I failed, then everyone would know. That would be so embarrassing. The insecurities of being seen as silly or unqualified were & are all too strong. Something that helped me to be able to peel these negative thoughts away was to put it out into the world. I started telling my husband about these dreams. I then spread the word to my sisters & my friends. I started bringing these goals into conversations & fed off of what others said. You would be amazed at the support that is out there. I found groups on Facebook to connect with like minded creatives. All of these conversations not only made me feel real about pursuing this passion, but they made it feel so tangible. Your passion is much to big & strong to stay inside of you. It is your job to share it with the world. Push your goodness onto others.
Live Out Your Purpose Today, Starting Now
Writing down your purpose & putting it on something tangible is one of the most real things you can do with this seemingly far away goal. Filling your atmosphere by reading, listening, & discussing your purpose will shape you into someone fit to live out this purpose. Now stop waiting around for a day to come to live this purposeful life. Today is that day.
If you want this dream to come true, if you want to find & reach your purpose, you need to realize that it isn’t necessarily a day marked on the calendar. It won’t be a “oh look, I got it, I am done now” type of situation. It will be something that becomes you & something you work on every day. By starting to live out your purpose today, that puts you at literally living your purpose for one whole day. & then two days. Then three. Then four. You get the picture. No, you do not need to have all the answers or even know exactly what your purpose is in life to start living in that way. What you can do is wake up, be the best version of you, say a prayer that you can be strong that day & have clarity, listen to your podcasts, interact with your pears, read a blog post & share with one person what you want to be when you grow up. If this dream of yours is to be a fitness instructor, then make it a habit to work out. Go to the gym. Maybe pass out some encouragement or advice to others in the gym. The only person that knows you are not an actual fitness instructor is you. If you think your purpose is to be an author, then start writing. You are capable of living out your purpose today. Starting now.