Purpose – Extract
From our Manifesto…
‘You Don’t have to stand on a desk to seize the day. But you do need to grab the day by the balls, point it in the direction you want to go, and squeeze until there’s nothing left.’
People talk a lot about finding their purpose in life, but that grandiose theme –more akin to vision– is not what we’re here to hash out today. What we’re digging into is a bit more basic, the brass tacks of how you approach each day and what you get out of it. Though certainly essential to reaching the more lofty heights of self-fulfillment, 3rdNut Purpose is focused on the here and now. Think of it as the little cousin of Initiative: where one goes, the other is sure to be tagging along.
Ask any 3rdNut member and they’ll tell you that the hard part of reaching a goal isn’t setting it; it’s the day-in, day-out sometimes trudge of one foot in front of the other that (metaphor here). That journey of 1,000 miles only gets completed if you can get your ass in gear to do a mile a day.
So how do you cultivate this kind of purpose? And what keeps it going day after day?
“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.” – JFK
INTENTION IS YOUR ALLY.
Before you start your engines for the day, make sure you have a clear idea of what you’d like to get out of it. Taking a moment the night before can make it easier to hit the ground at a respectable pace when the wake up alarm buzzes. Need a day off? Bravo, take it…but just do it intentionally so you look back at the day with a sense of doing a kick ass job of taking it easy, instead of kicking yourself for wasting a day.
FORGET ABOUT EVERYONE ELSE
No, we’re not saying to be selfish – 3rdNut is all about looking out for the greater good. But when it comes to setting your purpose for each day, the only measuring stick you can compare against is your very own.
DIG DEEPER INTO FINDING YOUR PURPOSE
Here’s an excerpt from our COURAGE ACADEMY COURSE
Putting courage into action through Purpose
Most people are taught the following when they are young… Study hard, go to a good school, don’t buck the system, get a job, try to make money and eventually, you’ll be happy.
Note to self…following someone else’s plan is not the recipe for being happy in life…
If you speak with older people, people who have had a lot of experience in life, and you ask them what they would do differently if they could start again, you hear some common themes… They would take more risks, laugh more, have more experiences, be less afraid and follow their passions. But life is hard and our fears often keep us from finding out what we are truly capable of. Listen hard to their advice. If you don’t, you’ll be saying the same thing in your old age.
If you never align your career with your purpose, what you’re truly passionate about, then that means every single day you go to work, you’re working at odds with your gut and passion. Not a great formula for success in the long run and eventually that plays out with a midlife crisis, regrets and burnout.
ACTIONS TO TAKE THIS WEEK.
Let’s do some exercises that will get you thinking about Purpose.
Step 1 of the exercise. Let’s go way back to when you used to dream big. Remember what you’re passion about.
Start by identifying 3 – 5 things you were really passionate about when you were a child. Take your time, revisit that time and feeling. Maybe you need to do a little meditation in a quiet place to get your mind ready for this. Was it sports? Stories? Building things? Exploration, science? Music?
Got them? Write them down. You will be writing down several bits of information during this multi-part exercise, so try to write it all down on one sheet neatly if you can. You can always start again if you need to.
Now add 3 – 5 interests that you have developed as you’ve grown. Is it helping others? Raising kids, coaching, love of outdoors, traveling, computers? Ask yourself, ‘Where would you spend my time if money were not an issue?’ write these down next to your childhood passions.
Do any of the passions from your childhood align with your adult self? If so, that’s great because it gives you a strong hint at where to start. Highlight the connections on your notepad. If not, that’s ok. Just continue with a few areas that you are currently passionate about.
Now, is there anyone you know that is living your dream? One of the passions that you share? Someone that has a purpose you greatly admire? Write those people down on your notepad, even if you don’t know them personally. Later, in this exercise, you’ll actually search for additional people to network with.
Step 2 of the exercise. Write it down and make it real.
Next, write down the top 5 activities on your bucket list next to your passion activities you’ve recorded on your notepad. If you don’t have a bucket list, spend a little time developing one. A bucket list is just a list of things you want to experience in your lifetime. Don’t ignore these thoughts, they are a great indicator of what you truly desire in life.
Don’t worry if your list is big, you can and probably will update these as you learn and grow, no problem. Just go through this exercise all the way to the end, then you can repeat whenever you get a new idea.
Step 3 of the exercise. Use your sleuthing skills.
Next, let’s do a little research. Give yourself a few minutes a day to do this one. Go to a social networking site, maybe Linkedin, but there are others, and find 3 people, (you don’t need to know them,) who make a living or participates full time in each of the passions you wrote down. You can use the search tools to find companies, topics and more. Also, check forums and other social sites.
Try to find people who are geographically close to your town, but that’s not a requirement. Read each person’s profile and get to know as much as you can about what they do. Think of(visualize) yourself meeting with them to talk about your mutual interests. What would you ask them? What would you tell them if they asked you what you wanted in life and how they could help?
Write down a list of 5 or 6 people, more if you have time.
Often times, these people are happy to speak with you and help because they are passionate about what they do and want others to join in their tribe. Overcome your fear of being rejected. Send them a message, their contact info is usually contained in their profile.
Note that people who are successful at what they do, are interested in and want to help you. Really, I’m not making this up. They actively set aside time in their schedule exactly for this purpose.
That doesn’t mean everyone you contact will be open to helping, but remember that rejection is going to happen and it is part of the game. All successful people have been rejected, sometimes hundreds of times before they had their breakthrough. Don’t ever give up! Persevere and wear rejection like a badge of honor. If you’re failing, that means you’re trying and you should be proud of that!
Tip: I’ll give you a little sample of how to approach someone you haven’t met before at the bottom of the course.
If you don’t get a response right away, be patient because people are busy, and don’t be discouraged. You won’t get a response from everyone, but I bet you’ll have better luck than you think! It’s all about suppressing your fear of being rejected. Don’t ask, don’t get.
Courage Hint: on identifying your purpose: Your friends and family, along with observant strangers, teachers and others, are absolutely brilliant at spotting purpose and talent in you. If someone tells you that you would be great at something, DON’T IGNORE their suggestions. And don’t let fear poo poo your opportunity to explore their suggestions. Many of us actually know our purpose, but we bury it so deep in fear and denial, that it can’t come out.
Step 4 of the exercise. Meditation 15 minutes
If you already meditate, great. If not, now’s a good time to take yourself to a tranquil place and prepare your mind to relax. Turn off your phone’s ringer. Make sure you’re in a peaceful and quiet place for this activity.
Start by visualizing yourself as safe, happy, confident and with no worries about your current financial situation or other outside pressures that keep you from exploring your true passions in life. Now, begin to think about and visualize yourself taking part in each of the passions you’ve committed to memory. The order does not matter, but go through them one by one. If you find yourself spending more time on one or two activities, no problem that’s perfect, just down skip any before trying to visualize yourself in that activity.
Imagine yourself spending all your waking time involved in that activity, interacting with other successful people who value what you do and want to help you become great at that activity. Spend enough time to thoroughly relax and explore each opportunity. If you’re interrupted, take the time to deal with the interruption and then start over. It may take you a few attempts to find enough quiet and peaceful time to get through each of your passions and bucket list items.
Visualization Exercise Summary. The goal of the visualization exercise is to truly think about what it would be like, good bad and ugly, to spend your time in a particular pursuit that you think would align with your true desires, talents and strengths. Dare to let yourself dream. You may identify something that seems crazy, but don’t talk yourself out of exploring your options. Your conscious brain is great at saying NO, so you need to push past the initial blockers.
Ok, did you come to any conclusions? Surprised by anything you discovered? Add your thoughts and keep them with your Purpose notes.
Take a picture of your notes and keep it for future reference. When you want to go through this exercise again, you can always create new notes and see how your thinking has progressed or changed.
Step 5 of the Exercise. SUMMARY: I would love to hear if you reached out to anyone and made a great connection. Did you learn anything interesting? Did your bucket list surprise you? Did it make you start to think about changing what you’re doing today to be able to accomplish those things?
Next you will take what you developed here and start laying out goals that will help you move towards your purpose.
Share your thoughts with me, I would love to hear from you! firstname.lastname@example.org
Sample Outreach Email:
Sample outreach letter. Note that on LinkedIn, If you contact someone on LinkedIn, they will typically check out your profile before getting back to you. I strongly encourage you to build a good profile on LinkedIn. Just model your profile another person who has a lot of contacts.
Dear Mr./Mrs. ______. I discovered your profile while doing a research project on a subject I am very passionate about which is <insert your area of interest.> I very much admire what you are doing and hope to reach your level of success one day. I was hoping you might have a few minutes to allow me to introduce myself and ask you a few questions that could help me follow in your footsteps.
I thank you in advance for your time and look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you so much!