If you grew up believing that happiness is what life is about, you’re in for a rude awakening come the time you’re on your deathbed.
In fact, there’s a quote I love by John Lennon:
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
The only problem is that,
people mistake quotes like this to mean that the purpose of life is to be happy. In fact, even the Dalai Lama is quoted to say that the purpose of our lives is to be happy. But true understanding of what these quotes relay, and pure awareness of life can only present to us what may seem to be ironic.
Life purpose, in its truest form, does not have direction.
Direction only exists in a world where time is linear and space is finite. Thus, life purpose, in its fullest glory to the extent with which we can experience and understand in our human forms, is to identify its existence and presence by what we know as happiness.
Thus, happiness is only a natural byproduct of life purpose that is present. Just as we can identify a thunderstorm that has just passed, life purpose can be identified wherever happiness is present.
In order to live a life that matters, that is, with purpose, you only need these four things:
- Self-awareness. Without self-awareness is like to be wandering out at sea permanently without sails or oars. Self-awareness is knowing who you are. Without this, you’ll be a permanent wanderer, always searching but never finding. If you want to know who you are, begin by identifying your biggest fears. You can hire a professional (therapist, coach), journal, set an intentional meditation plan. Identifying your biggest fears is the fastest way to figure out who you are, and what you find most meaningful/beautiful in life.
- Intentions. If you want to never waste time again, you have to acknowledge that you are in the driver’s seat. That means, you are the creator of your reality. This is a story you get to write. So write your story with intention. The most consistent way to set life intention is to identify three individuals you admire. Figure out why you admire them, and what word comes to mind when you think of them. These are your words, and the intention you set to show up in this way every day. You can take it a step further and set alarms on your phone to go off to remind you of this intention (my alarm just went off as I’m writing this now!).
- Intimacy. You need to remove your masks. Only then, can you have in-to-me-see (intimacy), where others see your true form. After so many years of wearing a mask, you may have forgotten what it means to be you. To use your own voice, your own language. Action step: Do one thing on a daily that’s out of societal/cultural norms. Want to sing on the elevator? Belt it out!
- Life purpose is a verb, not a noun. Purpose comes from the actions you take on a daily basis. It’s what you do – day in, day out – that makes your life count. Purpose doesn’t land on your head like an anvil or piano does in cartoons. It slowly takes shape as you carry through on your intention to write your story the way you see fit. This is the fourth pillar to living a life that matters. It integrates: increased self-awareness, ability & willingness to set intentions, the real you that shows up when you choose to be in intimacy. Thus, you shape your destiny through your habits.
Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do.”
Set 12-week goals. Have goals that you set to meet in 12-weeks, instead of 52 weeks. Review them every day, and have at least one thing you do each day for each goal, that gets you closer to meeting that goal.
Want to take it a step further? You can access Dr. J directly through The Bodhisattva Blueprint – it’s a great way to sponsor awesome content, join your tribe of people that think like you do, and get the strategies, support, and accountability you need to make this life count. Join the group, here.