Strive not to be a success, but rather be of value. (Albert Einstein)
I was born a philosopher at heart.
True to testament, I remember being in elementary school, being enraptured by the moon. Not only was it beautiful and captivating, I also believed in my childlike wonder and egocentrism that the moon followed me everywhere I went. And I asked the question (to myself, of course), why does the moon follow me around? What is the moon’s purpose?
Fast forward a few years later to adolescence, and as I sat on the swing set at a local park watching the moon, I pondered the ultimate question: what’s the point of life? Why are we all here, anyway?
I was born to ask questions. Especially questions that help me to feel connected to things I can’t see or observe with any of my physical senses.
Do you know what I’ve found to be the answer to that question?
It definitely isn’t happiness. Life isn’t to be happy – although many people would argue that it is. That the ultimate purpose in life is to be happy.
But that’s incomplete.
When we chase happiness, we end up living a life of emptiness.
Life is about fulfillment. And fulfillment only comes when we ask ourselves the question: do I matter?
I was recently honored to be on a panel for a group of ladies in a fitness program. We talked about life and purpose. And meaning. I gave a presentation on how to live a life that matters. There’s more to come soon, but in the end, it boils down to these four things (and things you can implement right away).
- It all starts with self-awareness. If you don’t know who you are, you’ll be a wanderer permanently in this lifetime. Figure out who you are. Action step: Identify your biggest fears. Reach out to me, journal, or go see a counselor/coach. This is the fastest way to find what makes you tick – and what you find most meaningful/beautiful in life.
- You have to set intentions. You are the creator of your reality. This is a life you get to write. So take back the controls – set intentions for how you want your life to look. Action step: identify three people you admire. Figure out the one thing about them that you admire, and set those three words as your identity words. If you want to take it a step further, you can set alarms on your phone to go off and remind you of your intentions.
- Take off your masks. 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. It’s what you do – day in, day out – that makes your life count. You shape your destiny and your life purpose by what you do. Purpose isn’t an aha, lightbulb moment that goes off and all of a sudden you know what your purpose is. You have to practice, and put into motion your intention for creating and shaping your purpose that defines your legacy. This is the last step of the four pillars to living a life that matters. Why? because it takes everything into account: your increased self-awareness, ability and willingness to set intentions, the true you that shows up when you take off masks. We shape our destiny through our habits. Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do.” Action step: 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.
Live with intention. Lead with inspiration.