The Ultimate Guide To Living On Purpose

Posted: September 3, 2015 in Uncategorized

When I look at my boys, I am both excited and terrified,
for them. I am excited because their life’s journey has
just started. At this stage of their young lives, they
have no limitations, no worries, and they are highly
motivated to invent their world.
My youngest voraciously attacks each day; he climbs,
he falls, he cries, only to do it all over again. My oldest
has a fearless imagination and is predisposed to telling
wild stories; of sea monsters living in the midnight
zone.
And failure for them is not the end of the story, it sets
in motion a series of questions, learning moments and
even goals.
Yes, you are unremarkably
average
I am terrified because, their journey must yield to the
reality that they must become members of society. An
ordered community that has little tolerance for the
round pegs in the square holes and covets conformity
above all else.
As my boys comply, they will gradually lose the
voracity to forge their path and eventually graduate to
what Chris Guillebeau, author of The $100 Startup,
defines as — the unremarkable average.
Guillebeau illustrates that the unremarkable average
live by a set of rules, commandments if you will:
1. Accept what people tell you at face value
2. Don’t question authority
3. Go to college because you’re supposed to, not because
you want to learn something
4. Go overseas once or twice in your life, to somewhere
safe like England
5. Don’t try to learn another language, everyone else will
eventually learn English
6. Think about starting your own business, but never do
it.
7. Think about writing a book, but never do it
8. Get the largest mortgage you qualify for and spend 30
years paying for it
9. Sit at a desk 40 hours a week for an average of 10
hours of productive work
10. Don’t stand out or draw attention to yourself
11. Jump through hoops. Check off boxes.
Does this life sound strangely familiar to you? Don’t be
afraid to say, “Yes.” This set of rules is what conformity
looks like, and no one will ever challenge you to be
different.
Why regret will lead you to
live on purpose
Richard Leider, the author of the Life Reimagined,
found that most people regretted living an average life.
They wished they had gotten more from their lives; to
live on purpose.
Leider interviewed hundreds of people over the age of
65 and asked them one question, “ If you could live your
life over again what would you do differently?” And three
themes kept repeating:
1. I would be more reflective; I would stop to enjoy the
moments of my life.
2. I would be more courageous; I would not be fearful of
not conforming.
3. I would understand my purpose; because my life needs
to matter.
If this small sample of people regretted living an
average life, for the sake of argument, I would say that
everyone has the same regret. So the real question is
why are you living your life the way other people expect
you too?
Tony Robbins explains that, “ The difference with anyone
that has followed through is that we are more afraid of
what life would be like if we don’t follow through – than
the person that is willing to settle with what they have
and hoping that it will change .”
So fear if allowed can retard your choices. Now
knowing this, how do you leverage fear and start taking
small steps to living on purpose?
Committing to new skills
will lead you to success
You commit to the skills that will give you the most
freedom. And how do you know what skills you need?
You need to ask yourself these two questions:
1. What do I really want out of my life?
2. What will I give back to my community for supporting
me?
Now you turn your dream into a project and like any
project you begin by creating three lists:
1. A list of everything a project needs to be considered a
good project
2. A list of all the skills you don’t have that are important
to the project’s success
3. A list of everything you are afraid of and out of your
control
At the beginning of most new projects, you will lack
mastery of key skills that are critical for the success
of the project. Understanding this issue is critical and
will condition you to focus on those necessary skills.
You could focus on mastering all the skills at once.
But experience has taught me that dividing your limited
energy is counterproductive. Instead, first, focus on
that one skill that will create the most freedom for you.
Once you have identified the skill to master, you must
not only create a set of habits, but you must also have
a provocative ”why” is the skill important. This strategy
will place you in the proper mindset to keep you
growing the new skill until it’s mastered.
Once you have mastered the necessary skills and you
have achieved your goal — it becomes a game for you.
Why – because progress is happiness. Therefore, you
start asking yourself — “ what is next ” or “ what else can I
do to create more freedom and happiness in my life ?”
You then revisit these two questions:
1. What do I really want out of my life?
2. What will I give back to my community for supporting
me?
…and the game starts all over again.
The Iron Cowboy Story
A story that recently caught my attention is about
James “Iron Cowboy” Lawrence. In 2014 Lawrence set
a new world record by achieving a personal goal of the
50, 50, 50 — that’s 50 iron distance triathlon races in
50 consecutive days in 50 states.
If you are unfamiliar with what an iron distance
triathlon is, here is the breakdown:
A 2.4-mile swim
An 112-mile bike ride
A 26.2 marathon run
The interesting thing is that Lawrence is a regular guy,
married with five kids. So what separates him from you
— his why .
James ran a 4-mile fun race one Thanksgiving and
during that race everything hurt — lungs, heart, legs,
etc. At the end of that race Lawrence decided his life
had to change. Why, because James was not going to
allow that moment to define his life.
James never thought that completing the 50, 50, 50
was not going to be worth it. He was on a mission, not
only to prove to himself that it could be done. But
teach his children that when you set a goal there needs
to be 100% conviction that you will achieve that goal .
And if you lack that conviction then there is no point in
setting the goal, in the first place.
Lawrence’s mission had a welcomed side effect,
James began to inspire others to do something outside
of themselves. The hardest moments for James was
not listening to the people that told him “ you can’t do
it .” It was shocking to him that it was the
overwhelming majority of the people that told him –
“ You will fail. This is impossible.”
So he needed to turn down the volume on all the
negativity and to focus on the things that are positive,
uplifting and the things that drove him forward — to
the finish line.
One of those positive moments for Lawrence was his
27th race. James helped a little boy named Dayton
compete in his first triathlon. This race was particularly
important to Lawrence because Dayton has cerebral
palsy.
Conclusion
We spend a lot of our lives being average and focusing
on the wrong thing. What if you took that same energy
and focused on becoming a better version of you? What
if you focused on helping others achieve their dreams?
Your goals may never get national attention like James
“Iron Cowboy” Lawrence, but what if they help put a
smile on the face of a boy like Dayton. Wouldn’t that
be more amazing than living an unremarkably average
life?

posted by Hari Krish

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