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Finding & Following Your Purpose: Goal Setting

Apr
05

Finding & Following Your Purpose: Goal Setting

How goal setting can help you to find your purpose and follow your calling!

“We’re like a Sword, forged in the fires of conflict, hammered into shape by the struggles of life, tempered by self-determination, and polished by self-refinements.”

Countless life, financial, business coaches, Gurus, Shamans, blogs, websites, authors, and an innumerable number of mediums and sources implore the importance of goal setting to actualize our dreams and desires. It’s exceptionally important to set a target, an objective, a milestone for one to define and measure their dream, goal or desire. These are all things I’m sure we’ve all read and encountered to embark on a journey. To be honest, like many people, I felt immense pressure, confusion and anxiety around goal setting. I felt that I had no clue what my goals were, my calling or purpose was, so how could I set goals to achieve things I didn’t know I wanted to achieve? What exactly is my dream or desire? How do we set our goals when we don’t understand our vision and cannot envision our future? 

Breaking out of the cage

Societal structures, cultures, traditions, “norms”, roles, and “a way of doing things” are present in ALL human groupings. To an extent, we’ve all been socialized and conditioned. From conception and throughout our childhood, we’ve experienced varying influencers. Our parents’ values, understanding of societal and cultural norms and practices, their parenting styles, our nucleus and extended familial connections and systems, and so many other influencing factors, including our educational journey and what we see in various online and offline mediums, have and continue to socialize and condition us. 

Because of this molding and conditioning, most of us question whether our perception of our dreams, desires, calling, or purpose is a product of our environment or is true, innate, and Dainty. Add to that our “hectic”, busy, and fast-paced lives filled with limitless choices and boundless information at our disposal adds more veneers, making it almost impossible for most of us to find our calling or purpose truly. The unfortunate truth is that most of us will never get to unearth our true desires or purpose. Many of us will find fulfillment in doing things we’re good at, and most of us will be content with that – be it working in a specialized, niche job, playing professional sports, playing in a band or orchestra, sketching or painting art.  

Filling the emptiness by saying NO

Some of us feel a sense of emptiness, and we can’t quite pinpoint the cause – the quality of lacking meaning or sincerity; meaninglessness. Is this it !? we ask ourselves. Do I want to continue doing what I’m doing for the rest of my life? Is this the legacy I want to leave? Let me give you a few pointers that may help in your quest for clarity and purpose. 

SAY NO & SET BOUNDARIES!

DON’T BE AFRAID TO SAY NO! STOP BEING AGREEABLE ALL THE TIME. If you find it hard to say no and agree with your colleagues, superiors, spouses, parents, friends on things they value, not only is there a high probability that you will be taken advantage of. You will never step into your personal path and pursue YOUR life. If you’re a person who has never really created healthy boundaries in the past or has not learned to be a tad selfish by saying no at times, this can sound mean and narcissistic. The shift is necessary and will initially feel uncomfortable. 

Think of the numerous inspirational narratives you’ve heard of successful, influential, celebrity status, wealthy, and healthy (physically and mentally) people who’ve either risen from little to nothing or those that hit rock bottom and rose like the phoenix from the ashes. Stories of people who managed to create a comfortable life for themselves messed everything up through gambling and bounced back harder. Stories of people who worked on Wall Street, quit their investment banking jobs to pursue something more fulfilling like humanitarian work. Stories of people who grew up in the most unimaginable environments riddled with crime, abuse, violence, and a plethora of social ills shifting their mindsets, almost ignoring the noise from their environments and becoming high achieving household names. 

All these people are living proofs that we all have the capacity, the ability to completely transform our minds, our bodies, our spiritual connection, the quality of our relationships, our lives and our perspective. 

Clean out your life!

“You don’t know what you have till it’s gone”

Life definitely teaches us lessons, puts things into perspective, lets us appreciate the positives, and gives us the nuts to re-set and start living in our path with true clarity when shit really hits the fan. Funny enough, it’s easier to start the life you have always dreamed of when everything else has been taken away from you. But what if you have all the choices in the world and need to initiate the right move to create the situation you really wish for?

Change, initiating change, and the process of change is certainly not easy or comfortable. The process of change quite often evolves into an emotional rollercoaster if not managed in a secure and sensitizing manner. To say goodbye to relationships, jobs, friendships, even apartments, often is highly stressful and heart-wrenching. Just the thought of changing something fundamental, something you have attached your identity to for years, like leaving your job and shifting your career path, can cause extreme anxiety.

Plant the seed and let it grow.

But I can attest and affirm that once you plant that seed, once you have that courageous conversation with yourself and have started to consider taking that leap into the unknown seriously, that seed will only start to germinate. It doesn’t matter whether or not you leap into your “new”, more fulfilling path straight off the bat; just having the consideration in your mind, the itch to make that necessary pivot will leave uncomfortable, almost “alluring“ sensations in you. You will either walk a path that is unknown and sometimes uncomfortable or find yourself plotting uncomfortable thoughts. Either way, “buckle your seatbelt, Dorothy, because Kansas is going bye-bye.” You’re already down the rabbit hole, and just like Dorothy and Alice, your adventure has begun. Enjoy all the wonders, new discoveries, new world, and be the protagonist of your life script.  

Embrace Change

We need to embrace change, regardless of how painful and hard it may be. We’ll save ourselves a lot of heartaches if we do. Change is the only constant. Change is inevitable. Humans are evolvers, and we micro-evolve every day, and we are creators of change; we change daily, even if we don’t notice it. That’s why our need to make changes in our life, to be “actively mobile” is a natural and a necessary one, even though we might experience it as something uncomfortable at first. Uncomfortably is synonymous with motion. When you go off on a jog, the first  1 mile is usually excruciating, but it becomes more bearable and fun. Even seasoned athletes feel this. So don’t worry; discomfort is a necessary process in your transformation journey.

The power of acknowledging your wins!

Motivate yourself by thinking of all the times you found yourself in a situation that was uncomfortable at first, but turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to you?! Like white water rafting, bungee jumping, running a half marathon, starting your very first job, or starting a new hobby. 

What change would you like to implement into your life? Is there something that you want to change? Or does something feel uncomfortable but can’t pinpoint exactly what it is that makes you feel that way? Sometimes the issue is obvious and easy to detect. Other times it takes a lot of courage and honesty. 

There are some tried and tested approaches to finding out what needs to change in your life.  One of the most effective ways of being honest with yourself and understanding your life is by writing. Get a journal and write down your thoughts, your inner conversations, your introspective contemplation, your triggers, your joy catalyzers, your wildly insane audacious dreams and desires… Write things down. 

Analyze and recognize:

  • how you’re talking to yourself, 
  • how you’re spending your time,
  • what upsets you
  • what brings you joy and peace
  • what you love to do 
  • who you’re surrounding yourself with
  • how you speak to, treat and relate to others 
  • your physical needs
  • how you’re fueling your body…

Why Positive Psychology?

I can go on and on. The point is to lift your mood, reflect and filter positivity to steer your thoughts towards positivity. A positive, healthy mind and body can only help in achieving your goals better. Positive psychology is certainly a very relevant subject in our current world. 

How journaling can help!

Journaling can also be a great way of exploring your life and the things that are not working the way you would like. If you are stuck in a feeling but are not certain why you feel the way you do, writing is a great start. Describe your daily routine, and write down your goals, dreams, and wishes. Ask yourself what is it that you like to do and what are you good at. Does it make you fulfilled if you do what you are good at? Or would you like to try out something new? Do you want to change your job or even a carrier? Go for it, but make a plan. Please write it down. Jot down step by step and break down all your objectives into bite-sized, attainable milestones. Write down where you see yourself in 5/10 years.

Where will you be living? What type of home will you have? How will you look? What sort of lifestyle will you ideally be living, how much income will you need to fulfill that life? How are you going to finance that lifestyle? How will you “make a living”? Don’t get discouraged if it seems daunting at first; just keep writing and visualizing. Nothing is unattainable. We’re capable of so much. We all can achieve what we want to if we sincerely and genuinely pursue it. The path can be narrow, dark,  scary with rough terrain. But just like climbing any mountain, it certainly is a beautiful way of exploring, learning, and growing. Isn’t this why we are here?!

“Reach for the stars, so if you fall you land on the clouds.”

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