The First Step to Living a Life of Joy and Purpose
Updated: Feb 19, 2018
I think it’s safe to say that we all come to these wellness sites because we have a shared interest in creating more joy and purpose in our lives...and the lives of those around us. But sometimes these intentional living concepts can feel strangely out of reach because of their abstract nature. What does it even mean to live with joy, purpose, or intention?
Instead of going through a list of definitions, I’d like to offer a simple exercise that will help you uncover the most fundamental aspects of YOUR joy and purpose. This is the first in a three-step process that will allow you to design your life with intention.
Take a moment to think about your answers to the following questions:
1. Why Am I Here?
AKA “What is the meaning of life?” I know, I know...this is the ultimate question for the philosophers, but I want you to apply this question to your OWN existence only: ‘What is the meaning of MY life?’
With that in mind, you may be surprised to find that you have some pretty solid answers. Get really quiet in your head for a moment and feel what comes up for you. ‘What is the meaning of my life? Why am I here?’
When you’ve found some of your answers, write them down with the header:
"My existence is important because I am here to…”.
Here are some common responses that resonate with my clients:
….I am here to experience and spread love and joy.
….I am here to design beautiful clothing
….I am here to raise conscious children who become conscious adults
….I am here to make people laugh
….I am here to share my knowledge/gifts (spiritual, intellectual, etc.) so that others can benefit from the information
….I am here to take the next step in my conscious evolution
….I am here to make a novel scientific discovery
You can almost think of this as your personal mission statement, much like a business would use as a compass for its strategic development.
2. What are my values?
Now that you’ve articulated your reason(s) for being on this earth, you can use this information to create a list of your values. For example, let’s say that I believe I am here on this earth to experience the pleasure of connecting with others in a loving way, I might say that I value loving connections, or I value kindness. Perhaps you believe you are here to raise conscious humans. Then you might say that you value being a connected parent/mentor.
3. How am I living my values today?
Post these two lists where you will see them often, and do regular check-ins with yourself. You can think of this as setting a daily intention by asking yourself ‘How can I live my values today?’ You don’t have to come up with some elaborate plan either; just read your list and listen to your heart.
You may find that today your intuition simply reminds you to stay present with your loved ones as much as possible. On another day you may feel the urge to be bold in your business endeavors so that you can share your knowledge with more people. Or maybe you will find the inspiration to take a step towards volunteering for a cause. All you have to do is be open to the wisdom of your own internal compass.
Then let it guide you throughout the day. You may catch yourself checking your email during a family dinner. At that moment you can remind yourself that you value your family time more than that issue at the office (which can be dealt with at another time). Knowing that you are prioritizing your values will make it easier to put your phone down and reconnect with your loved ones.
When you regularly connect with your purpose in this way, you end up living each day with more intention. You also end up living in alignment with your best, most authentic self. And eventually you’ll find that the sum of your days brings you, almost effortlessly, to the life you’ve always imagined. Now that’s what I call joyful living!