As you travel through your life, sooner or later a question shows up in your mind that you must answer. You may know the answer right away, but if you’re like most people it’s not all that obvious. You may try to ignore the question, but if you do, it keeps coming back. It’s like a pebble in your shoe. First, it’s just an irritation, but left unanswered it becomes an open sore, and if that’s left unanswered, pretty soon you have an infection. It won’t go away on its own.
So what is the question? That question we all face at some point is this – is this the life I am supposed to be living? Adding to that are these two. Why was I put on this Earth? What is my purpose?
We’ve all asked. The questions are innocent enough, but they can cause frustration, anxiety, lack of fulfilment, doubt, and indecision. Left unanswered, they continue to show up with monotonous regularity, don’t they? And they will continue to show up until you answer from your heart.
When you get right down to it, what most people want is just to live a peaceful, happy life and make more money than they need to spend each month. That’s all. Then they could spend time with the people they care about and do the things that matter and allow them to make a difference.
In other words, they want to live an Authentic Life. Authenticity is the inevitable outcome when what you think, what you say, and what you do is in harmony. In fact, when you are in complete alignment, authenticity is the only possible outcome.
How different would it be if you woke up each morning with a smile on your face, jumped out of bed, and couldn’t wait to get at it? Like when you were a kid and the circus was in town, remember?
Living an authentic life starts when you start feeling hopeful and happy every day, and that starts by letting go of everybody and everything that no longer align with your purpose. This may include people that you’ve known for a long time, places you visit, activities you may have been involved in for years, old habits, thoughts, and expectations.
Consider these in more detail:
If there are people you know who stir things up, live a life of drama, and want to take everyone along for the ride with them, it’s time to let them go. What if they are friends? What if they are family? If you really want to live an authentic life, it’s important to face the reality of where your unhappiness comes from. Sometimes you just need to remove yourself and love them from a distance.
What about the places you visit? Are there places you go to for entertainment, education, or social recreation that you don’t really enjoy? If you’re not happy when you go in and you’re not happy when you come out, stop going there! Find places that leave you feeling enriched, joyful, and a better person at the end of each visit.
What do you spend your time thinking about? Is your mind permeated with doom and gloom? Do your thoughts create anxiety, disappointment, or even anger? Why dwell on any of that? You’ve heard me say it many times – like attracts like. How can that doom and gloom thinking possibly serve you?
If you allow the people, places, and experiences in your life to weigh you down, no amount of success drive or positive thinking is going to change anything for you until you face the real issue.
Every person, place, or activity that gets in the way of your purpose is like a rock that you put in your backpack when you go on a hiking trip. You don’t have to go far before the extra weight begins to slow you down. Life becomes heavy, every day becomes a chore, and the backpack becomes too heavy to lift. Everything seems like a struggle. And you wonder why life is tough? It’s time to unload that backpack
Here’s what happens when you do:
You start thinking of people, places, and things that made you really happy as a child. You get the urge to revisit places you haven’t seen for a long, long time, to seek out and find people that made you feel good many years ago, and to re-engage with activities you thoroughly enjoyed as a child that hold so many memories for you.
You find yourself smiling during the day for no reason at all. Life suddenly feels lighter. You feel totally capable of letting go of thoughts you neither want nor need.
You begin to experience JOY just through your thoughts and feelings. You notice that, with little or no conscious effort on your part, you have no attachment to the people, places, or things that no longer serve you. Letting them all go becomes effortless.
Living authentically becomes easy. As your awareness for all things authentic within you becomes more apparent, your ability to reject things that are not in alignment with your authentic self increases.
You make new friends. New people start to come into your life who are in alignment with your new fresh way of thinking. Remember – like attracts like in a good way as well.
You get to enjoy new adventures. Opportunities to experience new activities that you have never previously even thought of present themselves and you find yourself excited to try them.
You continue to learn and discover. Your interest in learning new things awakens and you find yourself fascinated by the idea of learning new skills. The people you meet while learning these new skills resonate directly with your heart, your values, and your purpose and you feel at home.
You will notice that once you start living authentically, your frustration, anxiety, and doubt are replaced with optimism, enthusiasm and fulfilment in all that you do. Life seems simpler. The sun seems to shine more. Others say you look different, more radiant, and more alive. You are different – a better kind of different.
It all begins when you make that decision to let go of everyone and everything that no longer aligns with your purpose. The change can be dramatic. The results are long lasting. Try it for yourself. You’ll be glad you did!
Find your purpose – find your joy!
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Did you find a few more ideas of your own? If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comments, and as always please reach out with your thoughts.