5 Ways To Get Clarity Of Purpose While Making A Living
"Clarity is the hardest thing of all," says Julian Barnes. He could be right. Few people I know have a clear idea about what they want.
I was having a chat with a friend yesterday, and she said if someone asked what she wanted to do, just for herself and not to please anyone else, she wouldn’t know. She has a job she likes and is very good at, but she sort of fell into it. She hasn’t been trained in finding out what she actually wants to do with her life.
Maybe you’ve heard storíes of people who knew what they wanted to be before they were 10 years old. It strikes them like lightening. Suddenly everything is crystal clear and they know what to spend the rest of their lives doing. I’ve always found those people kind of annoying. Maybe it was jealousy.
I don’t know the number but my guess would be that it’s 1% of the world’s population this happens to.
The reason I give away a clarity and structure workbook is that clarity for me has always been hard to get. I never knew what I wanted to be when I was young, and I felt inadequate compared to my school mates because they all seemed to know what they were going to do with their lives. I still struggle with having clarity because I still chase that crystal clear path ahead. I would love to say I don’t believe crystal clarity exists but I have experienced it. The few, wonderful times I have been super clear about what I wanted, I have achieved it. E.V.E.R.Y time.
But getting clarity is not a "quick fix". Not in my experience.
Get clarity of purpose while making a living
I believe a lot of us know deep down some of what we really want. If you pay attention to what gives you energy, I believe you can figure out what things you ought to focus your time and energy on.
The BIG problem, as I see it, is making a living, either doing what gives you energy or having enough energy left over to change direction while you earn a living. That's where the gap is and it's in that gap we get lost. But the thing about clarity is that it’s very hard to think your way to it. You kind of have to try something to see if you like it or not.
I wish I could remove the guilt some of us have for doing jobs that pays the bills but are not our true calling. I have huge respect for those who can do a job and not let the trivia of it bother you. You have to make a living and if your job drains you and make you feel bad, change it, change it or train as something else.
You might have to go through a lot of jobs to find the clarity you need, but so what? Really? We care too much about what other people think.
I wish clarity was swift. Like a strike of lightning. Boom! And everything is clear.
What job to get, what my purpose is, what steps to take next, how to make good money.
Lately, I have been working through some stuff and this has brought so much clarity for me. It’s been a mix between taking small steps every day and then letting go completely for 3-4 weeks. Literally occupying my thoughts by reading novels. I have 5 suggestions for you if you are trying to figure out what your purpose in your life is.
5 ways to get clarity of purpose
At this stage, I have tried several things to try and figure out what I truly want. Some of these might work for you. I believe you know deep down what is best for you and what’s right for you, and I understand how hard it can be to ignore a lifetime of “should” and of being a “good girl”, so hard that that little voice inside is drowned out. Maybe some of these tools can help you.
Writing your thoughts on a page is meant to have the same effect as talking to a therapist for half an hour. (Resource: Robert Maurer: One small step can change your life - the kaizen way). Journalling is like having a conversation with yourself. I’ve been journaling on and off since I was a teen and I always feel a little lighter after like I got things off my chest. As for clarity, it works for some and not so much for others. You might want to journal for a while to go really deep and that’s when you’ll get to the bottom. One of the reasons for writing your thoughts down on paper works is because it’s easier to admit hard truths on a silent page that saying words out loud. It’s a safer haven because no one reads your journal.
Journal prompts suggestions could be:
My favourite day would look like this………
What upsets me deeply in the world is………
If I didn’t feel any fear about anything, I would……..
What I know for certain……
Create a vision board
I’m a big fan of vision boards because they are so much fun to create. I remember making mood boards and feeling ashamed by it when I lived alone in my late teens. I thought I “should” have outgrown cutting pictures out of magazines. But I loved making them and they inspired me. Now, I know a little about The Law Of Attraction and the reality behind “what you think about, you bring about”.
I now have a vision board all the time and I keep changing them because I achieve some things and because I evolve and new inspiration is needed. I have one for my private life and one for my business.
A vision board keeps you focused and helps you get a visual picture of what you’re life could be like. It’s a little harder to have an abstract idea in your head about some lofty idea. But having an image in front of you makes your dream more real.
Tear images out of mags or download images from the net. This is for private use only. Pay close attention to how you react with each picture. Only use pictures that stirs joy, inspiration and excitement.
Decluttering your home and life and simplifying the way you live is a HUGE benefactor to clarity. When you consciously make a decision about you want to keep and what you don’t want you to train yourself to listen to your intuition and what works for you. It’s that awareness of how much do you actually need? Are you keeping things because you’re meant to or because you really want them? A super helpful exercise for general life clarity.
I like to simplify my life, which is another route to clarification of what I really need. Decluttering and simplifying my life is becoming more and more important. From emails to social media to clothes and my home, I want to live as simple as I possibly can. Not easy with 3 teens and a hubby who’s not on the same mission. haha. But I try. My head is a busy place and I cannot stand too much mess and clutter around me.
Asking yourself small questions is the kaizen philosophy of activating the subconscious. If you ask the same small question repeatedly in a kind and gentle spirit, you activate your own Google search in your brain.
One small question I think is good to ask is simply:
What gives you energy?
Take a long time answering this question. Months or years. Notice the things that make you feel a little more enthusiastic and "up" and notice all the things that make you feel dread in your body.
Your body rarely lies and you'll find many clues by tuning into your energy. Answering this question will make you connect your head with your body.
I have found this question helpful because I tend to stay in my head and ignore my body. I know I'm not alone in this.
I always remember how Sir Ken Robinson said in his brilliant TED Talk, that academics look at their bodies as a form of transport for their heads. (This talk is so good, I still watch it, I still laugh and I still get fired up). But so many of us tend to do that, don't we? We live in our heads. That's why this energy question is powerful.
The opposite test
I wrote here about getting clarity by using the opposite-test. This is something I read in a Daniel H. Pink book. He says that clarity often comes from contrast.
Sometimes it’s just easier to know what you DON’T want than what you DO want. So, that’s a place to start. Write down all the things you don’t like and don’t want to be doing. People you don’t like hanging around and projects and jobs you don’t want to do and WHY.
At least you that much.
Be persistence in your search
Be persistent in your search for clarity of your life’s purpose. It’s easy to get frustrated about not knowing what you want to be doing with your life. To figure out what that feeling inside you means, that nagging dissatisfaction that you can’t put a name on. Just be persistent. You’ll figure it out if you keep trying.
Talking to friends can be a great help as they might see in you something you don’t see yourself. But ultimately, clarity of your purpose is found within you. And if you have to go through 10 jobs to make a living while you work it out, good for you. You can, of course, go through life not giving “this purpose talk” a second thought. Most people probably do. I just know I have to do work that gives me energy and that fulfils me. If you’re the same I hope this post will help you along.
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