The way to focus (and refocus, and re-refocus…) on your life purpose begins with the general and then moves to the specific.
Who are you?
Don’t see your purpose as a job or task to complete. Don’t even see it as part of your identity: “I’m a __________.”
Rather, see your purpose as this: to become the very best version of yourself.
I find it helps to see your best self (your as a vast chorus of values all wanting to exist as much as possible through your life. )
Each value—each good thing you hope to have, be, or bring—faces specific hindrances and opposition that it must grow through so it can exist more. These hindrances are your limitations, compulsions, immature tendencies, addictions…
Seeing yourself as a mass of moving, evolving, competing forces can help you narrow in on your specific values.
I used to spend hours writing out countless plans for exactly how I should develop and bring my values to the world.
My frustration at that time far out-shined my progress.
Instead of trying to to map out every step of all your goals, I’d say just notice which of the values wanting to come to life through you tie to the unique way you see things and to whatever you happen to be good at.
Then try any number of different ideas and methods to hone in on what fits and works best for you in terms of bringing those values to the world.
For me, the values that connect to my perspective and talents are the ideas and insights I want to share.
My desk is still covered with complicated systems of well-researched plans for just how to turn my insights into blogs, podcasts, YouTube videos, stories…
But, again, not much was accomplished in all that time spent constructing those perfect systems.
It’s been only in letting go, stepping out, and trying various options that I’ve since been able to narrow in on certain avenues and platforms where I’ve found can naturally dig deep and come to life to connect and share ideas.
And sans all my complex plans, I’m now left with only an inescapable sense of my own inevitable next steps, and with no excuses not to take them.
Penn Jillette, the famous magician, was once asked how he’d lost over 100 pounds. He spoke of failing every easy diet plan that promised big results for little effort. He said he realized his diet and lifestyle changes needed to be drastic and difficult if they were to stick . . . otherwise compromise would be just too easy.
I recently chose to remove 5 things I tend to consume and enjoy from my life because I saw them interfering with my purpose. My goal is to eventually build a with each of those five [current] vices; but I know what I need at this stage in my journey toward purpose is a radical, practical change.
So, once you get a general sense of who you are . . . and then a more specific sense of how your purpose-related values seem to want to come to life through you . . . only then are you ready for what most seem to want to start with: willpower, discipline, and practical adjustments.