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In the depths of your soul are you wondering, "Is this all there is to life?” Or does life seem to feel like somewhat of a 'rat race' filled with anxiety? Maybe you're experiencing relationship challenges or your job situation is uncertain. If any of these questions resonate with you, there is reason for hope. Where you are at today is not your destination. Rather, it's just the first day of the rest of your life. Here are 10 steps that are common to humanity, that help most people on their journey to find purpose and joy.
Step 1- Destination. Where Do I Want to Go?
If you desire to see your life become one on purpose and filled with joy, it begins by visualizing what you would like your life to look like in 5, 10, 20 years or more. What kind of relationships do you want to have with family and friends? Would you like to be a person of high character? Do you want to be debt free? The clearer the picture you develop, the more likely you will achieve the change you desire. Take a few minutes right now and picture your life in 10 years. What do you hope it will look like?
Step 2- Is the Choice Really Mine?
Can you choose a different future? Absolutely! It starts with a clear picture of what you like to look like in the future. Then your future choices will either take you closer to your vision or farther away. The ones that will take you closer are really good decisions and the ones that will take you farther away are poor choices. This process also helps you establish priorities. Your first choice right now is to decide that you seriously want changes in your life. Will you make that choice and act on it today?
Step 3- What’s the Best Use of My Time?
We all have 60 minutes per hour, 24 hours a day, and 168 hours per week. You may think that you don’t have time to change your life because you may be caught up in the ‘rat-race’. The key is to establish priorities as to what will help you get to where you want to go. These will become the rocks that will replace things that currently consume your time but aren’t helping you to go where you want to go.
Step 4- What Should I Spend My Time and Energy On?
Do you find yourself feeling anxious or worrying about things that rob joy from you? Did you know that a lot of the anxiety that we experience is self-induced? It seems like people spend a lot of time stressing about things that they have absolutely no control over. The key is to sort out what things you can do something about, then do them. Let go of the things you have no control over and have faith the God or the Universe will take care of those details.
Step 5- If Someone Loses, Does Anyone Really Win?
In our society, it seems like we feel like we have to ‘win’. In relationships, if there is a winner and a loser, both sides end up losing. Great relationships develop resulting in much joy happen when a win-win situation can be arrived at. Occasionally that doesn’t seem to be possible. In those cases it’s better to simply agree to disagree but do it in an agreeable way and still be friends if at all possible.
Step 6- Why Do We Have 2 Ears and 1 Mouth?
The one principle that nearly all human beings need is to be valued and understood. The problem is that our natural inclination is to just want the other party to know how we feel. We really aren’t very concerned how they feel. As a result no one feels valued. The way to change this is to learn to listen first to what the other person is thinking or feeling. If we do that well, it is very likely that they in-turn will invite in what we feel. When this happens, both parties feel valued and understood.
Step 7- Look for the good in others
Why is it that we’re typically very good seeing what’s wrong with things or people? When that happens, not only do we feel negative, we are sure to make others feel negative as well. What would happen if we would choose to focus on what is right rather than what is wrong? Thankfulness and appreciation are keys to feeling wholeness and joy. Those that we influence will also feel the peace that comes from that approach won’t they?
Step 8- Try the Platinum Rule
Most people know that the Golden Rule is to treat others as we would want to be treated. Generally that’s a good way to approach life. But what if others see life differently than we do. If that is the case is there a chance that if we treat them the way we want to be treated, we could actually offend them? That happens a lot between men and women because we see life differently. The Platinum Rule is slightly altered. This principle is to ‘Treat others as they want to be treated’.
Step 9- Is the Sky Really Falling?
To some degree it seems that most people feel that when it rains, it will never stop and when the sun shines, it will shine forever. It is common for people to exaggerate how bad things are or how good things are. While there are occasional exceptions, things are rarely as good as they seem or as bad as they seem. If we can embrace this principle, our lives will level out and we won’t feel like life is such a roller coaster.
Step 10- Don’t ever stop learning
The world keeps turning and change is always happening. When one considers the vastness of the universe, there is always so much more to learn about life and relationships. To live a fulfilled life requires us to continually learn and grow. This requires both an open mind and being proactive to stay fresh. Furthermore, isn’t it likely that we need to be reminded on an ongoing basis of knowledge that we have accumulated before? Knowledge becomes wisdom when we live out the lessons we learn in life and share them with others.
So what do you think? Do these some or all of these steps resonate with you? If so, you may be wondering, what can I do now? There are 2 actions that you can take right now.
Action 1: Read my book “Finding Purpose and Joy, It’s a Journey”. There is a chapter dedicated to each of these steps that gives examples and practical applications for living these steps out.
Action 2: Consider engaging in one of the Finding Purpose and Joy Mentoring Programs that I offer.
May your life be filled with purpose and joy!
"Desiring to help people find purpose and joy in life"