“The purpose of life is a life of purpose.”
– Robert Bryne
It is such a phenomenal feeling to share the same, physical space with so many people that have dreams (like me), that think like me, and that look like me. Last weekend, the MissCFO™ Team attended an incredible meetup of magnetic minds, hosted by the creators of the Melanin Girl Movement. In a very cozy and aesthetically, eye-pleasing environment, we bonded, we laughed, we shared experiences, and we made personal commitments to be better women in 2017. All of the speakers were so impacting, leaving us all with so many amazing takeaways.
For the churchgoers: You know when the pastor starts preaching the sermon, and you totally feel like he wrote the sermon just for you? (I know I’m not the only one.) Well, that is how I felt hearing the owner of Mirror This, speak to us about reconnecting with and discovering our position of purpose. She shared an acronym, with us, (L.I.V.E) to help keep our purpose in a central focus. I’m sharing it with all of you in hopes to impart the same inspiring feeling that it gave to me.
- First, is “L” : Listen for your calling
“Life is taking you somewhere, listen to the messages, they will repeat until you follow their call.” — Leon Brown
It is believed, at some point in time, every human comes to a place in life when true purpose is questioned. It is a point of finding oneself and it is often inundated with a smorgasbord of questions in search of a concrete answer defining a genuine purpose for existence. An article from Forbes suggests twenty ways for you to find your calling. I am going to share, with you, my favorite five:
- Ignore the future; deal with the present.
Focus on the “right now”. The present is literally the only thing that any of us have immediate control over. The past is gone; there is nothing we can do to turn back the time to recover it. The future is unknown and is not promised; there is nothing we can do to predict it.
- Say yes to odd opportunities.
Step outside of your comfort zone. Do something different. Expand your horizons. What fun is life if all of your actions are mundane, routine, and unchanging? You will not allow yourself to have an authentic abundance of experiences if you stay within your realm of comfort.
- Do not follow someone else’s dream!
Although it is great to cheer for, encourage, and uplift other people, what about you? What do you envision? What makes your heart beat? What do you want from life? Inevitably, many of us have to sacrifice our time and “punch a clock” at a day job, but make sure that you conserve enough effort and energy to put toward your passion and purpose once you clock out! Do this daily.
- Don’t confuse a job with a purpose.
A job pays the bills – no doubt. But, does it fulfill you? I bet it doesn’t, so give more attention to your purpose. It is going to pave the path that drives you on the road to success and to the life you’ve always dreamed of living.
- Next, is “I”: Invite the struggles
“Nothing is given to man on earth – struggle is built into the nature of life, and conflict is possible – the hero is the man who lets no obstacle prevent him from pursuing the values he has chosen.” – Andrew Bernstein
There will be undoubtedly be ups and downs. No one ever promised that the road of life would be easy. Some people seem to think that struggles and hardships build the character of a person. I know we have all heard the expression: ‘What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.’ And, such is life. Welcome the struggles and embrace your “war wounds”. Here are some ways to cushion the brunt of the presence of “le struggle”.
- Create a gratitude list.
Giving thanks is so crucial. Why don’t we do so more often? It’s something that I am personally working on. Not only do I have a gratitude jar that I make “deposits” into weekly, but every evening before I lay my head to rest, I reflect on my day and verbalize everything I am thankful for.
My form of meditation is devotion. Each morning (literally as soon as I open my eyes) I am instantly put into a state of happiness, reveling in the fact that I have been gifted with yet another day to live in my purpose.
This has always been a work in progress for me. Nonetheless, it is so vital to lead a lifestyle that will keep your body healthy for years and years to come. Take vitamins, eat clean, and most importantly, move your body. I am definitely nowhere close to being an athlete, but I make sure I stay active and fit.
- Give yourself an opportunity to laugh.
I swear I love to laugh. If you ever see me out and about, I can promise you that I am smiling 90% of the day, if not more. I pride myself in being a very happy and outgoing personality. I make a point to surround myself with individuals that demonstrate the same. It is so cliché to say, but laughter truly is one of the greatest forms of medicine.
- Embrace the idea of stress rather than trying to reduce it.
We all have to know that stress is going to come to us at some point. Whether in a small or large amount, it is totally coming your way. There is no point in trying to completely evade it, rather do your best to prepare for it and try your hardest to minimize its triggers.
- Then, there is “V”: Veraciously attach, attack, and affirm your goals.
“All successful people men and women are big dreamers. They imagine what their future could be, ideal in every respect, and then they work every day toward their distant vision, that goal or purpose.” – Brian Tracy
Let’s be crystal clear. Absolutely not one being on this earth owes you an ounce of anything. In the same manner, there is no magical genie that will grant all of your wishes. There is no fairy godmother that guides you to a fortune’s galore. There is no tree that bears tangible manifestations. Whatever it is that you want you have to work for it. Point, blank, and the period! So what steps should you take?
- Just get started.
Stop waiting for perfect conditions! Although I empathize with those of you out there that are self-proclaimed perfectionists, trust me when I tell you, the “perfect timing” will never come. Don’t waste valuable time waiting for it to magically appear. Just get out there and get started.
- Be specific.
These are your goals and no one else’s. So guess what? You need to be unwavering in communicating what it is that you want. My preferred and “go-to” method for goal-setting is to write them down. I write my vision so that it is completely real to me.
- Use implementation intentions.
Think of this as an extension of an action plan. Your action plan will list your step-by-step tasks that have to be completed in order for your end goal to be reached. Well, take it a step further and add “if-then” statements to each step of your action plan. If ___ happens, then I will ___. Put your action plan into turbo drive.
- Eliminate distractions with time blocking.
When you are in the zone, nothing else should be in there with you. Turn off your electronics and get rid of anything else that competes with your tunnel vision. Be intentional about setting aside specific blocks of time throughout the day (and/or the week) that are dedicated to task completion.
- Get an accountability partner.
‘Who is gonna check you, boo?’ I will be the first to tell you: As disciplined as you may think you are, you are a horrible accountability partner for yourself. You will almost always let yourself slide and get away with things. Find a partner that will hold your feet to the fire and will not tell you all the things that you want to hear, but rather all of the things that you need to hear.
- Last, but not least, is “E”: Enjoy the journey.
“Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.”–Arthur Ashe
This is my absolute favorite part of the process. I’ll be honest, though. I can think back to a time when this was certainly not my favorite part. That was at a time when I was still learning myself and still growing as a person. I definitely was not comfortable with inviting times of hardship. (Who would be?) I learned, though, that the hardships build my character and they make me stronger. Above all else, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today had I not experienced all of them. I am a better person for it; you are, too. On your journey of life, make time to do these few things every, single day:
- Laugh hard.
- Hug long.
Believe in yourself. And, if no one else believes in you, know that I do. You have a place in this world and you have a purpose in this life.
“You were put on this earth to achieve your greatest self, to live out your purpose, and to do it courageously.” – Steve Maraboli