This can be a challenge for many people, a feeling they lack direction and purpose in life! Including those in perceived good jobs and professions can be bored stupid, but they stay because of the money, conditions, fear of change or they do not know what else to do.
We are educated and trained to become working people, get qualified to a job or profession, earn an income and follow the progress up the ladder to more responsibility and better pay. Many are working towards the day they can retire and do something different, yet many haven’t a clue what they really want to do now, let alone at retirement!
Statistics would suggest that women live longer, with men having a life expectancy as short as five to seven years after retirement compared to the women who out lived their partners by substantially more years. Why, generally the woman ran the home and that role continued when they retired however, when the men stopped working many found they did not have a focus or direction in life, they got bored. Without engaging in meaningful activity, mentally or physically they had little motivation and they succumbed to poor health, unlike the women who still had daily purposeful activity. In his book, “Man’s search for Meaning” Viktor Frankl wrote how those who held onto a purpose would be the survivors of the death camps during second world war. The others who could not find a purpose or meaning would quickly give up and died.
It is easy to fall into a life that becomes a comfort zone of activity, work and leisure, we’ve made it easy. We’ve fallen onto the sofa of expectations so sit on the path we’ve made. The longer we stay there the more challenging it can be to change direction, to get off our sofa. We live in the ‘discomfort of our comfortable’, wanting to do something more in life but refusing to step out of the zone, we would rather die than change – and many do!
To not do what’s a passion or a love can build an inner energy of frustration, guilt, sadness and sometimes anger towards those who we see as being free to do what they want! It's a source of anguish that is unhealthy and can contribute to poor mental wellbeing. We are living with emotions that are pulling us down and limiting our ability to be ourselves in life.
We all have passions, dreams and things we want to do, they are within us, in our heart our spirit they are not head needs. Yet we ignore them and follow the minds need to fit into the world and we effectively hide who we really are. We park the dreams and passions thinking we will do them one day, maybe when we retire – good luck with that!
There is an immense energy when we do the things that have meaning and purpose for us, its empowering in many ways. To follow something we are passionate about and has a meaning opens us to joy and happiness, life stops becoming boring and becomes an adventure!
Okay, let’s have some fun and explore, regardless of where you believe yourself to be in life, join in. Write down the thing/s you are passionate about, things that given the right resources, conditions and timing you would love to do. What’s your vision, what would you "really" love to do in life, not a bucket list item but something that you engage in that’s life fulfilling like a job, profession, business, project, organisation, creative activity, helping people, animals, nature, something that makes a positive difference. What is it?
Whatever it is will give you a buzz, strong feeling of satisfaction when you think or engage in it, that’s your measure if you are on the right track. You may not get the strong feeling but inside its right, like an inner intuitive knowing. You've probably been carrying it for a very long time and it won’t go away.
This does not have to be the big life changing thing, it may be something that has a meaning for you and a purpose. Helping or volunteering somewhere can give you a good feeling and you may love helping people. Sometimes our deeper stuff comes later down the line when we’ve opened the doors to doing things we enjoy and love.
Play with this and have fun with it, only chat with friends when you’ve created your list and it feels good, you don’t want people raining on your parade.
Now start to explore ways to make your passion or love a reality, keep imaging yourself doing it, living it, being that person and believe you are it, make this a fun exercise.
Don’t make this a big deal. If you are not getting any inner desires to do something, yet you want more from life, then do something you’re interested in but have never done before, that will take you out of your comfort zone. It will get the energy moving and open doors to opportunity you may never have seen or thought of before – enjoy!
Once you’ve mastered it, share it to others, pass it on!
Roy Martin MBE has been helping people transform themselves for over twenty years, guiding and mentoring them to develop lives and businesses that have meaning and purpose.
Roy teaches life with an understanding of the 'More of Life' that transcends the minds ego needs. He helps people connect with their passions and talents, to do the things they love and to follow their calling in life, to be themselves! Most find that what they really want to do touches the lives of others and makes a difference. It opens them to their inner leader.