Is it possible that what you desire was given to you for a purpose? I don’t necessarily mean a “save the world” purpose. Although, that too, is possible. I mean a purpose that is uniquely and satisfyingly yours. Whatever that is for you, it matters, and it was given to you for a reason.
Perhaps you are thinking, “What I want isn’t really important”. Then consider the story of the little boy and his grandfather. The boy and his grandfather were walking on an ocean beach after a storm. The beach was covered in starfish, thousands of starfish that had be washed ashore in the storm. As they walked along the beach, the little boy would periodically stop and throw a single starfish back into the ocean. His grandfather asked his grandson, “Why are you bothering to stop and throw one starfish after another back into the ocean? You know can’t really make a difference. You can’t save them all.” The little boy knelt down, picked up another starfish and tossed it back into the ocean. Looking at his grandfather, the boy replied, “It made a difference for that one”.
Maybe you think your dream is too big or you don’t have what it takes to make your dream come true. Not so! Remember, J.K. Rowling was jobless, divorced, penniless and had a child. She suffered from depression and was on welfare. Twelve publishers rejected the Harry Potter book, but in 1997 and 1998 it sold 40 million copies. It was followed by more books and several movies. Henry Ford failed at two other businesses and went bankrupt before he founded what we know today as Ford Motor Company. Thomas Edison’s teacher told Edison’s mother that Thomas was too stupid to learn. So, his mother home schooled him. Edison failed with more than his first 10,000 attempts to create a commercially viable electric light bulb before he successfully created that light bulb.
Success often takes multiple attempts and often people encounter multiple learning experiences (some say failures) along the way. Take a page from Thomas Edison who when asked by a newspaper reporter if he felt like a failure and if he should give up after having gone through over 9,000 failed attempts. Edison replied “Why would I feel like a failure? And why would I ever give up? I now know definitely over 9,000 ways an electric lightbulb will not work. Success is almost in my grasp.”
No matter how big or how insignificant you may think your dream is, it is likely that it will have an impact that really matters. So now is the time to dream!
Maybe, having read all this, you still don’t know what your dream, goal or purpose is. That’s ok. This next exercise will help you begin to figure it out. If you do know your purpose, doing the exercise will provide you with deeper motivation to fulfill on your purpose. Here is the exercise:
Pick one goal, one area of your work, career, business or life that you want to focus on. With that in mind write down:
- If there were no limits, if anything was possible, what do you truly want to have accomplished one year from today?
- What specific measurement will you use to prove you have accomplished this goal?
Now ask someone you trust to ask you the following questions and record your answers. They simply ask the questions, write down the answers and read back the answers to make sure it is what the you wanted to say. No judging. No answering for you. Just record your answers and repeat them back to be sure your answers are what you wanted to say.
- What is important to you about what you want to have accomplished a year from now?
- What is important to you about that?
- If the answer to #2 were already true what would be possible?
- If the answer to #2 were already true what would change?
- What is important about that change?
- What is important to you about that?
- If all of the above were already true, what need, or desire would this fulfill in you?
When you have taken them time to answer these questions without judgement or reservation, you will not only find your purpose, but you will also find the motivation to pull you towards bringing your purpose into reality.
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