When I am out of work, or simply lacking direction or motivation, I tend to become lethargic. I find myself engrossed with entertainment and nonsense activities, first as a comfort for the lack of purpose, then as a soul-sucking habit that demolishes my time. Eventually, it gets ugly and the amount of square footage I move in a day reduces itself about 40 feet-the distance to the refrigerator from my room and back.
Thankfully for me, that’s not a problem this time around. I’m developing certain habits that are keeping me afloat:
- I exercise. God knows I used to hate doing this, and sometimes it’s still a chore, but there is literally nothing besides purpose that keeps you emotionally afloat more during dark times than exercise while being a positive thing overall. Plus, it feels good to meet goals!
- I learn. I used to hit an obstacle and I just stopped-when an obvious way didn’t present itself, hopelessness would soon follow. Today, I refuse to give up on finding a way. I read a lot now, I watch TED talks, I listen to podcasts, I’ve started to network and I do these things in order to learn how to succeed. I feel like there is a formula here that is universal, and part of that is being eager to learn.
- I socialize. There was a time, because of my pride, when bumps in the road would cause me to isolate. In my mind, I was standing alone in my depression with my chest out and head back waiting for my doom (which I imagine comes in the form of a tsunami, ala Star Wars: Rouge One style). Today, my friends know what’s going on when “bumps” occur. We hang out and it gives me energy to get through the week.
- I network. A month ago, I barely knew what this was. Today, I know that networking is socializing with people with an ear to their needs, and an awareness that helping others really does lead to getting helped, eventually.
- I take self-inventory. What am I good at? What am I bad at? What can I do better? What interests me? What do I want to learn about?
- I clean. Something else I used to despise. Studies have proven, however, that we are happier when the environment around us is clean.
- I create routine. I’m still working on this one, but an organized person driven by purpose can be comforted by a certain amount of routine.
All of these are basically enabling me to effectively pursue the most important thing of all: purpose. Purpose isn’t about mere survival. It’s about finding a career where I am not struggling financially, where I am utilizing my talents and discovering new ones and where I am challenged, but can find peace when I need it…something I love doing. Through all of this, I really believe I will find my purpose. I hope you do as well.
Thanks to my good friend AJ Buerer for initiating this conversation, and for the many ways in which you’ve helped me and taught me to do these things.