With today’s busy schedules, shorter nights, longer days, lesser physical moments and more digital interactions, we all tend to get lost in this tumultuous sea of speed that we forget to connect with our core and lose ourselves in making the future happen up to the time that we ultimately lose the present and only notice it when it’s too late. Raise your hand if you’ve been personally victimized by your own blind pursuit of ‘busy-ness’.
*raises typing hand*
Have you ever asked yourself why?
Why didn’t I make that appointment? Why didn’t I answer that call? Why can’t I come home sooner? Do I really need to do overtime work today? Why am I wishing for this week to end?
When I think about it myself, I realized that I’ve been pushing all of my energy, my thoughts, my words into a cul-de-sac tunnel, escape.
All I really wanted to do was escape. I wasn’t living in the present. I was too immersed in social media, the need for travel, the need to go someplace after work. And I’m not even in the moment. I am just there to escape Plot A and when I got to Plot B, I needed to go to Plot C. The extreme escapist. I wasn’t satisfied. And everything I did only gave me temporary happiness. When that snowball hit me, Gahd. Dom, you seriously need to recalibrate.
I would so like to share 1-2-3 easy steps on how you can cultivate a life of purpose. But dearie, it doesn’t work that way. If that was possible, hell yeah. I would be out of this personal mess myself. I’m a work in progress, however cliche that sounds. And hopefully five to ten or fifteen updates from this blogpost, I can finally say, yes, YES. I’m free.
So to share with you my journey of finding my own purpose in life, I started by:
Acknowledging what I feel: what is that specific feeling that makes me want to escape? Do I feel bad, anxious or fearful about something? What level of fear, anxiety was I in? When I discovered my pain point, I let it fill me in, consume me. But only up to a certain level. As they say, let the bad vibes come in but never let it overstay. Break the bad news to yourself. It’s always easier that way, it may be painful but it saves you a lot of distress in procrastinating your pain until it reaches an unhealthy peak.
Write: I wrote my feelings down, in paper, on my phone, on my laptop when I am at the highest levels of distress. I wrote all of it, the good, the bad and the ugly. No structure, just pure brainfarts. I wrote until I’ve said everything, until my mind and heart and soul was done talking. You don’t need to proofread it nor read everything you wrote. You just need to let it all out.
Pray: I prayed. Pray to whoever you need to pray to. God, the universe, to your future self, to your old self.
Talk: Talk to someone. Someone who loves you or someone you love. Your friends, your family, your significant other, your Church. Someone you can trust and someone that is rooting for you. You’d actually be amazed by the amount of people who you can talk to. Who wishes for you to be well. You just need to start the conversation.
Clean: Clean everything that is not helping your process. Clean your things, clean your wardrobe, clean out friends who do not bring out a safe and positive space within you, if need be. I realized that at some point in your life, you really need to weed out bad company. And that will not make you a bad person. If those people would like to stay in your life, one way or another they will be tuning in this phase in your life and help you out. The ones for keeps are the people who make you accountable, nurture the good things in you and help you grow into the person you want to be.
Surround yourself with what makes you inspired: Instead of focusing and surrounding myself with the things that keep me in pain, or make me feel pain, I re-organized my mood boards. What are the topics that I’m reading? What photos am I seeing? What are the things I am saying? What company I am keeping? I shifted everything to what will help me be the better writer or creative I can be. It’s a great boost. Create a moodboard that will keep you inspired for the week. If you get bored, change it. Never stop creating. Never stop finding things that inspire you.
Help yourself: If you still find yourself stuck in the rut. Never fret. It’s part of it. It may take days, weeks, months or even years. But always take a step ahead. Always move forward. The universe helps the people who help themselves. God helps the people who help themselves. Write your goal down if you need to. Write it everyday if that will help you and always keep it in mind. Focus is the mantra. It’s never the weekend, it’s never that salary increase. It’s always the focus to push your feet to where your dreams are.
Create or Appreciate: Be an artist. Or support an artist. Write, paint, sing. Cultivate the creator in you. It can be anything. Anything that interests you. That thing you’d still love to do even if you’re broke. Or unhappy or tired. If not, appreciate. Go to museums, art fairs, talks, seminars, gigs, music fests. Be the audience and the student. Widen your world. Inspiration awakens the hungry student.
Commit: Commit to time, commit to your deadlines, commit to that dinner meeting. Commit to something like you’ve never had before.
Acknowledge that each day is extraordinary in itself: It took a while to realize that there is beauty in the simple things. The smell of a fresh cup of coffee, the sound of footsteps in the cafeteria. Good breakfast. Smile and simple hellos can actually benefit you more than the other person. Why not try it today?
Be Brave: A bad yesterday or a bad week is not going to mean that you will be stuck in that limbo. Take the courage to say, whatever today may bring, I am stronger.
Take a day to be just whoever you are. No need for apologies for just existing. To find your purpose is the ultimate discovery that you are right just the way you are and nothing can stop you creating the things that keep you inspired. It’s a grand journey. One that we lose track at times but slowly and surely finds it way back at unexpected moments.