When we were young, we were always told to “dream big”. We aspired to achieve big things and to live up to that future successful, confident and abundant version of ourselves.
So, have you realized that dream yet? Or do you believe your time has already passed?
It doesn’t matter if you’re 30, 60 or 100, it is never too late to live your dreams.
But the real question is — do you even know what your dream is?
For many, the thought of our ideal state, our dream life, is often steeped in the material. Expensive car, big house, a highly respected job position, a consistent flow of money. We rarely think about the true essence of a great life — a life that is steeped in purpose.
What is a purposeful life?
Living a purposeful life is simply to live your life with meaning. To know that each day we wake is a new opportunity to make something great of our lives. It’s the opportunity to look at and think of what we want to achieve, to rouse that flame that has been smouldering silently within and to truly live with passion and enthusiasm.
What gets you out of bed?
If you can’t think of an answer then you’re not thinking deeply enough. Come on, consider it. Could living a purposeful life simply be having the chance to inhale fresh air — to feel it fill your lungs and have it remind you that you are a living being chosen to inhabit this glorious world called earth? Could it be the sounds of laughter emanating from your kids downstairs? Can it be knowing that you’ve pushed through insurmountable heartache and despair and yet you are still living to tell the tale?
Purpose takes on many meanings. I can’t tell you what it might mean to you. But for the most part, it is that feeling of oneness. That state you experience in deep meditation or while you’re observing a butterfly dancing in a garden. It is being in total alignment with your beliefs, your values, your being-ness.
While we’re all living purposeful lives simply by just being and existing, there are ways that you can identify your calling and discover what makes your life purposeful to you.
Ways to live your life with purpose
“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”― Eleanor Roosevelt
Human beings love to look at life in linear form. This is to be expected. The problem is, we develop this idea that we have to achieve our purpose by a certain age or “before it’s too late”. But really – when is it too late? Forgive the morbid account but, even on your deathbed, it is never too late. Every second is a gift to begin anew and live life with purpose. To say a kind word, to smile at a stranger, to do good for others, to learn something new, to appreciate something, to express gratitude, to dream another dream.
51.5% of seniors are pondering their purpose in life post-Covid. That is more than half of those aged over 50. It is never too late. In fact, life can often incite more of a sense of purpose in older age. By then, you don’t see life as a human rat race anymore. It’s not about climbing social or corporate ladders, and your sense of worth isn’t tied to the name plaque on your office desk.
Living your life with purpose is about living purposefully. Being purposeful in your thoughts, your actions, your behaviours.
There are many moments when I find myself in such a rush to get things done that I drink my morning coffee so fast I forget I even drank it. Slow down. Savour. Be intentional. Welcome gratitude and appreciate the good in your life. Trust me, you will find it. Even if it is as small as taking that first sip of coffee on a cold morning.
Getting rid of mental roadblocks
You might be finding difficulty in discovering your life’s purpose. Discovering that big “Why?” can be confronting, and it may uncover a list of reasons “why I can’t”. Consider the following mindset roadblocks holding you back and how you can shift them:
1. I’m too old to discover my life’s purpose
We are all on our own unique timelines in this journey. Just because you haven’t found your purpose yet doesn’t mean you never will. Age is just a number, a measurement of time. It holds no bearing over what you can or cannot accomplish. The world is full of individuals who made a change later in their lives. From the 80-year-old who decided to take up weightlifting to the 60-year-old who decided to start their own business. Once you learn to reprogram your limiting beliefs about age, you can start living a life of purpose. For, the real essence of achieving your dreams is by first achieving that mental state of appreciation and that of knowing that you can achieve your dreams, regardless of age.
2. It’s too late to change direction now
Humans are habitual creatures. Ask someone “who are you?” and 9 times out of 10 they’ll reply something along the lines of “Oh, I’m an accountant!” or “I’m a banker” or “I am a school teacher”. The labels we attach to ourselves often comes from living a life that has been forged with what we do. For this reason, it’s often hard to suddenly change direction – particularly if your new course guides you toward a completely different path.
But let’s be mindful. Changing direction doesn’t mean throwing away the path you’ve already laid down. These past experiences have given you an abundance of skills and lessons that you can use to build your new path forward. Just like the chapters of a book, each page has formed the story of who you are today. Keep writing new chapters and know it’s never the end until you write the end.
3. How can I be purposeful if I’m broke/unhappy/unemployed
We feel so much emotion toward money and things. Chances are, if you’ve experienced or are experiencing financial hardship then it will be adding a layer of fear and trepidation to your life. The trick is to stop associating having money with having a good life. Sure money can afford us niceties, but it can’t buy us a life.
The same applies to those who are stuck in a cycle of depression or who have been fired from their job or who are simply in a sticky situation in their lives. Even if you’re in the deepest depths of despair, there is still something to be thankful for. There is still something spurring you on. That inner cheerleader that tells you to get up each time you are thrown down. That in itself is purpose. The purpose of which forces us to get up and start anew. To give it another shot. To take action toward being happier.
Ask yourself, honestly – what does purpose mean for you? Once you have your answer, act on it, and begin to see the changes in your life.