Years ago I assisted a conference given by Dr. Gabriel Cousens where he indicated that the prescription for living a better life consisted of a simple formula that could be summarized in four steps:
- Find your life’s purpose
- Be thoughtfully optimistic
- Exercise and eat well
At the time, I took the advice at face value, however, it seem to me a little over-simplistic. This made me think that depending on where I was in my life’s journey, I had aspects of the prescription that were neglected, overlooked or ignored. And isn’t it the goal to live a better, fulfilling life? Then if I wanted a better fulfilling life, my task was to implement this prescription in my life.
The formula seemed to make sense, but it was missing a key ingredient: “How?” I figured that if I can find the how for step 1, the other three steps will fall into place. I started my research of figuring out a how to decipher step 1, finding your life’s purpose. I quickly found out that this step was not too simple.
I gathered that if somehow I could translate step 1 as some kind of formula, then it will be simpler to follow and therefore reproducible. Notice that I used the word simpler and in no means I believe this process is easy. It might take a lot of trial and error to find out what your life’s purpose is, but is an experiment that it’s worth the try.
I started by thinking: If I could have a “designer” life, one that will be worthy of a magazine cover, then what would I fit in that life? I also noticed that the possibilities for this this magazine cover were endless and it was up to me to decide whether or not I include material things on it. Whether it’s about the “feeling” that I’m trying to convey or about things I want to have, or a mix of both. And I recognized that it is about my most pure happy essence.
So the first step of my formula was to list all the things I wanted to “have” as part of my magazine cover. I took a piece of paper and wrote a list of 5 things as if they were going to be featured headlines on the cover. When I analyzed my goals, dreams, wishes and desires (GDWD) I realized that they required certain amount of work in order to achieve them. Logic tells me that after I put out the work, I can be or have that thing I wish to have. Right? I challenged myself to analyze the following model of life: “Have + Work = Be” as a possible formula for finding my life’s purpose. I thought it to be a simple formula, easily reproducible and was determined to prove if it would work.
I found out that sometimes the formula worked and I was elated. Let’s say I wanted to have a new car, first thing I did was identify the make and model or the car I wanted and worked by gathering all the information on pricing, checked if I needed financing or I could cover it with saving, researched dealer prices and as a result I could call myself the proud owner of a new car (Be – the owner). The formula seemed simple and workable, however, more often than not, I ran into the trap of putting limits on myself in the resources category while I was doing the work required to get my ”haves”. Sounds familiar?
I often dreamt of the future as distant, mostly thinking of these GDWD as things that were only written on my little paper. I had the vision I wanted to “have” but there was something else missing. My GDWD were some kind of ethereal wishful thinking that only existed in my imagination and on my little paper. Yet, I wanted to find the way of bringing these GDWD to my physical realm. I found myself at times facing doubts and thinking I could only achieve my “haves” or things if I had more time, less stress, more money, more contacts, better technology, more knowledge, experience, more love and support, better health, etc. The list can go on forever. I noticed that when I followed the formula, more often than not, it failed in the deliverance due to excuses that I used to convince myself for the lack of resources. I also notice than when the formula worked I had no excuses that prevented me from tackling the lack of resources. Then there lies the answer. My father has always said that excuses only satisfy those who give them. So they key is to break through those excuses and start the process of achieving, acquiring and becoming those “haves” that will fulfill your life’s purpose. I should’ve looked at step 2 from the beginning, Be thoughtfully optimistic. Step 2 gives you the key to fulfill step 1. It is not the lack of resources that will determine the outcome to gather your “haves”, it is the ability for you to become resourceful enough to conquer and eliminate your excuses, i.e. “Be thoughtfully optimistic”. I realized that one cannot start with “have” as the first step, one must start in the state of being. Then the starting point for figuring out our life’s purpose is to start with “Who you are!”
Right now my formula looks like this: “Be + Work = Have”. I have figured out that in order to have whatever I want, I must first become that thing I wish to Be. My vision of the future (those things or feelings I want to “Have”), once identified should be planned on a strategic outline in order to be achieved. If at any point I see that the strategy is not working, I have the ability to device a new one and start the process again instead of finding an excuse for a lack of resources.
The most crucial part of the formula is not even in the equation, and that is to start right where I am. Get things in line, but not arbitrarily, by identifying my GDWD and taking personal responsibility for the outcomes I am willing to become and the work I am willing to put forth. Understanding that my vision is part of the whole that is my life is the key to bring about the satisfaction to live my life’s purpose. Having the ability to also experiment many life’s purposes and giving myself the opportunity to become them, experience them, learn and discard those which don’t fulfill me anymore.
I give myself permission to reinvent myself as many times as it takes to live a better life on my terms. And to study those who have those “haves” that I want and follow their example on how they became “it”. I will strive to become “it” by studying how a person with those characteristics behave, and mimic their strategies. I promise myself that from now on I will follow Steps 3 and 4 to protect my body temple and have a solid foundation for which to build this person I am becoming. The main goal is to start getting motivated in the idea of better living. My life’s purpose is my motivation in order to unite all the scattered aspects of my life, as I have figured out that compartmentalization does not make any sense.
I want to challenge you to start the quest for a better living. Realize that life is not all about money and material things. Although it is nice to have things and prosperity, these are no guarantee to a life’s purpose. Start becoming what you want by finding your life’s purpose with the formula “Be + Work = Have” and follow the doctor’s prescription. And remember to share from the start, because those who learn to share early will have even more to share in the future. Start now!