If you’ve missed the other articles in this series, check them out. So far we’ve talked about ways to determine passion–what do you love to do? In this last article, we discuss planning for and exploring new experiences.
Get Out of Your Office
In “The Artist’s Way,” author Julia Cameron reminds us that creativity cannot survive in a vacuum. She recommends writers and others spend time in nature, visiting museums, and other activities that “refill the well.”
When it comes to discovering your life’s purpose, you’ll definitely want to get out and try new things as well. Now is the time to try out all those things you’ve thought you might enjoy but never got around to doing.
Take a yoga class.
Train for a marathon.
Learn to design jewelry.
Only by trying out a variety of activities will you find those that bring you joy—and eliminate those you never want to do again.
Plan for New Experiences
Start a list of things you’d like to experience. This can be a living document that you continue to add to as new ideas come to you. It’s also the document you’ll refer to as new opportunities present themselves.
But don’t just list things. Make a plan and do them. Add at least one new experience to your calendar every month, then do what it takes to fulfill that obligation with yourself. You might just discover a favorite new hobby, or meet your new business partner in that yoga class. But at the very least, you’ll be refilling your own well.
Chase Those Shiny Objects
Ask any business coach the secret to a better business, and they’ll tell you it’s focus. To be distracted by other opportunities or ideas is to dilute the power of your core business.
While this can be true in many cases, it can also cause the purpose-seeking entrepreneur to freeze in her tracks, unwilling to move in any direction for fear of choosing the wrong one. Much like the college grad who feels trapped in a job she hates, simply because that’s what she knows, you’ll only end up hating your business and wishing for a day job again.
Rather than wearing blinders to keep you laser focused every moment, take some time to explore other possibilities. Look for complementary ideas that are a natural match for one another.
For example, one prolific and in-demand jewelry designer turned years of teaching and a passion for jewelry into a wildly popular training program for up-and-coming designers. Now she divides her time between creating stunning engagement rings and teaching others how to have a business they love.
Had she remained focused only on jewelry design, she would still be popular, and still doing what she loves, but the addition of the training course allowed her to find her true passion.
Don’t be afraid to follow that winding path from time to time. You never know what you might discover around the next bend.
Create a List of Future Projects
Productivity gurus call this a “someday” list. It’s the projects and plans you want to do, but not right now. Much like your new experiences list, this is a living document where you’ll record every new project that crosses your mind.
Some will be good. Most will not. But that’s okay. The point is to not close your mind to the possibilities.
One at a time, the various exercises in this guide will help you find those moments of true joy, where your mind and your spirit soar, and you’re able to feel as if you’re truly reaching for your life’s purpose.
But when looked at as a whole, you’ll begin to see themes emerge that will point the way to what you really want to do with your life.
Look back over your journal, your autobiography, your brainstorming session, and your superpower list, and ask yourself:
- What recurring theme pops up time and time again? (Examples of themes might be technology, children, crafts, animals, or fitness.)
- What superpowers do I have related to that theme?
- What is my favorite activity related to that theme?
- How can I spend my days doing more of that, and less of the stuff I’m not so fond of?
I hope you’ve enjoyed this series, and that it’s given you new insights into yourself and your possible future. What DO you want to be when you grow up? If you feel like sharing, come on over to my Maximum Author Impact Facebook page and talk about your discoveries.