What do you want from your life?

change Jan 03, 2019
A dream is like a lighthouse

When it comes to achieving our life’s dream, we must stay afloat through all kinds of weather. Some days are bright and sunny. Other days are so foggy we can’t see what is right in front of us. That is why we need a lighthouse on a tall cliff shining the brightest of all beacons.

This beacon is what Napoleon Hill calls definiteness of purpose. Like the beacon from a lighthouse, our definiteness of purpose is singular and consistent. It can also be a life-saver. In difficult times, we continue towards a fulfilling life if we remain clear about our definiteness of purpose.

Having definiteness of purpose

Finding a definiteness of purpose starts by erasing all of the what-ifs from your mind. Forget about challenges and obstacles. If you know where you want to go, you will navigate the rocks and the bad weather. Ask yourself what you most want from life. If you were only allowed a single wish, what would that wish be? As you begin a new year, this is a good thought to hold.

As Napoleon explains, your definiteness of purpose must fill you with passion. That passion keeps you going through the good moments and the difficult ones.

My definiteness of purpose as a young woman

When I was 25 years old, I found a definiteness of purpose. I wanted to volunteer in Africa. I wanted this so badly that I was open to all possibilities. At first, I volunteered locally. I joined an organization called Junior Achievement. We went into schools and taught students how to start a small business. I also gave my time to efforts organized by my local church and other charities.

When you have a definiteness of purpose, it guides how you use your time and skills. One day, I was given the opportunity to join a team that was going to Naimey, Niger to set up eye-glasses clinics. Because of my experience gained from volunteering and my ability to speak French, I was able to spend two weeks in Africa as I had dreamed.

We set up eye-glasses clinics in remote areas, sometimes with tribes that only spoke their native language. We needed translators to communicate, but were able to form a human connection. Before our arrival, some of the tribes had not had contact with people outside of their culture. I learned so much from being part of this intercultural experience. It has helped shape the rest of my life.

Let yourself be ambitious

Arnold Toynbee said, “It is a paradoxical but profoundly true and important principle of life that the most likely way to reach a goal is to be aiming not at the goal itself but at some more ambitious goal beyond it.” Setting a purpose that is a stretch for you will ignite your passion. This is an act of bravery. The start of a new year is a good moment for letting yourself reach for what matters the most to you.

Making a plan

But it’s not enough to set a difficult goal. You need a plan. Here are 5 tips for doing that:

  •  Get others to work with you. Once you are clear on your definiteness of purpose, share it with everyone. You could even go so far as to ask them to check in with you now and then. Knowing that others will ask how things are progressing reinforces your inner motivation.
  • Give yourself both easy and challenging action items. When it comes to setting your overall purpose, stretching is important. But when it comes to enacting mini-steps towards that purpose, you need to be kinder. Look for things that you know you can achieve easily as well as things that will be more difficult.
  • Make your plan SMART. You may already be familiar with this acronym. It’s a handy way to keep your plan workable. Make sure each action item in your plan is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time bound.
  • Write down your plan. This may sound obvious, but it’s a step often overlooked. Our ideas shift on a daily basis. That’s why it’s so important to leave a record of your intentions.
  • Monitor your progress. Make it a habit to check your plan at least once a month. You might find that over time the plan needs to be adjusted. That’s okay. It’s a normal part of the process and part of why it’s so important to monitor your progress.
Call to Action
  1. Set aside time this week to think about your definiteness of purpose. Make sure it’s specific and something you care deeply about.
  2. Draft a plan for moving towards that definiteness of purpose. Life is now!

 

The best is yet to come. It starts with you.

Your friends,
The UpCloseTeam