In this modern day and age of hustle and bustle where being busy and living a hectic lifestyle not only seems to be considered the “norm” but also seems mandatory if you want to fit in with the “cool kids”. No matter who you ask, the standard answer to “How are you?” is met with “Doing good, I’m soooo busy!” as if being busy was just something you had to be to show that you have a purpose for everything you’re doing, or you’r living your purpose which therefore keeps you busy. Which one is it for you? Are these the only two options we have?
As I meet with people wherever I go, I am often asked how I do it all? How do I find so much time to do everything that I do, people often wonder. Do we not all have the same amount of time on our hands? Are there any places where there is more than 24 hours in a day? What I find even more interesting, is when people ask how I do it all AND stay positive and happy, as if everything I do should make me miserable — not happy!
Let me quench some of your thirst in knowing my secrets to life. Secrets are only secrets until they are revealed right? So, no more secrets — I want everyone to know these secrets so all of us can live fulfilling, happy, lives — not just busy ones.
Let’s pause for a moment here to talk about the word Purpose. There seems to be a time in one’s life where the sense or question of a life purpose comes into play. This may not be true for everyone, but generally, for most whether it’s in your 40s, or 60s, or even nearing your golden ages, you might start to wonder what is or what was your life’s purpose. Did you fulfill it? What is it that you are meant to do in this world, or in this lifetime? What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?
There are even some theories on God (if you believe in him/her) or some type of Divine Sprit or Universe has a purpose for you, and you need to find out what that is. Some even go through all kinds of measures, maybe even extreme measures to try and seek our their “divine” purpose. I am not going to dispel or condone this theory, but I do want to point one thing in hopes that this may ease those that are seeking to find their purpose in life.
Why not change the conversation on this to be — find a purpose in everything that you do, and limit or don’t do things where you find no purpose? I will confess, I was also on a journey to finding my life’s true purpose for a period of time because I thought once i had that everything would become crystal clear in my life and I would have the answers I needed to make the changes I wanted to make in the world.
What I found instead was that, you may never really know what your life purpose is, or even if you have one. Who really knows? Instead, let’s change the conversation in your mind to truly find a purpose in everything that you do — I mean EVERYTHING.
Look at your current job or occupation — do you feel a genuine purpose in what you do and how you serve others? How about your activities, or your passions? Do you feel that you are serving a good purpose — whether it is to make yourself happy or serve others? What about your social outings? Do you go to every single one that you are asked even if you do not really enjoy hanging out with a particular crowd?
Let’s take a look even closer at your current schedule using a 24 hour time scale. For the next week, write down everything you do in a typical day and how much time you spend doing it. Are you surprised at where you are spending time? Do you find that there is a genuine purpose for them and you feel happy doing them?
If not, this is where a lot of opportunities for growth and change exist, so celebrate that you are now on a journey for change!
Step 1 — Time By Design Goggles
We must look at our day using “Time by Design” goggles. Little by little in your 24 hour time scale, limit those activities where you feel you don’t find a purpose in or a purpose for — meaning someone else can do them and it really wouldn’t make a difference to anyone, even to you. You are just doing it because you felt that you had to, or someone asked/wanted you to, or you don’t know anyone else that can take it over.
Step 2 — Identify Your Bla Bla Times
Yup, that’s right Bla Bla is the scientific name for those times that you’re just randomly doing brainless, guilty pleasure type things that may seem like they go by quickly, but when you start tracking the time, you may determine otherwise. These are your Netflix & Wine hours of the day, or those times you spend surfing the web on the latest gossip, or watching the Bachelor. No judgements here — this is just an exercise to help you get to happy — not question your morality. How much time do you spend on a daily basis in this category?
Step 3 — Friends with Purpose (nope I didn’t say benefits)
So, not all of us have a close knit group of friends like Rachel and Monica on the Friends show where we all find purpose in being friends and find our purpose for our friends. Take a look at your friends circle and your social circle. Are you spending a significant amount of time in your day, week, or month where you find no good purpose in associating yourself with that person or group? Do you feel that you are serving a positive purpose for them? Do you feel that they are serving a positive purpose in your life? If the answer to both are No, then it may be time to re-think those relationships, or at the least how much time you spend on them.
Step 4 — Design your career (no it is not impossible)
I know I saved the hardest for last. This is really where a lot of people think they’re just in a job for the money, and it keeps them busy, so that’s all a job is supposed to do right? WRONG! In fact, this may be the are most of us are spending a significant chunk of our time — and not just our time, but our energy and mental focus which ties into our emotional components and our physical energy. Why would you NOT put finding a genuine and true purpose in your job or profession where you feel excited and eager to go to work or do your work everyday as a PRIORITY? If you’re in a job just for the paycheck right now, hey that’s ok —I get it, everyone did at some point or another. BUT, if it’s a primary cause for you to feel burned out, overwhelmed, or not fulfilled in life — it may be time to rethink your job, your company, or even your occupation.
Step 5 — Finding Ways To Be Fulfilled
Ok I lied, step 4 wasn’t the last step. THIS is really the best and last key step in living the life you desire by design. If steps 1–4 don’t get you closer to find happiness, peace, and living your life fully, then I know this step is the key for you. One of the primary reasons why we feel overwhelmed is as humans, we tend to oversell ourselves to other people, things, or activities — meaning we want to do a lot and feel that we can. We definitely can, however also as humans we tend to shortchange ourselves when it comes to feeling gratitude for ourselves or taking the time for ourselves and give ourselves credit!
For example, at the beginning of the day, we think of a 100 tasks we “must” do on a day. Maybe, we get through 50 of them. At the end of the day, we blame or feel sorry for ourselves that we did NOT do the 50 other tasks we wanted to do.
Instead, try this. At the beginning of the day, write down on your 24 hour time scale journal the five things you “must” do that day (they can range from the smallest task/action to big tasks) but they must be things you feel you can and will conquer that day (so nothing too extravagant). Then write down a list of “Nice To Dos” and put the other tasks/actions that if you really had the time and would feel happy doing them you can. Now, at the end of the day, look at the five things that you said you must do and you were capable of doing them. If you completed all five or even three, give yourself massive kudos and genuinely feel grateful for your amazing mind, body, and energy within you.
As a last note, always try to have at least one “must do” action as something that genuinely makes you joyous and happy inside (e.g. exercising, meditation, spending time with your kids or husband, your passions, etc). Feel truly grateful that you were able to do this “activity”!
So, this is it folks. This is how I do what I do, and seem to do it all with a smile! Instead of trying to find “a” purpose in life — do EVERYTHING you want to do in life mindfully with positive intent, and meaningfully, and your purpose will be served!
For more information on Jothi Dugar, see http://www.jothidugar.com.