I have read many books in the past about living with a purpose, finding your purpose, discovering your purpose, and on and on.
They are the soul-searching books that suggest you do steps much like these:
- Identify what you want
- Identify what you’re willing to do to get there
- Figure out the obstacles in your way and how to deal with them.
- Set definite goals.
- Set forth a plan of action to get you where you want to be.
- Achieve success
It all sounds like good solid advice and it obviously works because people buy and read the books, right?
It’s just not all so cut and dry like that. It’s easy to type out what you “should” do, but the actual getting down to the nitty-gritty and “doing” these things is not so easy.
I used to get really frustrated with the self-help type books because they would make lists like the one above and being a somewhat literal person, I would stop in my tracks right there, especially if the book had assignments or exercises you were supposed to do in each chapter.
I would stop reading the book until I had time to really devote myself to doing what was suggested in the chapter. Usually I would make it through about three chapters then get distracted or my time would be required to work on some other project and it could be days, weeks, months, even years before I’d make it back to the book again. By that time I’d have to start over because things change over time.
One of my problems has always been that being a really creative person and one that is interested in, well, everything, I get distracted easily and try to do too many things all at once. When I was a teenager my grandmother used to shake her head and say, “Jack of all trades, master of none.” It took me a long time to really grasp what she meant.
After making some disastrous and not so pretty decisions with my life, not really concentrating on any one single thing long enough to “master” it and just bumping along life’s road trying this, working with that, and falling down enough times, I can say that there are three skills I have found that I needed above all others.
The skills I needed to fine tune, had I worked on them sooner in my life, would have allowed me to be in a far different place than I am now after learning 20 years later.
- The art of meditation
These skills go hand in hand, and though I THOUGHT I was utilizing them throughout my life, I really wasn’t. I was giving half-hearted efforts as needed along the way instead of really applying these skills and making them a part of my daily life.
If you truly want to live a life with purpose, then while you are doing your soul-searching, finding out who you are, your limits, your needs and what you really want to do; take the time to develop self-discipline, focus and learn a meditation technique that will work for you. Fine tuning these things as you go will make a world of difference and when you finally do discover your focus you will be in an excellent position to focus your attention, have the self-discipline to go after what you want, and know when things get stressful you can seek meditation to clear your mind and gain perspective, then you will find you know how to deal with the obstacles and keep going.
Cherry Coley ©