Purpose Archives - Page 4 of 11 - The Meaning Movement

Category "Purpose"

An Agile Approach to Life and Career Planning

You can’t plan your whole life out. It’s just not possible.

In his book Stumbling on Happiness, author Daniel Gilbert makes the point again and again that humans are consistently bad at predicting what will make us happy.

Isn’t that funny? We’re simply bad at anticipating in the present what we’ll want and what will make us happy in the future.

So even if you could plan out your entire life without any unexpected twists and turns, you’d have created a stagnant map to a moving target.

This is something I keep coming back to when it when it comes to career planning and your life’s work. For most people, your life’s work doesn’t change very much, but what will change is how you go about making that impact. You can say that your work is about helping people in a certain way, but you can’t necessarily be sure how you’ll go about doing that work 10 years from now.

Some of the difficulty in predicting and career planning is that at this moment you only know what’s possible at this very moment. Possibilities open and close in sets. What’s available and even imaginable to you right now is based on where you are and what you’ve been exposed to.

Continue Reading

The Psychological Necessity of Breaking the Rules

“We see you as an artist,” he said. His hair was long, thick, and wavy. His face thin and defined. His gaze intense and gentle.

Sixteen of us sat around a big solid wooden table, eating a meal together. We were all part of an Artist Residency at the graduate school I attended.

Somehow I ended up among them.

I didn’t think of myself as an artist. Though I studied music composition in undergrad, I always felt a bit like I was faking it— everyone else had a much greater mastery of their instruments and musical concepts.

I thought my main focus for the week of the Artist Residency was going to be writing music. It turns out it was something much deeper.

His words to me around that table were part of shift in how I thought of myself. It may seem small from the outside, but on the inside it was big. And risky.

I didn’t spend time around artists in my younger years. My family didn’t have a category for them. None of us were artists. In fact, I don’t know that I could find a single artist in my family tree.

We’d go to art events, but there was always a sense that those people weren’t our people. They were misunderstood and called “artsy-fartsy”.

Artists may make pretty things, but they didn’t seem to belong in our family.

It wasn’t until I was in my mid twenties that I began to embrace the fact that I really am a creative at heart, and that making is a big part of who I am.
Continue Reading

10 Things You Can Do Right Now to Find Your Purpose

A couple of weeks ago, I spoke at an event about finding your life’s work and how finding it can change everything.  But I had to give this disclaimer:

This process takes a long time. Though I’m going to give you a foundation for thinking about your life’s work and some tools to get you started, you have to be patient. It’s a journey to be taken, not a problem to be solved.

Finding more passion, more purpose, and more meaning in your work and life is a process of identity formation. It’s a process of discovering more of who you are and what you have to offer the world.

It’s not a problem to be solved simply, and it can’t be found in quick quizzes, a single blog post, or even a whole book. It’s something that you learn and discover over time.

The challenge with any large undertaking like this is that it can be overwhelming. And we can be impatient. Where do you start? What can you do now to actually make a difference?

There is a lot that you can do. You can even start on it today. You can start right now, in fact— if you have a few more minutes.

Continue Reading

Your Life’s Work is a Work in Progress (and What that Means for What You Do Next)

In 2001 Michael Hyatt wrote a book about the importance of internet privacy. The book talks about how marketers, spammers, government agencies, and hackers can use your information against you. Much has changed since 2001, but what has changed most is Michael Hyatt.

Today he’s one of the most successful bloggers around. He’s even written about the importance of writing and how blogging has changed his life and his career.

He’s said himself that he wouldn’t write the book today— not that the content isn’t helpful, but that his view of the internet has changed.  Privacy is not as important to him as it once was. Now he writes to connect and share with people— something he wasn’t doing in 2001.

Continue Reading

Remember to Enjoy It

I rode my bike for 40 minutes from my home to my co-working space today. I pulled a trailer with Lina, my trusty side-kick— now in a three legged version. I’m a bit crazy, I suppose, hauling all of my stuff plus a heavy trailer on my (already heavy) 1979 Schwinn.

It’s a slow commute. And that’s just the riding part. It also takes me a long time to get loaded up.

It all takes a long time, all of this.

By the time I opened my computer and started typing this, it was past 10 am. What a late start! How frustrating! I have a long to do list that I know I won’t even complete this week.

What a waste.

Or, maybe it’s not a waste.

I get so caught up in getting things done and accomplished. I have so much hope for my work and what I’m creating with the Meaning Movement, and yet is it really worth it if I can’t take the time to ride my bike and hang out with my dog?

I tend to focus so much on the destination that I forget how important the journey is. Shouldn’t this be fun? Can I let this be fun? I mean really, who says that it’s more important to spend extra time writing than it is to spend extra time biking?
Continue Reading