Dear style & substance readers:
Do you ever really look in the mirror and wonder who you are, how you got to this point in life, and where you are going? It sounds crazy, but lately I have been questioning everything in my life. I do have a pretty good job and a fairly sound relationship, but seem to ponder this question a lot. I am wondering if others think about this too.
We think that what you are getting at is the question, “what drives my life?”, “what is my purpose?” or as one husband would say, “where am I going with this?” We also think that delving into these questions can energize, simplify, focus and give new meaning to your life. So it is worth exploring!
Anybody with an ounce of awareness thinks these thoughts. Wondering about our place in the world drives everything we do and shapes who we are, who we love, and even the work we do. Thoughtful people are constantly changing and adapting to the world as we read, learn, and expand our horizons. Questioning is a sign of a keen intellect – this positive stress (eustress) can help motivate you to reflect on your life and can also give you the edge you need to make changes to guide your life in a new direction.
Transitions can often cause these existential questions to consume our waking and sleeping hours. A transition can be hitting a milestone birthday, a child growing up and/or leaving home, a career or relationship change, births, deaths and our body’s natural responses to aging. Instead of thinking that “something is wrong”, use this time as an opportunity to reflect on your life, to begin to respond to a more positive question, “where am I headed with my life and how does it reflect what I believe in?”. Questioning is not the same as discounting your life up to that specific point in time; rather it is a time to embrace change and take some “calculated risks.” Pondering life’s big questions can be immobilizing if you allow yourself to dwell in the negative – be realistic in your assessment of your self – your strengths and areas you would like to improve. Real growth and maturity only come from a frank and honest reflection on your life and a commitment to live with purpose. Purpose does not have to be a big idea, living a life of purpose can mean something as simple as being honest in all things, caring for animals, or practicing a faith or religion.
We have come up with two ways of beginning this quest;
Firstly, if a negatively driven life is based on guilt, resentment, fear, need for approval or materialism; then it is easy to see what a positively driven life might feel and look like. It is by tending to these aspects of our life, the barriers to the positive, that we might find the answer. Where do you have unresolved concerns? What are your fears and are they based on reality? How do your actions change by what other’s think? Answering these questions, puts closure on the past and sets us free to resolve the unresolved or to move on. The positively driven life is led by someone who has forgiven, resolved, reconciled and is not bogged down by guilt. They have tied up loose ends, kept promises, and not made excuses.
And secondly, another good step is to think about a time when you took a risk and it paid off in more happiness or success. What was happening in your life that gave you the courage to try? Was it a relationship? Did you meet somebody that inspired you or needed you to inspire them? Breaking down the steps that led you to success can help you replicate those steps to help you achieve a new purpose. Repeat what has worked in the past to set a future course of success.
Lastly, we believe that we are always seeking and reinventing our lives to meet the demands of the moment with the future always on our minds, and certainly not limited by our past. Ultimately what makes us satisfied and feel like we have led a life worthy of praise is to have meaningful and communicative relationships, passion for activities and adventure, and to live without regrets.
Please use this advice as a springboard to develop your own positively driven model!
A S K Style & Substance:
Michele Armani and Sally Meisenheimer
creative life coaching solutions
Email your questions or request a life coaching appointment to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information: visit our website at yourstyleandsubstance.com.