Jonathan at Illuminated Mind writes an excellent post about “How to Find Your Purpose in Life” (site no longer exists). I love his explanation of purpose:
Your purpose has nothing to do with your degree, your resume, your career, or vocation. Your purpose is independent of all those things. In fact, it’s much bigger than any of those. Purpose has to do with your creative self expression. It has to do with what makes you feel alive. It’s something you do, where at the end of the day you think “I made a difference.”
Jonathan gives a four step exercise where you answer the question “What is my true purpose in life?” or “How would I want to be remembered when I die?” There is also a part about aligning your job and your life purpose.
When browsing around over at Rebel Zen I came across Curly’s law. It is from the movie City Slickers. Jack Palance plays Curly (which gives him an Oscar for best supporting actor) and Billy Crystal plays Mitch.
Curly: Do you know what the secret of life is?
Curly: This. [holds up one finger]
Mitch: Your finger?
Curly: One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don’t mean shit.
Mitch: But what is the “one thing?”
Curly: [smiles] That’s what you have to find out.
I remember that part from watching the movie many years ago. It stuck somewhere in my mind but did not make much impact at that time. Now when I am older and (hopefully) wiser I realize that Curly’s law makes a lot of sense and summarizes things nicely.
One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don’t mean shit.
Maki at DoshDosh usually blogs about making money online but in “The Value of Being Incomplete: What Are Your Goals for 2008?” he talked about setting goals.
Goals can be useful but you mustn’t depend on them to define yourself. We are taught that if you don’t have an aim in life, you’ll end up nowhere. If you don’t have concrete goals and work towards them, your website will never grow. Not true.
Goals are pathway markers and destination points. But they are also simply thoughts, conjured up and made concrete in one decisive moment. You can change them as easily as you flick a light switch. It takes less than five seconds. Try it.
So for 2008, be flexible and open. Grow. Take a chance and do something beyond what you consider to be realistic or practical.
I totally agree that goals shall not be set in stone, we need to review and change if needed.
Maki at Dosh Dosh also had a post titled “How to Prepare Yourself for the New Year”. There was a list of eight things to consider and a great final paragraph:
Think of yourself as a machine. You are a woman or man of enormous potential. Everything is possible in the new year if you have the heart for it. What you need to do is to grease the wheels, make sure you’re all well-oiled and ready to roll. Take care of the periphery details and you’ll find that you’ll reach your goals a lot faster.