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19 Thoughts About Finding Your Purpose

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Those who win are producers, not consumers. The first thing you do each morning should be active, not passive– no Facebook, no email. Whatever you choose should put you in a state of mind for the rest of the day. Choose carefully.

The goals others set for you are usually wrong. The people who give them to you seem well meaning, and they have more experience, too. But your heart will guide you better than anyone. Find internal markers to know if what you’re doing is right.

If you do two things at once, one of them is getting done wrong. No matter how wrong you think this is, or how many exceptions you think there are… I sincerely doubt it.

Any organization that claims it has the answer is either wrong or lying. Sometimes it makes a fun game to try and guess which one it is they’re doing. You’ll also notice that, somewhere along the line, they want you to either buy something or work for free.

Since everything is getting louder, seek out the places that are quiet. Sanctuaries are few and they all get a bad rap. Parks, libraries, and all the rest are places to make sure you have your head on straight. Go there.

Find out what people think of you. Amplify it.

Everything that isn’t your main purpose should be either delegated or dropped. If you do this right, you should make more money, not less.

Pay attention to what’s vulnerable, not just what’s strong. Actually, this also helps you predict trends in the marketplace, which is good for your pocketbook.

Take some time to do absolutely nothing. Meditate every day, if only for a minute. It produces an amazing ability to step back and escape whatever your usual patterns are.

Wear your heart on your sleeve. Do this no matter how many times you get hurt.

Join a movement. Or better yet, create one. The whole world is ready to be changed by someone just like you.

The world is going faster, but that doesn’t mean you should. Slow is good too.

Find the time to think. Freewriting produces more clarity, and reduces stress, more than almost any activity.

Start a gratitude journal. Studies show it is the one thing that produces the largest change in happiness. I’ve had one for the past month and it’s been awesome.

Have a quest. It fills your days with pregnant purpose and makes you live longer, too.

Check out Carl Jung’s archetypes; he knew a thing or two. It’ll help you find your place in the grand scheme of things.

Let everyone be. Don’t try to change them. They’re just following a larger pattern– and so are you.

Go through your childhood and find what interested you. Combine those things and add a trend or two. Do it right and you’ll have a great business.

It’s ok to get sidetracked. Don’t worry about wasted time. Start again today.

(Thanks to bogenfreund for the pic.)

* Filed by Julien at 4:46 pm under tips


Hi, I’m Julien Smith. I'm the founder and CEO of Breather.

Check out more of my blog, my free book or add me on twitter. Also, we're hiring. Check that out.

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33 Responses to “19 Thoughts About Finding Your Purpose”

  1. Kyle LaFontaine Says:

    Awesome advice, thanks for this. Most important one for me is “Those who win are producers, not consumers”. I need to take an hour to do my own thing every morning… before reaching for my iphone. I will commit to this tomorrow morning.

    I’ve learned a tremendous amount from Jung and his archetypes as well. I recommend reading, “King Warrior Magician Lover” by Robert Moore, for anyone who is interested on the topic. It’s a short and profund read.

  2. April Says:

    Gold! Thank you.

  3. Janie Says:

    I’m joining a movement, of sorts, and it involves what I wanted to be when I was a kid (a writer) and adds some trends, so I guess I’m seeing the wisdom of a lot of the above. Maybe I’ve found my purpose, or remembered it. Quietness and focus are helping me put it into practice. Mostly, though, what resonates is that it’s MY goal I’m reaching for.

    Thought provoking post :)

  4. lillian pierson Says:

    Thank you so much for sharing these vital guidelines.

  5. Michael Says:

    Awesome list! One thought…”If you do two things at once, AT LEAST one of them is getting done wrong.”

  6. Jon Sookocheff Says:

    Good post again Julien. Keep putting it out there. I need a good swift kick in the pants every now and then and this is just the thing.

  7. John McLachlan Says:

    Thanks for this Julien. Super clear writing and excellent advice, much of which I knew at one time but forgot.

    Thanks for the clarity.

  8. naved Says:

    good post, i wish if only 3 out of 10 would actually and practically follow this, life would be much better :)

  9. Tre ~ (@thoughtbythought) Says:

    nodding
    you’ve lived each. it spoken from that knowing place.

    nudge you to take these up and create story with them.
    or cartoon.
    or however you think…could make ‘em accessible to broader age range. i’m thinkin middle school esp (biased: taught public school grades 6th, 7th 8th for a time and had a learning center for those who learn best by doing…i’m not teaching anymore…tired out from the staff and the labels never the students.
    i have no stories to speak of yet that i’m suggesting.
    workin on it.
    grateful @jonathanfields tweeted it and i caught this in the stream. happy belated canada day.

  10. Justin Says:

    If all you wrote was Carl Jungs archetypes that would have been god enough for me. Love that concept.

    I would even add figure out your strenghts and play to them. It’s cool to address weaknesses here and there but when talking about purpose forgetta-bout-it! Just do what you do best and dominate that sh@t

  11. Ilana Rabinowitz Says:

    Love it. Thank you for this. I’m sharing it and printing it.

  12. Odinaka Anigbogu (Oddie) Says:

    Nice one Julien. Nice one.

  13. David McCormick Says:

    Very helpful, thanks a lot Julien.
    Despite only being seventeen i’ve got a lot of decisions about life coming up that must be made (eg. University) and your posts really put them into perspective about what matters

  14. Tamara Gagnon Says:

    Thank you. Your posts are helping to get me back on track. Loved Flinch, by the way.

  15. Amanda Falke Says:

    Great post. Going slow in order to go fast – taking time to meditate, and producing work rather than consuming others’ ideas. Very cool.

  16. Bigg Russ Says:

    Awesome. Truly. Thank you.

  17. Renée Says:

    Hey Julien,
    It’s kinda funny you mention freewriting. Perhaps you’re aging yourself (not that there’s anything wrong with that).;-)One of my professors used to have us freewrite as an excercise and I have used the technique ever since. In fact, even after computers became more prominent in classrooms and eventually at home (now who’s aging herself?), I found that going brain-to-keyboard never produced quite the same results as doing a pre-write freewrite.
    Thanks for another good post!

  18. Jo-Anne Says:

    What a great list if only more people could do these things maybe there would be happier people in the world.

  19. Susan Cooper Says:

    I could relate to this article. Especially “doing two things at once” & “the world is moving faster”. I am out of the country visiting my French fribring which brings all of this home in my mind. :)

  20. Jowita Says:

    A great article! I will relate to one thing in it:
    ‘The goals other set for you are usually wrong’. I’m glad there is ‘usually wrong’ as: so many times I stuck to MY idea, MY goal and I ended up with ‘not sure what to do with my life’… But when I asked someone else ‘what would you do?’ and I listened to it, did it; my life improved. Well… Maybe if I believed enough in MY goal, MY idea this would change everything?!?!

  21. Ernest B Says:

    Thanks for sharing! Those are some great ideas that we all need to seriously consider – maybe even schedule a reminder to stop and reflect back on some of them on a regular basis.

  22. Maureen Says:

    More often than any other source, your blogs contain the right words at the right time for me. Thank you for that.

  23. SherryB Says:

    So many things here speak to me. Thank you for sharing!

  24. Ramin Rakhamimov Says:

    Started “producing” more blog articles thanks to this: highonpython.com.

  25. Ceasar S. Turingan Says:

    Good to know, perfect timing for me, Thanks for sharing…

  26. Chris Picanzo Says:

    Thank you for the great read! I enjoyed it so much I shared it.. :)

  27. Tom Evans Says:

    Great list – and if I could add a 20th

    Allow things to Arrive – as described in this tip a shaman told me one day

    http://audioboo.fm/boos/877874-allowing-things-to-arrive

  28. Matt Brennan Says:

    As usual, good advice Julien! I’m working hard on number one. Need to produce more.

  29. Lynn Ruby Says:

    And I would add
    “Don’t talk unless you can improve the silence.” – Jorge Luis Borges

  30. Chas Says:

    Some thoughts that I will share. Thank you.

  31. Morghan Says:

    Set your phone to poll everything once daily, and put that time an hour or so after your alarm goes off. That gives you the opportunity to get up and start your day before notifications start popping up on the bar. Of course this takes some modification if you have time sensitive communications, but it can still work. All electronics, with the possible exception of an eInk reader, should be off for an hour on each side of bedtime.

  32. Laurie Says:

    Not sure how I landed here, but it was a few minutes well spent. Thanks for the gentle nudge.

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