“Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification, but fidelity to a worthy purpose.”
Helen Keller (1880 – 1968)
The most popular blog post I have ever written is about pursuing one’s passion. This month as we explore contentment it would be a miss to not include information about finding your passion. The connection to a purpose and pursuit of a highly desired and motivating goal is a key to contentment. Sounds a bit contradictory, but for many the connection to purpose and pursuit of a goal are key elements to contentment. Without one or the other, or both, there is an internal void for many of us. So today let’s take a look at this key element, Finding Your Purpose.
A goal prompts a sense of purpose, bolsters self-esteem, and brings people together. What is your most inspiring goal? What is the project you are working on now for entertainment, growth, or achievement? Take a few minutes before you move on to the next point to reflect on your current goals, the positive emotional states they open for you, and how they connect you with others. Sometimes we miss the connection to other people portion, especially if it is a goal we seem to be working on in isolation. If this is true for you, explore connection points this week, seek the advice or insights from another or simply share with another what you are doing. A few quick conversations will show you how a goal can connect you with other people.
Align daily activities to long-term meaning and purpose. When we align daily activities to long term meaning and purpose we deepen our sense of value each day. What are your greatest goals or the values you stand for? Are you taking a stand for your values every day? Are you living your purpose every day? How are you connecting with your long-term meaning and purpose on a daily basis? One of the things I do to help me stay connected to my long term meaning and purpose is to consistently create new habits that support my long-term goals and desires. When I transform my desires into supporting habits I live connected to my purpose.
Relationships provide the strongest meaning and purpose – cultivate meaningful relationships. The contentment goal I am adding to my life this month is to connect with my friends and develop my relationships. Yesterday I had lunch with a long term but not often seen friend and colleague. Each day I spend at least 5 minutes setting up a lunch, happy hour, coffee or other connection point with a friend. With just 5 minutes of planning each day I am cultivating my meaningful relationships and really being blessed as a result. What can you do for 5 minutes each day that would cultivate your relationships?
If you are seeking your purpose ask yourself a few key questions:
- What excites and energizes me?
- What are my proudest achievements?
- How do I want others to remember me?
As you discover the answers to these questions start aligning yourself to the answers. For example, if your proudest achievement was getting out of debt, purchasing a home, and raising your children on one income as a single mom you have probably learned some amazing financial saving and career preserving or advancing lessons that could be shared with others. In today’s economy there are more people living on one income, what life lessons can you share?
Today’s Simple Smile Igniter is to consider your purpose and the contentment you have in your amazing life, consider your goals and the positive emotions they induce, consider how your life aligns with your long-term goals and purpose, consider which relationships you would like to further develop, and ask yourself the above three questions. As you do these things savor your time, your thoughts and the inspired actions you take. Remember contentment is not about settling, but about savoring the life we choose to live.
If you would like support in creating new habits that could increase your life satisfaction consider my FREE Program 30-Days to a New Habit. You can receive the 30 daily action plans via daily e-mails when you send a blank e-mail to email@example.com