How to live on purpose

As a multi-passionate and creative woman, it has taken me a long time to understand how to live and work on...

As a multi-passionate and creative woman, it has taken me a long time to understand how to live and work on purpose. In our Western world, choosing one thing and then sticking to it seems to be the order of the day. Everything we go through, from the earliest stages of our lives on, is meant to specialize us into some field or another. We have to become good at something, and then make that our career or business path until it’s time to retire.

Very early on, I realized this wasn’t for me. But that doesn’t mean that it was easy to figure this out, or that I knew what to do instead.

On the contrary, it took a few decades for me to overcome the inadequateness of not having one true passion, and another decade for me to finally figure out how to live and work on purpose without it.

What I have found out over the years is that it doesn’t really matter whether you have one thing to focus on or a multitude of them, or if you’re a work in progress and not sure of what it is you really want to do. Whatever the state you’re in, and whatever you focus on, what really matters, and what makes you live a life on purpose and do work that matters to you, is twofold.

First, it matters how you experience the present and how aware of it you are. And second, it matters how aligned your actions are with the values that you uphold. When you have these two things in your life and your work, whatever your passions, I believe you’re living on purpose. The question is, now, why is this the case and how do you get to this point?

  1. Increase your awareness of the present moment

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about a beginner practice for everyday mindfulness. If you haven’t read it yet, I encourage you to check it out because mindfulness, I believe, is the most straightforward path towards more awareness of the present moment.

Practicing mindfulness enables you to focus on the present moment – on what matters now – and to let go of the resentments of the pasts and the worries about the future. And in turn, by your being in the present moment, what you do becomes more real and you gain a greater awareness of your actions and their consequences. And this is what gives you a greater sense of purpose.

How to live on purpose

  1. Align your actions with your values

Aligning your actions with the values that you uphold is another way to live and work in a more purposeful way. The funny thing is, we all think we know what our values are, but we rarely do the work of defining them, let alone infusing them into our daily actions, into the work that we do, or into the business that we have.

A few years ago, when living on purpose and being true to myself made its way to the top of my agenda, I decided that I wanted to get crystal clear on the values I believed in, and that I wanted to really start living by them. The way I accomplished this was first by journaling about what kind of a person I wanted to be and the legacy I wanted to leave behind. Then I distilled values from that vision, and made a list of the values that really mattered to me: self-love, compassion, integrity, doing good, peace, believing in human potential, optimism, tolerance, patience, and so much more… After that, I started to infuse my actions and my work with those values. First with baby steps, just trying to consciously think about my actions when making important decisions and asking myself: is this decision working in favor of or against what I believe in?

Then, at a later stage, I started to tweak my business to be more in line with my values – for instance, by treating my employees differently, taking on a different kind of leadership role, choosing my clients based on my values, and so on. And finally, really recently, I wrote a manifesto infused with all of my values for The Boho Loft, the membership site I created for multi-passionate and creative women who want to get into inspired action.

By doing these two things, I’m able to live a life that feels so much more on purpose to me, and to run businesses that are absolutely aligned with what I believe in. And I’ve done this without focusing on one passion or deciding what I’m going do for the rest of my life.

Because you know what? I don’t believe that you can do that. I don’t believe that there is one thing, unchangeable, that you pick and stick with for the rest of your life. That just doesn’t work for me, and it doesn’t fit with my idea of creativity, which is something ever-changing, ever-evolving… a life-long search for human expression.

And you know what else? That’s perfectly fine.

Because you don’t need to know your what; you simply need to know your why.

But do tell me, what is your why? I really want to know!

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