Let's start with a familiar situation:
Monday morning. Your alarm rings from the mobile phone by your face, prompting you to reach over to make it snooze. You follow suit.
Nine minutes later, the alarm returns, blaring news that, yes, it's time to get up and go to the office.
You jump into the shower to let the hot water shock you back into your body. You get dressed, grab some toast and an apple, and then go to your car. On the way in, you sit in the 7:30 AM traffic that clogs your path like a blood clot in an artery.
You love what you do, but you can't help but wonder: Is this my purpose? This can't be all there is to life.
It's easy to feel this way in or society. Because they love us, family members may have encouraged to pick safely, resulting in us becoming someone other than who we actually are, with less-than-inspiring dreams. How many times have you shared a dream and been greeted with this response: "How are you going to make money doing that?"
In our capitalistic world, of COURSE money has its importance. No money? No food, no home, no transportation, and no fake friends. Your loved one's question comes from a practical place, so please forgive them. You believed them, so you took a "safe" path for security. This is common.
Money isn't everything, though. You might find yourself economically secure but miserable, sitting in traffic because you haven't yet explored whether what you're doing is aligned with your destined dreams and purpose. When you see a miserable person who seems to have everything, this is probably why.
So, how do you start to turn things around? Start to investigate. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
Who am I?
It's kind of a cliche at this point, but to answer this question, you could start by taking some personality tests. The Myer-Briggs Type Indicator test can give you some insight (with the knowledge that it's a controversial tool), as well as the Enneagram assessment. You could even take a few Buzzfeed quizzes; they're fun and they can give you clues to who you are...and who you aren't.
What would I be doing if money wasn't an option?
Philosopher Alan Watts spent time pondering this question and inspired our culture to do the same. He was grounded in Eastern philosophies and did a lot to integrate ancient ideas into the Western mind. Ask yourself this question, and you might get some insight into your life's purpose. Think back to a time when you didn't need to worry about money to enjoy life. The answers from your inner child will give you some clues.
Who do I want to be?
Newsflash: you have the right to figure out who you want to be. It isn't up to your parents, society, God, your church or temple, or friends to decide you would are. That's your job. Think about those you most admire. What is it about them you admire? What are their stories? Read some biographies and think about it.
Where do I want to go?
This earth is an immense place in a chaotic universe. What parts of this unique marble would you like to see? Maybe you'd enjoy the humid beaches of Thailand; or, perhaps the snow-capped Atlas Mountains in Morocco. Or, perhaps you just want to find a great place to rest, among those you hold dear.
What do I want my daily life to look like?
Time management is difficult, but necessary once you decide to live your purpose. Numerous entrepreneurs plot their lives weeks ahead of time instead of waking up and making it up every day. Using a morning routine can help you to have a measure of control while working toward that purposeful vision of your future.
Make no mistake: this is hard work. These questions can cause you to interrogate everything about your life, which can disrupt your personal and professional status quo. Maybe that's why life forces us to do this work through the discomfort, but it's a worthy undertaking. At a certain point, you will gain answers that can turn your Mondays from dread to determined, positive and intentional action.
Have you asked yourself these questions? What wisdom have you gained?
Let me know in the comments!