Are you living the kind of life that you’ve always dreamed of? Are you happy with your life and your work?
Five years ago, I was really bored at my work. I was sick and tired of doing the same thing over and over again. Every morning when I wake up, I would drag myself to work. I knew I could do better than just answering the phone and talking to a number of clients in a day.
I wanted to resign but I can’t because of two main reasons:
First was because of financial considerations. My company is paying me well and I realized that I was not only living for myself; but I also live for my family, my friends, and the community. I couldn’t just quit.
The second reason was more compelling. I actually didn’t know where to go next in case I resign. I didn’t know what my life purpose was.
My boredom and discontent with my work gave me a burning desire to discover my life purpose. And so for many months, I did some soul searching. I read books. I consulted some mentors. I reduced some of my activities so I could have more time to think.
Let me share with you a great discovery that took me years to discern with the hope of inspiring you to discover your own life purpose. Discerning your life purpose looks complicated but there are actually two very simple questions that you need to ask yourself.
1) What makes you happy? What is your passion? If money were not an issue, what profession would you like to pursue? What is that one thing that makes you feel more alive?
- What makes you happy?
Let’s take Bill Gates as an example. Bill Gates is a very intelligent student in Harvard. Yet, he dropped out of college because he got bored in school. Besides, he was interested in pursuing his real passion – computers. Dealing with computers is one thing that makes him really happy.
How many of us would leave Harvard school just to pursue what makes us happy? What is that one thing that makes you happy that you’re willing to leave comfort zone?
2) What do you do best? Where do you excel? Among the talents that God gave you, which one is the greatest? Take time to make an inventory of your talents and find out where you excel the most.
Let’s look at Manny Pacquiao. Do you think he was an A student? Hmmm… Yet, Manny Pacquiao was much wiser than most of the A students because he discovered his “unique genius”. He knew what he does best and he is continually working on improving his greatest asset. Imagine if Manny Pacquiao is just like most of us – he graduated from college and then he got a job in the corporate world. Do you think he would be that successful and rich? Do you think he would have made the Philippines known to the world through his job in the corporate world?
Again, remember the two important questions – what makes you happy and where do you excel? It’s important for us to remember that the answers to the two questions should coincide. For example, if singing happens to be your passion but you are tone deaf, then you shouldn’t pursue singing as a profession. Otherwise, people would wonder whether you had any family member or friend who cared for you to tell you that you are not meant to sing. 🙂
In the same manner, if what you do best is something that doesn’t make you happy and is not your passion, somewhere along the way, you’ll get tired of doing this because somewhere along the way, your reason for doing it will wear off.
I am not a very talented person. I love singing but whenever I sing, my father and my brother would wonder whether I was crying or I was reciting a poem. I couldn’t dance either. I also tried to enroll in piano lessons but I failed in learning to play even just one song. I also love to cook but whenever I cook, my family or my friends would eat only because they have no choice and they’re hungry. Yet, there is this one thing that I actually do best. And among the talents that God gave me, I think this one is the greatest. Please note that I am benchmarking against myself and not against another person.
The discovery came as a surprise to me when I took up GMAT. I got perfect scores in the essay portion of the exam. Incidentally, writing is also my passion. I love to write.
Ever since I discovered that writing is my passion and my greatest talent, I had been aligning my activities in congruence to my life purpose. I became happier. I became more confident about the activities that I pursue. I became more productive. I’m no longer a lost sheep. I now know where to concentrate my energies. And I’m happy because I know that I am giving justice to the talents that God gave me. I also know that someday, I can reach the big dream that I aspire for.
As you start the week, take time to answer these two very important questions:
1. What makes you happy?
2. What do you do best?
Make a decision to align your activities based on the answers you give to the two questions.
Discover your life purpose and soon, you will have the kind of life that you’ve always dreamed of.
Have an inspiring Monday!
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Text and photos by Sha Nacino. Copyright © 2011 All rights reserved.
* Simultaneously posted in Learn. Laugh. Love. @ www.happysha.com
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