Is there really one question or method that can help you answer each or all three of these questions? Let’s find out.
First, a few thoughts about each . . .
This one gets a lot of play. I think it’s because many of us feel if we, without question, know what our purpose is, we can (we believe) demonstrate, to ourselves and others, that we actually have one. By default of being here, you have a primary purpose—to have a human experience! If you find yourself craving to know what your “specific” purpose is, how about you put that down for a bit, tune into what YOU FEEL inspired and/or motivated to do whether for all time or the next few weeks, months, or years—and do it or them. If you do that, it’s pretty darn likely that you’ll manage to live your purpose, however it gets done. Walking around wondering what it is and questioning every decision or indecision isn’t fun or fulfilling—it’s frustrating. Also know that life purpose and life work (career) may or may not be the same thing. For some it is, for others it isn’t.
What YOU really want to do for all time or for the next few weeks, months, or years. True goals are what YOU want to experience, enjoy, achieve, fulfill, help make happen, and so on. A true goal should never, ever, ever be about what another wants or believes you should do. True goals are what you go after when you get out of your own way.
You’re never too young or too old to put something on this list (or check it off once achieved). If you’re not playing with such a list, consider doing so. Make it a safe zone where you write anything you wish to experience. No “I can’t” or “That’ll never happen” thoughts—if/when they occur—are to be allowed to stop you from putting down what you want, including the who, what, when, where, and how you want it to look, be, and feel for you. The HOW it happens is to be left alone, unless an inspired idea comes to you about how to help make it happen. Otherwise, putting your unfettered items on this list will, remarkably, cause them to show up at their right timing—if they are truly aligned with what you are here to experience.
So, what’s the question?
It comes from Willie Jolley. Imagine your doctor tells you s/he’s got bad news and good news. (I promise it’s like but not exactly the same as the question you already know.) The bad news is you have a condition and it’s confirmed you have exactly one year left to live. As day 365 ticks over into day 366, you exit. The good news is there’s no feelings of poor health involved—you have energy—and the really good news is that you get to pick ten things you want to do/accomplish, knowing an aspect of this condition is that you WILL succeed fully at each of them.
What ten things would you pick? To help you with this, if you decide to “play,” just start writing. If your top ten aren’t obvious, compare item one to item two. Which one matters more to you? Put a checkmark by it. Compare item one to item three and pick the one you want more. Continue this item-to-item comparison until you’ve gone through all the items. Count the checkmarks for each item and you’ll see what your top ten are. You may see that some of your items fit into Life Purpose, True Goals, or Bucket List—or two categories or all three at once.
Don’t have ten items? No problem. Just prioritize your items and get started. If other items come to mind, add them and prioritize them. It isn’t about the number of items; it’s about what you do about the ones you have.
Think this will take too much of your time because you know your list will be too long? Well, if you’re not working on at least one item on this list right now, what’s stopping you? Are you happy letting that be a reason (or excuse)? What can you do that you will do?
You are what you practice.
© 2010, Joyce Shafer