Is Your Life Like Riding the Bumper Cars at the Fair? Living a Purposeful Life
Do you ever feel like your life is living you instead of the other way around? Maybe there’s too much to do and no time to pause and consider what you actually want to do. Maybe it feels like you’re riding the bumper cars at the fair. Other drivers are constantly bumping into you, pushing you every which way. You’re continuously reacting to each collision, backing up, turning around, just in time to get rammed again.
This can be fun if it’s just a game and you’re not trying to go anywhere. But if you continually let your decisions, action, and emotions be reactions to what life throws at you, you’re just surviving instead of choosing your life.
What can you do to live a more purposeful life? Here are a couple of ideas to get you started.
Clarify Your Values
First, get clear on what’s important to you. Think about causes you’re passionate about, key values that you want to uphold in your life or characteristics and traits that reflect your best self. These could include anything from wanting to be kinder and more patient with others to being an advocate for the homeless. Be true to yourself by being on the lookout for those things that are really other people’s priorities (your parent, boss, partner, etc.). After some inner reflection, you may come up with several ideas you want to set intentions around or you may find there’s one dominant focus that stands out.
Make It Easier
Find ways to make it easier to live your intentions. Surround yourself with people who support you in your journey. Sharing your vision with helpful family and friends is encouraging and fun. You might also need to make the tough choice of staying away from those individuals who aren’t supportive and who bring you down.
Tame Your Mind
Tame your thinking to quiet the negativity that can sabotage your efforts. Experiment with mindfulness practices. Try setting alarms on your phone and every time they go off, pay attention to what you’re thinking in that moment. Use a common trigger like a stop sign. When you see it, pause and reflect on your current thoughts. Are they serving you?
To live your best life and be your best, most authentic self, you need to notice your ingrained reactions and then purposely choose how to move forward or respond. This gives you the amazing power to create and design the kind of life you want to live and how you want to be in that life. Experiment with these ideas this week. For more ideas, see the full article in the September 2018 issue of Brava.