Archive For October 30, 2014

10 Tips For People Who Hate Networking

Networking has a bad reputation as a forum for superficial small talk. Yet real networking is about establishing mutually beneficial, lasting connections, one person at a time. And with my modern approach to networking, even you can shine and thrive at a board meeting, convention, or free-floating cocktail party.

The reason so many of us hate networking – and profess to stink at it – is because we’ve been futilely following the wrong rules. Rules that only work for a paltry 15% of the population and require us to be phony – a sure fire way to short circuit.

Networking isn’t about working a room or telling everyone how fabulous you are. Real networking is building meaningful, lasting, mutually beneficial connections one person at a time.

This new and improved definition of networking means being true to you; capitalizing on your strengths, and tossing aside ‘rules’ that don’t match your temperament. The book’s self-assessment identifies your networking style. However, here are a few tidbits designed especially for you:

1. Be True To You
You are better qualified to be you than anyone else. Stamp out networking advice that demands you behave in ways that drain you. Harness natural abilities as networking strengths rather than liabilities. Like to listen, not talk? Do it. Energize alone? Go for it. Prefer one-on-one conversation? Arrange it.

2. Realize Less Is More
Be selective. Go to fewer events and be more focused when attending – rather than dragging your weary self to every business opportunity and showing up like a networking prisoner.

3. Plan Your First Impression
Cognitive scientists say it can take up to 200 times the amount of information to undo a first impression as it takes to make one. Who has that kind of spare time? Not you! Show up with the best version of you, every time. You never know who you are meeting.

4. Volunteer
Many of us dislike networking events because we don’t know what to say to a group of strangers. Free floating through a room is a fast track to free-floating anxiety. What to do? Simple. Volunteer to help out. Voila! You have a purpose and something to talk about. Even better, you position yourself as someone helpful – proving how indispensable you are rather than telling everyone about it.

5. Get In Line
This strategy is brilliant. You walk into a networking event with nowhere to go and no one to glom onto. What’s a desperate networker to do? Get in a queue. Any queue. The longer the better! Why? A queue gives you a place to put your body and a temporary purpose in the world. There are only two people to talk with – the person in front and person behind you. There is a reward – whatever is given out at the front of the queue. And a natural ending – the front of the queue. Nice meeting you!  Ta-ta!

6. Set Challenging Yet Achievable Networking Goals
Well-formed goals vary by personality. At a networking event, task yourself with meeting one or two people, not a dozen. And follow up (see #10!).

7. Show Don’t Tell
Rather than boring others with a canned advert of how marvelous you are, demonstrate live-time your fabulous self. Be useful and gracious. Greet others with a warm smile and leap at every chance to be helpful.

8. Research
Rather than wandering cavernous expo halls at industry events, do your pre-work. Learn in advance what organizations are of particular interest. Spend more time with fewer people. Impress key targets with your knowledge of who they are and why you are a perfect match.

9. Listen
Ever sense your remarks just shoot off a cliff and crash to the ground? Who needs that kind of pressure? Instead focus on those around you, asking thoughtful questions. Network via a sincere interest in others rather than promoting your fine self.

10. Follow-Up Or Forget About It
If you’re not following up, you’re not networking! We forget half of what we hear within 48 hours. Write personalized follow-up within two days or risk having your brilliant remarks erased permanently from the minds of those you wowed. If you’re not following up, you’re not networking.

reblogged from www.careerealism.com

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Simple Tips – Profound Changes

I went to Omega to work with Carolyn Myss a couple weekends ago and one of the archetypes that she talks about is the Prostitute Archetype.

Think of it for a second. How are you willing to sell anything if the price is right? Whether we sell our time with our families, our values, or our health, it does not matter it is a sale of, as Carolyn Myss put it, a part of our soul that stops us from ever really being happy.

In order to make sure that you don’t sell your soul you need to know where it lives and how to care for it.

When your work is about success and fulfillment you do a lot of thinking about how to live the best possible life. Here is a list of some of the keys to living a deeply fulfilled life.

Passion:
1. Figure out what you love. People are happier when they know what they love.
2. Do it often. Doing what you love makes you feel more fulfilled.
3. Remove things from your life that are mediocre, beige, flat or merely being tolerated. You only have so much time attention and energy don’t waste it on what does not matter.

Courage:
1. Know what is important to you.
2. Know why it is important to you.
3. Because, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” F. Roosevelt

Kindness:
1. Learn to be good to others and do it as much as possible.
2. Learn to be good to yourself and do it as much as possible
3. Go out of your way everyday to do something especially nice for a total stranger.

Gratitude:
1. Pay attention to all the wonderful things that are a part of your life both large and small.
2. Thank people for what they bring to your life.
3. Learn to find gratitude even for the things and people that are difficult

Contemplation:
1. Take a few moments every day to sit quietly.
2. Keep a journal.
3. Learn to listen fully to what someone is saying. Really take it in before responding.

Forgiveness:
1. Make a list of everyone in your life that you have an unresolved issue with and find a way to resolve it within yourself and if possible with them.
2. Forgive yourself.
3. Make it a practice to forgive others as quickly as possible.

Play:
1. Make time to be creative in ways that please you the most.
2. Laugh as much as possible.
3. Remember that your life is what you dream it to be.

Looking for personal growth work that will guide you through making the changes you need to make for your fulfillment and support you as you step fully into a more fulfilled and happy life? Your answer may be LifeWork Community. Learn more here.

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How To Make Networking Suck Less

Networking doesn’t have to be dry and forced if you don’t want it to be. In fact, it can be even more valuable if you don’t treat it that way. Below are six ways to make networking suck less.

Be passionate and make it fun. Instead of trying to “network,” try to have fun, get to know people and build mutually-beneficial relationships over time. Remember, meeting people is fun! Learn to appreciate the experience of getting to know someone and building a relationship. Talk about stuff you like to talk about and ask questions that you legitimately want to hear the answer to.

Don’t go to events. I actually hate the term “networking” because most people associate it with big conferences and events with lots of people selling things and giving out business cards. Don’t go to those kinds of events.

Don’t get me wrong, you can meet some awesome people at big events. Conferences and events are a great way to start meeting people in a given industry and forming a network. However, after building up an initial base, I’ve found that the best networking doesn’t happen at events.

Ask for introductions or reach out directly. Instead of going to events and hoping that you will serendipitously run into someone that you’d love to meet, be more intentional. Think strategically about the people you want to have in your network and make a list. Find them on LinkedIn, and if you have any common connections, ask the shared connection for an introduction. If you don’t have any common connections, try reaching out directly.

If you are someone they would benefit from knowing, they will gladly accept the introduction or respond to your outreach. To “warm up” your cold call, try interacting with them online by responding to their tweets or commenting on their blog. Make sure you have a strong online presence so that when they receive your or your shared contacts email they can easily see that you are someone they would benefit from knowing.

Host your own events. Invite a group of people and ask each of them to invite a couple more people. Good people usually know other good people, so if you invite good people, you will likely meet even more good people. The event could be a breakfast, happy hour, dinner, basketball game or pretty much anything you enjoy doing. Building relationships with your existing contacts is sometimes more valuable than meeting new people. In addition, by filtering this way, you’re more likely to meet great people.

Blog and tweet to reach a wider audience. Amazingly, blogging can actually help you accomplish several core networking strategies. Blogging is a great way to engage your existing contacts, as well as reach a new audience.

Writing content that’s valuable to your audience and displays your expertise is an effective way to reach a wider audience. It’s also more “scalable” in that it enables you to reach more people in the same amount of time than having individual meetings or attending individual events.

Connect with connectors. Connectors are people who know a lot of people and make a regular practice of introducing their contacts to each other. They spend a lot of time networking and meeting new people. Knowing connectors gives you more eyes on the world and saves you time. If and when they find someone that you would benefit from knowing, they will introduce you.

Key takeaways:

  • Networking doesn’t have to suck unless you make it suck. Remind yourself to have fun meeting people, chatting about shared interests, and building relationships over time.
  • Instead of going to business-card-swapping events hoping for serendipity, network more intentionally by meeting people through introductions, smaller private events and cold outreach.
  • Blogging, social media and connecting with connectors are great ways to network in a more time effective way.
  • Re-blogged from Entrepreuer.com

    About the Author: Mike Fishbein is the founder of Startup College and author of How to Build an Awesome Professional Network. Previously he was part of the founding team of a venture studio and corporate innovation firm.

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5 Ways To Build Habits That Stick

In our day-to-day lives, habits can often be tough to build, as there are plenty of distractions that can lead us off the “straight and narrow” and right back to our old ways. To alleviate some of those troubles we can examine some academic research on motivation, discipline, and habit building, and break down their findings into actionable steps that any aspiring habit-builder can put into place.

1. Make “micro quotas” and “macro goals”

In a fascinating study on motivation, researchers found abstract thinking to be an effective method to help with discipline. In the most basic sense, “dreaming big” is pretty good advice after all. And since a variety of research around the self-determination theory shows us that creating intrinsic motivators (being motivated to do things internally, not through punishments or rewards) is an essential process of building habits that stick, you need to find a way to balance this desire to dream big with your day-to-day activities, which often do not result in quick, dramatic changes.

The answer is to create what I call “micro quotas” and ”macro goals.” Your goals should be the big picture items that you wish to someday accomplish, but your quotas, are the minimum amounts of work that you must get done every single day to make the bigger goal a reality. Quotas make each day approachable, and your goals become achievable because of this.

Writer/developer Nathan Barry has made for a great case study of the use of these quotas as someone who forced himself to write 1000 words per day come hell or high-water. The result was three self-published books resulting in thousands of dollars in sales.

2. Create behavior chains

Creating sticky habits is far easier when we make use of our current routines, instead of trying to fight them. The concept of if-then planning is built around environmental “triggers” that we can use to let us know that it’s time to act on our habit. Also known implementation intentions, this tactic involves picking a regular part of your schedule and then building another “link in the chain” by adding a new habit.

For instance, instead of “I will keep a cleaner house,” you could aim for, “When I come home, I’ll change my clothes and then clean my room/office/kitchen.” Multiple studies confirm this to be a successful method to rely on contextual cues over willpower. So the next time you decide to “eat healthier,” instead try “If it is lunch time, Then I will only eat meat and vegetables.”

3. Eliminate excessive options

According to a variety of research on self-control —and expounded upon in books like The Willpower Effect — there is great power in being boring. Take, for instance, Barack Obama’s insistence on never wearing anything but blue and gray suits. According to the president, “I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make too many decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.”

The president’s belief is well supported by the research—Kathleen Vohs and her colleagues’ study on self-control found that making repeated choices depleted the mental energy of their subjects, even if those choices were mundane and relatively pleasant. According to the Harvard Business Review, if you want to maintain long term discipline, it’s best to “Identify the aspects of your life that you consider mundane — and then ‘routinize’ those aspects as much as possible. In short, make fewer decisions.”

For lasting change, the steps you take must ultimately change your environment and schedule. Stop buying snacks if you want to stop snacking (no willpower needed), pack a very similar lunch every day of the week, and embrace the power of routine to get the necessary done each day.

4. Process plan (but don’t fantasize)

The step that many people skip when they fantasize about building a certain habit is they never clearly answer why they want the change to occur. It may seem like a small detail, but it plays a huge role in keeping our motivation up over time. A variety of research shows us that excessive fantasizing about results can be extremely detrimental to the stickiness of any habit.

According to this study from UCLA, the mistake is in what we visualize. Researchers found that those participants who engaged in visualizations that included the process of what needed to be done to achieve the goal (ex: fantasizing about learning another language, by visualizing themselves practicing every day after work) were more likely to stay consistent than their peers (that visualized themselves speaking French on a trip to Paris). The visualization process worked for two reasons:

Planning: visualizing the process helped focus attention on the steps needed to reach the goal.

Emotion: visualization of individual steps led to reduced anxiety.

5. Eliminate “ah-screw-its”

New habits are often very fragile, and it is for this reason that we must eliminate any source of friction that may lead us astray. These “ah-screw-it” moments (hat tip to blogger Derek Halpern) are the specific moments where you find yourself saying, “Screw this, it’s not worth the effort!” A more scientific take on this phenomenon is called the What the Hell Effect, which explains why we are so likely to abandon ship with a new habit at the first slip-up.

The solution? Examine your habit and find exactly where things start to break down. In a great example of putting this in action, Author and 99U speaker Ramit Sethi has explained how he improved his gym attendance by finding where things would slip:
When I sat down to analyze why I wasn’t going to the gym, I realized: my closet was in another room. That meant I had to walk out in the cold [to] put on my clothes. It was easier to just stay in bed. Once I realized this, I folded my clothes and shoes the night before. When I woke up the next morning, I would roll over and see my gym clothes sitting on the floor. The result? My gym attendance soared by over 300%.

You can even incorporate an “if-then” scenario once you find the culprit. For instance, if fatigue is stopping you from playing guitar after work, you could set up a system of “If I’m feeling tired after work, then I will take a 20-minute nap and listen to music for five minutes to get myself motivated.”

What about you? How do you create new regular habits?

Originally published on 99U

Gregory Ciotti

is the author of Sparring Mind, where he takes a fresh look at human behavior, productivity, habits, and creative work. (more…)

Purpose Drives Your Profit

Well at this point I have been around. I have been part of the therapeutic community, part of the business coaching community, part of the academic community, women’s communities and spiritual communities.

No matter where I go, I notice that there is a group of people who are thinking out of the box and wanting more for their lives, their work, and the world. Whatever group they are part of, they do not “drink the KoolAid”. They are thoughtful, considerate, creative and unwilling to settle for just a small part of what they want.

These are my people. If you relate to the above, I want to tell you that it is great to be on this journey with you.

You know that there are a lot of people out there who do not care whether what they do has a positive or a negative impact on the world around them, they really just care about making money. But, if you are reading this, you are not one of them.

My work has always been for people who are looking for the essential information that they need to grow their business, but a business that adds richness to their life in more ways than just monetarily. A business that adds some value to the world.

If you boil it all down:

Purposeful Profit = Lifestyle + Impact

Lifestyle is the way you want to live. It covers how you spend your time AND your money. It determines how much of either of those you want to have. How you feel as you go about your day. What and who you are surrounded by.

Impact is the way you want to interact with the world around you. The ways you would like to make the world a better place by having lived. When you create your business, you want to create a profitable business, otherwise there would be little reason to create a business at all. However it is just as important as you move through live to think about the PURPOSE behind your life and your business.

Because if you are driven by a sense of purpose nothing else is going to leave you feeling more fulfilled than achieving that purpose. And all the money in the world will not make up for that.

Want to learn more about this? My Power Purpose Profit eBook is a workbook that will guide you through turning your desire for impact into a business and lifestyle that you can start LIVING instead of just dreaming about. Purchase it here.

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How To Find Your Passion

For today’s aspiring entrepreneur, exploring avenues of creativity to find your passion is likely the quickest route to increase your chances of launching a successful business. Where to start? Here, five exercises to help you uncover your passion.

Exercise 1 – Revisit your childhood. What did you love to do? “It’s amazing how disconnected we become to the things that brought us the most joy in favor of what’s practical,” says Rob Levit, an Annapolis, Md.-based creativity expert, speaker and business consultant.

Levit suggests making a list of all the things you remember enjoying as a child. Would you enjoy that activity now? For example, Frank Lloyd Wright, America’s greatest architect, played with wooden blocks all through childhood and perhaps well past it.

“Research shows that there is much to be discovered in play, even as adults,” Levit says.

Revisit some of the positive activities, foods and events of childhood. Levit suggests asking yourself these questions to get started: What can be translated and added into your life now? How can those past experiences shape your career choices now?

Exercise 2 – Make a “creativity board.” Start by taking a large poster board, put the words “New Business” in the center and create a collage of images, sayings, articles, poems and other inspirations, suggests Michael Michalko, a creativity expert based in Rochester, N.Y., and Naples, Fla., and author of creativity books and tools, including ThinkPak (Ten Speed Press, 2006).

“The idea behind this is that when you surround yourself with images of your intention — who you want to become or what you want to create — your awareness and passion will grow,” Michalko says. As your board evolves and becomes more focused, you will begin to recognize what is missing and imagine ways to fill the blanks and realize your vision.

Exercise 3 – Make a list of people who are where you want to be. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Study people who have been successful in the area you want to pursue.

For example, during the recession, many people shied away from the real estate market because they thought it was a dead end. Levit believes that’s the perfect time to jump in — when most others are bailing out — because no matter the business, there are people who are successful in it. Study them, figure out how and why they are able to remain successful when everyone else is folding and then set up structures to emulate them.

“If you want to be creative, create a rigorous and formal plan,” Levit says. “It’s not the plan that is creative; it’s the process that you go through that opens up so many possibilities.”

Exercise 4 – Start doing what you love, even without a business plan A lot of people wait until they have an extensive business plan written down, along with angel investors wanting to throw cash at them — and their ideas never see the light of day, according to Cath Duncan, a Calgary, Canada-based creativity expert and life coach who works with entrepreneurs and other professionals.

She recommends doing what you enjoy — even if you haven’t yet figured out how to monetize it. Test what it might be like to work in an area you’re passionate about, build your business network and ask for feedback that will help you develop and refine a business plan.

It’s a way to not only show the value you would bring, but you can also get testimonials that will help launch your business when you’re ready to make it official.

“Perhaps most importantly, though, it’ll shift you out of paralysis and fear,” Cath says, “and the joy of seeing the difference your contribution makes will fuel your creativity.”

Exercise 5 – Take a break from business thinking. While it might feel uncomfortable to step outside of business mode, the mind sometimes needs a rest from such bottom-line thinking, says Levit, who has recently taken up Japanese haiku, a form of poetry. Maybe for you, it will be creative writing, painting, running or even gardening.

After you take a mental vacation indulging in something you’re passionate about, Levit suggests coming back to a journal and writing down any business ideas that come to mind.

“You’ll be amazed at how refreshed your ideas are,” he says. “Looking at beautiful things – art and nature – creates connections that we often neglect to notice. Notice them capture, them in writing and use them.”

reblogged from Entreprenuer.com

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The 6 Attributes of Courage

Courage is something that everybody wants — an attribute of good character that makes us worthy of respect. From the Bible to fairy tales; ancient myths to Hollywood movies,our culture is rich with exemplary tales of bravery and self-sacrifice for the greater good.

From the cowardly lion in The Wizard of Oz who finds the courage to face the witch, to David battling Goliath in the Bible, to Star Wars and Harry Potter, children are raised on a diet of heroic and inspirational tales.

Yet courage is not just physical bravery. History books tell colorful tales of social activists, such as Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela, who chose to speak out against injustice at great personal risk. Entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs and Walt Disney, who took financial risks to follow their dreams and innovate are like modern-day knights, exemplifying the rewards and public accolades that courage can bring. There are different types of courage, ranging from physical  strength and endurance to mental stamina and innovation.

Here is a list of 6 ways we can show courage.

  • 1. Feeling Fear Yet Choosing to Act
  • 2. Following Your Heart 
  • 3. Persevering in the Face of Adversity
  • 4. Standing Up For What Is Right
  • 5. Expanding Your Horizons; Letting Go of the Familiar
  • 6. Facing Suffering  With Dignity

Courage-Building Exercise

For this exercise, you will need a notebook and pen, as well as a quiet, uninterrupted space in which you can reflect.

 

Beginning with the first definition of courage, “Feeling Afraid Yet Choosing to Act,” answer the following questions: Think of a situation as an adult when you felt afraid, yet chose to face your fear?

(a) What did you observe, think, and feel at the time? (e.g., “I saw the rollercoaster and felt butterflies in my stomach”).

(b) What did you or the people around you say, think, and do to help you face your fear? (e.g., “I told myself that if little kids could go on it, so could I”).

(c) At what point did your fear start to go down? How did you feel afterwards?

(d) Now think back on a situation in childhood in which you faced your fear. How was it the same or different than the first situation?

(e) Finally, think of a situation you are currently facing that creates fear or anxiety. What are you most afraid of?  (e.g., being fired if I ask my boss for a raise).

(f) Now, is there a way to apply the same skills you used in the two earlier situations to be more  courageous this situation. Remind yourself that you have these skills and have used them successfully in the past. What mental or environmental barriers stand in the way of using these skills? How can you cope with or get rid of these barriers?

Repeat this exercise over the course of a week, using each definition of courage above. On Day 7, come up with your own definition of courage that is most meaningful to you and repeat the whole exercise using this definition.

Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D. is a Clinical Psychologist in Mill Valley, California, and expert on Mindfulness, Positive Psychology, and Mind-Body issues , who has published more than 50 scholarly works. Previously a Professor in a Graduate Psychology Program, she is now a practicing psychologist, executive  and life coach, speaker, and media consultant. 

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Is This YOUR Life?

I was asked by a client of mine, “If you had one year to live what would you do?”

I thought about this for a bit. I could not think of anything that I would change. It is not that I don’t want to do things more than I have already but there is nothing that I have not done to some degree –enough to be content.

I even questioned myself about it, “Can that even be true?” But still I felt like I would wake up and keep living the way that I have been living.

But then it came to me: I would eat more ice cream!

No but seriously, there have been times when I asked myself this question and the answers I got were not so light-hearted.

I am an independent and individualistic person. And still, I have woken up some days to realize that I bought some way of doing things in my life that is not right for me but I chose because I either did not know enough to make my own choice or because I was concerned that the way that I wanted to do it was the wrong way.

Point is, this is going to happen so matter who you are and how focused you are on your fulfillment. We all get off track from time to time and it is part of the process of learning and growing to try different things and have some of them fit and some of them not.

However, to make sure that we create the lives we really want, we need to continuously check in with ourselves about a few things:

1. Know yourself. Take time for inward reflection so that you know what you are feeling and are clear on the actions. This is vital for creating self knowledge and a life that really works for you.

2. Evaluate your life on a regular basis. We need to take time to take stock of our lives. What areas of your life might you be neglecting?

3. Do a regular house cleaning. Pay attention to what is dragging you down or outdated and clear it out. I mean this both literally and internally.

4. Focus on what you want. To really have the life that you want you need to spend time actively attending to what you want to create.

Having the life that you know is yours to create takes a little bit of work but the rewards far outweigh the effort.

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Are You On Your Edge?

Last weekend I went to see my son at college. It was great. There is nothing like a bunch of 18 year olds to get you to reflect about what has changed over the decades and what has not.

As I was talking to him and his friends, I remembered driving cross country in my Ford escort, wondering what the heck I was going to do with myself, and simultaneously feeling free and terrified.

Whenever we start out on something new, we need to take risks (think old ford escort!). Doing something new implies that there are unknowns and we likely feel both exhilarated and terrified in the face of that.

And if we keep fully living, the situations change, the way we relate to them might change but these feelings are pretty consistent.

However, it can be easy to get a bit apathetic in our lives. It can sneak up on us so quickly.

We stop looking at how we can enjoy life more, how we can find a new challenge, or learn something new. Days can start to blend into each other in a type of sameness.

And, sometimes we can even feel grateful for this –for sameness and not for stress.

There is a beauty in the quiet times. However, we sometimes confuse this comfort with having it made. Then we can become attached to it and have a hard time accepting when it is no longer working for us. When it is time to leave some things behind and head out to parts unknown.

So my question for you this week is: When was the last time you felt as excited about something as when you were a teenager and trying so many things for the first time?

If it has not happened in a long time, what might you dream up that leaves you feeling really excited and maybe even a little terrified?

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3 Unexpected Ways to Find Your Life Purpose

Do you feel lost or as if something is missing in your life? Maybe you want to make a bigger difference in the world than you feel you are, but you aren’t sure how. So many of us walk through life, feeling numb and desperate for a deeper connection, but aren’t sure how to get it.

The two greatest days of your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out what your purpose is, but if you don’t know what your purpose is than you don’t know why you are here, and it can be hard to keep going.

I know this feeling all too well. I used to suffer immense inner turmoil while trying hard to find my purpose. I was in a job I hated, working in advertising under fluorescent lights, and suffocating from the stale corporate air. I saw people like Beyoncé and Justin Timberlake shine so brightly when they performed. I wanted what they had, infectious passion, a thirsty love for life and an unyielding connection to their work.

I struggled daily to figure out my purpose, but it wasn’t until I took a step back and realized that my purpose isn’t “figure-outable” from my head that I found a way to get there. I thought to myself, “Maybe the problem isn’t that I don’t know what my purpose is; the problem is the way I am trying to find my purpose.”

We can’t think our way into our life’s passion and purpose, we have to do our way in. This means taking steps towards what you want, and removing those things in your life that you don’t want. I left my successful corporate job on a mission to find my happy, and it came by taking one step at a time and exploring many different passions. If you are looking for your purpose and passion, stop looking and start doing. These steps will help you.

How to Find Your Purpose and Passion

1. Get More Action
You can’t think your way into finding your life purpose; you have to do your way into it. Take a mental note from Nike and Just Do It. The more we act, the more we get clear on things. So instead of overthinking it — Will this work out? Should I try that? What if I don’t like it? What if I don’t make money at it? Start taking steps toward your goals and start trying new things. This will help you get out of your own way. I struggled for years trying to find out what my purpose was. This cycle only created a deeper lack of clarity. It wasn’t until I started doing that things changed for me. I began writing, and sent a story to Chicken Soup for the Soul. The second I received the letter of acceptance was unlike any ever before, love flooded into my heart and I knew that this was what I had to do with my life. You see though, I had to start writing to learn that my biggest passion was indeed writing. That only came with consistent action.

The experience is the reward; clarity comes through the process of exploring. Action is where you get results.

2. Drop From Your Head to Your Heart
Your heart is your best tool to access your true purpose and passion. Ask yourself what you love? Start taking steps to do what you love. When you are inspired and connected to your happy self, inspiration floods your heart and soul. When you lead from your heart, you are naturally more joyful and motivated to explore. By doing what you love, you will be inspired and gain insights into what brings you the most joy.

3. Break Up with The “ONE”
Many of us struggle because we try to find that ONE thing that we are meant to do; but trying to find only one thing is the reason why we feel like something is missing. The notion that we have only one thing we are meant for limits us from fulfilling our greatness. Take me for example; I have six different job titles. I’m a life coach, travel writer, author, speaker, teacher, mentor, designer, and each thing I do brings me joy, but none of these are my purpose, they are my passions. So start getting in touch with your passions! When you lead a passionate life you are living your life on purpose.

Let go of thinking there is only one purpose for you and embrace the idea that our purpose in life is to love life fully by putting ourselves into our life! This means we jump in and try new things; we stop resisting the unknown and we fully engage in what is happening right here, where we are. To lead a purposeful life, follow your passions. When we live a passion-filled life we are living on purpose, and that is the purpose of life.

That feeling that something is missing goes away when you lead a passion-filled life. The need to seek our purpose comes from a lack of passion. When you don’t feel connected to your life, you lack purpose and passion. To fix this emptiness simply add more passion. To boil it down, remember this simple equation:

Passion + Daily Action = Purposeful Life

Consider that the real purpose of anyone’s life is to be fully involved in living. Try to be present for the journey and fully embrace it. Soon you will be oozing with passion, and you will feel so purposeful and fulfilled you will wonder how you lived life without it. Enjoy the journey into your own awesome life.

Shannon Kaiseris a best-selling author, coach and travel writer.

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