When life’s choices and challenges come our way, we easily get distracted and stop pursuing our goals. When we do this, we lose our mojo and feel purposeless or disenchanted with life.
I’ve talked about how clarity around your vision, mission, and values helps you identify what you want to do and why you want to do it. And I’ve talked about how setting goals and reframing obstacles are essential practices for creating a meaningful life. Yet, today, I’d like to look at this another way.
While personal development tools are vital to transforming life challenges into meaning-making experiences, when you think of yourself as your “personal brand” you’re able to make better decisions and make your challenges more fruitful.
Establishing a Personal Brand
There’s a lot of talk about “personal brand” in business. “Personal brand” refers to the practice of marketing yourself, your career, and your history as a brand. It’s often used as a method to increase your hire-ability or to grow your business. However, it’s as important to consider our “personal brand” for our private lives as well. In truth – if I had it my way, there would be a lot more similarity and synergy between people’s work life and their personal life.
You’re able to make choices, transform obstacles and create a sense of purpose when you have a clear sense of who you are and what you can and can’t do. This is not to pidgeon-hole you into a fixed personality or role. Rather, when you know who you are and what you can do, you’re able to use that information to guide you towards the achievement of your goals.
I would like you to ask yourself the following questions. These are taken from Tom Collinger’s presentation on branding for leaders. I highly suggest spending some time with each one and write down your answers. Consider these questions from as many angles as you can think of: personal, emotional, relational, work, and more.
What are you good at?
What are you not good at?
What do you like?
What do you not like?
These very simple questions begin to show you dimensions of who you are. They also give you crucial input on what you contribute to the world around you and what you need to feel fulfilled. So, for example, if ¾ of your life is taken up by things that you don’t like – even if you’re good at doing them – you will not be very happy.
Things that you’re not good at can be things you avoid doing or things you know you need to get help with. They can also be things that you need to practice and get better at.
The most important thing these questions point to is your skill-set. When you have a strong sense about what you’re able to do, you can begin to build out your value. If you’ve ever suffered from not liking yourself, critical thinking, or worrying about the future, then chances are you’d benefit from knowing your value.
When we know our value we’re able to adeptly work with whatever life throws our way. We feel more confident and more prepared. We make decisions that work for us and therefore feel better about our lives. We know where we “fit” in the scheme of things and can enjoy a sense of significance.
A quick scan of books on the ins-and-outs of “relationships” reveals four primary problem areas: money, time, communication and sex. While your romantic relationships may not suffer at all of these points, they most certainly will be challenged by one of them.
Even great relationships have their share of challenges. Often times these challenges are not an indicator of something unresolvable. Rather, they’re a sign that we need to do something to change our perspective on the challenge.
I’m going to cover 4 common relationship challenges and offer ways to reframe them. When we take the time to shift our perspective on what has seemed so difficult in our relationships, we can grow with our significant other and create a stronger partnership.
Challenge #1: Disagreements That Linger
Challenge #2: Different Sex Drives
Challenge #3: Getting the Chores Done
Challenge #4: Lack of Time Together
Whether you’re separated due to work or other reasons, it’s wonderful to have some time to focus on your own needs and not your partner’s needs. The time apart from your mate could be time that you dedicate to friends, family or studying something that interests you. Regardless of how you use it, take the time and give it to yourself!
Every challenge we face in a relationship is a portal of opportunity. Sometimes it just takes looking at it from another perspective to see how we can make it work for us rather than against us.
At the heart of it, motivation is the WHY that defines your desire to do something. And this WHY is crucial to your ability to follow through on the goals you’ve set for yourself. When you connect your task at hand with the deeper reason that motivates your actions, you give yourself the energy necessary to persist, especially when things get tough.
Once we know what we want and why we want it, a strange thing tends to occur. Our increased awareness about our goals shines a light on our internal blocks. What this tells us is that we’re not able to move forward by simple understanding of our motivation. Rather, we need to dig deep and resolve what holds us back.
This week’s blog post explores the emotional, informational and logistical reasons for which we sometimes lose our motivation and offers tips on how to find it again.
How to Find + Keep Your Motivation
More often than not, our connection to our motivation brings us into direct relationship with our resistances and self-imposed obstacles. We cannot start or stay motivated until we understand what gets in our way and what we can do to attend to it.
In most cases, the culprit is one of the following:
Whatever our blocks are, we need to find ways to move past them so that we can stay on track with our goals.
Here are some tips that will help you overcome the most common blocks that people face as they work to keep stride with their dreams, ambitions and personal hopes.
When it comes right down to it, it’s easier to maintain our motivation when we have the right support. As obvious as this might be, many people try to face new and challenging situations on their own. This approach can quickly drain your motivation, especially with projects you’ve struggled to succeed at before.
Support can come in many forms. You can find a friend to partner with. You can join a group. You can hire a professional. Or you can simply let some of your friends or family know of your intentions and ask them to help you stay on target. As long as you’re getting the right support, it doesn’t really matter who’s providing it.
I’ll leave you with a final tip on keeping up your motivation.
And it’s this: give yourself rewards! The most important part of a reward system (or a punishment system) is that it’s adhered to. So, when you hit a milestone, make sure to properly celebrate yourself. You earned it.
As much I’d like for everyone to sign up for a reward system, the reality is that some people are best motivated by a system of punishment. When something big enough is on the line, these people find the energy and umph necessary to move forward. If this describes you, then I recommend getting creative with your punishment system.
For example, I’ve had several clients who would make a sizable donation to charity if they did not keep their projects moving forward as planned.
It’s essential that we return to the WHY that compels our motivation as much as possible. When we do this often, our WHY comes to define our intrinsic sense of our motivation and helps us build the skills necessary to trouble-shoot when the going gets tough.
Day-in and day-out, I talk to people who want to find their life purpose.
I make a point to pay close attention to what my clients, associates and colleagues say as they describe the purpose-driven life they seek to live. As I see it, my job is not simply to respond to what I hear, but rather to figure out how I can help those around me get what they really need to feel happier, healthier and more successful.
When people talk about finding their purpose they often also talk about identifying their passion. They want to have a sense of meaning in their life. They want to make a contribution.
I plan to get into great detail on what life purpose is REALLY all about and how to FULLY LIVE a purpose-driven life in my upcoming Morning Mindset series. So, if you’re in the midst of finding your life purpose, this series is for you! Feel free to sign up here and I will contact you as soon as it’s ready to go!
5 Myths About Life Purpose That It’s Time To Let Go Of
Myth #1 Your Life Purpose is Your Vocation
Solution #1: Ask yourself: “Am I trying to trying to figure out my life purpose or my next career move?” Allow yourself the space to see your life purpose and your career as separate things.
Myth #2 Your Life Purpose Can Only Be One Thing
Solution #2 Don’t try and narrow things down too soon. Ask yourself why an idea appeals to you rather than if it’s the right idea or not.
Myth #3 You Must Find Your Life Purpose Before You Start Living It
Solution #3 Do what you love to do. Discover more things you love to do. And make time to reflect.
Myth #4 Only a Fortunate Few Live Their Life Purpose
Solution #4 Figure out what you care most about, what you love most to do, and what you value the most and proceed from there.
Myth #5 You Should Be Able to Figure It Out On Your Own
Solution #5 Find the support you need! Sometimes you need outside eyes to see to help you see within yourself.
So, if you’ve been coming up empty as you look for your life purpose, it’s time to de-mystify your thinking and try on these solutions. Most important, though, is to start with what you LOVE.