“True happiness……is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”
- Helen Keller
I love movies. This is particularly love films that provide a glimpse of the magnificence within us as human beings to follow our dreams, despite the challenges face. I would guess it is that way for most of us, as the motion pictures we find most enjoyable are those that depict the story’s heroes committed to a clear purpose and vision and how they overcome challenges, despite what appear to be insurmountable odds, to realize their dreams.
I believe we are all inspired by these types of films because we truly understand that true happiness does not come from ease and grace in situations to experience our “dream lives” (although that is what most of us are striving for), but rather that fulfillment that comes from us being on purpose and moving through obstacles and challenges to fulfill a dream.
Pause for a moment an reflect on the times in your life of which you are most proud and stratified. My guess is they are not the times in which everything unfolded perfectly (although those can be very fun), but rather where you had to overcome challenges and obstacles on your path to reaching the other side. With this being the case, I have come to believe that true happiness doesn’t come from living the perfect, care-free life, but rather from being on purpose and working towards something bigger than ourselves.
Recently, I had the pleasure of watching one of the better movies I have seen in 2019, entitled, The Biggest Little Farm. In it, the story’s heroes, John and Molly Chester, make the dramatic shift from living a less-than-fulfilling life in Southern California to following their purposeful vision of creating a sustainable farm on 200 acres outside of Los Angeles. The film follows their successes, and importantly their failures, over the span of seven years as they transform the desolate farm they purchased into a thriving and abundant ecosystem that comes to beautifully represent the incredibleness of nature.
Their journey, of course, comes with numerous struggles. Beginning with the deadness of the soil they must nurture back to life, to the coyotes who terrorize and feast on their flock of chickens, to the moles and insects that cannibalize their orchard of fruit trees and even the near death experience of their adorable pig named Emma, their challenges are a daily experiences. Despite these hardships and disappointments, their appears to be an underlying sense of joy and happiness, not only in John and Molly, but also for their staff who is helping farm and transform the land through the out of the box vision of sustainable farming.
What brings them this sense of joy and happiness; despite the many challenges they encounter? My guess is that it is quite simple – they are committed to a purpose greater than themselves, a vision that lives their minds AND hearts. This sense of being truly on purpose brings a sense of fulfillment that being in absolute comfort and ease can never really bring.
Despite our never-ending quest to live a life of absolute comfort, it has been my experience that the degree of happiness we experience in our lives is in direct proportion to the degree that we are on purpose. Whether it is creating a business, transforming your health, earning your degree, raising your children or building a business – being on purpose and working towards a vision – a purposeful vision, is one of the most important facets of our overall happiness and fulfillment.
This fulfillment through purpose is really at the core of the human condition, and it is my belief that when we truly accept this fact and about life and truly lean into it is when life becomes truly magical – bringing a deep sense of joy and happiness as it main byproduct.
So, what is your purposeful vison and how can we best experience it in our lives? Here are Four Keys for a purposeful vision that I have identified that I believe brings us the greatest amount of happiness and fulfillment in our lives.
It comes from our heart – The most powerful of visions are those that come from deep inside of us, an urge or a yearning that needs to be expressed. They are not something we feel compelled to do based on social norms, a quick way to make money or another’s expectation of us. A purposeful vision is something that comes from our heart; it touches us on a deeply emotional level. These purposeful visions are what we feel compelled to create as expressions of our true “Self”, Many time these visions can bring up a massive latent fear as we think of all of the reasons we might fail, as we doubt our capacity to fulfill our dreams. Purposeful visions take courage to dream. They take courage to create. It has often been said that courage is not the lack of fear, but rather having the fear and taking action anyways. Those who have taken even a first of year of high school French classes know the root of the word courage, is coeur, which means “heart”. What is your heart telling you to create? What is the heartfelt vision you have for your life, your relationships and your career?
It is clearly defined in our minds – If our hearts are the source of our visions, our minds are the sculptors that help to make them a reality. Visualization in our minds is a powerful tool for creating what we want to manifest. It has been proven time and time again that our behaviors and beliefs are most profoundly impacted by our sub-conscious versus our conscious minds. In fact, the sub-conscious mind cannot distinguish between what we are telling it and what is happening right in front of it. Case in point, close your eyes and imagine you are biting into a large lemon wedge and sucking all of the juice out of it. I can guarantee that most of you are experiencing your mouth watering during this imagination exercise. As a competitive athlete, martial arts instructor/student, speaker and life coach, I have used the power of visualization numerous times over the years. The visualization preparation that I have done prior to athletic events, conversations and speeches has undoubtedly resulted in greater success. What vision to do you hold for a certain aspect of your life? What does it feel like, look like and even taste like? How would attaining it positively impact your life and the lives of those around you? Lean into that vision and make that your purpose.
It is something we become on the inside before it ever happens on the outside – Realizing our visions is not just about taking logical actions or simply following detailed instructions. It is also not about remaining stationary and simply dreaming about what we want. I believe it actually begins with who we are BEing on the inside first and then taking inspired action from that place. One of my teachers taught me years ago that “outer experience is a reflection of inner reality”. In other words, the way we are being in our inner world is a prerequisite for what we will experience in our outer world. To be clear, this does not mean that fear and outside challenges will come present when taking action towards fulfilling your purposeful vision. On the contrary, fear and challenges are natural byproduct of expanding beyond our comfort zones. But it takes an inner commitment to positive ways of being like; courage, focus and proactiveness to move beyond those fears and get moving. Ask any person who has reached the pinnacle of living their purpose and I can guarantee you that their experience of success was preceded by a sense of BEingness of what they wanted to accomplish already living inside of them. They were already BEing the change they wished to see in their world. What qualities of BEingness do you need to embrace to bring your vision to fruition.? Do you need to be loving, courageous, confident, trusting, peaceful, joyous, strong or vulnerable? Remember, your way of being is not impacted by what is going on outside of you, it is an internal process that only you control.
Take Inspired Action – I have heard it said that there are three types of people in this world; those that make things happen, those that watch things happen and those who look around and say, “What just happened?”. Who do you want to be? A purposeful vision is twice created - first in mind and then through actions. Many believe we must take massive action to be truly effective. While taking huge steps towards our purposeful vision can be very effective and certainly produce great results, I tend to believe smaller and consistent practices (done daily and/or weekly) are the most effective at producing our most profound results. I have found that many times the fast and explosive starts begin wonderfully but are not sustainable. Committed and sustainable action, however, can establish a bedrock for creating massive results. What are the steps, no matter how small, that you can begin immediately to move towards your purposeful vision? What actions can you begin TODAY to get on purpose and begin to make your vision a reality?
Are you looking for happiness? Get on purpose and watch the magic unfold.
Black Belt Leadership Speaking & Coaching
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