I'm sharing how I live on purpose in support of my friend Dr. Danielle Dowling and her new book The Soul Sessions, a 5-week guide to crafting greater joy and making big things happen. Get a wee, free sample here! Danielle has been such a huge influence in the positive changes I've made in my life over the past 2 years, and the tools in this book are a lot of what I used. I highly recommend you check it out.
I've wanted to "live on purpose" before I even fully understood what it meant. I mean, I have "Memento Vivere" permanently inscribed on my back as a reminder to live (like actually, fully live).
I've spent the last four years slowly and strategically building the life I envisioned and trying to make decisions more intentionally. While I have a lot more figured out than I did when I graduated from college, part of living on purpose, to me, is also being open to the changes and new opportunities that may come up. The questions below dig a little deeper into what living on purpose means to me.
How do you let go of the chase for perfection?
I'll probably always have to fight the chase for perfection to some degree. I'm very Type-A, so it doesn't come naturally. However, as I've started learning more about yoga, meditation, and intentional living, it's given me the perspective to see where my energy is better spent.
Aside from just perspective, people don't relate to perfection. People relate to real life struggles, mistakes and how you overcome those imperfections. I believe in transparency and honesty in business and in life. Perfection is only an illusion.
[Tweet "People relate to real struggles + how you overcome imperfections. Perfection is an illusion."]
I'm also a huge advocate for erasing the stigma of mental health issues. I'm open about my struggle with anxiety and depression in the hopes that it will help someone else. All of these things make it a little easier to let go of the chase for perfection. It just takes constant awareness and mindfulness.
How do you know when you’ve “arrived” or finally "made it happen?"
Getting positive feedback and referrals from my clients are huge indicators. Hearing "I'm so excited to work with you!" or "Wow, your work has made SUCH a big difference." (real quotes!) lets me know I'm doing what I ultimately set out to do- help people chase their dreams.
How do you find the courage to jump into a new adventure?
I try to be strategic about the adventures I get into, but at the same time, I basically just ask myself, "what's the worst that could happen?" If the adventure feels right on some level, I try to trust that feeling. If it doesn't work out or I feel something isn't right part-way through, I re-evaluate. Sometimes you just have to accept failure or allow yourself to be wrong and/or change your mind. You can't forgo opportunities based on fear of negative emotions.
How do you not get caught up in "doing it all?"
This is something I'm still coming to terms with. Having the right support system and investing in the right tools are crucial. I think I finally hit a breaking point when I was working 12 hours a day, but didn't feel like I was making any headway on some projects.
The next month, I started taking more time for myself and hired a developer and assistant for a few hours a month. I stopped working during specific TV shows I wanted to watch, started exercising more and spent more time relaxing with my fiance. You know what happened? I nearly doubled my income that month.
What does living a life of meaning mean to you?
Living a life of meaning, or living on purpose, means living in alignment with my personal beliefs and goals. I've spent a lot of time reading Danielle LaPorte's Desire Map and thinking about my "Core Desired Feelings." She theorizes that what we're truly chasing is a feeling, not achieving a particular goal. I wanted to own my own business, but I was really after flexibility, autonomy and creative freedom. For now, my biggest CDFs are freedom, flow, inspired and wanderlust.
Am I doing something I love? Do I have freedom and flexibility? Am I helping others? I crave the ability to work from anywhere. My family is 900+ mile away, so I value the ability to visit for 3 weeks at a time if I want.
What are some things you’ve said ‘no’ to so you can focus on what's most important to you? What are you currently saying ‘no’ to?
I've said no to high-paying potential clients who didn't align with my beliefs. I've had the opportunity to work with numerous food and beverage companies, but didn't agree with the ingredients they were using so I politely declined.
What do you always say "yes" to?
I always say yes to visiting family. I will alter plans and leave at the drop of a hat when given the opportunity. I love my business, but family is always more important. How do you live on purpose? Be sure to check out the other blog posts in the How I Live on Purpose blog crawl!