I personally hope that you WANT SOMETHING AMAZING out of this life gift you have been given. If you don’t want something, you may settle for anything that lands in your lap.
None of us really want “anything”, because anything could end up being nothing at all…..
With that in mind, I hope you understand this statement.
Right here right now, at this moment, my utmost desire is to share, some of what I have learned with you. In doing so, I hope to fan the flame of life lived well. Here are the 4 steps I have identified in beginning to live with purpose.
Broadcast your intentions, or goal. It sounds something like this. “I’m goanna”……. It should be specific. For example, I’m goanna change the world is a popular one. And you may well, effect the world in a big way. But this road is made with many stones laid one at a time. So pick a good goal and set to making it real.
Make the goal something difficult, that pushes you and maybe scares you a little. This is how you will know if it is worthwhile. I’ll say this again because it is important… If you are intimidated by your goal, you are on the right track.
At the beginning of this article, I said I was going to do something. I said I would tell you how to get what you want out of life. Now just minutes later, that is exactly what I am doing. I am going out on a limb, sharing the best of what I know today, in hopes that my message will be well received and effective.
The risk of my failure in this moment, is that, you may think I am an idiot. If that is the final result, I must be prepared to accept that.
But if I succeed, in sharing with you. Someone, perhaps many people, will be inspired to face their fears, do the impossible, and live well.
It is quite clear that the risk of being labeled an idiot, is outweighed substantially, by the possibility of empowering others. Not only that, but I will have made good on my promise in this article and accomplished my goal by writing it. So I press on regardless of acceptance. Does that make sense? To put it another way, having the impact I hope to have, takes back seat, to making good on my promise.
Getting back to broadcasting your goal, with this “I’m goanna” phrase. Why do it? Because it is the leverage that will push you forward when times are tough or you begin to wander from your goal. No one wants to break promises. So make it uncomfortable to back out on yourself by involving those you admire.
Step 2. Focus.
Personally, I find that life is so full of opportunities, I am prone to going ten different directions at once, which never works out well. So regardless of the fact that I am prone to being distracted, I have practicing focus on one path. When I dedicate to this and announce my intentions, I rarely miss my mark.
Yea cool you might say. But with focus like that, how will you know it was the right direction?
Good question. You wont until you do.
That sounds risky you say.
Let me offer you proof of the opposite.
In my life, I have worked many careers at the professional level, including; correctional officer, truck driver, scuba diver, free diver, state trooper, welder, diesel mechanic, arborist, logger, carpenter, sailing instructor, salesman, sail maker, freelance writer, Captain and marine consultant.
Each one of those jobs, took pieces of my life. Some large and some small but all being equal investments of my moments in time. Therefore I did each of these with the best of my ability, with focus for the lesson at hand.
As it sits now, my focus is on sailing the oceans of this world. What I am realizing through that process, is that all my time invested in those other aspirations, help me as I pursue this one.
For example, in the summer of 2014 we were sailing through the ice-laden waters of the Northwest Passage. A place so remote that rescue and or assistance is unlikely. But because I had dedicated myself to preparing and skill building (Mechanics, sail repair etc.), I was prepared to handle nearly any situation.
The Other skills I had accumulated in other jobs and previous goals came in handy as well when we did plumbing at a mas house in exchange for a shower and painted his living room in exchange for internet, in a place where public services do not exist.
Remember, being resourceful is worth more then having money. This is especially true the farther you get from city lights.
So what happens when you decide, this first idea is not for you? Is that a failure? No. You just learned what you don’t want out of life. You may feel like you devoted time and effort at the wrong goal. But without that dedication, and effort, your time on this earth, would have passed, just the same. At least this way, you learned some skills and lessons that will help you later.
Had you not announced and pursued a goal with focus, life would have just “Happened” to you and you would still be undecided.
In retrospect, had I known I wanted to sail the oceans at 18, I likely would have joined some racing team or school, but would that have been better for me? The wide skillset I have today allows me to go places most sailors never will and I’m just getting started…
This is possible, because I focused and learned while pursuing each goal and working each task along the way. Before I even knew what my passions were.
Step 3. learning how to choose wisely.
This can only be appreciated after making mistakes and learning from those of others. In a strange way, the beatings we take for poor choices are the fuel we burn to make better ones.
So give your all to the work at hand. If you are not thrilled when you wake up in the morning. Make a change. But before you do, finish what you started and leave with a clear conscience and new focus. Knowing you gave your utmost, while exploring that work, or goal. These transitions, through careers and pursuits will be opportunity to focus even better on the next chapter of your life.
Step 4. Reflect and accept ownership
Your next choice will be more obvious then the last has a chance at being more rewarding, because you discovered, more truth about yourself. Not only that, but you will have eliminated any doubt that the last venture, job, or interest was not for you. These are sturdy steps forward.
If the last venture was an utter failure, but if you gave your all with focus, the time will have been well spent, knowledge will have been gleaned and you will be able to reflect on why failure occurred.
If you ignore the opportunity to reflect on failure, nothing can be learned. Therefore If you do not learn anything about yourself and failures, then your next choice will also be failure. None of us want that. But we do it, without even realizing. Usually by blaming others.
Learning how to reflect honestly on your failures is one of the most important things any of us can learn. Without this, we are never free to explore and adventure.
Without honesty, we cannot teach, reach out, inspire or do anything worth doing. We can climb mountains and dive great depths. But if we cannot be honest and learn our own weaknesses, it was all a selfish escapade of image fabrication.
Look, learn grow and move forward. The clock is ticking and your precious life with it.
Learning how to look at yourself honestly, will save decades of wasted energy. This is decades of time spent living well. Like the ultimate bonus program, but honesty and reflection are required at sign up.
For example, lets say you are interested in being a champion a cage fighter. First you will need to learn how to fight. In fact you can likely throw out what you think you know about fighting and start over. The sooner you embrace that, the sooner you will be competitive.
Thinking you can fight, will only be good enough to get you in the ring once. Going back to the gym and working on your weaknesses will require courage and humility. These are the building blocks of a champion.
After climbing into some rings, swimming some rivers and falling hard a few times. The words “I’m goanna” will carry weight when they pass your lips. Because you, and everyone that heard it know… Your goanna. So don’t stop doing. But really think the big choices over.
Points to Remember
- Want something. Always have a goal. If you don’t want something, you will settle for anything. None of us really want just anything. Because ANYTHING could be NOTHING at all.
- If your goal doesn’t intimidate you or make your heart beat fast. Step up the scale until it does. Now it is worthwhile. Now it is worth announcing. Now lean into it with all you have and more. You are on your way…
- Never forget… Failing to choose a path, will waste more time then dedicating to the best path presented. Take the best imperfect path and dedicate. A barefoot runner with no money, will beat the runner, who leaves the starting line, to shop for the fastest shoes. So just run… When you show up and run, you have already beaten those who did not show. Regardless of talent, or privilege.
- The more practice you have at devotion and focus, the more effective you will be, when you find what really does turn your crank. So try, fail, and learn. Today, tomorrow and always, for the rest of your life.
- Learning how to look at yourself honestly, will save decades of wasted energy and empower you to choose wisely.
- When the wind knocks you down, and it will, don’t blame the wind. It does not care, rather learn how to crouch, stand and walk into it. Why? Because upwind, may just be the path you need walk tomorrow.
Capt. Jesse Osborn
Life is a gift. Unwrap it.