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by David N Johnson

July 11, 2023

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Our society screams one common mantra: “Happiness is the ultimate goal!” We’ve all heard it, and perhaps, chased it. But what if there’s more to life than just catching the wave of happiness?

Before we dismantle the pedestal of happiness, let’s define what it means in the fast-paced, Instagram-perfect culture we live in. Happiness, in its fleeting glory, is often misunderstood as a persistent state of joy and pleasure, setting an unattainable standard. Isn’t it time we reconsidered what we’re chasing?

The Road Less Traveled: Purpose as the True North

Purpose, that little compass within us, might be a more fulfilling pursuit than happiness. Sounds radical? Hear me out. Unlike the ephemeral high of happiness, the pursuit of purpose is a constant, deeply satisfying journey. Remember the time you worked for a cause you believed in? You may not have been brimming with joy all the time, but weren’t you more content?

Ever noticed how struggle often accompanies our most meaningful pursuits? It’s daunting, yes, but remember how every struggle has contributed to your growth, making you stronger, more resilient. Think about the most difficult periods of your life. Weren’t they also the times you learned the most about yourself?

Rerouting Your Journey: From Happiness to Purpose

From chasing fleeting moments of joy to building a life around your core passion – the pivot from happiness to purpose might seem daunting. But worry not, I’m here to guide you through this transition. It’s about rediscovering what genuinely ignites your spirit, identifying your “why,” and courageously taking the first step towards it. Here’s are five ways to help you chart this new territory:

1. The Deep Dive: Soul Searching

The first step in this journey is a deep introspection. Take a break from your daily grind, find a quiet space, and ask yourself, “What truly lights me up? What activities make me lose track of time and leave me feeling energized?” Keep an open mind and heart; your answers might surprise you.

2. Connecting the Dots: Identify Your Values

It’s time to identify your core values. What do you stand for? What matters the most to you? Integrity, love, justice, courage, or maybe creativity? Remember, your values are your compass, guiding you towards your true purpose.

3. Your Passion Puzzle: What are You Naturally Good At?

What are your talents? Your skills? The things that you are naturally good at? It could be anything from baking the perfect pie to solving complex math problems. Combine these skills with your core values and passions, and you’re starting to piece together your ‘passion puzzle’.

4. The Big Picture: Envision Your Impact

Now that you’re equipped with self-knowledge, it’s time to imagine the bigger picture. How can you apply your talents and passions to create a positive impact? It could be as simple as brightening someone’s day with your homemade pies or as grand as using your problem-solving skills to tackle climate change.

5. Baby Steps to Big Leaps: Charting Your Path

Armed with self-awareness and a clear vision, you are now ready to chart your path towards your purpose. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your purpose-driven life. Start small, celebrate each step forward, and embrace the inevitable missteps as opportunities for growth.

Remember, finding your ‘why’ is a journey, not a destination. The path might be winding and even a bit rocky at times, but it’s worth every step. At the end of this journey, you won’t just find fleeting moments of happiness but a deep and enduring sense of fulfillment. So buckle up, my fellow explorers, the adventure of your life awaits!

In It for the Long Haul: The Art of Patience and Persistence

While you navigate this exhilarating journey from happiness to purpose, remember: this is not a sprint but a marathon. Your ‘why’ might not dawn on you overnight, and that’s perfectly alright. Be patient with yourself and acknowledge that self-discovery is a process often filled with trials and errors, revelations, and surprises.

Equally important is the spirit of persistence. There will be times when you might feel lost or overwhelmed. When the path you’ve charted seems uphill or the progress is too slow, remember why you started. Stay rooted in your cause, and understand that the most fulfilling achievements often come from the hardest journeys.

Caring for the Traveler: The Role of Self-Care and Mental Health

Lastly, as you embark on this adventure towards a purpose-driven life, don’t forget to take care of the traveler – you. Maintain a balanced approach to your physical and mental health. Cultivate mindfulness, indulge in self-care, and don’t hesitate to seek support when the journey gets tough. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup.

As your trusted guide in this process, I’m here to remind you that you’re not alone and that every step forward, no matter how small, is a victory worth celebrating.

Remember, the goal isn’t to reach the finish line in record time but to enjoy the journey, learn from it, and emerge stronger, wiser, and more fulfilled than when you started.

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A New Horizon: Reimagining Your Life Goals

It’s time to reconsider our ultimate goal in life. Is it the transient, often elusive happiness, or the deeply satisfying, consistent pursuit of purpose? Is it the Instagrammable perfect moment, or the quiet satisfaction of knowing you’re contributing to something greater than yourself?

I encourage you to join me in this introspective journey. Reflect on your personal goals: Are you chasing happiness, or are you driven by purpose? Let’s share our experiences and grow together. After all, we’re all part of this grand human experience, continuously learning and evolving.

The waves of happiness may ebb and flow, but a purpose-driven life ensures a fulfilling voyage. It’s time to set sail towards your true north.

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David N Johnson

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David N Johnson

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