Some people seem to have it all.
Have you ever looked at someone, and thought to yourself:
‘Wow, they really have their life together.’
Chances are, you answered yes. Me too. I have friends that just seem to get it. They knew what they wanted to do before the High School teachers even started asking.
They applied for University, got in, smashed out their degree, and now they’re doing what they always wanted – and posting about it all over Facebook and Instagram, almost as if to rub it in. They’ve got it all together.
Or so we think, from the outside looking in. But in reality, they probably don’t. In fact, most of us don’t really have a clue what we’re doing or where we’re headed. Some of the people we think have it all together are just as discontent as us – you see it all the time:
‘Person who has seemingly perfect life throws it all in for a life of travel‘ or;
‘Guy with Engineering Degree decides to open a cake shop’.
It’s like a light-bulb switched on in their brains and they suddenly saw the light. The thing is, everyone is on a journey to find their true purpose in life, and sometimes it takes some of us a little longer to figure it out.
So how do we combat the feeling that something is missing in our lives? How can we find something worth throwing it all in for? Something worth waking up in the morning? Something bigger than the mediocre-at-best life we’re sold in High School?
Motivations vs Inspirations & Head vs Heart.
The real reason so many people struggle with the concept of ‘purpose’ and accept their lives as they are, is that they spend all their time in the corner, thinking about themselves, what they want, what they need and where they want to go. But finding your true purpose starts with a change in perspective.
You need to stop using your head, and start using your heart. Motivation is not the same as inspiration. Most people are motivated in one way or another – usually by money. Because we need to be. We need money to live our lives – pay our bills, buy a house and car, travel, have children and pets, go out with friends… The logical, level-headed thing to be motivated by, is money.
The frustrating part is that your motivations can sometimes get in the way of our inspirations.
Our purpose gets left on the side-lines while we chase a way to pay for life. The one day, we stop and realise there’s something missing – sometimes known as an existential crisis.
This is where the idea of using our heart rather than our head comes in. Because in this world, there’s nothing logical when it comes to love and passion and inspiration. Consider this scenario:
You are financially stable. In fact, consider yourself as part of the top 1% of the world. You have absolutely no need for money – you are infinitely rich.
What would you do with your time?
If you had everything you could possibly dream of, how would you spend your days?
When I first considered this question, dreams of living in a huge mansion, being by a poolside with a cocktail and reading a book was the first thing to come to mind. But when I really thought about it, I realised that no-one in their right mind could do that forever – they’d get bored.
So what would I do? I thought long and hard about what made me sad and what made me happy. I thought about my experiences, and I thought about other people going through the same thing. And I realised I wanted to help them. All the kids from broken families, experiencing homelessness, witnessing addiction or had nowhere and no-one to go to.
So what next?
So let’s snap back to reality.
I’m not infinitely rich. I didn’t have endless amounts of time or money. But what I did suddenly have, was inspiration.
The same inspiration that lead me to research, apply and eventually become a mentor for at-risk young people. And it has helped me see the difference between motivation and inspiration, and want and need.
I wasn’t just someone who went to work and paid bills anymore – I was someone these kids looked forward to seeing. Someone who gave advice, listened, laughed and was present.
I had suddenly figured out what it was that I needed to do to help fill the void I was feeling in my life. In order to find my true purpose, I had to think about something other than my situation.
Because once we strip back the want for money and the responsibilities of life, we suddenly stare at what’s left of us.
Maybe we don’t all have unlimited time and money, but we all have a person hiding under all the baggage of life. We shouldn’t let that baggage limit the difference we can make in the world.
And every single one of us is different. Some of us join the RSPCA, start a wildlife sanctuary or foster cats. Others play cards with veterans at the retirement village or work on cars or coach a sports team. But one thing they all have in common is they aren’t motivated by money. They’re inspired by a cause.
And every single one of us is capable of being more than their surroundings dictate. It’s just a matter of choice.