I recently took my family on an East Coast swing (New York City and Boston). I spent some time growing up there, and my boys and I have been going to Boston for years. My wife however had never been to either, and it was interesting to see how everyone responded to the experience. The kids hadn’t been to NYC for years and barely had any remembrance of it. They told me I looked more at home there than I do just about anywhere.
What was interesting is that when you bring two thirteen-year olds to a place like Manhattan, who haven’t really lived in a big city, you want to teach them how to walk instead of meander, pay attention instead of looking at their phones every minute, and enjoy the sights and smells along the way. I called that “Walking With Purpose” during our trip.
Today it’s made me think about that notion, because what I was really teaching them – in addition to just being safe in a city that size – is to not let the experience pass them by. In my mind the real lesson from isn’t so much about walking. It’s actually about Living on Purpose.
I had a recent experience speaking with someone about the difference in people and how they approach life. Anyone reading this blog knows that I am a big proponent of making sure you outline what you want out of life, then empower yourself or just make it happen. But what she said to me was more pointed. There are people who take risks, people who live life, and there are others’ who simply let life happen to them.
If there is anything my personal journeys have taught me is that you have got to do what makes you happy, be with the people who make you happy, and live your life in the way that makes you happy. We all have to do things we don’t necessarily want to do, but the more you can minimize those things in your life the better your life can be. By putting ourselves in situations that embolden us and empower us, we take control of it, and have the opportunity to sculpt the outcomes that we want as opposed to meandering. I call that “Living on Purpose.”
Start by making a list of the things that are important to you, and the things that aren’t that you spend too much time on. We all have those things – trust me. Then make a plan, or talk to someone else about helping you make a plan. Life is too short to spend it on someone else’s dreams, and in my mind that isn’t why we are here. It is stressful to always be something because you want to fit in, or because your fears hold you back.
In my opinion? Don’t let life happen to you. Happen to life. Live your life on purpose.