Life is short.Are you living on purpose?
Life is short.
Are you living on purpose?
Have you climbed the wrong mountain?
Hi, I’m Peter – a writer, photographer and podcaster in Australia.
I’ve done a lot of different things over the last 30 years, and I’ve learned some valuable lessons – most of them the hard way. I’ve worked or owned businesses in media, retail, software and advertising. I’ve advised individuals, family business owners and senior executives of global corporations. I’ve made it big, lost it all, and then made it back again.
I’ve experienced failure on every level that counts. I’ve been around the block and back again, and in the process, developed a well-honed bullsh*t detector that’s left me incapable of small talk.
I believe life is an incredible fluke – a gift – and that the best time to live it is while you’re alive (today).
Most of us won’t be the next Musk, Ardern, Winfrey or Godin, and we don’t want to be, either. Instead, we want to matter in our own way, to find purpose that’s personal, and to define success on our terms.
In this quest, mentors can be invaluable; I’ve had many over the years and I can vouch for their impact. But they present a subtle trap, too. In modelling those we admire, we risk becoming someone else instead of better versions of ourselves. We risk adopting beliefs, ideals and goals that aren’t suited to who we are or our present station in life.
Me and my kids – Sarah, Tommy and Amy – the most important people in my life.
“Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.”
Success and happiness are two things I’ve had to re-learn throughout my life, but today, it’s even harder. Social media FOMO and digital ads that know way too much about us all seem to shout the same message: If you’re not 10x-ing or 100x-ing your life, you’re failing.
The sad thing is, many of us are. But not the way they’re telling us. We’re failing because we believe them.
We pursue ‘secrets’ and ‘hacks’ that suggest we should work to exhaustion, bleed out of our eyes and never ever quit, lest we suffer the humiliation of an average, ordinary life. Of course, this is fine if you desperately want to 10x, 100x or 1000x your life. You certainly will need to work your arse off, and you will have to endure disappointments, setbacks and ridicule. There’s nothing wrong with this if that’s you.
But… and this is my point, what if that isn’t you?
What if you just want to do great work, enjoy your family and live a good life; or rekindle an old dream, explore a new career, or create something on the side? What if you simply want to become who you really are?
That’s what I talk about. I share ideas that can help you find your path, climb your mountain, and create a life you’re proud of. Because at the end of the day, that’s what most us actually want.
Imposter syndrome is what’s stopping you.
Most of us fear trying something new because we don’t want to be seen as an imposter. But the truth is, most of us are imposters already.
We’re imposters because we’re not doing what we really want to do, or what we’re naturally good at, or what we care about.
Instead, we’re doing what we’re expected to do. We ‘chose’ a career that didn’t require honest, tough choices about who we are and what lights us up. Or perhaps we did, but the magic has faded. Chances are, though, our career simply happened over years and decades, and with each passing year, it became harder to escape.
And so here you are, now, wondering…
Wondering what might happen if you listened to the voice in your head saying:
“I always wanted to write.”
“I used to be obsessed with fashion.”
“I thought I’d have my own business by now.”
“I’ve always dreamed of teaching.”
“I miss the great outdoors.”
“I reckon I could make a difference.”
What would happen if you listened for a change? What if you suspended disbelief long enough to run an experiment – to go deeper on this question and take a few steps?
I’ll tell you what would happen. You’d probably be happier, that’s what. You’d be excited to get out of bed in the morning. You’d have more energy and enthusiasm for life. You’d no longer be an imposter. You’d begin living on purpose.
Finding ‘your thing’
Developing something on the side is a great idea, especially in these unusual times.
When you convert your years of mastery, experience and perspective into something valuable, you gain the option to develop an additional stream of revenue and a firewall against future uncertainty. You can then pursue projects that match your skills and style without betting the farm or becoming someone you’re not.
Or maybe you even ignore everything you’re good at, and instead, consider doing something you love – not at the expense of what you have, but as a side experiment.
Because when you listen to that voice telling you to explore the road less travelled, it does a lot of other things, too. For example, you might:
- Become more present and less stressed
- Invest more effort in your relationships
- Build financial and spiritual wealth
- Develop peace of mind
- Explore new passions and hobbies
- Create a happier, more authentic life
- Begin living on purpose
However you view your present challenges, you’re living in a golden age, with an unprecedented opportunity to reinvent yourself. The convergence of circumstances, technology and access to knowledge has given you the catalyst and the means to create a life to be proud of.
My advice? Don’t leave it to chance; do it on purpose.
The Work Anywhere Trail Guide
“6 Steps to Working & Living on Purpose”
The Work Anywhere Trail Guide
“6 Steps to Working & Living on Purpose”
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