If you were sitting across the table from me, could you answer this question?
You might conjure up something just to have a reply.
Or stare at me blankly.
You might tell me to shut up, but that would be rude and wouldn’t help your case.
Well, I wouldn’t blame you, really. We don’t need purpose.
You knew that. But if you’re reading this I imagine you would like to make a small dent in this digital wonderland.
You have this big, fat problem though. Spinning your wheels daily, stuck in a sea of “overwhelm,” filled with marketing advice, guest posts, to-dos, products and ebooks … Pure drudgery.
The fun has evaporated. The gusto long gone.
You’re also buried in an avalanche of 10,034 unsolicited opinions and counting.
Discouraged and restless.
Been there. So experienced that. And to me, that gets to the root of this giant-sized problem most of us have.
We envision something, go in with the best intentions, but end up in a stagnant pond wondering what the hell happened.
Misdirected by everything life tosses our way, and often misguided by the opinions of others AND our own lofty ambition.
I lived in a bubble, because I was fat, awkward, and painfully shy. An only kid who invented his own games, worshipped a stop-motion animation god, and was perfectly content alone in my room. Now I often wonder what was so wrong with that.
At the time I viewed myself as a worthless zit that desperately needed popping.
If I had learned to be comfortable with who I was instead of loathing myself, I think I’d be better off today.
And strangely enough, this is where I get back to our so often abused word of the day – Purpose.
STOP and think about why you are reading this post.
Do you sometimes feel like a lone wolf who can’t make “it” happen?
Feeling a certain lack of clarity?
Stuck in the endless churn?
Well, part of the problem might be “it.”
Maybe you’ve been chasing your tail for eons because your “it” is fighting against every fiber of your being. And getting back to the real You is all you need.
For years I fought the kid I was because I thought there was something terribly wrong. Turns out there wasn’t, but as I matured, my “it” was increasingly based on someone else’s vision of what I should be.
So maybe this is less about Purpose and way more about you being You.
REALLY. Think about your world and what you’re trying to become. Is it about your vision or someone else’s?
If your current trajectory feels at odds with your core, maybe it is time for a change. A reinvention.
I’m in my late 40s, have a wife and two teenage boys. I run a consulting business, have a mortgage, and people that rely on me to put food on the table.
Buuuuut, my business of doing things is going to change dramatically. It’s another “shit or get off the pot” moment. I’ve had a few.
You? Right now you could be on the verge of something great, but you’re stuck in a depressing quagmire.
Well, don’t throw in the towel. TODAY is DAY ONE to end the madness. So take a deep breath, relax and retool.
Yes, today …
1. Right now, stop and ask, “why?”
Before you log onto another social network, write another post or craft a comment, ask: Why?
Are you doing this for freedom?
If you want out of the system, it’s not hard to plan your escape, sell all your shit and move into a shoebox. BUT this post isn’t about tiny houses, tossing all your possessions, and a minimalist lifestyle.
No, It’s more about regrouping, with vision.
You feel the need to monetize. To build a Krypton-sized email list.
To write a book.
Could be, you’ve spent so much time reading advice you feel like you’re buried in quicksand.
But you still want to arrive on the other end and give yourself a high-five.
Well to me, the quickest way to stop sinking is to start asking … WHY? Today, tomorrow and every day. It might be the best habit you ever develop.
Sit down each and every morning. Stop with the Twitter, don’t open your email and realize Facebook will survive a few hours without you.
Get out pen and paper and write down 10 detailed reasons why you want to build an online presence.
Keep asking, Why?
Come up with different reasons and explore. Then tomorrow, start over. If you really feel stuck, you need to do this every day. Ideas will come, business plans will hatch, and you’ll feel reborn.
You might devise something you had never envisioned. Or take another’s formula, flip it on its head, and make it that much better.
Just exercise your noodle daily and stop with the churn.
2. STOP thinking like a blogger.
The top bloggers? They’re entrepreneurs, authors, speakers first. There are exceptions of course, there always are, but obsessing over metrics, guest posting or comment count with no direction will lead down blind alleys, where nothing ever comes to fruition.
As part of your “Why” exercise, start thinking about a burning problem only you can solve. And use those precious a.m. hours to turn yourself into an idea factory.
You might just find the burning problem is all about you, freedom, and how to break the chains that bind you.
There could be a revolutionary product or novel residing in your cranium, but without the daily exercise, you’ll never flesh it out, especially if you whittle away those precious hours on Facebook.
3. Learn what to stop doing.
As you exercise your upper-story processor and keep asking, you’ll quickly discover the things you don’t want to do. In fact, this beautiful “not-do” list is one of the greatest benefits if your daily brainstorm.
A blitzkrieg on the tasks you hate or don’t do so well. As you slowly pass them off to someone else, you’ll soon realize how much they crippled you.
But for now, just focus on writing them down. I’ve been running a virtual business for years, so will be writing about finding the best freelancers to make your life easier.
4. Take off the blinders.
Watch several of these videos in sequence and see how you do.
Go ahead try it. It’s fun!
The gist is that people often completely overlook the seemingly obvious. There’s a reduction of awareness we all experience every day.
Our digital domain compounds it.
We misinterpret and jump to conclusions. And we often have blinders on, seeing things in black and white.
If you don’t shake things up … well, it’s like you have a pair of lead boots on.
The hackneyed phrase “thinking outside the box” means something here. So, change your habits. Try disrupting and see where it gets you. Be a misfit and make some noise by doing your thing. Enter a new world.
Turns out finding your purpose (or whatever you choose to call it) might just start with embracing disruptive thinking and killing off the habits that bind you.
Take off those lead boots and see how high you can fly. See you on the other side
- My 3 Words For 2015 - January 8, 2015
- Want to Change Your Life? (Let’s Start with 5 Regrets.) - September 3, 2014
- Why the Social Web Needs Thought Leaders - August 6, 2014
- Want to Be a Blog Writing Machine? (Give up on Perfection). - July 30, 2014
- Can Social Media Engagement Kill Your Business? - July 23, 2014
- 4 Big Reasons Why Your Small Business Needs Content Marketing Now - July 15, 2014
- Your 3 Step Process to Surviving and Thriving the Fickle Realm of Social Media - July 10, 2014
- How Do You Become a Successful Blogger? (4 Answers that Might Surprise You). - June 26, 2014
- The Beautiful, Empty Cup of Blogging - June 11, 2014
- Why Small Businesses Hate Content Marketing (and What to Do About It) - June 4, 2014