“Musicians must make music, artists must paint, poets must write if they are ultimately to be at peace with themselves. What humans can be, they must be.” ―Abraham Maslow
Life is funny. Life has a way of nudging you towards what you were born to do. Life has a way of leaving clues. No one can give you the exact recipe for your life. Each one of us needs a different set of ingredients. You have to figure it out along the way. Some of us are too busy to stop and map it out. Others are too afraid to follow the path that life is taking them down. Fear of the unknown keeps them trapped. They don’t have enough faith to step out and take a risk.
In order to find happiness and experience fulfillment you have to reach your maximum capacity. The last goal you score or the last home run you hit does not have to be the last time you feel that rush.
If you are a 5 star recruit coming out of high school and you drop every pass in your first collegiate football game you are going to be extremely disappointed in yourself. If you play basketball and you go 0 for 10 from the free throw line you are not going to be happy with your performance. You won’t be satisfied because you know you are capable of putting on a better performance. You know you are capable of more. Life after sports is the same way. If you are dissatisfied it could be due to the fact that deep down inside you know that you are capable of doing more.
When you operate outside of your purpose there is this constant nagging. You always have a sense there has to be more to life. You may not know exactly what it is but you have a desire to figure it out. I believe there are seven things that will let you know that you are on the right path to doing what you were born to do.
1: You’re scared
You know you’re getting close to discovering the thing you were put on this Earth to do when the thought of actually doing it scares you out of your mind. You have an idea or an approach that has never been seen before. You wonder if you’re totally off or if you’re really on to something. Fear can either paralyze you or you can use it as an indicator that you are on the right path. Sure you’re talented but the thought of going after something of this magnitude causes you to want to run and hide. Many people never make it past this first step because they allow that fear to consume them instead of allowing it to push them forward.
2: No one has to pay you to do it
What are you already doing? How do you spend your free time? What problems do you find yourself seeking solutions for? These are the questions you should be asking yourself. It may be something small that you don’t think much of but you’ll never know if you don’t try.
When you find work that no one has to pay you to do you are one step closer to finding your “it”.
3: Sleep isn’t as attractive to you
By no means am I suggesting that you get less sleep than doctors recommend. However when you find your “it”, it jolts you out of bed in the morning. You get to a point where waking up and turning your dream into a reality is more attractive than lying in bed unconscious. When you find your “it”, you replace your late night Netflix watching with late night research. Your “it” consumes you. You think about it on your lunch break. You think about it while you brush your teeth. You think about it at the stop light. You try to find time in your day to work on it and turn it into a reality. You go to bed two hours later and wake up 30 minutes earlier. It becomes your priority. It becomes your focal point. You are not stressed about it; you just can’t get it off your mind.
4: Your appetite changes
When you discover your “it” your appetite starts to change. You will be forced to change your circle. You will find yourself cutting off the friends who constantly talk about people and never discuss their ideas. Binge watching your favorite show won’t be as attractive because you could be using those hours to work on your dream. Hanging out all of the time starts to feel like a waste of time. You spend more time reading and less time on social media. Your habits change and they allow you to spend more time working on your dream.
5: Everything starts to make sense
Often times when we receive a pop quiz from life we aren’t very excited. We all have our share of ups and downs. We receive great news followed by something not so great. At first we ask ourselves why it had to happen to us.
Once you start to discover your “it”, everything starts to make sense. You start to connect the dots. At the end of the day you have to be “the right person” to carry out your “it”. All of your life experiences mold and shape you into who you are supposed to be. Your “it” isn’t separate from you.
6: Regret turns into appreciation
Discovering your “it” is a process. Once everything starts to make sense you go through this shift. You realize that if you hadn’t gone through ABC or lost XYZ, there is no way you’d be where you are now. You understand why you had to go that school or connect with that person. You start to put the puzzle together. You grow to understand that life is a process. In each season you learn something that you can take with you and apply as you move forward. Things that you once regretted you start to appreciate because you can see the role that lesson played in the outcome of your life.
7: You’re willing to compromise your comfort and take a risk
We all know that nothing worth mentioning happens inside of your comfort zone. Even after you find something that no one has to pay you to do and you are on the hunt to find time to work on it, you still have to take a risk. Nothing worth having is easily attained. A lot of people talk the talk. I want you to be the one who walks it out.
If it’s something that you aren’t really passionate about I can totally see being unwilling to take a risk. However, you’ll know that you’ve found your “it” once you are willing to look crazy as you pursue it. Chances are that most people won’t understand at first. That’s perfectly fine because it isn’t their “it”.
Keep moving. Keep trying. Keep going after it until you chase it down and catch it. Your life will never be the same after you do.
Go find it,