Thursday, March 11, 2010

Finding your purpose

Do you ever think, "What's my purpose?"

I'm not talking in the big, grand, why-am-I-here-on-this-planet way of thinking. Although I suppose that's a good thing to know, too.

No, I'm thinking more like, "What's my purpose for this day?" Or for this hour? Or even, for the next 10 minutes?

It's really not something I think about very often. Usually, I have a buzz in my mind, a jumbled hornet's nest of all my thoughts about things I need to get done. They toss and turn up there, and then, depending on how I'm feeling, what I see, what someone says to me, or any number of other random factors, I decide what to do next. It might be the thing I really need to get done. Or it might not be.

Often that thing I do next is try to escape the buzz. I jump online and browse mindlessly. I flick on the TV. I  sit and stare at the walls, humming and rocking back and forth.

OK, it's not that bad. But it has dawned on me lately that I might feel better -- more organized, more efficient, more badass -- if I knew what the heck my purpose was. If I took one minute to think about what I truly want to accomplish each morning, or in the evening before I go to bed for the next day. Or when I get home from work.

Sometimes my purpose should be to relax and unwind for 10 minutes. But I think those 10 minutes will be more satisfying if I know they're truly the best use of my time at that moment.

I am a list lover -- this blog is example of that. So why am I not doing this? Why am I not getting buzz out of my head, and onto paper, where I can evaluate it and come to discover my purpose?

I'm going to try to do better. I'm having trouble sticking to many of these "20 little things" and I think it's this mental discord. They're all swimming up in my head with a label of eventually or later. I need to take a few minutes out of my life, multiple times a day, to assign myself my purpose, including remember to live those 20 little things.

So here's my plan: carry a notebook where I write down what my purpose is for the day. I plan to check in with myself in the morning, at lunch, when I get home from work, and before bed. More if needed. I also want to make it a mental habit, a common instant where I pause as things get hectic and ask myself, What is my purpose now, truly? I don't always need to write it down, but I think that will help.

How do you find your purpose? Do you just wander through your days like me, doing what seems to make sense in the moment? Do you take time to think about what it is you truly want to or need to accomplish in the next five minutes, five hours, five days? Please share with me!

1 comment:

  1. Since I am on a similar self-journey in some ways, I am very interested in how this method works out. I, too, love lists. My 2 most commonly used lists are the meal plan (daily) and the tasks list (also daily). Meal plan is self explanatory, but each morning I get out what I need and set it around so it reminds me of what's for dinner. If it's a crock pot meal, I set to work on it first thing. If it's not, then I am reminded all day of how much prep time it's going to take by it sitting out, so I can plan accordingly. The tasks list has EVERYTHING on it I need to get done that day. I have my "master" chore list up on my fridge, which has my house tasks broken down by day, and then I write down the other responsibilities as I have them (conference calls, errands, emails to answer, parties to close, IMH stuff to do, etc..) This is working out a lot better for me than just having it all in my head.


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