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If You Want to Succeed in Life, You Need to Find Your True Calling First

If You Want to Succeed in Life, You Need to Find Your True Calling First

How often do you wake up in the morning with bothersome thoughts, that you should change something in your life? Whether it’s a job you don’t enjoy, or restless relationships, which makes you miserable, or even the length of your hair. On the one hand, this kind of “itching feeling” is overwhelming; on the other hand, it makes you move forward with your life, set new goals and, eventually, find your place in life.

It’s normal to take some time to know what we want. Don’t rush it.

Most likely, you’ve heard stories of ingenious people, who started developing their skills in early childhood and, eventually, became successful. For instance, Mozart composed from the age of five, already being competent on keyboard and violin. Undoubtedly, this case is inspiring, but let’s face the fact – it is exceptional. Most people need to put more efforts to find the true calling in life and to become professionals. But it shouldn’t intimidate you. In fact, a well-known American psychologist Abraham Maslow used to say: “It isn’t normal to know what we want. It is a rare and difficult psychological achievement”.

If you want to succeed in life, finding your calling is a step you have to take.

Apart from an obvious endeavor to be happy, research has shown that knowing your purpose can add up to 7 years of life expectancy.[1] Furthermore, how can you achieve any kind of success if you don’t follow your dreams? May it be the simplest or the most sophisticated thing, you need passion in order to succeed.

So, after realizing that you do need to find calling in life and, moreover, to benefit from it, there’s only one question left – where to start from.

15 Ways to find your true calling in life

Ask yourself questions about how you feel about your life

Start with questions. Are you satisfied with your job, with your schedule? Are you surrounded by people who care about and support you? What do you love about your life and what makes you miserable? Those questions seem to be easy and you may frequently ask them to yourself, but usually, we don’t pay that much attention to them simply because we’re busy or frightened to face the truth.

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Make a list showing what you love and hate

Write down in a column what you love and hate about your life, including the smallest details. Now, as you have it in front of your eyes, try to do more of what makes you content and avoid those things (or even people), that upset you.

Take a test to find out what you’re good at

Of course, you’re aware that you are good at math and have no ambitions to become a pop-star. But sometimes people tend to over- or underestimate themselves. That is why it is useful to take some tests, which can help to reveal your strengths and weaknesses. Try StrengthsFinder assessment or VIA Character Strengths survey, for instance.

Combine your strengths and interests

As you have found out what distinguish you from other people, combine your strengths with your interests, and think of how you can benefit from that.

For example, if you’ve decided that tying work schedule is not your style, and have started to work as a freelancer, knowing your strengths and weaknesses is valid. Only after you’ve found your niche, you can build a strong personal brand, which will speak for itself.[2] There are hints that monitoring and designing your online presence should be one of the first steps of your personal brand establishment.

Say yes to odd opportunities

Do you remember the movie “Yes man”, in which Jim Carrey, as the main character, challenges himself to say “yes” to every proposal the entire year? That is a great trick to get out of your comfort zone and to add some adventures to your life.

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Follow your own dream instead of someone else’s

Your mother may be sure that you’re going to be a brilliant lawyer, but if you just don’t feel like that, you’ll never be satisfied with this position. No matter how much money you’re going to earn and how fancy your apartment will be. If it’s not your passion, it’s not going to work.

Surround yourself with motivated and successful people

Undoubtedly, our environment influences us a lot, including those people around. How smart, motivated and successful your friends and relatives are? Do you see them as role models? It doesn’t mean you have to avoid your family and stop answering your friends’ calls. Instead meet new great people, who will inspire you and share your vision, an English business magnate Richard Branson, recommends.[3]

Embrace every possibility you might have

Life has its own plan for you. So stop grieving your unfulfilled goals and set new ones. Do not worry if you get off track. Eventually, it’s an imaginary one.

Learn from your mistakes

Stop perceiving your mistakes as failures. As Scott Berkun says: “We’re taught in school, in our families, or at work to feel guilty about failure and to do whatever we can to avoid mistakes. What’s missing in many people’s beliefs about success is the fact that the more challenging the goal, the more frequent and difficult setbacks will be.”[4]

Learn how to let people go

You may think, it has nothing to do with finding your life calling. Well, you’re wrong. When you forgive old grudges and get rid of anything that is weighing you down, you realize how much energy you’ve been wasting.

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So finish burdensome relationships, stop contacting with people, who constantly hold you down, and start something, you’ve always dreamt about but never had enough time. Take a course of French or go to the salsa class, for instance.

Stop thinking and start acting now

“Thinking is the thing that prevents people from acting,” YouTube star and filmmaker Casey Neistat has told Entrepreneur.[5] While thinking too much, you are creating lots of blocks in your mind. Remember, until you start the engine the machine will not move, so the more activities you try, the bigger is the chance to find the one for you.

Be consistent and never give up easily

Whether you’re learning how to play guitar or starting a blog. It’s like physical training – the result comes with regular exercising. Once you decided to find your calling in life, make a little effort every day, getting acquainted with an interesting person or reading a book about self-improvement.

Use Reminders not to forget to set daily goals and to carry them out.

Think out of the box to be creative

You may start with something simple like cooking a new recipe or creating a mood-board. Why would you need that? One creative process gives rise to another. Especially, if you’re working in the creative industry, you just never know where inspiration comes from.

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Read books or at least watch videos to get inspiration

There are so many people in the world, who have been already dealing with the problems, you’re dealing right now. Maybe they are going to become your role-models or mentors in your search.

For example, here’s a TED talk of Adam Leipzig, who claims to know how to discover your life purpose in just 5 minutes.

Enjoy the process of searching for your passion

Don’t make a race out of your search. Remember you’re looking for passion to be happy, so make the search itself an exciting process.

You may not realize that, but the day you’ve decided to change something in your life and to find your purpose is the beginning of your journey itself. A strong desire is the first step to success. The second one is action. So start from this exact moment and, no matter what, try to have fun.

Reference

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Melissa Burns

Melissa is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. She writes about communication, entrepreneurship and success on Lifehack.

Why You’re Feeling Empty and How to Fill the Void Wealthy, Successful People Who Choose Less over More: 10 Real-Life Stories of Minimalists If You Want to Succeed in Life, You Need to Find Your True Calling First Everything We Can Learn from the Most Famous Entrepreneurs Around the World Why Is Empathy So Important?

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Last Updated on December 2, 2019

How to Develop Mental Toughness And Stay Strong

How to Develop Mental Toughness And Stay Strong

Are you the kind of person who wants to achieve massive success in your life? Do you have the mental toughness to make that happen?

I think we can all agree that no matter your ambitions, achieving success can be difficult; and over time, the daily grind can take a toll on your physical, mental, and emotional energy.

Achievers and high performers from all walks of life face ups and downs along the path to success—they face failure, burnout, discouragement, fatigue, self-limiting beliefs, stress, and so much more.

How do some people continually strive towards their personal goals year after year while others give up on them? How do those people stay strong and persevere when there is so much stacked against them?

Studies now show that mental strength is a critical key to success. If you haven’t read Angela Duckworth’s book Grit, you should. In it, she shows that “the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls ‘grit.’” In other words, mental toughness plays a significant role when it comes to achieving goals.

Sometimes, our goals wear us down and leave us feeling exhausted. Other times, our goals get difficult, and success seems impossible, so we lose hope, become discouraged, and want to quit.

At its core, mental toughness is simply the ability to stick to something when the going gets tough. People with high levels of mental toughness can push beyond these obstacles and forge a path towards success while those with lower levels of mental toughness may abandon their dreams.

Want to know the good news?

No matter who you are, what you’ve been told, or what you currently believe, you can develop the mental toughness you need to be successful.

All you need to do is learn to develop a positive mindset, focus on your why, and utilize the people around you for support.

1. Develop a Positive Mindset

If you’re going to increase your mental toughness, the first thing you have to do is focus on building a strong, positive mindset.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, the average person has 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those, 95% of those thoughts repeat each day and, on average, 80% of repeated ideas are negative.[1]

That’s roughly 45,600 negative thoughts per day!

Carrying around these negative thoughts is like going on a hike in the mountains with a backpack full of rocks. The hike is hard enough on its own, but having extra junk weighing you down is a recipe for failure.

Sometimes, building mental toughness isn’t as much about building new strength as it is about saving your strength for the right tasks. Wouldn’t it be easier to dump the rocks out of the backpack instead of trying to get strong enough to carry the extra weight?

Absolutely!

But how can we learn to spot those 45,600 negative thoughts and get rid of them? How can we empty our metaphorical backpack?

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Well, it gets a whole lot easier if you know what you’re looking for. Some of the most prominent types of negative thoughts are self-limiting beliefs, all-or-nothing thinking, and dwelling.

Let Go of Self-Limiting Beliefs

It’s pretty hard to be mentally tough when you’re constantly beating yourself up. Self-limiting beliefs are any beliefs that hold you back in some way. Here are some examples:

“I’m not smart enough to…”

“I don’t have enough experience to…”

“I’ve tried that before, and it didn’t go well, so I must just be bad at…”

When we allow these self-limiting beliefs to flood our minds, negative self-talk runs rampant, and we crowd out our ability to think positively. We’re effectively working against ourselves.

If you want to keep your mind strong on your path to success, you have to overcome the self-limiting beliefs that are holding you back by realizing one key truth: self-limiting beliefs are thoughts, not facts.

When you recognize a self-limiting belief cropping up in your mind, quickly silence it by telling yourself that it’s not true and then back that up with some positive affirmations:

  • “I am smart enough; I may just need to do some more research first.”
  • “I may not have as much experience as someone else, but that’s not going to stop me from trying. I have enough experience to get started. I’ll figure the rest out on the way.”
  • “Just because I failed at this last time doesn’t mean I’m going to fail this time. My past does not dictate my future.”

Get Rid of the All-or-Nothing Thinking

Another form of negative thinking that could be preventing you from building mental toughness is all-or-nothing thinking.

All-or-nothing thinking is the concept of thinking in extremes. You are either a success or a failure. Your performance was totally good or totally awful. If you’re not perfect, then you’re a failure.

But this isn’t true!

If you’re trying to lose 30 pounds and only lost 28, isn’t that still better than not losing any weight at all? I’d say so!

If you allow all-or-nothing thinking to rule your mind, you’ll be on cloud nine when you succeed, but you’ll beat yourself up when you “fail.” Acknowledging the shades of gray in between will allow you to see success more often and it will help you celebrate your smaller wins.

When you recognize an all-or-nothing thought, remember to look for the positive in the situation. What did you gain by trying? What would you have missed out on had you not tried? Could you do better if you were to try again?

Ditch the Dwelling

Self-Limiting Beliefs and All-or-Nothing Thinking can lead to a bad case of dwelling on the negative. If you want to build some mental toughness and keep your mind strong, you have to ditch the dwelling.

Every day, bad things happen to each of us, and while there’s nothing we can do to prevent that, we can control how we react to these situations.

When we dwell on our misfortunes, we waste massive amounts of energy that we could be using to achieve our goals. When this happens, we’re more likely to quit altogether.

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But that doesn’t mean you’re not mentally tough; it just means you’re misusing your energy.

The next time something bad happens, it’s important to allow yourself to feel the disappointment and frustration, but work on reducing the amount of time you dwell on the situation.

Easier said than done, right? Try these:

  1. Call a friend or mentor and talk it through with them. Get some outside perspective on your situation.
  2. Time block your dwelling by allowing yourself to dwell for no more than one hour.
  3. Then, tell yourself to move on, that you’re human, and you’re allowed to make mistakes or experience setbacks.
  4. If all else fails, find a good way to distract yourself until you can calm down and reexamine things with a clear mind.

The faster you can focus on the positives and move past the problem, the quicker you can get back to achieving success in your life.

Be Patient about the Process

No matter which negative thoughts tend to run around your mind, working to replace them with positive thoughts can take time.

Learning to spot self-limiting beliefs, all-or-nothing thinking, or dwelling is one thing, but learning to quiet those thoughts is another thing entirely.

If at first you don’t succeed, don’t fret. Instead, take a deep breath and try again. As you work towards improving your mindfulness and your mental toughness, remember that you’re going to get better with time.

To make things a little easier, it helps to connect with your purpose.

2. Connect with Your Purpose

One of the most critical elements to building mental toughness and keeping a strong and focused mind is having a strong ‘why’ for everything you want to do.

If you set out to achieve a huge goal that you don’t have a ‘why’ for, you’re going to find yourself distracted, discouraged, or disengaged as soon as you experience your first setback.

Think about the last time you were working on a goal or resolution and things weren’t going well, maybe you even wanted to quit. Perhaps you thought you didn’t have enough willpower. Maybe you told yourself that you didn’t have enough discipline.

Here’s the truth: you just didn’t have a strong enough why.

Simon Sinek has been spreading his message “Start with Why” across the globe.[2] In short, he says that:

“Your ‘why’ is the purpose, cause or belief that inspires you.”

One of the biggest drains on your mental energy is pursuing a goal or a task that you don’t have a ‘why’ for. This is when we tend to look for external motivation or question our willpower, but those aren’t the issues.

Often, we set goals because we like the idea of the goal, not the reality of the goal. Without connecting to our why, we can’t intrinsically motivate ourselves to achieve our most challenging goals.

Find Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation is our innate desire to do something and it comes when we work towards something that satisfies ourselves above all else—not our parents or our bosses or our teachers.

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Let’s say you think you want to quit smoking because you know it’s bad for you, but you really enjoy smoking. If you don’t truly want to quit smoking, it’s going to be nearly impossible, regardless of your willpower or mental toughness.

But if you want to quit smoking because you just had a baby, and you don’t want your baby growing up around smoke, then that ‘why’ is going to give you intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is far more powerful than sheer stubborn willpower, and it’s far easier to maintain over the long haul.

If you’re trying to develop mental toughness, connecting a why to everything you want to achieve will reduce the effort and energy it will take to achieve those things. Once you’ve found a strong why for all of your goals, you’ll find that you’ll have significantly more energy to pursue your more difficult challenges.

3. Find Strength in Unity

The final aspect of developing mental toughness is embracing the idea that you’re not in this alone. It’s a fact, anyone who’s ever achieved success in anything didn’t do so alone.

Bill Gates didn’t build Microsoft alone. Oprah didn’t build her network by herself. Steve Jobs didn’t invent the iPhone without a team. Michelle Obama didn’t implement the “Let’s Move” campaign on her own.

Behind all of these successful people were countless other people who were there offering support, mentorship, guidance, and encouragement.

If you want to develop unmatched mental toughness, you need to understand that you don’t have to go it alone. Even the toughest Navy Seals have a team backing them up.

If you want to stay strong in your endeavors, you need to build a team of supporters who will step in and back you up when it counts.

Find a Mentor or Committee of Mentors

The benefits of having a great mentor are far too many to list, but to boil it down to the basics, a mentor is someone who will help show you the path to success.

A good mentor will help you discover your greatest strengths, spot and overcome your blind spots, and work through your weaknesses.

If you’re struggling to deal with your internal negativity or with finding your purpose, talk it through with a mentor. Sometimes we lose the forest for the trees, and a mentor can help us take a step back and see the bigger picture.

Here’s how to find the right mentor for yourself: How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed

Recruit Some Cheerleaders

If you want to stay strong, it never hurts to have a group of personal cheerleaders. Unlike mentors who are going to jump in and help you address your problems, a group of cheerleaders will help keep your spirits up.

Even if you have a strong ‘why’ and a positive mindset, it’s nearly impossible to maintain a positive attitude 100% of the time. It doesn’t make you weak to need some help from time to time. Having a group of people cheering you on will make all the difference in the world.

As you work towards your goals, tell a few close friends about what you’re doing, and when things get tough, tell them about it. And when they give you the pep talk you need, don’t resist their positivity or counter it with your self-limiting beliefs or your all-or-nothing attitude.

Allow their optimism to refill your energy and use that energy to press on.

Form an Accountability Group

Cheerleaders are great, but sometimes we need someone to give us the kick we need to keep going. You might have a strong ‘why’ for running a marathon or losing 30 pounds, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy; and trying to force yourself to follow through is a sure way to tax your mental energy.

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Why not save some of your mental energy by forming an accountability group?

Find a person or a few people who have similar goals, or at the very least, the need for an accountability partner. Then, form an agreement within the group to push each other every day.

Even if your goals aren’t the same, accountability partners are great for giving us the push we need when we need it most.

Regardless of which relationships you choose, sometimes we have to be able to work through things on our own. Mentors, cheerleaders, and accountability partners are a great way for us to combat our naturally negative mindsets, but occasionally we have to be able to pick ourselves back up.

4. Learn to Pick Yourself Back Up After Setbacks

Building a strong mindset and developing mental toughness isn’t easy! Anyone who’s ever achieved massive success knows that obstacles, setbacks, and failure are inevitable, and you’re no different.

As you work on your goals, you’re going to face many ups and downs, but this doesn’t mean that you don’t have mental toughness, willpower, or discipline.

We all struggle. We all fail. It’s what we decide to do after we fail that truly counts.

When you find yourself in a low spot, ask yourself these questions:

  • “Am I being too hard on myself?”
  • “Are negative thoughts such as Self-Limiting Beliefs or All-or-Nothing Thinking distorting my view?”
  • “What’s the positive side of this setback/obstacle/failure?”
  • “Why was this goal important to me? What was my purpose?”
  • “Is this goal still important to me? Do I still have a ‘why’?”
  • “Who can I ask for help? Who can mentor me or cheer me on? Who can help hold me accountable?”

Asking yourself these questions is a great way to check in on your mindset. When we get lost in negative thinking or lose connection to our purpose, it’s far too easy to become discouraged. When we feel discouraged, we start feeling weak, maybe even a little hopeless.

Also, this article provides some useful tips to help you get back on track: How to Deal with Failure and Pick Yourself Back Up

Tying it All Together

Are you still with me? I know I’ve thrown a lot at you, from developing a positive mindset and combatting your internal voice to connecting with purpose and building a committee of mentors. It’s a lot to take it!

But here’s the bottom line:

A crucial part of developing mental toughness is learning to recognize these tendencies and taking action to correct them early on. Developing mental toughness is not about eliminating weakness, but learning how to deal with it and overcome it.

No one is perfect, but when we focus on the right things, we can develop a mental toughness worthy of life’s biggest challenges.

More About Mental Strength

Featured photo credit: Zulmaury Saavedra via unsplash.com

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