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Last Updated on December 23, 2019

13 Ways Living with Purpose Makes You Happier and More Fulfilled

13 Ways Living with Purpose Makes You Happier and More Fulfilled

One of the greatest gifts as a human is the ability to choose how to live your life. The choice to be a parent or not; the choice to be college educated or choose an apprenticeship; or the choice to break the rules by designing your own future. Sure, the benefits of making the right choices are immense and the feeling of fulfillment even better.

But how would you feel you were forced to live a false life? Here’s an example:

You’re being forced to learn how to be a hair stylist and make it your occupation. No, it’s not your side hustle. Even worse, you are told to forget your loved ones and get married to someone you absolutely detest. Forget everything you’ve learned and loved, and instead, make this your sole career and relationship.

The amount of anguish and physical pain you might feel is akin to someone taking a precious object or livelihood away from you. This could lead to anxiety, depression, self-doubt, and an overall spiral into a web of negativity.

Yet, there are people who willingly or unwillingly live their lives based on society’s dictates and preferences. I’m talking about people who are constantly living outside their purpose and are unhappy about it. While sadness is an emotion that is as common as happiness, a constant state of sadness will cause you to slip into a pattern of automatic negative thoughts which can be more difficult to get out of.

So, how do you fix this? How do you stop living a life of false identities and instead honor your own calling and beliefs?

Without further ado, here are 13 ways living with purpose makes your life happier and more fulfilling:

1. You Feel Grounded to a Calling That Is Bigger Than Yourself

While living with purpose won’t guarantee higher paychecks and fancy property, there is a desire to be part of something bigger than yourself. You want to be part of movements that positively impact the world and leave a legacy behind for future generation.

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Call it faith, mindfulness, or whatever it is you wish to align yourself with. This sense of anchor makes it possible to navigate through life by when you are able to visualize your existence on earth for a specific reason, which in turn enables you to spend more time to find your calling.

2. You Help Others Live Their Purpose by Empowering Them

An advantage to living in your purpose is that you discover your strengths and are more willing to be of service to your community. This is practically impossible if you lack self-awareness and are unable to translate the skills you have to helping others.

Sometimes, even if you do have the skills to help others, living an unintentional life casts a doubt of pessimism over you, blinding you of the opportunities to help others grow.

3. You Engage with Others from a Point of Healthy Self-Esteem

As you go through life, your personality and attitudes become shaped by your experiences. However, negative events tend to leave you more vulnerable to self-doubt and crippling mindset challenges, which can cause your self-esteem to take a nose-dive.

Living with purpose is a powerful way to rehabilitate a sense poor self-esteem. When you change the way you feel about how adversity affects you, your confidence increases and you feel competent enough to deal with setbacks and even stand up as a change agent in situations with unknown outcomes.

4. Your Physical and Mental Health Will Thank You

Yes, your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Living a lifestyle not of your choosing can subject you to severe mental health decline. Anxiety begins to attack as you experience a rise in excessive worry, irritability, lack of concentration, among other things.

In fact, a Harvard article explains that researchers studied the risk of cardiovascular death between people who reported living with a sense of purpose and those who didn’t, and found the risk of death was 20 percent lower in those who reported living with purpose.[1]

5. Letting Go of Failure Is Easier

Life becomes easier to navigate because you’re living with purpose. Note, I didn’t say easy because it’s never easy.

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That’s because choosing to pursue a life aligned with your purpose will stretch you and demand more from you. You will be required to grow and commit to continuous personal development.

However, it is easier to let go of failure without letting it fester into an emotional wound because you’re able approach life as an adventure rather than an “all or nothing” mindset.

It is easier to let go of failure because despite a few losses, you believe that you are on a creative, professional path that is designed just for you.

6. Forgiving Others and Letting Go of Bitterness Becomes Easier

Life becomes more peaceful when you no longer have to hold onto year-long grudges and misunderstandings that have caused you unhappiness. This isn’t to say that you become unfeeling to injustice or deliberate disrespect from others. Forgiveness does not excuse a wrong or action. Rather, people who choose to live a purposeful life are more inclined to choose peace over tension.

According to Andrea Brandt Ph.D. M.F.T., you actually might feel un willing to forgive despite knowing that you need to.[2] However, it takes a gradual process of acknowledging that what is done is done, releasing the hurt and suffering caused, and growing from it ordeal.

Living with purpose makes this process easier because you are more likely to understand that there is no “perfect” human.

7. Gratitude Becomes an Essential Part of Your Life

Interestingly, living a meaningful life opens your heart to feel thankful. When gratitude preludes your wants and desires, you’re inclined to live fully in the present, to savor and enjoy the relationships and things you do have.

When you live a purposeful life, you acknowledge the difference between needs and wants, and make it a daily effort to remove your focus from what you do not have.

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8. You Engage in Positive Behaviors

When you’re living a happier life, you’re able to adopt healthy coping strategies when dealing with stress. According to Stephanie Hooker from Psychology Today:[3]

 “People who have a greater sense of meaning may be more likely to take care of themselves because they feel as if their lives matter more.”

This means more exercise, meditation, mindfulness, and less of drinking, smoking, and risky behaviors that will put your health and safety at risk.

9. You Expand Your Worldview

Unlike living in a world where everything is viewed in black and white, you become very sensitive to nuances, undertones, and challenges that plague daily communications, intercultural communications, and even business operations.

Having an open mind leads to craving a deeper sense of connection and understanding of the world around us, which allows for a higher level of thinking for better results in your career and business and business.

10. You Develop More Empathy for Others

Rather than living a life of assigning blame to others because they can’t seem to “pull themselves up by their bootstraps,” you understand that life is not a race.

You know that everyone is equal and experiences discomfort at certain times. You are also aware that it takes a loving and nurturing environments––not critical ones, to raise mentally-strong and balanced individuals who will go on to achieve greater things in life.

11. You Pursue a Values-Based Life

Ever heard of some people always talking and breathing their core values? Well, that’s what living with purpose does.

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Let’s say you’re exposed to social issues that plague local and global communities. When you live with purpose, your work instantly gravitates towards solving these problems. This integration becomes more prominent because you find it difficult to extricate your what you do from how you are called to serve.

12. You Are More Aligned with Your Career

When you are out of alignment, you are blind to the unassuming job opportunities that mask themselves as challenges or simple introductions. You take risks and make very unwise decisions about your career and/or business.

But success comes from within before it is ever manifested externally, and the only way to know this and acknowledge it is if you are purposefully living your life.

13. You Gain Clarity About the Future Despite Uncertainties

Uncertainty is always going to be a part of life. But it is in these moments that we either realize unspoken potential or let opportunities slip from our fingers.

However, a life lived with purpose recognizes uncertainty as the path to achieving something greater. This encourages you to engage with life from a place of genuine curiosity and wonder instead of anxiety and pessimism.

Final Thoughts

You have to be clear about what you want your life to look like and how you want to live it.

Whether you’re following trends or breaking societal rules, your personal joy and fulfillment is your responsibility.

After all, you only live once and you should find your meaning in it.

More About Living with Purpose

Featured photo credit: Candice Picard via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Margaret Olatunbosun

Creative coach who teaches high-achievers how to thrive at the intersection of creativity, passion, and profit.

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Last Updated on July 3, 2020

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

In today’s world, true peace must come from within us and our own actions. Here are 30 small things you can do on a regular basis to increase your overall sense of harmony, peace, and well-being:

1. Don’t go to every fight you’re invited to

Particularly when you’re around those who thrive on chaos, be willing to decline the invitation to join in on the drama.

2. Focus on your breath

Throughout the day, stop to take a few deep breaths. Keep stress at bay with techniques such as “square breathing.” Breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, then out for four counts, and hold again for four counts. Repeat this cycle four times.

3. Get organized and purge old items

A cluttered space often creates a cluttered spirit. Take the time to get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year and invest in organizational systems that help you sustain a level of neatness.

4. Stop yourself from being judgmental

Whenever you are tempted to have an opinion about someone else’s life, check your intentions. Judging others creates and promotes negative energy.

5. Say ‘thank you’ early and often

Start and end each day with an attitude of gratitude. Look for opportunities in your daily routine and interactions to express appreciation.

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6. Smile more

Even if you have to “fake it until you make it,” there are many scientific benefits of smiling and laughing. Also, pay attention to your facial expression when you are doing neutral activities such as driving and walking. Turn that frown upside down!

7. Don’t worry about the future

As difficult as this sounds, there is a direct connection between staying in the present and living a more peaceful life. You cannot control the future. As the old proverb goes, “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.” Practice gently bringing your thoughts back to the present.

8. Eat real food

The closer the food is to the state from which it came from the earth, the better you will feel in eating it. Choose foods that grew from a plant over food that was made in a plant.

9. Choose being happy over being right

Too often, we sacrifice inner peace in order to make a point. It’s rarely worth it.

10. Keep technology out of the bedroom

Many studies, such as one conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, have connected blue light of electronic devices before bed to adverse sleep and overall health. To make matters worse, many people report that they cannot resist checking email and social media when their cell phone is in reach of their bed, regardless of the time.

11. Make use of filtering features on social media

You may not want to “unfriend” someone completely, however you can choose whether you want to follow their posts and/or the sources of information that they share.

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12. Get comfortable with silence

When you picture someone who is the ultimate state of peace, typically they aren’t talking.

13. Listen to understand, not to respond

So often in conversations, we use our ears to give us cues about when it is our turn to say what we want to say. Practice active listening, ask questions, process, then speak.

14. Put your troubles in a bubble

Whenever you start to feel anxious, visualize the situation being wrapped in a bubble and then picture that sphere floating away.

15. Speak more slowly

Often a lack of peace manifests itself in fast or clipped speech. Take a breath, slow down, and let your thoughtful consideration drive your words.

16. Don’t procrastinate

Nothing adds stress to our lives like waiting until the last minute.

17. Buy a coloring book

Mandala coloring books for adults are becoming more popular because of their connection to creating inner peace.

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18. Prioritize yourself

You are the only person who you are guaranteed to live with 24 hours a day for the rest of your life.

19. Forgive others

Holding a grudge is hurting you exponentially more than anyone else. Let it go.

20. Check your expectations

Presumption often leads to drama. Remember the old saying, “Expectations are premeditated resentments.”

21. Engage in active play

Let your inner child come out and have some fun. Jump, dance, play, and pretend!

22. Stop criticizing yourself

The world is a hard enough place with more than enough critics. Your life is not served well by being one of them.

23. Focus your energy and attention on what you want

Thoughts, words, and actions all create energy. Energy attracts like energy. Put out what you want to get back.

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24. Assign yourself “complaint free” days.

Make a conscious decision not to complain about anything for a whole day. It might be harder than you think and the awareness will stick with you.

25. Surround yourself with people you truly enjoy being in the company of

Personalities tend to be contagious, and not everyone’s is worth catching. Be judicious in your choices.

26. Manage your money

Financial concerns rank top on the list of what causes people stress. Take the time each month to do a budget, calculate what you actually spend and sanity check that against the money you have coming in.

27. Stop trying to control everything

Not only is your inner control freak sabotaging your sense of peace, it is also likely getting in the way of external relationships as well.

28. Practice affirmations

Repeat positive phrases that depict the life and qualities you want to attract. It may not come naturally to you, but it works.

29. Get up before sunrise

Personally witnessing the dawn brings a unique sense of awe and appreciation for life.

30. Be yourself

Nothing creates more inner discord than trying to be something other than who we really are. Authenticity breeds happiness.

Featured photo credit: man watching sunrise via stokpic.com

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