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Find Out Your Life Purpose By Doing These 10 Small Things

Find Out Your Life Purpose By Doing These 10 Small Things

Humans have one thing in common: at one point or another, we all wonder to ourselves, “Why are we here?” It’s a profound question, indeed. One theory is that the purpose of life is for each of us to make the world a better place. But how do we do this?

Here’s a good place to start. If you’re searching for your life purpose, doing these 10 small things will help you uncover it.

1. Write it down (or type it out).

Try this simple exercise to help you uncover your life’s purpose. Grab a piece of paper and a pen. Or fire up your computer and open a blank document. Next, write at the top, “What are my goals in life?” Write or type the first things that come to mind. Which items on the list are most important to you? Which are you most drawn to? Which well up emotions inside you and make you actually feel something? These are the things you should be focusing most of your time on.

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2. Start a new hobby.

Get out and experience something new. Whether you’ve been thinking about joining a basketball league, trying yoga, writing poetry, or working on your improv skills, stop thinking about starting a new hobby and do it.

3. Give back to your community.

There are few things more fulfilling in life than giving back. Find a cause you’re passionate about and put your heart and soul into it. Donating money is awesome. Donating your time is even better.

4. Read something inspiring every day.

Words are powerful. They inspire us to action, and can give us great insight into our life purpose. So make it a point to read something inspiring every day. Buy books, read websites like this one, and start keeping a journal of quotes that inspire you.

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5. Reflect on your life regularly.

Take some time several days a week to quietly reflect or meditate. Clearing your mind of other thoughts can help your life’s purpose come into clarity for you. So stop what you’re doing and just breathe. You’ll be amazed at how good you feel when you sit back and reflect.

6. Simplify your life.

Don’t get caught up in the trivial, day-to-day details of daily life. Spend most of your time focusing on the things that matter most: family, friends, health, and doing work you’re passionate about. This will help you uncover your purpose in life. Remember, there’s true beauty in simplicity.

7. Do work that you love.

Answer this question: What type of work do you love to do so much that you would do it without getting paid for it?

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For most of us, work is just a way to pay the bills. But it doesn’t have to be. Focus on doing the things you’re most passionate about. This doesn’t mean you have to quit your job. But it does mean you should seek work that fulfills you … even if it’s in addition to your current career. If you love to write, do freelance writing on the side. If there’s a cause you’re particularly passionate about, inquire about volunteer opportunities or even start your own non-profit. Don’t sell yourself short. You can do whatever you want in life if you refuse to accept limits.

8. Ask your friends what your best qualities are.

It may sound weird but try this: sit down with your best friend over a beer and ask him/her to honestly tell you what they love about you. Explain to them why you want to know. They’ll appreciate your honesty and will be happy to help you. You can use this information to gain insight into your life’s purpose.

9. Make a bucket list.

If you found out you had a year to live, how would you choose to spend your life? Where would you go? Who would you spend time with? How would you cement your legacy? Making a bucket list of things you want to do before you leave this world is a great way to gain perspective on the things that are important to you. It frees your mind up and gives you things to aspire to in your life.

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10. Give thanks for what you have.

Your actions more than anything dictate how you will be remembered. Be thankful, kind, patient, and humble. Do nice things for others without expecting the favor to be returned. Show your appreciation for living through how you live your life every day.

And then you may just realize that you’re already living your dream life.

More by this author

Scott Christ

Scott Christ is a writer, entrepreneur, and founder of Pure Food Company.

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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