Years ago, I asked a young boy begging on the streets of India what he wanted most in the world. His answer was simple: “a pencil.” I reached into my backpack and handed him one of my own, and immediately saw his eyes light up with possibility. In that moment, I felt a sense of purpose that has driven my actions ever since.
Here are three essential steps to unlock your sense of purpose and become unstoppable.
1. Get out of your comfort zone.
Go beyond the places that make you feel safe. When you do this, you’ll discover who you are and what makes you feel most alive. When I left the comforts of home to travel through the developing world as a college student, I soon began to immerse myself only in the experiences that spoke to a sense of meaning. It was through creating separation from my normal life that I found a connection to what I was most passionate about. Giving up normalcy and complacency is sometimes difficult, but the rewards greatly outweigh the costs.
2. Speak the language of the person you seek to become.
Most people speak in past references and present acknowledgments. But those who live with profound purpose speak in the future tense as if they’re pulling themselves toward the person they seek to become. You’ll rapidly discover that your words become your actions and your actions manifest into your legacy. Once you discover who you want to become, speak with the fervor of that future self and gradually you’ll live your way into the life you want most.
3. Choose to make your life a story worth telling.
As humans, we are natural storytellers, and the tales of our experiences are ones that we should be excited to tell. Although most great stories require overwhelming odds of failure, it’s within the contours of uncertainty that life’s magic is discovered. Fight for what you believe in and surround yourself with people who help you grow. Because one day all of your possessions will fade away, but the strength of your legacy and the story of your life will remain. Make it a beautiful one.
“For anyone looking to transform the world, this book will show you how to get it done.” –Sir Richard Branson. To learn the steps to a purpose-driven life, read The Promise of a Pencil by Adam Braun.