Mark Twain said, “The two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” If we don’t know what our purpose is, how can we live with purpose? I spent years feeling numb, just going through the motions, because I had no idea what I actually wanted. At the time, I was stuck in a corporate job and then diagnosed with clinical depression.
Now, I find joy in writing and helping others find happiness. I have a purpose-driven career and life.
If you feel trapped by your circumstances and uncertain about what you want to do, that's actually a great place to be.
Hitting rock bottom is a powerful impetus for change. The truth is, when you keep going, when you put one foot in front of the other, you reveal your path and feel empowered from within.
Through my personal journey, I learned a lot about what it actually means to be fulfilled and happy, and what steps we can take to get there. Start by realizing the power of being stuck. You can find it in these truths:
1. Everything is connected.
Everything you're going through is part of a bigger plan. When I was stuck in advertising, I had no idea what my future held. If someone had told me back then that I was in a study of the industry and that everything I learned would prove valuable in the future, I probably wouldn’t have had as much anxiety.
Now, I teach college-level marketing and I am life-coaching clients—some of whom actually work at the same agency I did. It is all connected. You don’t have to know how. You just have to trust that it is.
2. You don't have to have it figured out in order to take the next step.
Most of us don’t want to move forward unless we know it will work out. Ironically, if we don’t take action, we will naturally produce the outcome we fear most. When I first left corporate, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I just knew that what I was doing wasn’t working. Soon enough, one step at a time, I discovered my love of writing. Just take one step at a time. Each step will build to something much bigger.
3. Rejection is protection.
I had a publisher who passed on my last book but after a few weeks came back to me and said they wanted to buy the book. Sometimes rejection is protection, and that door isn't opening because it isn't your door. But when you let go of the outcome, that specific door, one even more beautiful will open up for you. Just trust the process.
4. You are exactly where you need to be.
I used to feel off-track because I felt like I was supposed to be further along. When I stopped pushing and returned to the notion that everything was in order, my life became more balanced. Stop wasting time fretting about where you are not. The truth is, where you are right now is exactly where you are supposed to be.
5. You get to create your reality.
Jason Silva said it best: “Once we realize the extraordinary power we have to compose our lives, we'll move from passive, conditioned thinking to being co-creators of our fate.” You get to become what you want. But there are no quick fixes, no magic bullets. There are only the small, consistent, smart actions you can take every day that, compounded over time, will create unstoppable momentum. Sometimes you’re not supposed to see the entire path. If you're creating it, you can only know what's next.
6. Stop asking how and start trusting in courage.
You are not required to change all at once. You are asked to be brave enough to take one small step at a time. Each change, one day at a time, will give you massive transformation. So instead of asking yourself, “How can I make a life change?” ask yourself to be courageous enough to move ahead without knowing.