The Biggest Blunders In My Life, Philosophy, Purpose, And Knowing You'll Get it Right
In this article I'm going right to the conclusion for those with busy schedules:
Here's the thing about asking THE RIGHT questions when it comes to the BIGGEST decisions in our lives:
Even if we get the ANSWER WRONG right now, today,
If we're able to have and hold on to the RIGHT QUESTIONS as we journey through life,
Then EVENTUALLY, we WILL and DO get it right.
This, I can most certainly vouch for in my life.
But WHAT are the RIGHT QUESTIONS?
Why did I seem to get it wrong, over and over again?
Why did I say in job that wasn't right for me, when I knew I was meant for something else?
And HOW does all of this, relate to defining our purpose?
We Don't Know Which Questions We Should be Asking
Life is busy. You are busy. And you have some important decisions to make about your job, your career, your money, and how to deal with family issues at home.
But the problem is, most of us go about our days too busy to question anything.
i.e. Should I take that job I will love, even though it's not the pay I want?
i.e. Should I take the HIGH PAYING job, even though I will hate what I'm doing each day?
i.e. Should I relax and enjoy my life when I'm young, or push hard to reach my goals?
I.e. Should I follow my passions, and find a way to earn a living as early as possible in my life?
For me, I answered most of those questions in the wrong way, sending me off course for YEARS, until I finally found My Compass: rediscovering my purpose, and now I'm proud to say, I work towards my very own mastery, in what I do now, each and every day.
But, simply KNOWING to ask some of these questions can BEGIN the process of transforming our lives.
HINT: Even, as mentioned above, if you get the ANSWERS wrong initially, the questions will persist...until you get it right!
The truth is, we might not know that some questions are far more important than others, especially when it comes to our overall health, well-being, and day to day fulfillment, purpose, and happiness.
Because the issue is, most of us only ever formally learn two types of questions to get us through life - that of the empirical and mathematical kind.
Empirical Questions: researched, analyzed, tested, and proven i.e. like data & statistics
Mathematical Questions: systems, calculations, formulas and rules.
These forms of questions hold us back. They tell us things like:
How MUCH will I make?
How LONG will I have to work until I retire?
But these types of questions fail to give us the full picture.
They fail to give us the full scope of the actually problems internally that we will face.
The good news is there is a third category of questioning called Philosophical Questions.
Philosophical Questions are the catalyst to spur HOW we think and feel, and WHY.
To help us navigate and govern that treacherous road that can be life, Philosophical Questions ask us to consider:
“Who am I?”
“What really is ‘happiness’?”
“Who is it, that I was meant to be?”
"Who benefits from the work I do?" ... "Me, or someone else?"
“How have external forces crept into my life?”
“How does deep down fulfillment relate to me, and my rights?
“How does deep down fulfillment relate to me, and my responsibilities?”
“How does taking on MORE responsibility increase my overall well-being?
"How does understanding why I work, or how I live, impact my life?"
…if you have time, take a moment to review these questions again now before continuing.
The Internal vs External Model
External Force Model: If you're answers to the questions above are all related to outside forces, meaning you work because you have to, you work because it pays the bills, you do your best to take your meaning and purpose from a job or role you don't really enjoy, which does not fully reflect you, and if you're saving no time in your day for something deep down and personal, meaningful for you - then you're operated from an external force model.
Internal Force Model: But if the majority of you're answers to the questions come from a deep down and personal voice, from a place of truth, from a place that connects to your moral, and purpose driven being, the one who is aware of their passions, or working towards discovering them, and know in order to live a better life, you need to live a more authentic life - then you're operating from an Internal Force Model.
As for me, I lived inside the external force model for over a decade. Until December 2016, when I asked the right questions again....
What Model Do You Live By?
Based on your answers to the questions above, do you know what model you live by?
Do you know if your choices are made in the search of something outside of your control?
Did you make any of your decisions based on only wanting MORE wealth, fame, status or are you in search of aligning something else inside - like your life’s purpose?
For me, I spent too many years inside the corporate world, chasing money and feeling more and more empty inside. And I worked with countless others who appeared to be hiding this truth, just like me.
Until I asked those same philosophical questions again, that showed me a misalignment with my internal and external world. And that I'd allowed things I don't really believe in, to shape my life.
These questions pushed me to understand not just who I was, but also how my choices in my major life decisions where pulling me further and further away from the life I was meant to live.
From the skills and talents I was meant to forge.
From things I did each day that took me away from the peace, balance, fulfillment and personal satisfaction in KNOWING who actually needed to benefit from the work I did each day.
In know WHY I was doing what I was doing.
In aligning my long time major life goals with the activities I completed each and every day.
In summary, these philosophical questions can lead us to eventually ask:
“What model do I live my life by?”
“Where do my major decisions in life come from?”
"...Do I live my day via the External or Internal forces in my life?"
"And if I have to live via the external forces for now, because of money, what small steps am I taking to change this?
“Or, do I even have a model?...
"Am I just winging it?"
"Am I allowing other forces to decide?”
In summary, the tool of philosophical questions will help us understand the model we’ve set for ourselves, either consciously, or otherwise.
It will help us begin by asking us questions we’ll need to confront as we work through The Authentic You: Life Foundations Masterclass, including:
“What do I define as good?”
“In which areas of my life am I rich?”
“In which areas of my life am I poor?”
“How do I define ‘wealth’ in my life?”
“How do I know when I am out of balance?”
“How do I find what I am missing in my life?”
“Is power or fame good?”
“What does it mean to be moral?”
“Why do setting goals, and creating new experiences, matter in my life?”
“What do I truly love and believe in, verses what I actually prioritize in my life?”
…again, if you can, take a moment to review these questions…
As we ask ourselves these questions, we understand the importance of pausing here, and staying with these questions, and NOT jumping past them.
We give ourselves permission to not jump to solutions.
Because we know to understand the problem, we must dig into the questions first.
In whatever answers we give, the first step is asking why.
Then, as we continue we’ll learn which cups we have overfilled…
… and which cups we’ve run dry.