You all put on armor to fight your battles. Yours might be your sense of humor, your smile, your sarcasm, or your preparation. After reading this article, you will have more weapons to add to your arsenal. Let these lessons from lawsuits be your tools when you need to be a warrior, elegant in whatever way feels right to you. Sometimes you find yourself surrounded by complaints. I've found that the best thing to do in those situations is to move, and perhaps even to sing. In all of the years he had acted abusively, I was never grateful for all the handy-man projects he did for me. In my world, his abusive behavior canceled out any help he provided me, even though my mom had always insisted that is how he showed his love for me. Since he recently passed away, I am even more grateful that I forgave him all those years ago, as it paved the way for our relationship to turn into one of love and respect rather than only animosity and hurt. It also allowed us to have a heartfelt, tearful final conversation as I told him how much I loved and appreciated him. Now more than ever, I am grateful for all the things he did for me, even if I didn't appreciate it at the time. With his passing, I am particularly grateful for every loving and respectful interaction we had these past several years. My heart fills with love and gratitude every time I think of our final interaction the last time I saw him alive. As I was leaving, I bent over to hug and kiss him goodbye. Those were words I rarely heard my dad say, but what a joy to hear them then! They are even more precious to me as they were the last words he said to me in person. And the world needs people who are living their purpose in every area. Being a dedicated salesclerk makes a meaningful contribution--just think about the last time you needed help in a store and someone pointed you in the right direction. How good did that make you feel? Yeah, a salesclerk isn't going to walk the red carpet for being a salesclerk, but the sooner you realize that purpose isn't about walking the red carpet, the sooner you'll stop ignoring your purpose and start living a more fulfilled life.
So, if you're ready to stop running away from your purpose, how do you actually find out what your purpose is? For many of you, the simple act of no longer denying what you've been denying for years might be enough to reveal your purpose to you. For the rest of you, I have some simple advice: stop looking for it. I know that sounds crazy, especially since I've spent this entire article telling you how important finding your purpose is, but this might be a necessary step for you. Have you ever had the experience of trying really hard to remember something? It's right there, but the harder you try, the further away it seems to get. Meaningful is a problem. No goal can be made meaningful. A goal either has meaning or it doesn't. The more you work to find or contrive or manufacture some sense of meaning, the less likely you are to achieve the goal. It's impossible to find the meaning in a particular goal. While sometimes it does happen--if you're really lucky--that a meaningful goal finds you, most of the time the meaning in a goal is the result of immersing yourself in a routine and a set of tasks. Just as you gain motivation from small, repeated successes, you also find meaning in those successes. Time bound is also a problem. Setting a date for completion is important, but it in no way helps you focus. Most goals tend to make an already complicated life even more complicated. A complaint without movement will get you nowhere. When I was in high school, I was about one hundred pounds overweight. In general, I was happy, but I wanted to lose weight and there were days when I cried about not going to prom, not having a boyfriend, and feeling like I was missing out. There were times I'd complain, but not often.
More often than not, you'd find me singing. I just liked to sing. One day, I was in the girls' bathroom, putting on my new Clinique Black Honey lip gloss, and I thought I was alone so I was quietly singing. While I don't have a good voice, that lack has never stopped me from singing in the car, at home, and anywhere I don't think someone will hear. But there was someone in the last stall, and she came out with a look of disdain. I waited for her to make fun of me, my voice, or my choice of song. When we let go of the negative beliefs, we free up space to manifest. Part of manifesting is feeling good about ourselves. Limiting beliefs about ourselves or things we want to manifest, such as love or money, hold us back from getting what we desire. Become aware of what old beliefs you may be hanging onto. Instead of holding onto those old tapes your parents planted in your head, clear them out. Know they are not real. In doing so, you'll be amazed at what you can manifest. Gratitude can be used to unlock manifesting, particularly when we are grateful for whatever it is we want to manifest, whether it's relationships or things. In the case of my dad, being grateful opened the door to manifest a loving relationship. When practiced daily, gratitude raises our vibration. You finally stop trying, and a few hours later the thing you were trying to remember just pops into your head. It's possible that, for you, finding your purpose is going to be something like that. If you tell yourself that you're not going to get up from that chair until you know what your purpose is, there's a really good chance that you're going to be sitting in that chair for a long time. Stop fixating on this and try a few exercises instead.
Your purpose is something you discover when you peel back the layers of your life and see who you truly are. Since that's the case, try to rediscover who you are as a person. If you're like most people I know, you're in reaction mode most of the time. You're reacting to the needs of your family or the needs of your job or the needs of your friends. Maybe you're reacting to input from social media or from a show you're watching on television. When you're in reaction mode, you're not really fully present as yourself. Think about the last time you wrote a list of business or personal goals. When you finished, did you think, Wow, this is awesome because I have a clear direction and purpose, or did you think, Oh crap, how will I ever get all this done? I'm guessing you thought the latter--if not right away, certainly after a day or two. Attainable is also a problem. There's nothing inspiring about an attainable goal. Attainable goals are targets, not goals. I will cold-call twenty prospects today is a target; That may be an important goal if it helps you meet your sales quotas, but it's far from inspirational. Think of it this way: Your boss tells you to finish a report by noon. That's specific, meaningful (well, kind of), attainable, and time bound; Instead she said, What do you have to be so happy about? The question stopped me in my tracks. I saw what she saw--a teenage girl with no boyfriend, uncomfortable in her own skin and in the clothes she'd bought at Lane Bryant, a clothing store for plus-size women. I didn't know how to answer her question.
What did I have to be so happy about? And the bigger question for me was, did I sing because I was happy or was I happy because I sang? Would complaining about my situation make things better or worse? I saw myself from her perspective, and I didn't like what I saw. So I chose not to stay there. I lost the weight in college, gained some boyfriends, and years later I was a lawyer, sitting at a desk covered with a pile of complaints and a Dictaphone. The higher our vibration, whether it's joy, gratitude, or love, the easier it is to manifest. When we are in worry, doubt, or fear, our mood or vibration is lower, thus making manifesting more difficult. How do we raise our vibration into gratitude? Gratitude journals have been all the rage. It's great to be grateful. However, writing words down on a article doesn't often do much to shift our mood. Talking and writing about it can be a precursor. The best way to shift our mood into gratitude is to evoke the feeling of it. Think about what you're grateful for, feel it, and then let that feeling fill you up. Now you have raised your vibration into gratitude. You're doing what you need to do to get through a situation, and that means putting the full application of your personality and your values on hold. Unless your purpose is purely about reacting--and it isn't going to be for most of us--then you're never going to see yourself for who you really are when you're in reaction mode. So, pull back. Give yourself some time to think about who you are when the world isn't pulling at you.