“If you don’t know your goals or purpose, someone is going to use you for theirs.”
What a short but true statement. It isn’t the best “pat on the back” quote, is it? It’s more like a “kick in the balls” sort-of-speak when you can’t help but follow up with these questions: what ARE my goals? What IS my purpose? What DO I do to be an asset to society?
Do you REALLY know the answer? If you know the answer, how CONFIDENT do you feel about your answer?
Lots of times we lose our way in life or lose sight of what is important to us. I don’t think I’ve met anyone who has always had it together, or could accurately predict their future. We are after all, human – built with brilliant minds of which can conquer great obstacles, but can also give into it.
Not one person is the same, so what your goals or purposes are, doesn’t necessarily work for someone else. Give and take only a small percent of advices and suggestions, but never be heavily influenced by others or be heavily influential to others. It is the #1 reason people fall into the trap of the quote mentioned at the top. Influences can cause conflict, not only between others and their ideas, but intrapersonal. The conflict within oneself can trigger unpleasant thoughts that may be carried out into action (e.g. drug/alcohol relapse, suicide, negative behavior change, loss of identity).
We MUST have goals and a feeling of purpose in this life; ideally, short-term and long-term goals. I don’t care how ridiculous you think your goals are – I’ve heard them all! Just be encouraged to make them, add some new ones, or tweak some old ones! Believe me, by doing so it’s like a facelift in the present and retirement funds for your future. Your goals can be to brush Mr. Fluffy Cat on a weekly basis so there is less fur on the house furniture; it could be to save money for a down payment on a house; it could be to start and continue to eat healthy; it could be to just get through the day without getting angry. Whatever it is, MAKE IT HAPPEN!
Below are 5 ways you know you have a purpose. Like most things in life, to achieve it, you must work at it by proving you got what it takes. These will also reduce, if not completely eliminate, those who use you for their purposes:
- BE THE CHANGE – don’t give up. Be the change you want to see in yourself, and what you want others to see you as. Changes are always occurring around us, and we have to accept that we don’t always have control over it. But the changes you make for a better tomorrow is what’s truly a blessing.
- BE ASSERTIVE – let’s face it, being passive on a regular basis will certainly give permission to people to walk all over you without them even realizing it. In short, assertiveness is being self-assured and communicating where one stands on a topic or point-of-view without being aggressive. If you have a desired goal or a particular purpose for doing what you are doing, be assertive and watch how others listen and confide in your abilities, as well as demonstrate respect for your stance. [Note: that Assertiveness Training (A.T.) is available].
- KNOW YOURSELF – Take a few minutes looking at yourself in the mirror. Observe all the physical details starting at the top of your head working your way down. Notice any blemishes, wrinkles, colors, facial movements, etc. Maybe graze your fingers alongside of your skin on each section of your face and body. This tends to slow down the mind to process the details better, and can be a mood relaxer. What did you notice about yourself? Did you notice facial expressions when moving from one part of the body to another? What type of expressions did you give? Body language says a lot about someone. How do you think a person may express themselves to you with the type of body language you put forth? This is just one (physical) way of getting to know yourself.
- AVOID OR MINIMIZE TRIGGERS – triggers is a word often used in the mental health and substance abuse fields; it can damage a positively built (or rebuilt) reputation in an instant. Although we can’t always completely avoid situations that has created triggers for us in the past, we CAN learn to build coping skills to diminish the behavior that follows a trigger. If you learn these skills and practice them, you will become successful in coping with the triggers, and eventually that trigger will seem like a distant memory. With the trigger as a distant memory, you are able to be more and more like the person you’ve wanted to become and can focus on the goals ahead. Think about it . . . learning how to cope and focusing on goals is a goal in itself you just achieved!
- BE OF HELP AND ASK FOR HELP – always be that person to reach out to others as long as it doesn’t cost you to lose your own identity, cheapen your value, or demoralize you. Also know when to ask for help. Sometimes it is not easily recognized. One that is best recognized is the “fighting in your head” when something isn’t working out the way it was expected to and your choices are limited in resolving the situation. Have you ever fought yourself on this? As soon as you identify this, ask someone for help; the help can be physically or simply an opinion on what to do next. Weigh the positive and negative consequences from the decisions you may be faced with. By doing this you will be prepared for the outcome, which is better than being hit from left field. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Heck, even therapists need therapists!
Rule of Thumb: If you are unable to conceptualize goals for yourself, than don’t expect others to be able to either. (In other words don’t be a hypocrite).
LIVE LIFE, LAUGH OFTEN, LOVE DEEPLY. MOST IMPORTANTLY LIVE, LAUGH, AND LOVE YOURSELF.