Discovering Your Purpose

Confucius says “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Confucius says “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

Why are we here? What am I supposed to do with my life? These are questions we all ask ourselves at one point or another. My goal is to help you connect to your true self and your innate purpose – to move away from conventional thinking and create a life definition that works for you. Purpose is the reason why we are motivated to change, and live a life of greatness. If you often find yourself setting goals, and then falling down at the first sign of difficulty (I know I have… many times) it is usually because you do not have enough clear reasons why you want to achieve this goal. If the ‘why’ is big enough, you will find a way. It is essential to discover what really matters to you, so you can leave all your negativity behind. There are many articles and books about ‘finding your purpose’. The idea that you have to ‘find’ something assumes that it is missing. That thought suggests that you will find something external that will make you happy. How would you feel if I said, “You already know exactly what you are supposed to do with your life?”

The purpose you seek is lying dormant just waiting to be awakened. You have a deep calling based on your unique gifts and skills. The only thing stopping you is your disconnect from your true spirit and unconscious desires. You need to look within to discover your true purpose and know how to be truly happy. First, you need to make a decision to be happy. Ask yourself, am I ready for happiness? Do I really want to be happy? Do I believe that happiness is possible? If not, then you may need to work on some of your limiting beliefs before trying to uncover your purpose and be happy. As you trust yourself more, the answers will become clearer. There is no need to panic or feel pressure. These answers will present themselves clearly as you become more open to your instincts and listening to your subconscious. To help you with this process, I have provided two exercises.

The first exercise is simple and not time consuming. Get a sheet of paper and draw a line down the centre to divide it into two columns. On the left write passions, and on the right opportunities. On the left make a list of all the things in life that bring you joy and that you love doing. If you could be anything, do anything or have anything what would you be, do or have? Don’t get side tracked by the “how.” The more expansive the list, the better. Most people don’t know what they are really passionate about. Allow yourself to dream with no limits, anything is possible. If you are stuck for ideas you can list anything you have ever been interested in, that you may have given up for lack of time or resources. These can be a great place for inspiration. On the right you can begin to brainstorm ideas of how you can live these passions each and every day. They can be small things such as going for a walk, reading a book, giving yourself relaxing time, or larger things such as get a new job, go for a holiday, learn a new language. Using this format will help you visualise ways to change your life immediately so you are being more true to your purpose.

Passion is the feeling you get when you think about something or someone you truly love. It’s what ‘turns you on’, what you would fight for, and what ‘gets you going’. It is your inspiration and excitement, and the thing that gets you out of bed every day. Passion is so important because it provides us with motivation to pursue our dreams. Everything is so much easier when you are chasing your passions and moving closer to the ‘real you’. It is not about what you ‘should’ do or what ‘should’ matter, your obligations or commitments to others. It is about being truly selfish, understanding your own needs and desires and putting yourself first. By putting yourself first, you will be in a better place to serve others, and provide for those you love. What’s more, you will feel better while doing it, immediately.

Another great way to discover your passion is to design your ideal day. Again, there are no limits and you need to be as detailed as possible. Using all of your senses helps communicate your wants to your unconscious mind. Close your eyes and visualise your ideal day. If this was your last day on earth, and you could have the perfect day, what does it look like? Who are you with? What are you doing? Where are you? Discover your whole day from the time you get up until you go to sleep. Remember to include all areas of your life, as discussed on my article about vision. Imagine the sights, smells, sounds, tastes and feelings all around you. Take some time to really absorb the wonderful feelings you experience, knowing everything is as it should be. When you are ready, you need to record these ideas, being as creative as possible, to provide an anchor to your unconscious. You may choose to write a description of your experience, draw, paint, or make a collage. Use a medium that you enjoy. This needs to be placed somewhere easily accessible, so you can view it every day, or at least pull it out for motivation and inspiration when challenges arise.

The final exercise can be the most challenging, and ultimately the most rewarding. You must be willing to trust your internal voice completely and wholly, and believe that it wants what is best for you. You must believe that you already know your purpose, and have all the resources within you to uncover it. Get a blank sheet of paper, write ‘what is my true purpose in life?’ and start brainstorming. This should take at least 20 minutes. The first answers will be what you have been conditioned to believe is important in life, or what rationality dictates, which is not necessarily true to you. When you get stuck and want to give up or take a break, or think ‘this is stupid’ – perfect! You’re nearly there. Keep persevering and you will have a breakthrough shortly. This is the moment where you are delving deeper into your subconscious to discover what really matters to you and you only. You will probably end up with over 100 sentences before you find the one that fits. The ‘false’ answers will feel like thoughts, the ‘true’ answer will feel like it has come from somewhere else entirely. When you finally have the answer, you should feel overwhelmed with emotion. You may want to cry, laugh, scream or sigh, or maybe all of these at once. That is perfectly normal. Here was my final answer: To live my life to the fullest, learning, laughing, living, and loving completely and wholly. Serving others and leaving the world a better place.

Now that you have a clear purpose, what are you going to do with that information? If you continue along the path you are currently on, where will you end up? Over the next few weeks I will continue to provide you with resources to assist you to implement changes in your life, to be happier and more fulfilled, as you move towards a truly happy life – a life of your own design.

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Being Grateful

If you want to be happy, be. ~ Leo Tolstoy

Before you read this post, I highly recommend watching this 10 minute video for inspiration… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXDMoiEkyuQ&feature=youtu.be

The most important way to change your life which is often highly undervalued, is to be grateful. Being grateful is a simple yet very effective way to stay positive, improving your focus and assisting you through trials and hurdles. It improves your vibrations using the law of attraction and helps you stay focused on your goals, as well as recognising how blessed you are and what you have already achieved.

The simplest way to be grateful is to make it part of your daily routine. Every day when you wake up and/or go to bed, think of something you are grateful for. It can be simple things like your home, the sun, loved ones, nail polish, your car, or related to an event that occurred that day. Especially if you have had a ‘bad day’, this is a great way to ‘look on the bright side’ and find a positive learning from the event or attitude that occurred that day. This releases tension and gives you a bright positive start and finish to every day. We cannot be unhappy when we are grateful.

You can also choose to keep a grateful journal or list. Write down a number of things you are grateful for, or add one thing every day. Review the list regularly to remind you how blessed you are and uplift your spirits. If you enjoy writing, you can keep a more detailed journal, describing one event or experience you are grateful for each day. You will inspire yourself to think of new things to be grateful for, or things you have forgotten that you are lucky to have or experience. This also acts as a valuable reminder of what you have already achieved so far in your lifetime or for the year, which will really help you when you review your goals.

If you do not like writing, you can keep a picture version of your grateful book. Get a large book (so you can fill it every day for a year, or you may choose to create a new one every month or quarter) and fill it with images such as photos, artwork, graphics or clippings from magazines. You can get really creative with this, so it is something you look forward to creating and looking at. It also then doubles as a hobby or meditation, as a time for reflection and serenity.

With all the technology available these days it is even easier to quickly be grateful every day. You can create an album or document on any mobile, tablet or computer, so your list or images are portable. This is great when you are having a tough day at work, to remind that things are not so bad. You can also use online platforms to make it even easier. Write a status update or tweet something you are grateful for every day. Or you can create a photo album on facebook, tumblr or flickr and add a new picture every day. I love doing this as it shares my gratitude with those around me, and is becoming very popular all over the internet with blogs, pages and websites entirely dedicated to gratitude. You can see what I’m grateful for on twitter @TheUltimate_You for inspiration.

By being positive about every experience you have this year, it will ultimately be your best year yet. Remember, if you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep – you are richer than 75% of the world. If you have money in the bank, your wallet and some spare change – you are among the top 8% of the worlds wealthy. If you woke up this morning with more health than illness – you are more blessed than the million people who will not survive this week. If you have never experienced the danger of battle, imprisonment, or the horrible pangs of hunger – you are luckier than 500 million people alive and suffering. If you can read this article – you are more fortunate than the 3 billion people in the world that cannot read at all.

What are you grateful for?

Blessed Be.

I am grateful for the beautiful images we can capture with digital photography

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Creating Vision Boards

Dedicate yourself to the good you deserve and desire for yourself. Give yourself peace of mind. You deserve to be happy. You deserve delight ~ Mark Victor Hansen

The best way to maintain focus on your goals and aspirations is to create a visual reminder. Vision boards have become very popular in recent times, thanks to ‘The Secret’ and other great resources that have brought the world of personal development to the forefront of the media. It is important to have a clear vision to align with your purpose and your goals, so you can monitor your success. A vision board is a simple way of highlighting the most important elements for you. Make sure you display your vision board in a prominent place, so you can be reminded of your dreams every day. This is especially important when you meet obstacles and challenges on your path, to keep you motivated and remind you of the rewards if you persevere.

There are many different styles of vision boards, and you can search the internet to see other examples. The most important aspects are to focus on what you want to create for yourself in each area of your life. This can be done using pictures, images, photographs and words. Each vision board should be unique to the individual, to reflect their desires and personal creative style. It is helpful to have a clear idea of your goals, or at least your vision before you start collecting images and phrases. If you are unclear on what you want in some areas of your life, then searching for pictures may help provide you some guidance and inspiration. For more ideas on getting clear on your vision, see my other articles.

The traditional type of vision board is a collage of pictures and words on a large piece of cardboard. A3 is usually the best size to use, so you can clearly see each element, and the board as a whole. Start by looking through magazines or photographs for pictures, words and phrases that represent your goals and dreams. Dare to dream big, don’t sell yourself short, as you’ll be amazed what is possible with focus and determination. If you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, you can also use the internet to print off pictures, or draw your own. Don’t worry about how many you have, just try to build a large range to begin with, to cover each area of your life. I like to sort my pictures into categories such as health, relationships, finance, career, physical environment, personal development, friends & family and recreation. Make a big pile of the words and images you have for each area. I also usually use a checklist of my overall goals to make sure they all have representation. Once you have collected enough, arrange them on the cardboard (without gluing) until you are happy with the result. They can be arranged in any number of ways, including overlapping, columns, circles, layering, random, mapping, or any combination of these. Again, use a method that is aesthetically pleasing to you, since you’ll be looking at your artwork every day. Be as creative as possible, the energy you put in will be reflected in the final product.

Alternatively, you can design a vision board on the computer, using a series of digital images and words. Again you can find these online, use your own personal photographs, or use design programs such as paint, wordart and clipart. I have used this method myself this year, as I am travelling a lot and don’t have one single location where I can place my vision board, and it would be difficult to transport around. When you are finished, you can print it out for the home or office, or set it as a background or screensaver on your computer, phone or tablet device. This way, my vision board is the first thing I look at every day, before I begin work. You can see my example at the bottom of this article.

Another option is to create a vision journal. You can use a small exercise book or a large sketch book. This helps with the portability of your vision, but don’t forget to take it out and look at it every day. The possibilities are endless with this style of vision board. You may like to create a different montage for each area of your life, or update your board every month or quarter, as your goals and dreams change, or you make progress towards achieving them. You can also create boards for both the home and office, or a mini version to carry in your wallet. You are limited only by your imagination.

I trust this article has been valuable to you, and would love to see/read about your own achievements with this exercise. If you have any questions/feedback for me, please comment at the bottom of this post.

I’m sure this will help make 2012 your best year yet!

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Win Books!

Like Good Reading Magazine on Facebook for your chance to win (don’t forget to email alesha@goodreadingmagazine.com.au and tell them I sent you).

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Good-Reading-Magazine/71884539076?sk=app_208195102528120&app_data=dlt

Bring a Friend Competition

During the month of February (1/02/12 – 29/02/12), we will be running ourBring a Friend competition to coincide with Free February. Bring over the most new fans during February for your chance to win our major prize valued at over $850!

How it works:

-To enter the competition, every new fan you recommend between Feb 1 to Feb 29 must like our Facebook page
-The fan that you bring over must email alesha@goodreadingmagazine.com.auand say who brought them over in order for them to count toward your daily tally
-The winner of the major prize is the person who brings over the most new fans during February. The lucky winner will be announced on 1/03/12
Any of our fans may participate
-There is no limit to the number of new fans that you can bring over each day

Best of luck to everyone!

 

Major prize listing

Bloomsbury:

One complete set of ‘Hive’ series by Mark Walden
http://www.bloomsburyanz.com/HIVE-7-Aftershock/Mark-Walden/books/details/9781408815649

Cosmos:

1 x free print & digital subscription
2 x COSMOS back issues (issue 42 and issue 41)
-Issue 42 & Issue 41
1 x COSMOS Elements Black T-Shirt
http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/


Hachette Children’s: 

‘How to Train your Dragon’ series by Cressida Cowell
http://www.hachettechildrens.com.au/9780340997178/

Hachette:

Past the Shallows by Favel Parrett

The End of The Wasp Season by Denise Mina

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher

Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy

A Private Affair by Lesley Lokko

The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht

Down the Darkest Road by Tami Hoag

Dark Matter by Michelle Paver

The Villa Girls by Nicky Pellegrino

The Scottish Prisoner by Dianna Gabaldon

http://www.hachette.com.au/books/

National Library of Australia: 

Australia’s Wild Weather by Mark Tredinnick
Wolfgang Sievers by Ennis Helen
http://bookshop.nla.gov.au/discount-books/home.do;jsessionid=5B57F50ECFD82F33D4447C29CC3EB0BA
Pantera Press:

‘Rowland Sinclair’ trilogy by Sulari Gentill
http://www.panterapress.com.au/shop/product/3/a-few-right-thinking-men

Text Publishing: 

1x Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea by Morgan Callan Rogers
1x Ruby Blues by Jessica Rudd
1x The Sisters by Nancy Jensen
http://textpublishing.com.au/books-and-authors

Total value: $890.00

 

 

Please send your postage details to alesha@goodreadingmagazine.com.au

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FREE Self help resources – final days!!!

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So, if you have found yourself going round in circles time and time again just trying to improve things in your life, but find yourself getting nowhere fast, then I’m pleased to tell you that it is now easily within your reach to change things during 2012.

HOWEVER, just like anything in life there is a downside here – BUT don’t panic because if you act fast you won’t miss out.

The Self Improvement Gifts Giveaway 6 hosted by Stephanie Mulac, Carolyn Hansen and Dr. Joe Rubino will only be open for a VERY LIMITED TIME… only a few weeks in fact!

So if you are serious about making 2012 the BEST year ever, then you need to jump on board as soon as the event opens on the 5th of January.

Don’t delay because the doors close for good a few weeks later.

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* The Law of Attraction Key – Kristen Howe
* Create Your Own Self Improvements Products – Keith Purkiss
* Brain Maximization Package – Alvin Huang
* And Much Much More!

If you are ready to start the year off right, which I’m sure you are, and tackle EVERYTHING that is holding you back from moving forward in life, or if you just want to change things because you are looking for a sense of inner peace, then you need to go here RIGHT NOW:

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You know, this is the 6th Self Improvement Gifts Giveaway event and each year it just gets BIGGER and BETTER!

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Before you go I just have one question for you…

Now that you know about this potentially life changing giveaway, are you going to make the most of the opportunity, or are you going to sit back and let 2012 be a repeat of 2011?

The choice is yours, but I know what I’m going to do and that is FIGHT BACK and live life the way I want to….Are you with me?

Hope to see you there 🙂

http://selfimprovementgifts6.com/go/25126

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Creating Your Vision

There is a life-affirming spark within you which constantly nudges you towards saying yes to life. Create your “yes” list; a list of all the things you want to say “yes” to, and be prepared to be amazed.
~ Author Unknown

The first rule of creating your ideal life is to start with the end in mind. Like a ship floating in the sea, it can only reach its destination, if it has a captain to guide it, or else it will float aimlessly on an undetermined path. Your unconscious needs a clear direction to attract what you really want in life. This also ensures that your goals and plans are aligned with the bigger picture, making obstacles seem smaller and providing motivation when you are challenged. Your vision needs to incorporate all areas of your life, to provide an overall balanced view. People are generally very good at listing all the things they don’t want, but find it more challenging to picture what they really do want. Moving towards a goal is much better than moving away from things we don’t want as positive energy is a greater motivator. People often significantly overestimate what can be achieved in a short time, and significantly underestimate what can be achieved over a longer period, such as five years.

I like to use an exercise called ‘The Wheel of Life’ to determine my vision to encompass all areas of my life. On a piece of paper, draw a large circle then divide it into eight quadrants (or you can use the worksheet I have prepared at the bottom of this post). Label each quadrant with Fun & Recreation, Career, Health, Personal Development, Friends & Family, Physical Environment, Finance, and Romance/Significant other. Rate each area out of 10 for how satisfied you are in that area of your life right now. Be completely honest, as you are only cheating yourself by being unrealistic. When you have rated out of 10, draw a line to represent the rating. Eg a rating of 2 would be a line close to the centre of the circle, whereas 10 would be on the outer circumference. This will give you an overview of which areas may need more immediate focus to balance your life. Like a real wheel, it will be a bumpy ride if each segment of the wheel is not evenly balanced. This creates the rollercoaster of ups and downs in your life. You will often find that while you are achieving great things in one area of your life, like career, you are neglecting other areas such as your health or romantic life, which leads to overall unhappiness, even while you appear outwardly successful. You need to balance your energy, time and achievements across all areas of your life to become truly happy, and experience less negative moments in your life.

Example 1

Now for each area decide, “In five years time, if my life was exactly how I wanted it to be, what would it look like? What would I experience, and with whom?” Be as detailed as possible, as it will give you a clear outcome, and creates a vision for you to meditate on, to motivate you when times are challenging. Don’t worry about restrictions and what you think is possible, this is your ultimate life, and once you start taking small steps to change and setting goals, you will be amazed at what you can achieve. Write each in present tense, as if you are living it now. E.g. Health – I enjoy walking for one hour every day, and play sport with my friends every week. I eat a balanced, healthy diet, enjoying cooking meals of substance. I am full of vibrant energy, and look and feel amazing! Take these eight visions for each area of your life, and combine them into a single vision statement. Remember, you do not need to include every aspect from every area, just those that are most important to you. My current five year vision is “I am enjoying travelling the world, meeting new people and having amazing experiences in other countries. I walk every day to experience the culture of the unique places I visit. I am helping others achieve their dreams, living a rich and fulfilling life. I feel happy, healthy and loved with my entire being.”

Make sure you write your vision down in its entirety, and review it every few months to ensure it still describes your overall outlook for a fantastic life. Place a copy somewhere you will see it frequently, to remind you why it is worthwhile making changes in your life, and what you are going to achieve.

Wheel of Life Worksheet

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