Your best work is your expression of yourself.

Frank Gehry

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FINDING YOUR PURPOSE IN LIFE

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I believe that everyone’s end goal in life is the same — “ to find happiness” or “to be happy”.

In order to feel more fulfilled and find the path to sustainable happiness, we follow our passions and purpose. But what is your purpose in life? I believe this is the question we ask over and over within ourselves.

There are three ways in which you can achieve this ;

Through…

  • What you have
  • What you do
  • Who you are

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1. What You Have

As you need to live, certain basic needs need to be fulfilled first and foremost before you can find purposes from other things in life. Starting from food and shelter, money is the mean to buying the most basic things that you can’t live without.

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Sometimes though self-esteem is derived from material possessions. The purpose in life is then to become wealthy, to have beautiful things, and to be able to afford luxury. When your purpose in life is to based on what you have, your happiness comes from outside in, rather than inside out.

I have learned that this could be a tiring process. Once you have reached your purpose in life in material attainment, you find yourself struggling to stay happy. It is not sustainable. Surely comfort feels great, but it is mostly a state of mind.

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2. What You Do

Throughout our lives, we fit into different roles . Each comes with different responsibilities — from the role of a child, to a sibling, a student, a friend, an employee, a boss, a lover, and a parent; from the role of a student to an employee, a manager, a director — the list goes on and on.

And if you haven’t noticed….

At each stage of our life, we define our purpose in life based on the role we have, in which its responsibilities define how fulfilled we feel at the time.

Our ability to fulfil the role we partake the best we can becomes our purpose. Our inability to fulfil as such becomes our failure. These role-based purposes in life that change over time as we go through different stages in life affect how we feel — how happy we feel.

For example,

  • A child feels happy when a parent praises them — “Well done, son. I’m so proud of you.”
  • A student feels happy when they get a high score in their favourite subject.
  • An employee feels happy when they’ve have done a great job for the company and that the boss loves it.
  • A parent feels happy knowing that the family is well fed and well taken care of.
  • A sales manager feels happy when the team is doing a great job and has reached the target.
As you can see here, it is quite almost impossible to fulfil all of these different facets in life at the same time.

The secret to finding joy and happiness through one’s purpose in life is to have “What You Do” and “Who You Are” aligned.
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3. Who You Are

This comes down to the foundation of your being — your personality traits, your strengths and weaknesses, your core values, your perspective of the world, and your beliefs.

When your purpose in life is based on who you are … and who you are and what you do align, your happiness comes from inside out, rather outside in. This leads to a feeling of contentment.

A feeling of rich and emotionally fulfilled accomplishment is what you’d feel when you succeed in what you do — when what you do aligns with who you are.

Sometimes it is hard to discover and understand who you are. 

There are several ways in which you can start discovering your core values and your natural talents.

  • Look at your past experiences and the situations you’ve been in. When having to pick between two critical decisions in life, which path did you go with? The path your gut instinct tells you to choose normally reflects your core values.
  • Look at the people you dislike. Why do you dislike someone? What is it about him or her that you don’t like? What behaviours of theirs that you don’t like? Is it their work ethics? Is it their perspective of the world, their attitudes, or their beliefs?
  • Look at the people you like and admire. Why do you like someone? What is it about him or her that you like or admire? Is it their work ethic, their attitudes, their perspective of the world, and their beliefs? Is it their way of life? Is it their ambition, their aspiration, the way they work, or the way they think? Is it what they’ve done in the world, the “reason” behind why they do what they do?
  • What did you love doing as a child? What were your childhood hobbies? Were you good at drawing, painting, writing, musical instruments, sports? When you role played as a kid, what roles did you like playing as? A lot of the time, these relate to your natural talents - when you’re unrestricted by societal norm and let run free by the dream and imagination of a child. 
  • What do you love doing in general? Do you find joy in making sure things are organised? Do you like freedom? Do you hate or love schedule? Do you like talking to people you don’t know? Do you have or prefer to learn something that is methodological and systematic or abstract and conceptual? How do you describe the way you see and the way you think? 

Your gut instinct is your best friend in this. Trust your gut instinct.

If you’re stuck in discovering who you are, ask people around you - your close friends, your boss, your close colleagues, your partner, etc to describe you. 

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If you’re not happy with who you are, because you’re too pessimistic, lazy, unorganised, or selfish, then maybe your purpose in life becomes your aspiration. Your immediate goal is to first become who you want to be.

Bit by bit. One by one. Nothing is more satisfying than knowing that another month or year has gone by and we have become a better person. We are more in control of ourselves and our attitudes. We are able to find our passion, turn it into ‘what we do’ for a living, and marry it up with ‘who we are’ .

That is a purpose & passion driven life.

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Every human has four endowments - self-awareness, conscience, independent will, creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom - the power to choose, to respond, and to change.

Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

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THIS KID’S TED TALK WILL INSPIRE YOU!

SOO refreshing and inspiring to hear this. A kid like this makes me smile as I’m on the path to inspire more kids to adopt this kind of mindset and to live a purpose and passion driven life. 

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5 THINGS WE TOOK FOR GRANTED AS CHILDREN

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Moving out of home as we transition into adulthood is a wonderful thing. We gain independence, become self-reliant, and have the freedom to really discover who we are and what we want in life.

Sometimes we enjoy the independence of adulthood so much that we forget the things that make up who we are.

Being back in my hometown for a couple of months, I realise that there are things most of us took for granted as children.

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1. Mother’s Love

Ain’t nothing like the love of a mother. She cares you like no one else does. She loves you like no one else ever will. No matter how good or bad you are, for most of us, she will always forgive you and welcome you home.

A mother’s love is love of extreme sacrifices — when someone else’s well-being is above her own; when someone else’s pain stabs her heart with the knife; when someone else’s wrong doing causes her heartbreak and disappointment.

Sometimes we take for granted the love of our mothers — which is probably the only love that lasts until the day she dies. We used to yell. We used to argue. We used to lie. We used to rebel. We used to date the wrong boys and do stupid things just to give her headaches and painful adrenaline rushes. All of these did nothing but hurt her.

A mother shows her love through her actions, not her words. She proves to us that actions are the only things that truly count.

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2. Father’s Wisdom

Everyone grows up with different types of parents — some have cool, hipster parents; some have strict, conservative parents; some have free-spirited parents; some have parents as protective as a dog.

Regardless of what our parents are like in terms of personality traits and lifestyles, they always pass on something they learned to us.

From always reading documents before signing, to how to live life, how to do house chores, how to pick fruits, how to play sports, how to ride a bike, how to be patient and accept that we can’t always get the toys we want, how to laugh at ourselves when we trip over, and how to cry when it hurts and get back up again…

Without them as our mentors when we were young, we would have stumbled upon so many more errors in life. The preaches might seem like they’ve gone into one ear and right out through the other. But as we get older, those things they preached us start to turn into life’s golden wisdom. The skills they taught become valuable for a lifetime.

The mindset they planted into us is probably the most powerful thing one could inherit from parents. 

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3. Basic Needs Made Simple

Society turns things we don’t actually need in life into something we think we do. Society imposes on us the material-based definition of success and happiness. Over and over along with everything and everyone else feeling and doing the same thing, we try so hard to attain happiness and raise the bar of what we believe are our basic needs.

A simple home-cooked meal. A comfortable bed. A cosy living room. A Hug.

We had only these when we were kids, and we were happy. We were full. We were satisfied. We felt safe. It felt like home.

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4. Being in the ‘Now’ & Enjoying the Moment

Moving into adulthood, we are bombarded with so many responsibilities and tasks we have to prioritise. We took for granted the times when being in moment was easy; when mindfulness was unintentionally practiced; when we were in the present at all time.

When we were kids, all it took to make us happy was simply just to have the time to play (of course, toys were additional bonuses).

What truly made us happy was being allowed to run free, to talk, to laugh, to interact with another kid, to role play, to create, to draw, paint, write, to kick balls, and to let our imagination run wild.

Being in the ‘Now’ hasn’t been easy for adults. In fact, it is so hard that mindfulness has become such a new life concept that many people are trying to learn and practice every day. 

Sometimes it’s good to stop everything else in the world for a few days, a week, or a month, and start embracing your inner child. Let your mind run free. Engage in this on a regular basis.

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5. Being Free — Physically, Emotionally, and Mentally

We took for granted the times when we were completely free.

Free to try different things and change. Free to fail. Free to imagine and create. Free to run. Free of baggage and walls. Free of fear.

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Shall we go back and embrace the things in life we took for granted again? 

I think it’s time.

And actuallythe most valuable things in life are free.

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Be Yourself. Everyone else is already taken. 

Be Yourself. Everyone else is already taken. 

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Very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do. When I say WHY, I don’t mean to make money - that’s a result. By WHY I mean what is your purpose, cause or belief? WHY does your company exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care?

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HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN SOMETHING IS RIGHT?

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Do you know that moment when things just feel right - whether’s it’s a job, a friend, or a lover?

A lot of the time we try to justify things in our head. We interpret things to be the way we want them to be… to go the way we want them to go. Sometimes our head gets clouded by our heart, triggered by our emotions.

And every once in a blue moon, things just feel right - so damn right - that you wonder how it happens and if it could happen again over and over as if you’re trying to find the formula for it. 

1. You have no doubt.

Doubt occurs, more or less, on almost a constant basis. Very rarely you have no doubt - no doubt at all - in what you do. 

When you’ve found something that’s right for you, you have absolutely no doubt. You’re instantly and continuously in the flow. You move forward without hesitation and questions. You don’t need an affirmation from another person to assure you that what you’ve got going is right. You just know it.

Following your heart becomes easy. In fact, it becomes a natural process for you. Your eyes light up when you talk about that object. You smile when you think about it.

Whenever you’re free, that’s what you want to do. You feel sure, confident, and secure like never before. You’re not scared because there’s no doubt and fear that make you wonder ‘what if’ because there’s no ‘what if’.  

2. You are completely yourself and you feel happy.

There are several things we have to put up with in life - be it subjects we hate, colleagues we don’t get along with, or tasks we don’t enjoy doing.

But when you’ve found something that’s right for you, there’s no need to compromise. You enjoy every bit of it. The difficult tasks become a fun challenge.

You’re completely who you are, doing what you do, and you just feel happy. You feel content. It’s happiness from the inside out, not outside in. You feel like you’ve found your purpose in life. Your life now has a meaning. You feel rich - from within. 

3. You become more focused.

Being focused is hard. We all have a tendency to say ‘yes’ rather than ‘no’. But when you’ve found something that’s right for you, nothing else matters. That right thing has become your main focus without questions. Your heart says yes. Your mind says yes. Your body says yes.

You have never been happier saying no to other tempting distractions before because you know you have found the right one and you don’t want to waste time focusing on other things. 

You wake up thinking about that thing when you wake up. You can easily get into the zone without trying. You can read up on such topic for hours without feeling like it’s hard work. Focus becomes easier because you have found what’s right for you. Your intellect and emotion become in sync. Regardless of road bumps, life has never been more fulfilling. 

4. You look forward to every day.

Waking up to work every morning, hitting the snooze button over and over can be daunting - typing away in front of the screen, putting up with small talks while making yourself a cup of tea. When you’ve found something that’s right for you, there’s no question that you look forward to going to bed simply because you look forward to fast forwarding time to when you wake up and simply starting another exciting day. You feel excited. Your life is filled with euphoria.

You live life with your arms wide open and look forward to what life’s going to throw at you. You feel like you can’t live your life any other way.

Even struggles seem alright, because you know no matter what, you will find a way out because you simply love every day of your life and everything is going to be okay. 

5. You feel inspired.

When you’ve found something that’s right for you, you want to be better without force. You get this instant internal drive and motivation to become a better person, to do better work, and to achieve greater things. You feel inspired. 

You start seeing the world in a slightly different way. You start to be more curious and discover more things. You want to learn more and feel like you can’t get enough of this world.

It’s because you’ve found something that’s right for you that has opened the door to your heart to the world filled with inspiration and beauty.

You’re now restored with reasonable hope that injects you with a hint of creativity. Inspiration is a wonderful thing. And when you’re constantly inspired, life never feels the same again. 

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Just like what Steve Jobs said… 

"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.”

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Formula for Happiness-Filled Success :) 

Formula for Happiness-Filled Success :) 

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Thrive to realize your dreams, or somebody will pay you 9 to 5 to achieve theirs.

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Ideas are worthless until you get them out of your head to see what they can do.

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7 VALUABLE LIFE LESSONS FROM A FAILED RELATIONSHIP

We blame past failed relationships for emotional baggage that we have today —fear of heartbreak, wasted time, energy, and emotions. 

We all look at failure - be it in love or in business - as a negative thing. But if we turn the glass around and look at it from another perspective all these failures are essential and are the springboard to the success we have today.

Here are what you learn and why you should embrace them…

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1. You learn more about yourself and life.

Only when you get so close to someone in a serious relationship do your true personalities really come out. These personalities don’t come out as strongly with friends because you don’t spend as much time with them - and you don’t have emotional expectations as great as you would with a serious boyfriend or girlfriend.

This really makes you learn about life in terms of people, mannerism, personality traits, core values, and attitudes towards the world.

If you have a boyfriend or girlfriend who is very similar to you - what you learn about them is like a reflection of yourself that you wouldn’t normally realise on your own.

If your boyfriend or girlfriend and you are very different then the clashes and frustrations caused will also help you learn about yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, preferences, and compatibilities.

2. You learn to be a better communicator and to be more expressive.

Relationships teach you to be more expressive especially if you normally are not.

A relationship is made of two people - we are not mind readers. Unless you’re lucky to be dating someone whom you can see eye to eye with on most things, then you can sense what the other person is feeling or thinking. But even so, there are always things you need to communicate and explain so that the other person understands you better and you both can make it work.

A failed relationship teaches you that communication is key to understanding. And understanding is the key to life.

Without communication made clear and correctly understood by both sides, arguments and agitation are likely to occur. Over and over this results in one or both parties feeling like they are not being valued, appreciated, or cared for  —  even though sometimes it’s unintentional.

3. You discover the emotional side of yourself.

Being in a relationship and letting someone into your life takes courage and strength.

Letting yourself become emotionally vulnerable can make you feel so weak that you become strong.

It’s hard to really discover and understand who we are  —  our passions, our strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, the way we think, and our own beliefs and core values  -  let alone discovering the emotional side of ourselves.

When we’re in a relationship, we become so vulnerable emotionally that we realise what makes us feel whole, what completes us emotionally, and what fulfils our self-esteem and self-confidence from the inside out.

What kind of love makes you feel loved?
Everyone has a different definition and expression for love.
And if two people with different definitions and ways of expression for love come together, they can feel unfulfilled because there’s always something lost in translation between the two.

Some people show love through giving and receiving material things. To some, love equates security. Some crave affection.

Whatever love means to you, you’d only discover what it is that makes you feel loved from a partner by being in a relationship. And if you’re lucky, you only have to go through one. But for most of us, it takes several relationships to discover one that fits us most perfectly.

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4. You learn the value of giving and taking.

Compromising can mean a lot of work especially for people growing up independently. To some, it’s second to nature especially if you grow up in a big and close-knit family.

There is chemistry — and there is compatibility.

The two don’t always come together equally.

  • If the chemistry is higher than the compatibility level then there’s a lot of compromise — from the way you look at the world and understand things, what you believe in, to taste in music, food, and lifestyle choices.
  • If the compatibility is higher than the chemistry, then there’s a lack of passion and boredom occurs.

In a relationship you learn the value and the art of give-and-take. We as humans are selfish and it takes willpower to be able to give and take when the level of difference and incompatibility is high.

When it’s too much to handle you realise that this whole give-and-take thing is coming to an end. It’s not going to work. The compromise cannot be compromised anymore.

5. You become more empathetic.

When you love someone, their happiness affects yours — you want the person to also be happy.

Without realising you start putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. You become less selfish. You try to understand him or her. You try to make it work. You become more empathetic.

Having not previously been in a few relationships you would not know what it feels like to care for someone so much (besides family) that you try to understand them, rather than satisfying your own needs…

To feel the emotional intensity of transferable happiness.

When a relationship fails it’s when empathy becomes too much to handle. You no longer try to understand the other person. No longer does your own happiness increase when the other person’s level of happiness increases. You might feel as if the emotional and mental compromise for your partner’s happiness is starting to kill you. But nonetheless this has taught you a valuable emotional lesson. You’ve learned what it feels like to really have your happiness correlated to the other person’s happiness.

6. You learn to be patient, calm, and resilient.

Relationships also teach you to be able to control your emotions in a better way.

  • If your partner is hot-tempered you learn to become calm, patient, and resilient in order to handle the flame.
  • If you are hot-tempered yourself then you learn to control your emotions and to pause before telling your partner off, yelling at him/her, or becoming abusive and aggressive.

Either way, the time spent in a failed relationship was not wasted. You’ve learned to control your temper, mood, and emotions — which is indeed a valuable skill to master in life.

7. You learn to let go.

I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.

Marilyn Monroe has said this beautifully.

In life, you can have it all in life but “not all at once”. You have to let one thing go to let a better thing come in. You can’t dwell on the past if you want to work on the present and move towards the future.

When things don’t feel right, let it go so that better things can fall into place.

Learning to let go is hard — you learn to control your thoughts, your mind, your emotions, and your actions. Over and over your mind is trained and your willpower is strong. You can let things go more easily as time comes because you’ve learned The Trick to Manipulate Your Own Mind.

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If you’re blaming on past relationships for your emotional baggage - don’t - because the time spent on a failed relationship was not time wasted.

You’ve learned some valuable skills in life from every failure.

Take it in - Connect the dots - And move on.

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