The holiday season is full of joy, family and fun, but the whirlwind of activity can be exhausting. By the time the New Year rolls around it seems like our wheels are already in motion and we’re struggling to catch up.
Slowing things down at the start of the year can actually help us increase productivity, find purpose and fast-track progress towards lasting happiness.
Putting Focus on Purpose Before Everything Else
The presents and gifts that gave us such happiness during the holidays often lose their luster soon after the season has passed. Once the object of desire is acquired our goal has been met. If we quickly move on to the next thing we want to attain we don’t have time to enjoy what we already possess.
This conundrum of attainment and achievement is discussed in The ONE Thing. When an emphasis is put on acquiring material things rather than engaging with the people and things around you, happiness is fleeting. And without purpose when does a person ever have enough?
Having for the sake of having and getting for the sake of getting doesn’t create happiness. When we clip along at a fast pace it’s easy to miss the big picture and the purpose behind our actions. Purpose is the driving force behind fulfillment and lasting happiness. Having a sense of purpose is so powerful, research from Carleton University suggests it can add years to your life.
Finding direction in your life instead of moving along aimlessly will make everything that is attained along the way more meaningful. But first you have to step off the carousel so you can plot a course for moving forward.
Taking the Time to Take Stock of What Really Matters in the Coming Year
Before getting sidetracked by a growing to do list for 2016, pencil in time to find your purpose. This ONE Thing will dramatically transform how you move forward in the next 12 months and well beyond. It will determine your priorities, give you direction and provide that first euphoric feeling of fulfillment.
Finding your goals for life is much easier than you may imagine. In Japan, where life expectancy is longest, this is called ikigai or “reason for being”. It comes by identifying three things:
- What you are working toward
- Who you are working for
- Why you are working
These three things reveal what matters most to you and what needs to happen on your purposeful path. Getting hung up on where you are now will keep you from getting to where you really want to be. Therefore it’s not enough to think about what your purpose is for life. Once you’ve taken the time to figure out the three points above, it’s time to take action.
The good news is that purpose provides clear direction, which leads to quicker decision-making and better outcomes on the first go-around.
You’ll find that purpose comes in many forms. For some people career and financial areas of life immediately come to mind, but various factors feed into purpose. Other areas – spiritual life, personal life, physical health and key relationships – are all part of the big picture. You may even identify purpose, your ONE Thing, in each area of life.
Before you get too entrenched in 2016 and bogged down by the now, ask yourself the Focusing Question to take the first step down a more purposeful path.
Are you already on a purposeful path? Share your big picture with us on Facebook!