I find that in life, fitness, and nutrition, most people don’t know where they are going, why they are going there or if they even really care.
This creates an attitude of anxiety, frustration, and futility.
Most people seem to find themselves getting up, going to work, working too hard and not knowing why. They end up frustrated and burned out because they’re on a treadmill with a short carrot on a stick in front of them, but they aren’t even sure if they even like carrots at all.
Many more seem to be unhappy at work, but don’t want to explore their unhappiness, what would make them happy or what they should be doing instead. (Quick side note: Even though a lot of people don’t love their jobs, they do seek a purpose and something to work at. So, just up and quitting to lay on the couch isn’t going to solve the problem).
Still more seem to lack purpose or desire in fitness and nutrition. They seem to know they should go to the gym and eat well, but they don’t necessarily know why. They might have some vague idea that they want to be fitter and healthier, but they don’t know what that means for them.
All of these scenarios lead to a brutal sense of futility. After all, all of the above require effort, create stress and discomfort, yet there is no sense of purpose to it all. How can you get to where you’re going if you don’t know where you’re going.
Add in some fast-paced, run-run-run, hustle harder attitude, mixed with an inundation of seemingly countless people living the Instagram life of perfection and happiness, and it’s no wonder we live in a world filled with anxiety and depression.
We perhaps live in the greatest era of humanity. Despite all the negative things you see on the news or spread by your gloom and doom friends on social media, things are really fucking good. Contrast to generations past, life is pretty damn easy. You would literally have to try to starve to death, if you get sick you get to go to some of the finest, most advanced medical practitioners in the world, all the information in the world is accessible via a device in your pocket, you hardly even have to walk anymore if you don’t want to, etc, etc.
While this is all well and good, this time of excess and general ease of life leaves us humans with a strange conundrum. With all of our basic human needs taken care of, we actually have to seek our purpose to continue to get up in the morning.
So what is yours? Do you know?
If you don’t, that’s ok. It’s better to know that you don’t know than to assume that you do, when in fact you do not. In addition, it’s not a requirement that you know exactly, but the more clear you can get, the better. Lastly, if you change your mind, it’s not the end of the world. You don’t know until you start heading that direction.
Ok, so let’s say you don’t know. What do you do?
Honestly, I think that one of the most powerful things I’ve ever done in my life is creating a vision board. A vision board can be done 1000’s of different ways, but in my case, it was a physical board, with cutouts or printouts of all of the things that I thought I wanted in my life. These can be material things, metaphysical things, emotional things, family things, work things, whatever. Hell, you can even put a vision board on your vision board.
What kind of car do you want to drive? Do you care? If it seems out of reach, it’s not. It just might take a while. But if you sincerely want to drive a Lamborghini, and you want it bad enough, you’ll figure out a way to do it.
What kind of house do you want?
What kind of job do you want?
But putting these things out there, you’ll start to have your destinations and carrots in front of you.
You’ll begin to understand where you want to go and what it takes to get there.
There are a few complications to this. One is that you probably won’t have all the answers. That’s just fine. This will be a work in progress, evolving and moving over time. Things will come down, move around and new things will go up.
Another is that you won’t be able to just Amazon Prime everything in your new life. It may take the rest of your life. But if you are diligent and continue to head in that direction, and you slowly start to realize all the things that you’ve posted, your success will breed more success, and you will start to understand that in fact, this is the most incredible time to be alive and that if you really want it, you can seek it out and realize it.
Try it. I promise that it will give you purpose and planning in your life. You will understand why you get up and go to work in the morning (or don’t). When things get tough, you’ll know that it will all be worth it (or maybe it’s not).
The worst thing we can do as humans is lose our sense of purpose. Seek to create and understand yours.