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Find Your Purpose

I read a story last night about a young man trying to find his purpose in life. Although he enjoyed helping, he didn’t work want to work with his parents in their nursery. He would come home from school, work in their business, but felt unsatisfied. He climbed mountains. He explored caves. He dabbled in archaeology. But none of those things satisfied and inner longing that he couldn’t put a handle on. Finally, he discovered his real dream in researching hidden meanings in ancient texts.rat race

Story reminded me that we all have a purpose and until we find that purpose and begin to work in it, there will always be something empty in us. I believe we each have a purpose in life, and when we find it and work towards it, we will have fulfillment in life. The difficult part for many is figuring out what that this is.

A few tips to help you along the path include, knowing your values, your skills, your talents, your experiences, your desires, then putting them all together to discover your purpose. Let’s take a quick look at each of these and see how they fit into that discovery.

You have a few values that you hold very dear. These are the things you give your life for. The things that are uncompromised. If you say integrity is one of your values but are dishonest with others then integrity is not truly one of your core values. But the few things that you hold most precious to you, those are your values. Those are the things you would give your life before you change. Perhaps at your faith, your family, maybe your job. But those few things are sacrosanct.

Skills and talents may seem ordinary to you. The combination of things you do well are unique to you. There is something that you do that few do as well as you. What are those things? What the things for which you receive compliments? What are the things people stand back and let you do because you do them so well? What knowledge do you have that many around you do not have?

Sprinkle in your experiences. There are things you have done and things you have seen that made you what you are today. What are those unique combinations of experiences that you can point to and say, this change my life or that impacted how I think and act? What events have shaped your personality and your character traits? These experiences help you discover your purpose.

Finally, what are your desires? What do you dream of doing? If money were no object, and you could do something for the next 300 years, what would it be? What makes your eyes light up in the morning and drive you out of bed to get after? Your desires are linked to your passions, and whatever you’re passionate about you’ll do well.

All these things together help you determine your purpose in life. There are tools and techniques to assist you in this journey. If you’re struggling to find purpose, give me a call today.


Everyone has a uniform, some just don’t recognize it.

As you’ve noticed, I’ve taken a short hiatus from writing on this blog post for the last several months. Partly because of health, partly because of other interests, partly because I got a little lazy on this one while continuing to populate a daily devotional on richardagee.com.

Nevertheless, it’s time to get back to sharing thoughts about career planning, life planning, and how to gain margin in your life. So here we go…

Over the next several weeks, I’ll be finishing up an e-book or workbook (I’m not sure which yet, maybe both) that I think will benefit those leaving the service in particular, but anyone in general. Those of us who were told what to wear every day for years don’t quite understand that every job in the civilian sector carries similar requirements. I quickly found when I walked out the door of Army service, I faced a uniform requirement at my next place of business. But it was up to me to figure out the uniform instead of being told what the uniform of the day would entail.

Uniforms in the work place

Every day in the business I entered as a consultant, my bosses and my clients expected me to wear a coat and tie. Friday’s were dress down days with a sport coat and no tie… unless, of course, I had an appointment with a client. Then, it was coat and tie anyway. No one told me the uniform, but it took me about two seconds to look around the office and find everyone in the same outfit. Colors came in navy, charcoal gray, and black, but everyone looked about the same. The radicals wore colored or striped shirts!

soldiertocivil


 It would take showing up once or twice without a coat and I would find myself looking for another job. That’s just the way it was. Those of you in those kinds of jobs know exactly what I’m talking about. Some of you wear polo shirts or button shirts to work, maybe you ladies wear slacks and matching tops or suits, but you’ll probably agree that every company out there has a uniform to adhere to. From formal wear to shorts and tee-shirts, every industry and every company keeps its employees to a certain dress standard.

The same holds true of other company policies and procedures. Just as the military has its rules and regulations, every company has theirs. Sometimes, they come in formal bound tomes of required reading, exams to make sure you understand them, and refresher training to ensure everyone knows the ‘right’ way, the company way, to do things. Sometimes, it’s the boss telling you what she wants as an end product, but in the telling she gives a little advice on the boundaries of how to get the job done.

More similarities than differences

Things inside and outside the military have more similarities than differences when each step is broken down into its individual parts and each examined from a business perspective of getting to the end-state desired by the owners. People get hired and paid to accomplish individual tasks that together serve to accomplish the goals of the entity, whether business, non-profit, or government.

I find much more commonality that difference in the way things run, especially since the services now operate with all volunteer forces. Every member of every service chooses to serve, just as in every company of every industry, employees choose to serve. We might at times think our job traps us, but in truth, we all have the choice to leave and do something else. Most of us don’t have the desire or courage to do so, however. Or lack the confidence and understanding of how to make it without the current job we’re in and so we stay, unhappy with out plight, but afraid to do anything about it.

Also in a few weeks, I will start experimenting with podcasting from the perspective of finding a life coach, helping others find purpose and passion in their life, and balancing life to really live a happier and more fulfilling life.

If you have topics of interest you’d like to hear about, send them to me at richard@ageesconsulting.com and I’ll see about putting the topics into future blogs or podcasts. Stay tuned for more information in the near future.

Richard


Reduce your stress with good hobbies

What are your hobbies?

We can’t do much about some of the stresses in our life. We may not have the ability to change jobs at the moment or change our boss, but we can do things that reduce the effect of the stresses. One such action is the adoption of healthy hobbies hobbiesthat you enjoy.

Hobbies can take on any shape and size as long as they remain fun, challenging, and remove you from the thoughts of everyday stress. A laundry list of possible hobbies is impossible, but some common ones include reading, sewing, running, flying model planes, other model building, bird watching, … The list is endless and what may be a job for someone else, may be a hobby for you. The key is in the attitude and mindset you have toward the activities.

Hobbies take your mind off of the unpleasant stresses in life and give you a short reprieve while engaged in them. They let you reset your attitude and relax with something you enjoy. Hobbies change the course of the day and let you release the toxic emotions that build in stressful situations. Use them to do just that.

One important caution with hobbies. Don’t let them become income generators or income drains. Hobbies, too, must be kept in balance or they can begin to add to your stress. Inexpensive hobbies about, take advantage of those. If you do have a hobby that is expensive, set aside a given amount of money you will devote to it and stop at that point. Don’t let finances become another point of stress because of your hobbies.

The second point, don’t let them become income generators means don’t let your hobby become your primary source of income. It’s okay to make a few dollars here and there from your hobby, but when it becomes your primary income, it is no longer a hobby, it is a job. When that happens, the thing you used to release the stress in your life, suddenly becomes another source of stress because now you HAVE to get things done to make an income. Keep your hobby as a hobby unless you can replace it with something just as enjoyable.

You’ll never stop the stress in your life, but you can change your attitude and responses toward it. Pick up a hobby and enjoy a few minutes a day to just relax in what you like to do best.

Richard


Stress Relief by Using Square Breathing

The company goes through yet another downsizing and your job might be one of them. The cost of food and gas climbs. The kids need shoes for school. The mortgage is past due. The older kids called to tell you they’re moving back home because they can’t find a job. The doctor left an urgent message to call back. The everyday pressures of life can get overwhelming if you don’t have a plan and practice to deal with them.

Regardless the source of stress, we know it can be damaging to both your mental and physical health. Everyone needs a way to blow off the steam that everyday activities create in the pressure cooker world we live in. Keeping the stress levels on high for too long will make you blow your gaskets in more ways than one. So how do we handle stress effectively?

For some people, the answer to stress relief is their hobby. They may head to the golf course and whack golf balls until the pressure of the day disappears. Some choose painting or reading or a million other distracters to help take away the tension and run down feeling that overwhelming stress brings. Often people try to just live through it and hope relief will come soon. Perhaps its just getting away from the object that brings on the stress is the right answer for some.

The bad news is that stress will continue to be part of everyone’s life. We can’t get away from it. Some things will always set us on edge because of the realities of life. The good news is that there are ways to handle stress with some relatively simple techniques. The generator for stress may not change, but the way you handle the situation, event, person, or whatever causes the stress can make a world of difference in your mental and physical outcome.

One easy way to reduce the effects of stress in the moment is to use “square breathing.” Square breathing is a simple means of clearing your head, relaxing the body, and finding some relief from the events of the moment. Here’s the technique you can try for yourself. Breathe in slowly counting to four. Hold that breath counting to four. Breathe out counting to four. Hold your exhale for another count of four. Then repeat the process four or five times.

By concentrating on slowing your breathing down just a little, focusing on your breathing instead of the immediate problem, and getting increased oxygen into your brain, you can ease the tension you’re feeling in the moment. It won’t change the situation. It won’t be a cure-all. But it can help you in a crisis moment and help reduce the immediate stress reaction.

If you want to learn more about stress relief, coping skills, and resilience, call me at (210) 854-3978.

Richard

 

 


Frustrated with Work? Find Your Life Purpose

frustationAre you frustrated with your job? Can’t stand to do the same old thing another day?

If that describes you, it might not be the job that bothers you, but the way you look at the job and the world around you. I’m not saying that every job is perfect and you should stay in your current position for the rest of your life, but sometimes we lose sight of why we took the job in the first place. We get so wrapped up in the hum-drum every day cycle of routine actions that we forget what the tasks are about.

That’s the importance of discovering your life purpose. Knowing why you are you and understanding your purpose can bring enjoyment to almost every situation.

Finish two sentences to make a huge difference in how you view everything around you. First, my life purpose is (fill in the blank). Second, I fulfill my purpose by (fill in the blank).

You will be amazed at the variety of things you can do and where you can do them to fulfill your life purpose. You will probably find that you can fulfill at least part of your life purpose in the position you hold right now. Can you fulfill your purpose better in another position? Maybe, but first look at how you can live out your purpose just by taking a different view of how and why you work where you do. Something pulled you there in the first place. Something enticed you to seek out and accept the position.

Discover your purpose and you look at life in a new way. Find why you exist and you’ll begin to work through every avenue of life with your purpose in mind. Fulfilling your purpose brings joy to the most mundane tasks when you know your direction in life is not dictated by others, but a mission unique to you.

So how do you discover your life purpose and create plans to fulfill it? Pour all your skills, talents, desires, experiences, and even your weaknesses together in a pile. Top with your values and the legacy you want to leave. It won’t take long before your life purpose comes out of the mix.

Need some help with discovering your life purpose? Give me a call today for a free session.

Richard
210.854.3978