Taking Action and Living a Purpose Driven Life

It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.

~ Gandi

My Mom always used to say as I left for school in the morning; “Remember to make the very most of your day!” Now many years later, I see the value and the wisdom in what she was sharing with me. Each day we have here on earth is an opportunity to bring our true self forward and to discover who we are just below the surface. One of my favorite quotes by Mavis Leyrer reminds us of living a full, abundant and action-filled life, she says: “Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but to skid in sideways totally worn out, shouting “Wow, what a ride!”

With all the demands of modern living, it is imperative to set aside some time to work on your goals, otherwise many years can pass by without there being enough time for that special project you wanted to develop, or that trip you wanted to take, or the book you wanted to write. The list can be endless, so give yourself the gift of time and develop a healthy schedule which can allow you a bit of time during your day to start creating your dream, one small step at a time! If you feel called to take action and to learn to live your life with more enthusiasm and purpose then it may be time for you to change a habit, from procrastinating to learning how to take small daily steps in the direction of bringing your best-self forward. It may be time to leave the dirty laundry and dirty dishes for a while, and set aside time during the day to connect with your unique heartsong. Maybe it’s time to explore and create that which you long to share with the world. So if you have an unfinished project that you long to complete or a personal project that you have not made the time for, I hope that you will set aside a certain amount of time each day to begin writing that book, to clean out your closet, to spend some relaxing time scrap booking or time doing yoga or tai chi. It is important to set goals, to stay focused on priorities and develop self-discipline. It takes courage, motivation, and stamina to live a meaningful and purpose driven life.

Here are 10 simple, although not always easy, steps to take action and to help you move forward and create a life that you love:

  1. Set some time aside for daily self-reflection: This will help you to quiet your mind and to get in touch with your true essence away from all the mind-chatter. In this quiet time you can identify what important tasks you have left undone or what new creative projects you have procrastinated on. This can be a time to connect fully with what you long to do.
  2. Set a clear Intention: Decide clearly on a project. Over the years I have learned the value of setting clear intentions and focussing in on one single project or task. With focus and attention and setting a clear intention, often synchronicities occur that pull you towards your goal.
  3. Decide to Take Action: Constantly choose to take action. Identify what needs to be done and do it, and then decide on what your next step is. Deliberate action requires that you are present in the moment so that the actions you take support the choices you make. You cannot think your way to success; essentially you have to take action towards accomplishing a goal!
  4. Make an Appointment with Yourself: This can be very helpful, even if it is just 20 minutes set aside during the day. It is vital to honor your time, and with this conscious choice a deeper feeling of respect for your project and yourself can develop. Look forward to this time in the day where you can be free to express yourself. It is important to decide on when you are going to work on your project and then honor your appointment with yourself the same way that you would honor a dentist appointment or an appointment at the vet.
  5. Remain Flexible and Open: Life happens and some things are beyond your control. Learn to be gentle with yourself and don’t expect perfection from life or from yourself. Some days are definitely more challenging than others. Some days you will make substantial improvement and other days you will not. Know that it is ok to make mistakes, and that making mistakes is just part of the journey of being human.
  6. Take Small Consistent Steps: Whenever you feel outside your comfort zone or you feel overwhelmed or over-stressed remember that small consistent steps over a period of time can bring about satisfactory results. A small step in the right direction proves to be far more beneficial in the long run, as opposed to taking no steps at all due to feelings of overwhelm, anxiety or confusion. This is an effective way to handle stress while at the same time manage whatever needs doing.
  7. Learn to Co-exist with Uncomfortable feelings: When you feel drained, frustrated or weighed down, it is important to just show up. Taking a small step, even just sitting at your desk for 5 minutes and browsing through paperwork, can often spur one into taking action. Often, the uncomfortable feelings disappear and instead you are left with a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment after you have completed your task.
  8. Create Community: Connecting with like-minded people who share a similar vision and working together in harmony, offering encouragement, insights and ideas in a non-competitive way, is a very positive and uplifting experience. It is very helpful to learn and grow from other people’s input and experiences. A sense of community can help you to recognize that you are not alone in experiencing struggles, failures, accomplishments and victory along the way.
  9. Show Up: Just Show up! Repetition is very powerful, and with continually showing up for the appointments you set for yourself, you can form a new and healthier habit. When you can learn to go ahead and deal with fears and frustrations while at the same time taking constructive action, it will prove to be a very liberating experience.
  10. Have Fun: Don’t take yourself or life too seriously! Remember to enjoy the journey and not to get so focused on the destination that you forget to have fun, to laugh, to remain supple and flexible to life and to live with an open heart.

We cannot live a happy, abundant or fulfilling life without taking the necessary action that is required of us. We are indeed each one strand in the web of life, and by showing up and stepping up we can help ourselves and thereby help others in this beautiful, intricate dance of life.

Don’t think of results, just do.”

- Gurdjieff