Do you want to have a purposeful life, or do you want to want to live an empty and predictable existence?
If you said "yes" to the first question, this is what you need to do: You need to have goals.
A life without purpose or direction isn’t much of a life at all. The only thing in this world that’s more important than having goals is finding the courage and determination to pursue them.
You should always have multiple goals to pursue at any given time, but you shouldn’t be afraid to change them if you think that's what they need.
It makes sense that our purpose changes in accord with our maturity. The more we learn about the world around us -- and the world inside us, for that matter -- the more our beliefs change.
But we shouldn’t be TOO eager to give up on what matters most. To a certain extent, you need to be stubborn.
People will try to change your mind. If you dream big enough and your goals are worth achieving, people will get jealous and call you unrealistic, overly hopeful and bound for failure. That’s the way it always was and always will be.
But you need to remain stubborn. And, weirdly, the most important part of standing your ground is this: You need to be flexible about how you'll go about achieving your goals.
Because if you can be stubborn with your goals and flexible with your methods, you can take on an army (sometimes literally).
It takes time to develop worthwhile goals.
Too often, people’s goals center around objects.
And these sorts of goals never last. Or, if they do last, and we achieve them, we move on to the next desired object pretty quickly. We're fickle creatures; our preferences change with the seasons.
Today, you might want to be a football player. Tomorrow, your dream is to be a scientist. The week after, your goal is to be the world’s greatest DJ. And around and around we go -- until we find our reason for existing, our purpose.
We pursue different goals on an endless quest to find our purpose. That's the reason we bounce from one goal to the next.
Purpose and passion will always be in the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. We may convince ourselves that other goals will satisfy us, but they won't. The only thing that will make you complete is having a purpose.
And it takes time to figure out what exactly your purpose is.
Once you anticipate the direction your life is heading, you need to figure out your goals.
You need to start somewhere. We’d all like to start at the finish line, but that would defeat the purpose.
Your first goal(s) should be stepping stones on your way to fulfilling your purpose. They should allow you to figure out whether the path you're on is right for you.
You’ll face difficulties, and you'll certainly struggle. But overcoming these hurdles will give you the confidence you need to continue. Not struggling means not moving forward. And if you don't move forward, you can't become the person you were meant to be.
Others will try to tear you down. They won’t support you. They may even laugh at you. They’ll judge you, talk behind your back and smile as they watch you having a hard time. They’ll tell you that they told you so each and every time you fail (and fail you will).
But you need to be stubborn, focused and relentless. You need to ignore these people. You need to ignore their mockery. Ignore their mean words. Ignore their opinions, because everyone has an opinion about how everyone else should be living his or her life.
As times change, your methods may need to change, too.
Sometimes your methods no longer work. Sometimes there's a more efficient way of achieving your goals.
You need to be flexible. You need to be ready to catch opportunities.
Sometimes life throws hardship our way. We consider letting go of our dreams and living an "easy" life. But an easy life is not what you want. You think you do, but that’s just because you’re tired of struggling. You’re tired of failing. You’re tired of not reaching the destination you've had in mind all this time.
Well, you’re not alone. Everyone hits this wall sooner or later. The people who figure out a new route are the ones who fulfill their dreams.
If you’re not flexible about your methods, you’re going to give up. You’re going to quit. And there’s really nothing worse than giving up and living to regret it.