Are you "Living" ON PURPOSE?

August 2, 2015

 

In a previous discussion, we explored the definition of "Living" verses "being alive".

We defined it as, "Being in a state of constant motion, experiencing nature, approaching each moment with excitement energy, burning and glowing, flowing with the every changing tide of your circumstances." I call this "Living Every Moment" and the only way to accomplish this is to do it

"on purpose".

 

As we continue to explore the notion of Living, I would like to pose a question.

Are you Living ON PURPOSE

 

You'll notice I always type a capital L when I write the word Living. That is because I want

to emphasize the difference between the common word, and my definition as explained in the previous article. To "Live" (big L) is to truly experience life.

To "live" (small l) is to simply be alive.

So, I'll ask you again, Are you Living ON PURPOSE?

 

There is a simple test I like to use with people to find out.

I call it simply; "The 5 questions of Living". If you answer them honestly, we will know.

 

The 5 questions of Living

1. Did I eat a diet of food I love AND that is healthy for me, last week?

2. Did I engage in my favorite recreational activity last week and work at a job I love?

3. Did I spend quality, uninterrupted, unplugged (no phone/computer), focused time with my favorite person last week?

4. Did I give of my time, my intellect or my money to a person or cause I believe in, last week?

5. Did I express my creativity last week?

 

If you can answer yes to all 5 questions, then you are truly LIVING.

If not, then you are missing one or more of the 5 basic Human Needs.

When you are missing one or more of these, your life can not be in balance.

In order to experience truly Living, you must have balance.

 

 

Psychologist Abraham Maslow created what we call 'Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs'.

It is a theory of psychological health predicated on fulfilling innate human needs in priority, culminating in self-actualization. According to this theory, there are 5 areas (some of which overlap) in which a person needs fulfillment to lead a rich, full, balanced live, thus creating the possibility for true happiness. Below is Maslow's diagram of the Hierarchy Hierarchy of Needs.

You can directly relate The 5 Questions of Living to Maslow's chart.

1. Did I eat a diet of food I love AND that is healthy for me, last week?

Question 1 deals with Maslow's first need, the physiological. For me, I found this begins with your diet. I don't mean to lose weight, I mean good tasting, healthy food that makes your body look and feel great, increases your quality of sleep, thus quality the time your awake. This includes everything from your mental faculties to your labido. This is the first step in Living Every Moment and it can NOT be skipped. Don't even try the rest until you discipline yourself to do this.

It took me years to figure this out. Most of it was simple portion control. Example: I LOVE shrimp. More specifically I love bacon wrapped, bar-b-q sauce marinated, fire grilled shrimp. Mmmmm.

I could eat 20 or 30 of those babies every night for dinner. But whoa! That would just be too much of a good thing. So instead, I will put together a nice fresh salad with mixed veggies and a light sauce, 2 Shrimp Kabob's with my custom bacon/wrapped shrimp and other veggies like red and yellow peppers (very healthy), and a couple pieces of chicken for protein. Now all of the sudden,

I am still eating an AMAZING tasting meal, but in smaller portions. After 18 months of this mindset, I lost 57 lbs and am at my 21 year old weight and have been for 5 years now.

That is LIVING.

 

2. Did I engage in my favorite recreational activity last week and work at a job I love?

Question 2 deals with Maslow's second need, safety. There are many kinds of safety from physical to psychological. Physical safety is a given for happiness to exist, I would like to focus on the psychological, the need to make sure that your mind is "safe" and healthy. This is accomplished by a balance of taking time for yourself to enjoy personal recreation, and being productive at work you love. You must do BOTH and you MUST balance them. One without the other, will promote mental instability and make you incapable of total happiness (or Living Every Moment). You'll notice I mention recreation first and work you love, second. The reason for this is that we are brought up to believe "we all have to work, but only the lucky people get to play golf during the week, or get a massage, or have time to run/jog/bike/swim, etc...". Well, I'm here to tell you that is a load of crap!

Every single person who desires to really Live, can choose to have these things by utilizing discipline and time prioritization. And until you accept that these two things are a MUST and you force them into your life, you can not move up the triangle and learn to Live Every Moment. The concept of utilizing self discipline and time prioritization is something I call "Figuring It Out" and it is a whole book unto itself. For now I'll instruct you to: Force organized recreational time into your schedule, (as serious as you would heart surgery), and Pursue work that you love. Don't settle for less. Discipline yourself to play often and work hard, and make sure that work is something that you are passionate about. 

That is LIVING.

 

3. Did I spend quality, uninterrupted, unplugged (no phone/computer), focused time with my favorite person last week?

Question 3 deals with Maslow's third need, love and belonging. This can be a romantic relationship, but does NOT need to be one. All relationships at any level; casual friends, best friends, acquaintances, business partners, business associates, romantic, and of course family, are all classified as "relationships". And believe it or not, they all require the same thing....focus.

In order to have productive, healthy relationships, you must focus on them. In order to have a healthy "you", you must have at least some, good relationships. Friendship is critical to a person having balance in their life. It is crucial to happiness, and many would say having at least two or three solid friendships is crucial to business success. Friendship allows you to live outside yourself. It allows you to experience a world other than the one in your mind. It forces you to be less self involved and more outwardly focused. Giving others your thought, time, effort, energy, and sometimes money, allows you to be part of the larger world. And the more you exist in and provide "Value" in that world, the more good things will come your way. This is called your personal Value Proposition. That however is another talk altogether.

For this article it is enough to say: Have 2-3 focused relationships and give time to them each week. It is critical to your overall health and happiness.

That is LIVING.

 

4. Did I give of my time, my intellect or my money to a person or cause I believe in, last week?

 Question 4 deals with Maslow's fourth need, self esteem. Now many people would write different methodology here, but I associate this particular need with "Giving." I have found in all the successes I've had in my life, from writing music, to performing onstage, from signing autographs to hearing my songs on the radio, from closing business deals to making money, NOTHING even comes close to the self-esteem builder of GIVING. Specifically, I refer to giving without expectation of personal return. As many of you know charity and philanthropy is where I spend most of my time now, and I will highly recommend these two forms of giving as extremely rewarding. However, giving can take any form and be an effective tool in your personal happiness as long as it is without any other expectation. For example, if you give of your time to help counsel a friend through a tough time, you will find you feel amazing. If you volunteer at your local charity of choice, it will launch your self esteem into the stratosphere. Conversely, if you partake in a charity event only to plan how your name will read on the plaque, how your pictures will look on Facebook and all the pats you get on the back from others, you'll find the feeling at the end of the day to be rather empty. This is because your rewards were all given already and they were given on your outside, not on your inside (where your self-esteem lives).

 

Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with public giving and using that public accolade to grow larger support for a cause. I do this frequently with my public foundation. However, the most personally enriching parts are always in private. Let me give you an example. I was once at a corporate event where I was able to address about 20,000 people and thank them for their support. After a thundering applause and literally 2 hours of photo opp's, hand shakes and accepting thank-you's for my work in hunger, I finally got out of the building and went to lunch. While at the restaurant a little girl maybe 9 years old, came up to me with a piece of crayon colored paper and a sucker. I asked her name and what the items were for. She said she'd heard me speak and had used my charity to help raise money for meals, so that hungry kids in her school could eat. She had drawn a picture of herself handing food to kids and wanted to give it and the sucker for me to say thank-you for creating the way for her to help. Wow! That one private interaction, impacted me more than 20,000 people shouting my praises. These moments of heartfelt impact are why I choose to live a life of giving. Not for the 20,000 people, but for the one child I was able to give a "self-esteem" building, community giving opportunity to. That made me feel amazing. My giving, without expectation of personal return, had returned to me more joy and feeling of self worth that a thousand business deals could have.

Did you "give" last week? If not, after reading this, how much better would you feel about yourself and your life if you had? That is LIVING.

 

5. Did I express my creativity last week?

Question 5 deals with Maslow's fifth and final need, self-actualization. This is the culminating of the previous 4 items, or "actualizing" these items in yourself (becoming the person you really want to be). There is a common misbelief that there are two parts to an individual:

1. who you want to be on the inside and

2. who you currently are on the outside.

But there is a third and most important, missing component here.

I like to call it "the third you". I got this term from a mentor of mine who helped me search for and find the me that I wanted to be. The Third You is the you, you can be, or can become.

 

So a more accurate statement would be to say there are 3 parts to each human being:

1. The Outside You. This is the one everyone sees on the outside; the person others think you are based on their interactions with you.

2. The Inside You. This is the person you think you are on the inside; the person you see yourself as. This person has opinions that you don't say out-loud, has beliefs you don't share with others, has desires you do not make public or maybe act on, and has dreams that you do not chase.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Before I explain The Third You, answer this question. Of 1 and 2, which one is the real you, 

the one people see everyday, or the one inside you...... ?

This is a very interesting question and the answer might surprise you.

Would it shock you to learn that 9 out of 10 people answer #2?

They say things like, "no one knows the real me, the real me inside is stronger, smarter, funnier, sexier etc.. than what people know".

 

Ok, here I go again, disagreeing with the masses.  THEY ARE WRONG. Are you ready for this?

The real you, is #1.  

(It is the one others see. It is the person that interacts with others)

Your thinking, "Whaaaat?" So your saying that the outside me is the real me and that who I am on the inside is not the real me? Isn't that like COMPLETELY backwards of how we're ALL brought up?"

 

Um.... Yess. That is EXACTLY what I am saying. You (and I), were brought up believing an ideal and not reality. Sooooo, how did I arrive at this completely "seemingly" backwards conclusion? Simple. Ask yourself this question:

If you died today, like right now, with no ability to "write a letter:, or "set things right with ppl" etc..., which legacy would be left? The one you lived outwardly and other people experianced, or the one that was in your head?

 

Hmmmmmm...  Ahhhh, you say.... Now you're starting to see what I'm saying.

People can't remember what was in your head, only what they experienced from you.

It's what you do that matters, not what you think that IS who you are and defines how you impact this world and those around you.  

hmm..... deep huh? Not really. We in the professional Self-Help world call this "common sense". 

(It's a little known, even less used secret concept) And yes, I majored in sarcasm. 

 

So now that we have established that, let's move to #3.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

3. The Third You. This is the one that eludes everyone. This is the person you can become.

If you are able to ask yourself the 5 questions, beginning with #1 and work your way into being able to answer yes to all of them, you have discovered​The Third You. 

The Third You does not have silent opinions, vague convictions, unfulfilled desires, or dreams left on the table. The Third You is both what others see on the outside AND what you are on the inside. The Third You is one person.

 

This is your goal. If you can self-actualize all 5 of the items in the diagram, then you will be truly Living a full, rewarding, impacting and enjoyable life, ON PURPOSE. 

Your Goal: Find The Third You, learn to LIVE life ON PURPOSE.

Action Items: 

1. Ask yourself the 5 Questions of LIVING each day.

2. Work on being able to answer one every day for 30 days, before moving on to the next.

This will give you time to master them and have them become natural, rather than temporary.

3. As you complete each item, move to the next level and achieve it for 30 days keeping the one before it. If you "fall off the wagon" on one, go back to that step and perfect it before moving on.

 

Finding The Third You and using these 5 questions daily is the key to learning to Live your life ON PURPOSE. I challenge you to try this. What have you got to lose? 150 days of deeper experiences? There is no downside here.

Find The Third You and learn to LIVE life ON PURPOSE.

 

 

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