Don’t Let Fate Write Your Life Story: How to Create a More Meaningful Life
If someone asked you today if you felt you had a meaningful life, what would you say?
Would you enthusiastically say YES? Or would you have to stop for a moment or two and think about it?
Most of us have spent at least some time in our lives evaluating that question.
Who wants to go through life feeling like a robot with no purpose or passion?
We want to feel valued and appreciated. Respected and loved. But, many today are struggling with this very question. They’re overwhelmed and confused.
Is Fate Writing Your Life Story?
Why? Well, it may be because they’re letting fate (or chance) write their life story.
They expect experiences to flow to them randomly or stay in a “wait and see” mode hoping that things will get better.
People often attribute tough circumstances to outside forces that they feel they have no control over.
It’s easy to fall back on fatalism and give up when things aren’t working out in our favor. The longer you embrace fatalism, though, the harder it is to point yourself in a new and better direction.
But, in truth, our life is not pre-determined. It’s not a road map with a set of guaranteed milestones.
We always have a choice. The part that throws many of us off is that we fail to recognize it or, by default, fail to act on it.
But, staying in victimhood doesn’t serve us.
Yes, there are many circumstances that we can’t control. Situations of abuse, unfair or disrespectful practices by others at work, accidents, natural disasters, and the list goes so on.
But, there are many circumstances that aren’t out of our control and we can always choose the way we deal with them.
Ready For a Different Story?
Are you ready for a different story ending?
To change your circumstances, the first step is to grab that pen out of Father Fates' hands and start taking ownership of what you want your life story to look like going forward.
Some of you will say “But, I’ve tried that before and it didn’t work!”
I’m not saying your life script is going to be a journey without challenges, because you’re going to have plenty of speedbumps and surprises along the way.
We can’t predict what outside forces will bring into our journey for more meaning, just as we can’t predict that flat tire that surprised us on the highway.
But, what we can do is employ tools to manage and neutralize those icky moments when they try to push us off track so we can rebound quickly and get back on track.
We’ve all taken paths only to find it was a dead-end. It might have left us unsure whether to keep trying or quit.
But a temporary setback doesn’t define you or your potential. Did you ever think that maybe the reason it didn’t work out was that that particular path may not have been the life mission you were put here on this earth to fulfill?
It takes time and careful thought to stop the merry-go-round of life, get out of the daily patterns and take a hard look at where you are and where you want to go.
Need some inspiration?
Follow Walt’s Example
When Walt Disney started to bring his vision of a magical world of entertainment, did you know that his attempts to find financing were rejected over 300 times by bankers who thought Disneyland was a "poor investment"?
Not only that, but his first animation company went bust and he was fired by an employer for (quote) ”lacking imagination”. Wow.
J.K. Rowling, the billionaire author of the Harry Potter book series was flat broke, freshly divorced, and had to write her first book on a manual typewriter. Twelve publishers rejected her manuscript until she finally found a publisher willing to take a chance on her.
However, even then, he encouraged her to get a day job because (quote) “there wasn’t much money in children’s books”. Bet he’s still kicking himself on that one.
The point is that if either one of them had given up when things were at their worst, think of the immense joy that would have been missed by them and the world.
Time to Dial in Your Focus
To have meaning in our lives requires unwavering focus, a willingness to change when change is warranted, then following through with a tenacity that almost borders on obsession.
It’s that passion that brings meaning not only to the person generating it, but it ripples out to everyone around them and inspires others to do the same.
Viktor Frankl, the famous psychiatrist, wrote a little book you might have heard about called A Man’s Search for Meaning about his experiences as a prisoner in the Nazi concentration camps during World War II.
Now, imagine the obstacles he faced in an environment like that? He could have very easily given up and many that surrounded him did.
But, he didn’t. Instead what he learned from those experiences was that people don’t derive the greatest experiences of life from pleasure. They derive it from feeling that they have meaning in their life.
If they can’t find meaning, they seek pleasure simply as a distraction.
3 Things You Need To Find Meaning
He felt that you needed three things to find meaning in your life:
1) A project you’re passionate about – something that gives you a reason to get up in the morning and find inspiration in.
2) A positive attitude that ultimately whatever you are experiencing will work out for the best and highest benefit to your life.
3) Being surrounded by a community of people that care and support you in your endeavors.
Even if that passion project involves painful experiences, Frankl still felt it was worth the discomfort if it gave you the meaning you were seeking.
I think he’s right. I’ve often said that my most painful lessons ended up providing my greatest insights and inspired me to do better and grow. They helped me appreciate what was most important and strive to bring more of it into my life.
What if you’re open to changing your life to get that sense of meaning, but you haven’t been able to find that one thing you can be passionate about?
Ditch What Hasn’t Worked For You
You might be looking for new answers, but doing it while trying to stick with the old processes that haven’t worked for you in the past.
If your life is stuck in a rut, you’ve got to get out of that rut by trying new things. You need new experiences and an open mindset to fresh ideas that you may not have considered possible in the past.
This is where you need to keep the eye on the prize because the potential rewards waiting for you far outweigh any possible, and temporary, learning curve you’re dreading.
Get out there and explore! There are plenty of amazing new ideas and opportunities being created every day.
It all starts with taking that pen back from fate, accepting ownership of what you want your life to look like, then bringing that story to life in your own way.
So, until next time, my friend, as I always say….stay safe, stay healthy and stay strong!
P.S. Have you tried and tried and still feel stuck finding that new path? Maybe you just need
a little help seeing the bigger picture! Schedule a coaching session with me by clicking here!