Living With Purpose Is Good For Your Spiritual Health

Today we look at spiritual health or wellness and the affect living with purpose has on it. Makes no difference which spirituality or religion you follow.

We live in a very diverse society and as a result, some folks will have different beliefs than others. Even within faiths, there are vast differences in beliefs.

believer with purpose

In the end, living with purpose and intention has shown to be beneficial, no matter what your belief.

Having a purpose is a primal human need. We want to feel needed and we need to know that we’re making a difference.

This leaves us feeling fulfilled, happy, and complete. That’s why living with purpose is so important and why it is good for your spiritual health.

The Need To Be Needed
We enjoy it when others need us. We’re prone to sadness and loneliness when we can’t help those around us and make a difference in their lives.

Having a purpose and living with purpose allows us to do that on a regular basis. It fulfills the need to be needed.

The Need To Find Meaning In Life
Another common human desire or need is to find meaning in life. We don’t like to feel like we’re wasting our time here.

Living with purpose gives meaning to each day. That, in turn, makes us feel happier and more fulfilled.

The Need To Have Hope
At the end of the day, even when things seem bad, we need to have hope. Having a purpose means we have a plan and we have something to strive towards.

That’s hope in action.

It is hope that we’ll make a difference. It’s hope that things we’ll make our situation better. And it is hope that we can get ourselves out of the hole we may find ourselves in.

The Need For Values
We also need sound values to live a happy and fulfilled life. Our values are like a compass that guides us along the way.

If you’re a parent, you know how important it is to impart strong values on your children. Without them, they feel lost and insecure.

That can add a lot of stress and unhappiness.

We’re no different as adults. Living our life with purpose by default provides us with a strong set of values to live by.

people with purpose

Living with purpose is good for the mind and spirit. It allows you to live a more fulfilling and happier life and make a difference in the world.

JohnK 6-18-2017
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When You Have A Purpose: You’re Taking Action And Aren’t Afraid Of Failure

racing with purposeWhen you start thinking about and then living with purpose something wonderful happens.

You start taking action.

You start doing things instead of second guessing yourself and procrastinating. You get off the couch and get going on the things you’ve always wanted to do.
 
 
Taking action becomes so much easier when you have a clear purpose. You have an outcome in mind and you know exactly what the next step is that you need to take.

What’s more important, you have big motivation to get it done.

Let’s look at weight loss as an example. You can try to lose some weight and get into shape for months and even years with little success.

Sure, you eat a little better. And you go for a walk every now and then. But because you don’t have an actual purpose, you don’t get far.

Now and then you’ll give in to the urge to snack, get a second helping, or indulge in a cookie. There’s no big reason to get serious about losing weight and there’s no deadline.

a bride with purposeNow let’s pretend for a moment. You’re getting married in nine months and you’ve got to look fantastic on your big day.

You have a dress or suit size in mind and a pretty good idea of how many pounds you have to lose by your wedding day. Bingo! You have a purpose, a goal, and a deadline.
 
 

That’s exactly what it takes to get serious about losing weight.

You start taking massive action. You clean up your diet, cut out the sugar and processed food.

You start working out to tone and reshape your body as you start to drop those pounds. You read up on and learn as much as you can about nutrition and the latest trends in diet and exercise.

The result? You start shedding the pounds. And you’re looking better and better the closer you get to your non-negotiable deadline.
 

That’s the power of putting a purpose into action. It spurs you on and motivates you to do things and make changes.

Having a purpose also keeps you from procrastinating out of a false fear of failure. Does that mean you won’t fail? Of course not.

You may not hit your weight loss goal. And you may cheat and have a doughnut along the way. That’s not the point.                                                                                         success sign with purpose

Even with the occasional stumble, your purpose keeps fueling your progress. You pick yourself up and get right back to it.

Purpose is motivating you.

Not taking action because you think you may fail is no longer an option.

And that’s a pretty big deal.  

 

JohnK 6-17-2017

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Image for overheard and purposeOverheard: “If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of”

                            ~ Bruce Lee 

 

 

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Creating Purposeful And Meaningful Relationships

 

Relationships are a big part of living a more intentional and purpose-driven life.people in reationship

We are social creatures and we need other people around us to feel happy and complete.

That means creating purposeful and meaningful relationships with family, friends, coworkers, and acquaintances.

All relationships are important. But the ones that will have the biggest impact on your own personal life are family and close friends.

That’s your starting point. These are the people who mean the most to you and often the ones you spend a lot of your time with.

Work relationships are also important, they don’t have to be quite as deep and meaningful. As long as you communicate well with your coworkers and boss for example and you get along o.k., you’re good to go.

The stakes go up with your best friend, your spouse, or your grandma. Working to make those relationships more meaningful relationship can have a huge impact.

Be Intentional In Your Relationships
Your starting point in the process is taking a look at where you are right now. and then figuring out where you would like to be.

Do you want a more intimate relationship with your spouse? Do you want to be closer with your kids and have them open up to you? Do you want to have a more relaxed relationship with your book club friends?

Answer those questions and you’re closer to more purposeful and intentional interaction.

Don’t Like Something? Change It
Most relationships aren’t perfect. Some are downright awful. While we can’t change people, we can change our relationship with them.

talking about relationshipsSometimes that means setting boundaries. Sometimes, that may even mean cutting people out of our lives. Most of the time though, it means having open and honest conversations.

Work with the other person to come up with something that works well for both of you. Compromise and put in the effort to improve the relationship the two of you have for the better.

Good Relationships Take Work
Last but not least, I want you to realize that any close relationship takes work. It’s the same for marriage, relationships with your kids, or staying close to your best friend.

If you get lazy and start taking these ties for granted, they’ll wither and die. Don’t let that happen.

Instead, put in the work.

Get up early. Go for a run with your husband. Spend time talking to your kids over dinner instead of plopping down in front of the TV. And make time to hang out with your friends.

Be intentional about your relationships. Do your part to make sure they stay meaningful and strong.

Yes, it takes time and effort, but it’s well worth it.

 

JohnK 6-16-2017

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The Big Benefits Of Traveling The World

Let’s talk about something fun today – traveling the world. Or at least making an effort to travel more and further than you are now.

Not only is it a lot of fun, it’s also good for you and can help you live a more purpose- driven life. Of course if one of your big goals is to travel more and see as much of the world as you can, this is a no-brainer.

schedule for traveling

Traveling may not be one of your ambitions right now. You may be quite comfortable staying in your little corner of the world. But give some thought to exploring the option of travel.

We live in a very global and interconnected world. First-hand experience will help you understand this. Which brings us to the first big benefit of traveling the world…

Experience New Cultures
World travel brings you into contact with a whole range of different people. This results in a greater knowledge of different cultures.

It’s fun to try new food. Or go shopping in a very different atmosphere and looking at very different products. You can take a crack at conversation in a foreign language.

All the while you’ll soak up the fact that you’re doing some very common things in not so common ways. And there’s so much to learn from those experiences.

Become More Open Minded
These experiences help you become more open minded. You realize that there is more than one way to do things in most all areas of life.

Chances are you’ll look at cooking, parenting, and even the rhythm of life in very different ways.

And this is only the start. You’ll come across all sorts of new ideas that challenge the way you’ve been thinking about things.

That’s a good thing because it gives you the opportunity to rethink how you’re doing things. You’ll become more intentional and purposeful in what you do.

Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
The thought of all this may make you a bit uncomfortable. This is a good thing.

Traveling gets you out of your comfort zone. It’s a perfect remedy if you’re stuck in a rut or need some fresh inspiration.

When we stay in our comfort zone, it’s hard to grow and it’s hard to change how we live our lives. Stepping out of that zone to travel and do things that are new, uncomfortable, and challenging is how we grow.

Even if traveling isn’t big on your “to-do” list right now, make it a priority anyway.

Here’s a suggestion. If actual world travel isn’t an option for you right now, do a bit of armchair traveling. You can begin learning more about a country including its culture and language.  

 

JohnK 6-15-2017

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Image for overheard and travelingOverheard: “We do not remember days, we remember moments.

                   ~Cesare Pavese

 

 

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Never Stop Learning: It’s Part of Finding Your Purpose

Boy learning to drawAs children, learning is an important part of our lives. We continue on as young adults through college and learning on the job. But by the time we hit our thirties, many of us stop learning on a regular basis.

We may pick up something new here or there, or learn a new piece of software or equipment at work. For the most part, we’re convinced that we’ve acquired all the knowledge we need in life.

In some ways that’s true. But there’s also wisdom in lifelong learning.

Does this mean that you should go back to school as an adult? That’s one option. But formal education in a school or university setting isn’t the only way we learn. There are lots of advantages to self-learning in a variety of ways.

Lifelong learning keeps your mind strong. It helps you stay up-to-date on technology in a fast paced and ever-changing world. And it improves the quality of your life.

Independent or self-paced learning can take a lot of different forms.

learning to search for purposeYou might decide to read up on a particular course through a variety of Google searches. You can teach yourself a new skill through online articles and YouTube videos.

Listening to audio books is one option. Formal lectures like those available at the “Great Courses” website are another. And of course, there are plenty of online and local courses you can take on all sorts of topics.

Take a workshop, learn a new language, or find a new hobby that requires new skills. There is an almost unlimited amount of knowledge out there that you can learn.

Learning is wonderful because it keeps us curious and our mind active. There’s a lot of pride and confidence that comes out of mastering a new skill or figuring out a tough problem.

Think of learning as a way to exercise your mind. Continued learning helps us understand the world around us, and the people in it better. That, in turn, will make us more compassionate and of course well-informed individuals.

What’s more, self-paced learning is a great way to practice self-motivation. That’s a skill that will come in handy throughout life.

making a learning planThink about what you’re doing already that is part of life-long learning. What are some things you would like to learn?

Start making a short list of knowledge and skill goals and then start tackling them one a time. Could be you’ve always wanted to learn how to knit, or you’re interested in medieval history. Are you interested in building your own computer, or learning how to operate a lathe?

Make a plan and start making life-long learning a habit.

JohnK 6-14-2017

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Embrace Your Hobbies And Interests

Over the past few days, we’ve taken a look at how we spend our time, what we spend it on and what may be sucking time away from us.

In other words, we started to be more intentional with how we spend our time and what we spend it on. That leaves quite a few hours each week open to new things.

sight seeing hobbies

We’re no longer watching mindless TV shows. Or letting social media draw us in. We have time to do the things we convinced ourselves we didn’t have time for.

Today I want to encourage you to embrace your hobbies and interests. Do you remember having all afternoon, weekends, and school holidays to do what you loved to do?

Without the obligations of adulthood, it’s easy to enjoy a hobby or explore other interests. Adult responsibilities seem to make it tougher to find time for those interests.

We often let go of the things we enjoy doing the most. It’s time to take back that joy and pick up those hobbies and interests again …or even find something new to try.

Hobbies are an important part of living with purpose. They give balance to our lives and allow us to spend some much needed time on something we enjoy.

They help us de-stress and are fun. For example, if you work in front of a computer all day, it can be tough to see the fruits of your labor.

You work hard, but at the end of the day, you don’t see anything that shows what you’ve accomplished. To balance this, consider a hobby like gardening, sewing, knitting, or woodworking.

Spend an hour in the evening on your favorite hobby and you can actually see, feel, and touch the progress you’ve made.

Hobbies can also help us unwind and let go of all the stress and anxiety that has built up over the workday. This, in turn, is good for our health and mental well-being.

picture of painting hobbies

Think about relaxing hobbies like playing music, crafting, painting, or gardening. Those tend to help us sleep better and feel refreshed in the waking hours.

Hobbies also give us a chance to connect with other like-minded individuals. There are classes, groups, clubs, and even guilds for all sorts of different things.

Or you can go your own way and form your own group. Find a few other cycling enthusiasts and organize group rides on the weekends. Start a monthly book club for a chance to discuss your favorite works of fiction with other readers.

Embrace your hobbies and interests and make them part of your everyday life again.

 

JohnK 6-13-2017

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Image for overheard and hobbiesOverheard:  “Notice when your heart leaps up in joyous exuberance…In these moments the voice of your spirit is speaking directly to you.

                                   – Justine Willis Toms

 

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How Much Time Are You Spending On Facebook?

In our last post, we looked at the time lost vegging out in front of the TV or computer.

clock and i phone time killersToday, we tackle another big time thief – social media. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an amazing tool, but it can also be quite distracting.

This is true for Facebook, Pinterest, Tumbler, Instagram. Or the social media platform of your choice.

 
 
The biggest problem with social media is that it’s everywhere. We check in from our computers, tablet, and of course the ever-present smartphone.

We get alerts, we check in when we’re bored, or have a couple of minutes to kill. Before we know it, thirty minutes or more have gone by that we’re not getting back.

Here’s an eye-opening exercise for you. Carry a pen and paper around with you. Use a click counter or an app on your phone and start keeping track of how many times you access social media per day.

Include any and all devices you use and add to the running total even when you’re looking at it “for a second.” It’s a good bet you’ll be a bit shocked by how high that number actually is.

This is one distraction that isn’t usually caught by the time log we talked about in an earlier post. The social media interactions are that quick and frequent.

And no matter how brief your stay on each platform, it all starts to add up and distract you from other things.

How often does Facebook commenting cause you to miss part of a conversation or a funparents time with kids moment with your kids?

Or re-tweeting something, or pinning a fun craft idea that you likely won’t get around to trying?

Is it worth missing all those important little moments in life? Imagine how removing the constant distractions from social media could help you. You would have so much more time and mental energy.

We want to live with intention and do things with purpose. We don’t want to let social media posts tarnish that vision.

I’m not saying that there isn’t a time to use social media, far from it. They’re wonderful tools and great ways to connect with people.

But the downside is that they are so addictive. Don’t believe me?

Here’s another exercise for you. Commit to not using social media at all for 48 hours. Turn off or ignore the alerts on your phone and don’t allow yourself to go to the sites on your computer.

woman thinking timeHow does that feel? Do you miss it? Does it make you nervous or anxious?

It’s time for us to take control over social media instead of letting it control us. What can you change starting today to make that happen?
 
 
 

JohnK 6-12-2017

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Let’s Talk About TV And The Like

Here are some scary questions for you.

How much time do you spend each week consuming mindless TV shows? Or surfing the internet, and playing video games and such?

doll on TV

If you’re anything like the average American it’s a lot more than you’d like to admit or even think possible.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s fun to sit down and watch your favorite TV show or hang out and game. When it’s intentional and this is how you choose to spend your time, go for it and enjoy.

It only becomes problematic when you lose track of time. Before you know it you’ve wasted three hours later and you have no idea how that happened.

That’s when TVs, gaming consoles, laptops, tablets and the likes become time suckers.

Why is this a problem? Because time is the only true limited resource we’re working with. If push comes to shove, you can find a way to get more of everything else, be it money, friends, or something easy like bread.

But time, we can’t get back and we don’t get more of. There’s no way to earn a few extra hours. We all work with 24 of them per day.

Since the hours are finite we want wisdom and intention to guide us in using them.

Today’s challenge is simple. Become aware of how these types of entertainment are sucking up a lot of your time.

When you come home from work stop and think. Are you best served by plopping down on the couch and drifting off until it’s time to go to bed?

Is this how you want to spend your time? If so, go ahead. If there’s something else you want to try, go for it.

In other words start making conscious choices about your free time.

two friends talk TV

You could change your habit pattern. First, go for a walk. Or get together with a friend at your favorite meeting spot before settling in the for the night.

Have a quiet moment by reading a book. Or have a conversation with your spouse and/or children.

You might dust off the old board games for some old-fashioned interactive family fun. Pick what makes the most sense to you. Find something purposeful to do with all those extra hours in your day.

Dad and son talk TV

It’s amazing how much free time you have once you stop wasting it. You’ll find there’s time for that new hobby you thought you couldn’t get around to. There’s time to work in exercise and still not miss your favorite movie.

Bring intention and purpose your hours. You’ll find they’re less likely to slip through your fingers. And that can have a profound effect on your life and your well-being.
 

JohnK 6-11-2017

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Image for overheard and TVOverheard:  “The internet is so big, so powerful and pointless that for some people it is a complete substitute for life.”

                    ~ Andrew Brown

 

 

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Going From Existing To Truly Living Life

stranded boat lifeWe all get stuck in a rut sometimes. We go through the motions and have the days roll by without much fun or excitement. We’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing without questioning things or changing them.

 
 

 
We’re all guilty of this at some point or another. We get into a comfortable routine and are afraid to step outside of our comfort zone and try something new.

 

It seems safe and secure. But the result is a life of mere existence rather than a life that’s lived to the fullest.

 

How do we move from watching our days go by to creating a meaningful life we can be proud of? The answers lie in intention and purpose.

 

Step in, take control and figure out what you want your life to be. Sounds pretty easy, doesn’t it?

  

In this case, it’s simple, but not quite easy.

 

If it was, there’d be no reason to bring you this 30-day challenge. And there wouldn’t be so many bestselling books written on the topic.

 

woman fearing lifeThe biggest problem is that we rationalize. We’re very good at coming up with excuses about why we can’t do what we actually would like to do.

 

We come up with the excuses because they keep us safe. They keep us from trying new things and taking risks. They keep us from having to deal with possible disappointment.

 

Of course, you have dreams for your life. But you feel you’re too shy. Or you’re embarrassed because you’re overweight. Or you have red hair. Or you have pimples. The list is endless.

 

The difference between existing and living is in the DOING! Who cares if you’re a little out of shape and overweight?

  

Who cares if you’re doing something by yourself? It may be that your friends don’t have the same interests?

  

Who cares if everyone around you has an opinion about what you’re doing. Do it anyway.

 

Learn to feel good about yourself, gain some confidence, love yourself. And do the things you love.
 
Stop existing and start living your life to the fullest. You’ll see it’s well worth the risk.

 

surfer enjoying lifeOne way to move past your fears is to step out of your comfort zone. Ask yourself “What’s the worst that could happen?”
 
Often the worst scenario you can imagine isn’t near as scary as the unknown. This one little exercise may be enough to convince you to give the things you’ve always wanted to do a try.

 
  

Challenge yourself. Pick one thing, one activity, anything. Do it this week. Do it today if you can. Take action and take charge of your life and your purpose.
 
JohnK 6-10-2017
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Do You Know What’s Sucking Up Your Time?

                                                                                                                   clock showing time
We live in hectic times and our most precious commodity is and always
will be time.
 
You can’t grow more of it and when it’s gone you can’t get it back.
 
How often do you tell yourself that you can’t do what you want to do because you don’t have the time?
We all do it.

 

We see time as scarce. We want to spend more quality time with our family and friends. We want to volunteer. But we say there isn’t enough time.
 
The cold hard truth is that there is plenty of time. It’s a matter of prioritizing what you spend it on and cutting out some of the things that suck up your time.

 

This is true for most everyone. And while circumstances may be different for all, the solution is the same for everyone.

 

Find out where you spend your time and then make educated decisions on what’s important and what isn’t. One of the best tools for figuring out exactly where you’re spending your time is a time journal.
 
You can use a simple notebook. Or a scrap of paper. The Evernote doc on your phone or a computer spreadsheet.

 

Next start writing done what you’re doing every 15 minutes from the time you get up to the time you go to sleep. Keep this up for about a week and see what you come up with. Reviewing your time log can be an eye opening experience.
 
You may discover that you spent a lot more time on the computer doing busy work, or surfing the web than you realize. Or you had no idea that you spent an average of four hours a night watching TV or 2 hours per day commuting to and from work.

 

journal of spent time
 
In other words, you’ll start to recognize patterns of behavior and where you tend to spend your time.

 

Granted, there are many areas where we have little control. We have to show up for work or school. We make time for personal hygiene and restful sleep.

 

But we’re still left with a good number of hours we can fill in any way we like.

 

Keeping a time log for a day or two helps in making educated and conscious choices about how to spend that time. That, in turn, allows you to live with purpose, no matter what your goals and aspirations are.
 
Sometimes, you want to sleep in, spend the day reading or playing video games, or even daydreaming and that’s o.k. It’s a great way to unwind, distress, and recharge. On other days, you may choose to do so something more active or social.

 

The point is that awareness of how and where you’re spending your time gives you more control. And you’ll be more intentional in how you spend that time.

 

 
JohnK 6-9-2017

 

 
 
Image for overheard and timeOverheard: “Life is a one time offer. Use it well.”

                        ~ Anonymous