In this smartphone coaching series, learn how to pair your iPhone with simple success principles and create a better life. This is Part 5 in the series. To start at the beginning, click here.
We have now come to the last piece of the puzzle for living a good life. In previous posts we have discussed your health (physical and mental) and your relationships. The last piece for a good life is to have a meaningful purpose—something that you enjoy doing.
What is Meant by Having a Meaningful Purpose?
It means filling your days with something that gives you joy. This could be a hobby or something related to work. Since we spend so much of our waking hours working, this post will relate to your career.
In an ideal world we would all work only with our passions and strengths and let someone else do all the rest. This is challenging in reality, so the goal should be to increase the percentage of meaningful work every year. If you are in the corporate world it may be especially difficult as someone else might decide your tasks.
If in the long run you only want to spend your time using your passions and strengths, the entrepreneurial road is your best bet. If you don’t have any dreams of starting your own company, I would recommend that you seek out organizations that will do their best to let you work with your strengths and passions.
Identify Your Strengths and Passions
This process is not easy and will take some time. Think back in your life of your major achievements. List these achievements in the note section of your phone. Reflect on this for some time. Contemplate what strength of yours was behind the achievement. This is the internal work. The external work is to ask your friends and family. Take out your iPhone and send this message to at least three people: "Hey friend, my smartphone coach is asking me to identify my strengths. In your opinion, what do you think my top 3–5 strengths are?" Send this to people who are close to you and who you trust. Include at least one colleague that you have worked with before.
Compare this with your own list.
Next will be to identify your passions. I am a big fan of mind maps, so for this exercise I recommend you download the app mindnode ($9.99). Get familiar with this app so you can use it quickly before you do this exercise. In the center, write "I am happiest when I…" then write down all the things that come up first. Again, think back to times in your life when you where the happiest. What were you doing? Look for patterns. This now becomes your list of passions.
Next, use mindnode to also list your strengths from previous exercise. Save these mindmaps on your phone. Review them often and add or take away when you feel you need to. Knowing your strengths and passions is crucial if you want to live a happy life.
Putting Your Strengths and Passions to Work
When you have your strengths and passions clear, you will want to set up your life so you can spend most of your time working in those areas. This can be a long process. If you like working for someone else, think of a career that would be suitable. Then try to identify the best companies that will let you work with your strengths and passions. Make it a goal to become part of this organization.
If you are entrepreneurial, you need to identify a business model where you can utilize your strengths and passions and make money on it.
When you know your strengths and passions and you have identified your goal, you need to remind yourself of this goal to keep you on track. For this, I recommend an app called Grafio ($6.99).
With this app you can easy play with your pictures and add text or anything else you think is suitable. Find a suitable picture that relates to your goal. Put it into Grafio and write some nice text on top of it. Save it on your phone and review it often.
- To live a good life you need good health; good relationships with yourself, your family, and your friends; and something meaningful to fill your days with.
- The first step to finding a meaningful purpose is to identify your strengths and passions. The next step is to set up your life so that you spend most of your time working in these areas.
- Use your iPhone to keep you on track.
Image: flickr, Luis D. Santos