This is a guest post by Emily Lock from Emilythedodo
Another day, another dollar.
Is that all your life has to offer?
A purpose-driven life, enriched with interest and opportunities, is within your grasp. If you're drifting through life and you need more help to identify your purpose, try this Purpose Quiz. Or do you know what you want to achieve, and you keep trying, but somehow you don't feel that you're making any progress towards success?
Perhaps one of these 5 mistakes is holding you back from your real purpose:
1. Thinking That Money = Success
Finally, you've got there. You're sitting on a luxury yacht, looking out at the shimmering blue sea, sipping a frosted drink and deciding what to spend your money on next. But it's not a vacation - it's the rest of your life.
Or is that really success? How long could you sit on that yacht before you wanted to do something else?
You long for success. But success is an abstract concept. You may not have a clear idea of how to achieve it - or even what form that success will take.
Money isn't important in itself. It's just a convenient way to pay for the things you want. Only, until you know your true purpose in life, you can't know what you want to buy. Perhaps what you want most can't be bought, but must be earned or achieved by physical effort and self-discipline.
2. Not Setting Clear Goals
If you don't know where you want to go, how will you know if you're getting there? Goal-setting is an essential step towards living a purpose-driven life.
The most effective goals are specific and measurable - so you can tell whether you've reached them or not. For example, rather than wanting the vague goal of trying to improve your fitness, you could set yourself a specific target of completing a particular marathon run. Or rather than wanting to travel the world, you could write a list of places you intend to visit and dates by which you intend to get there. If your goal is to increase your income, you need to decide by how much, by what date - and why?
It's better to set smaller, achievable interim goals - these are easier to use to track your progress to success, rather than just one big target you may never reach.
3. Believing That Achieving Your Purpose Will Make You Happy
If only you follow your purpose, one day you'll reach your goal and live happily ever after - right?
Happiness isn't necessarily to be found at the end of your journey. Your purpose may be a lifelong guiding inspiration, rather than a task you choose to complete.
If you fall into the trap of thinking that happiness is the solution to a problem, you may end up settling for a life of easy, pleasurable activities. For an intelligent person, a life without challenges won't always bring as much lasting satisfaction as striving to achieve your true purpose. You may find happiness on the way, or you may not. What matters more is that you do what you were born to do and reach your full potential.
4. Feeling That One Person Can't Make a Difference
Do your dreams seem too big for one person to achieve? Perhaps other people feel the same way, so no one takes any action and nothing will get done. But if you lead the way, others will follow.
Never assume you can't do something, if your heart is set on it. Denying your purpose in life for this reason is the easy way out, but sometimes what's hard is something you just have to do. If you could change the world for the better, even in one small way, it's worth trying.
5. Telling Yourself You've Left it Too Late
Perhaps you've spent years working hard to build a business or make a success of your career. And then you realise you've been walking down the wrong path all that time, and you never really wanted what you've struggled to achieve. But it seems pointless to start over and waste all that effort.
Or maybe you've messed up so many times in the past, you feel you've already ruined your hopes for the future.
So you tell yourself it's too late to start again, and you should settle for what you have and try to be happy with it - but that's a mistake. Once you have identified your purpose, it's never too late to pursue it.
So find your purpose in life, and don't let anything hold you back from success. You have amazing potential - how are you going to use it?