Having a strong purpose is one of the best sources of good moods you can get. If you don't already have a strong purpose, how do you go about developing one?
A high-quality purpose is more than
something you feel you "should" do. That isn't good enough. A good
purpose is something you feel a strong desire to do, even feel compelled to
do, and something you feel is important — something you think needs to
be done and ought to be done because it is right and good. Or something
you feel strongly interested in,
something that fascinates you and fills you with interest and
curiosity, or just plain ecstasy (as demonstrated by the great BB King
in the picture).
If nothing comes to mind right now,
that's not the end of the conversation. There is no such legitimate
answer as, "I don't have one of those." Yes, you do. You may have
forgotten it. You may never have dug deeply enough to find it in the
first place. But you've got at least one. And all you need is one.
likely there was a time when you knew what your purpose was, at least
in a general sense, but for one reason or another you discarded it;
someone convinced you it was impossible or stupid, or you convinced
yourself. It's now as if you've turned your back on it and are looking
around saying, "I don't see any purpose I really want." No, of course
not. It is behind you, so to speak. You've already picked it up, had it
in your hand and then tossed it behind you where you are no longer
Start right now with the assumption that there
is a purpose which strongly compels you or strongly interests you, and
commit yourself to finding it.
If you don't already have a purpose, now you have one:
Finding it. What interests you? What do you like to talk about? What do
you daydream about? What do you think needs to be done? What do you
think "someone" ought to do? What do you "wish you could do" but know
A high quality purpose is concrete,
challenging, and something you feel is achievable. That's where
motivation is. That's where confidence is. That's where ability is
formed. That's where the fun is.
In a study at the
University of Alabama, researchers found that people who considered
their goal difficult but achievable were more motivated — they were more
energized and felt their goal was more important — than people who had
easy goals or impossible goals.
who thought their goal was easy weren't as motivated. And people who
thought their goal was impossible weren't motivated either. Remember: difficult but achievable. Not achievable in some abstract sense, but something you feel you could achieve. And something you feel challenged by.
French, Jr., director of the research project, did a study of 2,010 men
in twenty-three different jobs, trying to find out which jobs were the
most stressful. The study found something surprising. The most stressful
jobs were the most boring and unchallenging. These were the jobs that
produced the most physical and emotional illness.
French, "One of the key factors in job satisfaction is self-utilization —
the opportunity to fully utilize your abilities on the job, to be
challenged, to develop yourself. Frustration and anxiety over not being
challenged can have physically debilitating effects."
big, challenging goal, if you feel up to it, will awaken the genius
within, bring out your latent talents, give you satisfaction, and make
the world a better place.
Beethoven's goal was to
create music that would "transcend fate." Socrates had a goal to make
people happy by making them reasonable and just. These are big goals,
but they brought out the best in these people and wrote their names in
Adam Khan is the author of Principles For Personal Growth, Slotralogy, Antivirus For Your Mind, and co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English). Follow his podcast, The Adam Bomb.