Discover more from Daily Self Newsletter
Living Your Purpose
The true measure of success
I hope everyone had a restful weekend and that your Monday is getting off to a great start. We have quite a few new subscribers, and I want to welcome you to Daily Self 👋.
Inside today’s edition, you’ll find:
Morning Microdose: Living Your Purpose
Myth of the Day: You must be passionate about something to be successful at it.
Action Item: What’s your purpose?
IMPORTANT NOTE: Starting June 12, readers on our free subscription plan will start receiving just two newsletters per week (the weekly highlight and a Friday digest); whereas our paid subscribers will continue to receive newsletters daily, and will have access to other premium benefits and experiences. More details to come!
(1) Morning Microdose
Living Your Purpose
Me: “Siri, what’s the definition of ‘success’?”
Siri: “Success is the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.”
Many of us grow up believing that success is the accomplishment of very specific and concrete goals. Earn a scholarship, attend university, get a high-paying job, marry our soulmate, buy a house, start a family, etc. There is nothing wrong with these goals. However, the disillusionment that many of us feel when we fail to achieve these goals comes from a disconnect with the WHY behind them.
What I like about Siri’s definition of success is the word purpose.
Success is the accomplishment of our purpose.
We spend our lives chasing goals like the ones I mentioned above, but what about chasing our purpose? Goals have an infinite variety of measuring sticks, including scores, account balances, square footage, horsepower, miles, etc.
But purpose is binary. We are either living our purpose or we aren’t. Our purpose is the reason behind our goals. It’s the WHY behind the WHAT.
WHY do you want to go to X university?
WHY do you want to study X?
WHY do you want to earn a living as an X?
WHY do you want the X house in Y neighborhood and the Z car parked in the driveway?
WHY do you run 26.2 miles?
WHY do you climb sheer rock faces?
WHY do you hike 2000 miles?
The compelling higher purpose that inspires us and acts as the source of all we do.
Goals change over a lifetime, but purpose is something that begins growing inside of us from Day 1. You know that phrase “I was born to be…”? This is purpose. That’s not to say your purpose can’t evolve over a lifetime.
At 8 years old, you may have said,
“I want to help dogs.”
Whereas at 28 years old, you may say,
“I believe that all dogs deserve compassionate care, which includes access to mental health treatments.”
The WHAT could then be a career in canine psychology or building a company that specializes in psychotherapy treatments and treatment aids for dogs.
Defending your purpose
Throughout your life, people will try to convince you that your purpose is wrong. They are not doing this to be malicious (at least, I hope not); oftentimes, it comes from a place of love: “I just don’t want you to be unhappy” or “I just don’t want to see you fail,” but it might also come from a place of their own pain or self-doubt: “I don’t understand why you think you can do this.”
The way to defend your purpose is to believe in it more than they disbelieve in it.
Your belief > Their disbelief
When you have an unfaltering belief in your purpose, others will start to believe in it too.
When we define success as the accomplishment of our purpose, our field of view is radically enhanced. Instead of laser-focusing on goals that we may or may not achieve and being disheartened when we fail or take a long time to complete them, we can look at our purpose and evaluate whether or not the goals that we have created for ourselves are empowering us to Iive it.
Through this perspective, even if you fail at achieving a goal, you are still succeeding, since the existence of the goal itself proves that you are living your purpose.
Thanks for reading Daily Self Newsletter! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
(2) Myth of the Day
You must be passionate about something to be successful at it.
One of the biggest misconceptions is that you must put PASSION behind something for it to be successful. Not true. You need to PURPOSE behind it. Purpose is the engine and success is the result. Passion is emotional; purpose is not. It is a summation of your instinct + natural gifts + things you teach yourself along the way.
For example, you may be passionate about trail running. You love spending hours in the woods pushing miles and meeting other runners. Trail running is your hobby and something you enjoy doing in your free time.
However, you also have a strong sense of purpose around environmental conservation. You are deeply committed to protecting the planet and preserving natural resources for future generations. You volunteer for local conservation organizations and start a foundation to raise awareness about preserving public lands.
In this scenario, trail running is your passion, but your purpose lies in environmental conservation. While trail running brings you joy and fulfillment, it doesn't necessarily contribute to your overall sense of purpose. On the other hand, your work in public lands conservation is aligned with your values and beliefs and empowers you to make a meaningful difference in the world.
(3) Action Item
What’s your purpose? Craft a purpose statement by doing the following:
When do you feel the least resistance in your life? What are you doing in these moments?
Then ask yourself, why do I feel so little resistance in these moments? “Because I’m…”
What lights you up inside and gives you energy like nothing else in the world does?
Then ask yourself, why does this make me feel good and energized inside? “Because it’s…”
Keep digging into “the because.”
This is not a 10-minute drill—it’s a thought exercise that may take you days, even weeks to create. And that’s ok. Take your time and put considerable thought into it.
Liked what you read? Stick around and share with a friend.