And while I appreciate their concern* I’m pretty happy with my life, thankyouverymuch.
I’m happy with my life because I carefully, conscientiously made it awesome.
Like, on purpose. With lists and journals and stuff.
How to live your life on purpose
1. I think about how I want to feel + do things that make me feel that way
Like pretty much every other woman on the internet, I’m a big fan of The Desire Map, Danielle LaPorte’s method for happiness and fulfillment. She encourages those of us who are addicted to our to-do lists and quantifiable goals (“$75K a year with a corner office”) to instead pinpoint a few core desired feelings and then do things that will create those feelings.
So instead of a 15-item to-do list, I think of three things I can do today that will make me feel proud (call my grandma, fix that wobbly chair, go to the gym) and two things I can do today that will make me feel psychologically lean (cancel the Netflix subscription I never use, clean out my junk drawer.)
2. I stopped doing things or hanging out with people who make me feel bad
I’ve never been particularly inclined towards ‘frenemies’ or self-destructive behavior, but I’ve certainly had my share of embarrassment-inducing friends and activities that I did out of obligation or a desire to be The Type Of Person Who Can Make A Souffle.
You know what? People who drag you down and activities that suck you dry are a waste of your time and energy. And who has time for that? Approximately no one.
3. I schedule time to try new things + do things that I love
Yes, I realize it’s not particularly sexy to scrawl ‘1 fun thing’ onto my Every Damn Day list, but if I don’t make Fun Things a priority? I’ll end the day feeling productive and accomplished …. and sort of bored and hateful.
That’s why every year I make a list of new things I want to try and then wrangle my incredibly patient friends into joining me. That’s why I travel three months a year. That’s why I carve time into my day for thrifting and new recipes and reading by the river.
Really, filling my life with things I love is an extremely conscious effort. It’s a daily struggle not to fall down internet hole after internet hole.
4. I plan my social + work life around my introverted nature
Did you know I’m the friendliest, chattiest introvert you’ll ever meet? I’ll introduce myself to strangers, I’m happy to attend events where I know no one, and I can make friends with your throw pillow.
After three hours of social interaction, the light inside me turns off and I need to sit somewhere quiet, by myself. It took me years to realize this about myself – I wasn’t just ‘tired’ or ‘in a weird mood.’ I’m introverted.
Now that I know that, I try to make plans accordingly. I’m not really interested in more than two social obligations a day and if I’m in a big group of people for a long time? I’ll invent some sort of ‘errand’ I ‘need’ to run and then hustle off all by my lonesome for a bit.
How do you live your life on purpose? What’s one thing you could do to add a little intention to your daily life?
*Not really. Mostly I just feel judged and slightly annoyed.