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How to finally realize your purpose and talents



How to finally realize your purpose and talents

As you begin your life, you are full of all kinds of dreams, adventures and curiosity.  Every day seems to hold a new beginning or a magical opportunity.  You can’t even imagine that anything could possibly stop you or stand in your way.


By the time you hit your teens, you’ve been told “no” one too many times and you discover that things might just be a little harder than you thought and it may take some planning, dedication and extra diligence to get to that “magic spot.”


When you turn 21, you are now expected to be responsible for yourself, self-supporting and on your way to your life’s path.

How can someone in their late 20’s discover their talents and purpose in life?


And then—guest what?  You find out you can’t get a job in the field you’ve just   spent thousands (and sometimes hundreds of thousands) of dollars preparing for. As a matter of fact, sometimes you’re expected to work for minimum wage if you  are even able to find a job.


Or you love your job, but as last hired you are often first fired when reorganization occurs.  Or you find out you don’t like the job you’ve trained for, and want to try something else.  Or you think you know a better way of doing it, so why work for someone else when you could be making your own decisions—so yes, let’s become an entrepreneur.


Regardless of your circumstances, you are now hitting 29 and it’s time you get with it and on the right track.  So what do you do?  There are all types of people giving you advice and all kinds of possibilities but you’re at a crossroad and you know it.


When people come to me for mentoring or coaching, they’re usually in their 50’s, and believe it or not, they are still asking the same questions.


“How do I find my life purpose?” or “I’ve worked at this my whole life, but I was never really happy.” Or “There must be something more I don’t know about” or “I don’t think I ever worked to my potential.”


So here you are in your late 20’s and thank heavens you are asking these questions now.

I am so glad you are, because your whole life is in front of you.  I preach every day that you should go to sleep with a smile on your face and get up with one as well.  And even though you will face numerous obstacles and crises in your day, when you can do those two things, it is all worth it.


So, how do you find your true purpose in life and what your significant talents are?

All your life people have been telling you what you’re good at.  In addition there are things you have been absolutely crazy about.  Some of those things you can get paid for, and some you can’t.  Others are great as hobbies or part-time, but not for a full time profession.


The first thing you have to ask yourself is whether you like the security of having a job and all that goes along with it—benefits, taking orders, and having certain restrictions. Or do you prefer being your own boss making the decisions, experiencing the ups and downs of cash flow and overhead, employees (whether on-site or virtual),no set schedule except for the one you set for yourself and the constant marketing for new clients while trying hard to keep the old ones.


Whichever you choose, let’s determine how you will find your purpose.


I always ask “What would you do if you had no responsibility, no bills and no one to answer to?  And what would you go even if you weren’t getting paid?

Those questions are the biggest clues you will ever have as to your true purpose.  Write down your answer and then work backwards from there.


So here is the formula I suggest:


1.) Write down what makes your heart sing?

Is it working with children?  Do you like being outdoors?  Are you thrilled when you come up with a new process? Do you want to travel extensively?


2.) Think about your personal life.

Is having a family important to you? Do you want to stay physically close to your parents? Do you prefer urban or rural life? Do you like a big city or small?


3.) What is your rhythm like?

Do you like to work 9 to 5? Are evenings off limits? Do you prefer four 12 hour days and then three days off or are you up for a24/7 kind of life?


4.) Lifestyle is next.

Do you want to make just enough money to take care of expenses and then have the freedom to do other things? Do you really enjoy the better things in life, go on vacations to the “ritziest” places and dine in the finest of restaurants?  Do you want to combine work with travel so you can see the world and get paid for it? Do you prefer a part-time work environment along with part-time volunteering.


5.) Do you need a lot of people around you to keep you excited and interested or are you a lone wolf who likes to work alone with no one to interrupt you? 

Do you like following directions and doing repetitive tasks or do you want to be the decision maker who is constantly discovering new methodologies? Do you like unpredictability or do you want to know that when your customers or clients call or come in, you will have all the answers?


6.) Do you have elderly parents who need your time and help?

Do you have a spouse or partner relying on you?  Do you have children who need your attention?  Are you responsible for the support of other family members?


I know we spoke earlier of dreaming about the endless possibilities and having no responsibilities and no one to answer to, and that should have given you a few good ideas.


However, we are living in the real world and as much as there are things you dream of, there is also the pragmatic fact of “what is.”

At least now you can make intelligent choices for your future based on an in-depth look at yourself.  Too many people allow things to just happen to them and when you ask them why they are doing what they do, it’s because they just fell into the situation, or it was the best they could do at the time, and they never changed it.


You have your whole life in front of you and this is your soar.  You have the highest energy you will ever experience, and the best opportunity to be listened to and heard.


This is the time for your magic.  This is the time for your soul to soar.  This is the time for you to have impact.  This is the time for you to discover yourself.


You are at the perfect age to build your roadmap.  You have it all.  The energy, the drive, the time to create depth and most of all, to show yourself and those around you, exactly what you are capable of.


So remember what you have to do.  Write out the things you love to do, are good at, and what that perfect day is.  Once you’ve committed that to paper, you will be amazed at what the universe will provide to you and for you.


It’s your destiny.

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Can You Receive A Compliment Without It Getting To Your Head?



a compliment (1)

Receiving compliments gracefully isn’t as easy as it should be for some people. How about you: are YOU ready for someone to give you a pat on the back? To be pushed to doing more? To have someone give you a supporting hand? To be picked up when you fall down?

Sure, we may think that’s what we want. But is it what we need to develop, to grow, and to get better?

If someone complimented you on every little improvement you made while learning a new skill, would you not start to feel a bit marginalized? That perhaps they didn’t really think you could do it? What about when you do something that seems pretty easy and everyone made it into a big deal?


Receiving Compliments When You Are Not Ready For It

Why You Are Not Receiving Compliments

Developing new skills is never free of trouble. We all know the level of foundation that must be built to get from being a novice, before reaching greatness. In the learning process, we all know when we are in that frustrating stage of not being quite as good – but we know what we have to do to get there.

It’s in these moments that receiving compliments on your every action could minimize your efforts. That’s because if they truly knew you, people would be holding out for when you make that big, defining leap. 

As we overcome hurdles in our learning and development, friends, family members, and colleagues will know when the time is right to provide encouragement. They know that when that moment comes, those words will have the right amount of impact on you.

Think back to when you were growing up, playing some elaborate game. Perhaps you spent hours creating this game: building a fort, putting together things that the rest of your characters in the play could use. You pushed through despite the trials and problems.

It would have served absolutely no purpose for someone to congratulate you on every step (and misstep) along the way.  You would have lost your flow as you worked through the problem, constantly being interrupted – all while you were still trying to figure it out and understand where you needed to go.

Why You Are Not Receiving Compliments


When Receiving Compliments Makes You Content with Present Achievements

You might never have finished if someone patted you on the back early in that moment, content in the knowledge that you “thought up” the idea and that was enough. If everyone was saying you did great simply for thinking up something new, would it have compelled you to stop?

Maybe. Perhaps you would have stopped with that compliment.

As a parent, you learn when to encourage your children. Usually, it’s not when they show up, and not when they do what kids around them are able to do as well. It’s when they push themselves to do more. When they pick themselves up and still lose, when they try something new for the first time, fall over and fail, not sure if they should do it again.

Those are the moments when kids should be receiving compliments – NOT when they have done the same thing over and over again, or when they didn’t try their best but won anyways.

Kids know this. They can feel it when people give false compliments or encouragement because they did something they’ve always done. But when it is something meaningful, something they have worked hard for, they know the encouragement will be there to help them.

Why You Are Not Receiving Compliments

The reason you might not be receiving compliments or encouragement when you want to is because you haven’t earned them or don’t deserve them yet.

Maybe your coaches, leaders, parents, or other people who support you know you are not ready for it. Perhaps they need to see you making that next big leap in your growth and development.

Those compliments might not come today, tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year. But look at those around you – the great people you have chosen to surround yourself with – and you’ll see that they are waiting to give you that push. They are waiting for you to make it happen.

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3 Ways to Keep Going When Your Dream Falls Apart




when your dreams are falling apart (1)

I truly believe that dreams must extend beyond wishes of self-improvement; that its goal should be to contribute to the world around you.

The heart is a fickle thing. Imagine how many amazing things wouldn’t have been accomplished if great minds simply stopped when they “didn’t feel like it”.

It’s human nature. I’m sure that during the course of over 300 bank rejections, Walt Disney had days when he felt like giving up. But he didn’t. He kept going. Why? It was because his dream went far beyond himself.

Here’s how YOU can keep going – even if it feels like your dreams are falling apart.


3 Ways to Keep Going When Your Dream Falls Apart

1.) Remember The “Why”

Keep Going When Your Dream Falls Apart

Often times, I find that dreams extend far beyond the simple purpose of making one happy. For example, being a songwriter in and of itself does not make me feel happy and fulfilled. Imagine if my life’s work was to write songs that no one would ever hear. That doesn’t elicit any feelings of happiness or fulfillment (at least to me).

Seeing and hearing the healing effects that come from the songs I create for others to hear? Now you’re talking. Healing and helping others is the part of my dream that keeps it alive. It gives me purpose in this world that goes far beyond myself and my skills.

I’m reminded of the character Ebenezer Scrooge from Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”. Scrooge’s goal in life was to have money – and lots of it. He set aside love and relationships for that dream. The result of this life goal was a lonely, cold, bitter old man.

I won’t ruin the whole story for the very few of you that may not have heard it. In the end, Scrooge discovered that what brought him fulfillment and happiness were community and generosity.

So what is the “why” to your dream? How is your dream going to affect those around you? Get beyond yourself. As many have said, YOU are your biggest obstacle to success.


2.) Take Off The Rose-Colored Glasses

Keep Going When Your Dream Falls Apart

You know what I’m talking about. The “I’m going to make it big” and “I’m going to famous/rich/etc.” I hate to take a pointy realistic needle to your big ideas, but I’m doing it out of love. Here it is:

Your dream isn’t going to look exactly how you pictured it.

Take a minute to take that one in. Still here? Yes. Alive? Yes. Not Bleeding? No? Hurt a bit?

It’s OK. I know. I’ve been there. Dreams are vulnerable. We spend countless hours imagining what it would be like and how we will get there. But the truth is, in my experience, they have never turned out exactly how I have imagined. Why? We live in a world of people and circumstances that we can’t control.

Here is where the “why” comes in. The beautiful thing is that your works are a direct result of your heart’s intention…and what you put out into the world never comes back void. Here’s an example:

As a singer-songwriter, the common idea of making it big for my line of work is to have a hit song or perform in front of a sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden (I’m more inclined towards Red Rock Amphitheatre, but you get the picture).

Let’s say that I work and strive tirelessly to do everything I need to do to reach that goal. I release a song, I tour around the US, develop a large following, get on the radio, etc. Along the way, I hear stories of how this song has impacted the people who have heard it. Stories describing how it brought healing, encouragement, and hope.

To go further, what if I never even make it that far? What if circumstances happen and I can’t tour? What if everything “falls apart”? What if I end up playing at open mics for the rest of my life? What if it doesn’t happen in the next year? Two years?

Does that change the fact that my song helped heal and open the heart of a broken and depressed Vietnam Vet? Or how it helped encourage an author to keep going and writing? Or how my song started a conversation on how to look past the labels overshadowing soldiers and their families?

It’s all about your perspective of success, my friend. To me, because my “why” and my heart’s intention are to help people, those stories above are my version of success. It’s what keeps me going. If I get to Madison Square Garden (or Red Rocks), well that’s just icing on top of the cake.

Keep going on your dream. Make a plan, and in the words of .38 Special, “Hold on loosely, but don’t let go.” Roll with the punches and understand that even greater things can come when things don’t go according to your plan.


3.) Make Your Dream Your Job

Keep Going When Your Dream Falls Apart

No, I don’t mean quit your job and have no income while you work on your dream. That’s an entirely different article (and completely up to you). I’m talking about treating your dream like it is your job.

For example, if you completely failed at a presentation at work, would you just quit and not go the next day? No! You have a livelihood and an expectation to show up. So why quit on your dream at the first sign of failure?

Treat your dream like your job. Make a plan, show up every day, and understand that it may take a while to see any results. I know many songwriters who wrote hundreds of songs before they wrote a hit. However, they never would have reached it if they didn’t take that first step, made a commitment, and wrote 100 songs first.

Dreams don’t just happen. They take work. So go get started!

My best advice under this theme is check out the book “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield. It is by far the best resource I have discovered in my journey of living out my dream.

Here’s the deal. With every goal that I have set and achieved, I never sat at the end and thought to myself, “man, look at what I did”. Believe it or not, I was more overwhelmed with the thoughts of the journey that I had to take to get there – the good and the bad.

I would admire and laugh at the unexpected things that came. I would smile and enjoy the character it built, the person that I became in the process. In the end, the best thing about dreams and goals isn’t their achievement, but the journey that you take to get there.

Never forget that the dream in your heart was put there for a reason. You were made to make an impact on this world.

Enjoy the journey and never, ever give up. Keep going.

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