Three Levels To Living
Think of there being three levels to living. Level One might be called reactionary. At this level, a person lives in the moment, but without higher-order goals or purpose. Depending on the quality of circumstances, this person will experience a greater or lesser degree of fun and pleasure.
Level Two is represented by the person who acts to attain highly valued goals. Examples include having a happy relationship, financial security, success in a career. People who live at this level open the door to satisfaction and happiness.
It is when people have a passionate purpose for their life that they live at Level Three. This occurs when a person develops the burning “why” behind what they do and then intentionally expresses this “why” throughout the fabric of his or her life. Those who live at this level experience deep fulfillment and even joy, on top of many moments of fun, pleasure, and happiness.
What About You?
At which of these levels do you live your life? If you are like most people, you live either at Level one or Two. Hopefully you have fun, enjoy your life, feel some degree of happiness and satisfaction. Good for you.
But, I promise, you can gain even higher levels of happiness and satisfaction than you’ve known. How? By actively creating and acting on your own personal, passionate purpose.
Determining your passionate purpose is an act of creation, not discovery. That is, you can determine on your own what is it that you decide your life's purpose to be. It’s a process, but, like me and untold numbers of others, you can do it with commitment and effort. As I go into in great detail in my forthcoming book The Happiness Handbook, you need to follow a three-step process.
Step One – Reflect on these questions. What is the central theme of your life? What do you or could you do that would provide you and others the most value, make the biggest contribution, have the most positive impact? About what are you most enthusiastic? What kind of person would I most like to be? Answering these questions gives you hints to your passionate purpose.
Step Two – Create Your Purpose. Sit down and write a brief statement that captures your passionate purpose. Note that this is not a list of goals, but the “why” behind the goals.
Step Three – Live Your Purpose. The last step is to plan precisely how you will act out your passionate purpose within the major roles you play in life (e.g., husband/wife, parent, son, daughter, and friend, employee, etc.)
To be happy, you must work at it. There is nothing that will aid you more in your quest for happiness than to live each day by a passionate purpose created by you. I wish you Godspeed in this quest.
- By Russell Grieger, Ph.D.
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