In the episode “How to Find Your Life’s Purpose and Embrace Your Imperfections” of The School of Greatness, motivational speaker Lisa Nichols joins host Lewis Howes to discuss having a growth mindset, the conversations we should have with ourselves, and how we can manifest our potential. Lisa says that with focused thought, positive self-talk, and dedicated action, we can find our purpose in life.
Read this if...
- You want to change your life but don't know how to start
- You have a goal to accomplish
- You have a negative mindset
Lisa Nichols is a best-selling author and motivational speaker. She is the Founder-CEO of Motivating the Masses and Motivating the Teen Spirit--global platforms that have reached nearly 30 million people.
the distilld lessons (Extended)
Humans like to attach meanings to things. We associate meaning with purpose. A car is something we drive. A book is something we read. But the irony is that we struggle to find our own life’s purpose. Some even go through live without one.
Lisa Nichols, in this episode of The School of Greatness, discusses how to find life’s purpose by considering how we treat ourselves, how we make decisions, and how we take action.
Here are the distilld lessons inspired by the “How to Find Your Life’s Purpose” episode of The School of Greatness podcast:
1. Self-care isn’t just self-indulgence.
The way self-care has been marketed has diluted it from a tool of empowerment to ‘downtime’. Lisa insists that self-care is so much bigger than pulling all-nighters to binge-watch our favorite TV show. Self-care is about giving value to ourselves. When we acknowledge our value, we will begin prioritizing ourselves, leading us to finding our purpose.
Self-care is a away of putting ourselves first. Doing the things we enjoy is a form of self-care, but so are doing things that help us become our true self. Improvements like fixing our sleep routines, eating better, or taking time off of social media are acts of self-care, too. They put us in a position to have healthier bodies and clearer minds, setting us up to progress towards our purpose.
2. Making logical decisions is better than making emotional ones.
When we’re trying to learn a new skill, we get a burst of motivation at the novelty of learning. When it becomes old news, our motivation to keep improving also dwindles. This is how we let our feelings rule us. We decide to stick to what we’re doing based on how good it feels.
For Lisa, logic must lead our decisions. If we’re trying to lose weight, we shouldn’t wait until we feel motivated to work out. This is also true when it comes to working towards our purpose. Instead of allowing ourselves to make emotional decisions towards our own improvement, we should instead seek out information help us make logical decisions.
Basing our progress on informed and researched data, instead of waiting to feel motivated, helps us create structure in our progress. We don’t need to always go with our gut. We can put ourselves to work consistently because we understand the logic of the actions we are taking.
Facts don’t change overnight, but feelings do. We don’t feel like working out every day, but we know working out every day will get us towards our goal. When we prioritize what makes sense over what feels good, we let logic lead.
3. Admitting we are wrong allows us to get things right.
We can’t make improvements if we don’t know we need to improve. And to improve, we have to be open to new information. This can sometimes mean that what we’ve always known or what we’ve always done is wrong. It can be a hard pill to swallow, but Lisa insists that we lean into it.
We have to be willing to accept our own shortcomings and listen to the new information that can only improve our lives. This can mean a disruption of our habits, and that can be painful. But just as broken bones need to be re-broken to heal properly, that kind of pain or discomfort is necessary for growth.
When we’re comfortable facing the mistakes we make, we open ourselves to finding ways on how to make ourselves better. When we’re comfortable with admitting we are wrong, it means we are ready to get things right.
4. Everyone is on a different path than us.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “Comparison is and will always be the thief of all your joy.” When we compare ourselves to others, we give them power over us. If we’re happy about an achievement and compare that to the bigger achievement of others, we hand over our joy. The same is true when it comes to hardship. When we compare our personal struggles to what other people are going through, we deny ourselves our own valid emotions.
According to Lisa, we have to understand that nobody is trying to take our joy, nor are they trying to belittle our struggles. We are all on our own life path, we are all going through life at our own pace. We have our own purpose, and comparing ourselves to others will not help us realize nor achieve it.
When we focus on our lives, we can progress towards our purpose without being distracted by the progress of others.
5. Bad predicaments are opportunities for possibility.
What should we do when the bad days outnumber the good? We tackle them with possibility.
As Lisa puts it, we can try and ‘fail forward’. If we’re experiencing a string of bad luck, or we think we’re in a dark place, we shouldn’t keep ourselves from acknowledging our current predicament. But, we can also take that time to think of how to improve things in the future. How can we turn our current predicament into possibilities?
When we’re at a low point, or think we have failed, we can take what we are learning from this experience to do better in the future. Bad days are just bumps in the road of our long journey of purpose.
6. Energy grows where energy goes.
Our lives are physical manifestations of the conversations we have with ourselves. We can direct positive energy into our lives by speaking positive words. Our thoughts can direct how we live. We manifest our reality. Energy grows where energy goes, says Lisa. This is true for both the bad and the good things we do in the world. What we pour energy into matters.
When we feel bad, we can counteract it by articulating positivity. It may be harder to see the good in some things, but that doesn’t mean the good is not there. We can find this easier when we look at things with a positive perspective.
7. Reaching goals take planning and structure.
Reaching our goal may not be easy , especially when we’ve set big ones. Lisa says that we can break big goals down to smaller ones. This makes it easier for us to achieve them. We need to create strategies that will lead to accomplishment. These include action plans, schedules, and timetables.
Our strategies don’t even need to be perfect. What’s important is for us to be committed and consistent in taking action. These strategies will help us provide structure, but some things will inevitably change when we put them into practice.
It helps to jot down what we’ve accomplished, process, and even failures. This gives us a realistic expectation of how we can progress with our goals. It paints an overall clearer picture of our path to attaining our purpose.
8. Action turns a plan into purpose.
We can’t reach our full potential from the sofa. Simply daydreaming about what we want our life to look like, or even just talking about it to others, won’t get us to where we want to go. For Lisa, we need to get up and take action. Taking action is what transforms a plan into purpose. Without action, we become complacent with our situation and our plan becomes meaningless.
In pursuing our purpose, thinking about it isn’t enough. Talking about it isn’t enough. Our thoughts, words, and actions go hand-in-hand. Our positive energy should be articulated, and then channeled through decisions and actions.
To get into action, Lisa says we should see the ‘cost of doing nothing’. How much of our energy, time, money, or even life have we lost simply by not taking action? We can quantify these costs. A cheat day might cost us a five-pound setback. A night of binge-watching might cost us a drop in our GPA. Before we know it, life has passed us by. When we quantify our choices like this, we’re not just pulled by our purpose, we’re also pushed by the costs of our inaction.
When we lead with logic and information in our decisions, actively engage in self-encouragement, and act on our aspirations strategically, we put ourselves in a position to find our life’s purpose. Committing to these mindsets will eventually lead to progress.
For a shorter conversation, the distilld lessons summary are here.