Keeping Your Sweet Spot

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” Rumi

Finding your life purpose may one of the single most important decisions of your life. Once you have found your sweet spot, your holy grail, the next step is to build your life around it. Because there is a gap between imagining something and actually conceiving it in reality. And, what we do to bridge this gap ultimately decides the quality of our reality.

Here are a few tips to make the journey ahead easier

  1. Articulate your dream or life purpose in graphic detail – We can create all that we can conceive. Writing down your dream helps to crystallize your goals and concentrate your attention. For example if you want to become a singer, then articulate it in complete details right down to the kind of music you want to associate with, artists you want to work with, kind of styles you want to experiment with, your lifestyle etc. are all important ingredients to articulating your dream. 
  1. Inculcate Self-discipline – There will be times when the road ahead will seem difficult and you will be plagued by self-doubt. In times like these, it is easy to lose track and give up on your dream halfway. Moreover, when you are working on your own dream, the locus of control shifts from the outside world to your inner being, often leading us to slacken up on tasks. Disciplining yourself to keep up a daily schedule and make a consistent follow through on all the activities will help you remain on track with a single-minded focus. Daily practices like mediation, writing a journal to clarify your goals, setting up and adhering to a strict timeline for various activities, is a good start. 
  1. Don’t expect immediate results – While the adage “Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” by Ralph Waldo Emerson is a powerful motivator, the decision itself is not limited to a mere intent but actualized by a committed and consistent persistence in that direction. The starting phase requires your undivided attention. This is the time when you get to work at your craft and hone it to precision. Learn to treat every obstacle or challenge as a learning guide to help you carve the right path ahead. Do not undervalue this time or state of affairs, as they carry within themselves the potential for great self-growth and transformation. 
  1. Things might not go as expected – Every venture contains risk. But then life itself is a moment-to-moment risk. We do not know what might happen the next moment. Planning and trying to prepare for every eventuality is a good beginning, but not a guarantee against avoiding perceived failure. I call it perceived failure, because there are frankly no failures, only results, which we interpret as failures. The important thing here to understand is that we have the inherent strength to rise up after every fall. Abraham Lincoln lost eight elections, failed twice in business, and suffered a nervous breakdown. Yet he got up after very fall and went on to become one of the greatest presidents of America. So, every time you do not succeed, do not lose hope. Every setback will serve to help you understand a little more about your journey and to thrive in uncertainty, instead of waging a battle trying to control it. 
  1. There is no escape from working hard – The axiom ‘Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life’ does not mean that you will not have to work hard. It means that work might not seem like work at all, since you would be enjoying what you do. However, the fact is that every job will contain certain aspects, which you might not enjoy, but which will need to be done. For example, I love the profession of public speaking, but do not enjoy administrative aspects of the work too much. However when I started, I had to do everything alone and hence had to wear several hats all at once. Once things started rolling then I could afford to hire the right people and delegate it to them. The second aspect is that every work requires a dogged level of persistence and there will be times where you will feel overwhelmed or too tied up. For example, writing as a hobby might seem like fun, but when you are under pressure to complete a book within a month, the same activity might seem like a burden. 
  1. Keep a backup plan ready – Besides your own role, there are many other aspects, which affect the success of your endeavor. And many a times, ideas require a certain running time, before they take off. In these aspects, it is necessary to plan and prepare for a long haul. Especially if you are supporting a family and need to pay daily bills. You might even have to work at two jobs in the beginning to maintain your basic lifestyle and will need the support of your loved ones. When I moved from accounting to public speaking, I was aware of the fact that my vocation will not immediately start to pay my bills. Hence, I took my wife’s cognizance and with her support, I was able to create a back up plan to support my future vision. 

7.         Break it down– Many a times the scale of our dream might seem overwhelming and daunting. For example, the dream of an apartheid free South Africa must have seemed daunting to many. But Nelson Mandela did not allow it to paralyze him from action. So, it is true that often in the beginning you might not know how to start on your dream. The way forward here, is break up every big agenda into smaller tasks based on relevance and immediacy and then systematically go forth to tackle each one. So make a list of all the tasks, at least top 8-10 and then select the top three, which need to be done next. Do not look at the rest until these three are complete. And do not stop until you have completed each one to the best of your ability in that given moment. As you move ahead, the succession of each small task will goad you with the necessary impetus to move on to the next. Yes, we need to keep an eye on the bigger picture, but giving your totality to task in hand is the only way to surmount the mountain.

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