How to Find Your Purpose and Avoid Rocking Chair Regrets (Before It’s Too Late)

I’ve been blessed in so many ways. Great family. Wonderful friends. A strong and supportive team of business associates. Strong faith. And thanks to these blessings, I’ve had some amazing adventures and achieved more than I ever dreamed. I say all of this not to be boastful, but to remind myself – and perhaps inspire you – to continue to make a difference. To live a life of meaning and purpose. To be able – as you sit on that porch in your rocking chair and look back at your life – to have no regrets.

For me, that means living life with a meaningful vision, a sense of mission, a positive attitude, and finally, gratitude. Here’s what I mean:

Find Your Purpose with a Meaningful Personal Vision

Winston Churchill said: “It’s not enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something.” While that statement could easily apply to having dreams and goals and dedication, I think it speaks first and foremost to having a strong and meaningful vision.

To develop that vision for your life – at whatever stage of life you find yourself – don’t get bogged down in the problems of day-to-day living. Take a step back. Look at the bigger picture. Begin with the end in mind. Ask yourself this: When all is said and done, what should the result of my journey look like? What do I want people to say about me and about what I’ve done? What truly matters to me? If you aren’t yet at a place where you feel good about your answers, move toward your purpose by first crafting a meaningful personal vision.

Find Your Purpose with a Sense of Mission

Leadership guru Stephen Covey said: “A long, healthy, and happy life is the result of making contributions, of having meaningful projects that are personally exciting and contribute to and bless the lives of others.” I think both bits of wisdom speak to the importance of a sense of mission.

So, how can you turn your vision into an actionable mission? Author Bob Buford provided some essential insights in his book, originally titled Halftime: Moving from Success to Significance. Here are a few ideas he shared:

  • Develop a personal mission statement which guides every decision and action.
  • Follow your passion, use your skills, but hold true to your values and principles.
  • Assess what you’ve achieved and define what you care deeply about.
  • Identify your goals, but turn them into commitments.
  • “Do what you do best; drop the rest.”
  • Delegate what you can, “at work, play and home.”
  • “Know when to say no.”
  • Downsize and simplify.
  • Set limits and scale back commitments that don’t align with your purpose.
  • “Work only on things that will make a great deal of difference if you succeed.”

When you can create a vision and give it “legs” with a strategic mission, you can find your purpose and avoid the regrets that haunt so many.

Find Your Purpose with a Positive Attitude

Author Harvey Mackay (Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive) said: “I firmly believe that when I am positive, it not only makes me better, but it also makes those around me better.” To lead a purposeful life, you’ll certainly need the support of others. Indeed, a positive attitude attracts positive energy. It attracts people who will help you accomplish your mission; and will help you achieve what might have seemed difficult or even impossible. A negative attitude, on the other hand, will keep you from achieving what should have come easily. So, be positive. Believe in yourself. You’ve already accomplished great things but aim higher still. Otherwise, you’ll be rocking away your final days with many regrets.

Find Your Purpose with a Strong Sense of Gratitude

According to American Catholic Benedictine monk, author, and lecturer David Steindl-Rast, “…Grateful living makes life meaningful and full of joy.” Indeed, one of the most productive and forceful elements of a great attitude is a strong sense of gratitude. And if you are grateful for all your opportunities and blessings – as I am – you’ll have no rocking chair regrets!

The Bottom Line:

I’ve used quotes in this article from several wise people. Let me wrap things up with a quote from a non-business source, Marilyn Monroe, who reportedly said, “We should all start to live before we get too old. Fear is stupid. So are regrets.” And yet, regrets might be inevitable if we don’t live with a deeply personal vision, a sense of mission, a positive attitude and a strong sense of gratitude.

I’ve been blessed, not only to be living this life, but also to be able to help our licensed Advisors apply their career-long learning to help small and mid-sized businesses as outsourced sales management consultants. If you would like to learn more about how you, too, can follow this path and avoid rocking chair regrets, click here or contact us today at 1.844.874.7253.