We believe you were created with a particular identity, and with a purpose. And therefore, you need a clearer idea of who you really are, and what your Life's Task is.
The destination in itself, in many ways, isn’t really the point. But you need a clear direction to head in.
You need to find your Life's Task. Whilst you have been wasting your time, energy and money on gambling, your Life's Task has been on the back burner.
Your Life's Task might not look big to anyone else, but it is big to you. And vice versa. Your Life's Task might be helping your daughter bring up your grandchildren well. It might be becoming an MP and influencing millions of peoples' lives. All of these are great and influential things. You will know - once you truly find your Life's Task - because there will be grace on it for you.
It does not matter if you are a cancer patient with a week left to live. There is always purpose in life. Let's face it, none of us know the length of our days; in fact, terminal illnesses often sharpen peoples' focus to do right and enjoy life. Imagine you'd been given three years to live. What would you do within this three years?
Find your Life's Task
Here is a way you can do it. The picture below shows four circles. What you need to do is find the best intersection between these four circles.
To be honest, even getting 3 out of those 4 is an improvement on most peoples' lives. So what is the destination? It is your promised land, the place where you find the most reward from your work, family, and social life. It is the place where you work at something that is worthwhile, something that fits you. It is a place where you are a round peg in a round hole.
Your better future might be around your work - or it might not. Some people do their work as a means to an end, at least for a while. Your Life's Task might be teaching physically disabled kids how to waterski; or it might be getting elected to be a local Councillor. It will look different for different people. Don't try to go for someone else's Life's Task if it is not yours. I used to love watching the bad singers on "The X Factor"; although they obviously loved singing,the other three circles of "being great at it", "the world needs it", and "getting paid for it" just weren't there!
Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
I love it
- What did you love doing when you were little?
- What did you used to dream about being and doing but is now a ‘dead and buried dream’?
- What were things you were doing where time seemed to disappear and you were completely in the moment?
- What do you love doing with your time?
- What do you never tire of?
- What makes you happy?
- What do you daydream about doing?
- What is valuable to you?
- What would your perfect day look like? What does this reveal about some of the things you need in your life to make you tick?
- What kinds of films inspire you? What’s the theme?
- What genres of book, or specific titles capture your imagination? What was it about those books that inspires you?
- What makes you feel alive?
The World needs it
- If there was one thing you could fix in the world, what would that be? How could you play a part in that?
- Which situations or circumstances stir you to action or emotion?
- Who are your heroes? What aspects of their lives resonate within you?
- What are you passionate about?
- How and when do you affect other people’s lives for the better?
I get paid for it
- When did you earn most money?
- What skill have you mastered, that people do as a job or as a task within a job?
- When were you told you had made a great contribution (either at work or as a volunteer or at school)?
- Who has most influenced your education and/or career to date? Why?
- Think about what you do with your days now (work / learning / other activities). What bits do you find rewarding?
- If you didn't need money - if I paid your mortgage, all your bills, and gave you a salary, what would you do with your time? What would get you out of bed in the morning?
I am great at it
- What do you do that people say "wow" to?
- What do you feel you are "born to do"?
- What is it that gives you a great sense of certainty?
- What skills or ideas do people seek you out for?
Is it too late?
Maybe you feel like your Life's Task has been and gone. Maybe you feel old or disqualified? For instance, perhaps you feel like you were made to be in the army but now you're too old, or your eyesight isn't good enough.
What can you do to get close to it? Maybe in this example you could join a historical re-enactment society and become a WWII soldier; maybe you could volunteer at an army museum?
Or work out what it is about the army that excites you - is it the strategy? The regalia? The physical exercise? The "big toys" like tanks? Can you meet this desire in different ways?
Always remember, you can still do something.