If things aren't right in your life, instead of suffering or trying to cope or trying to fix the problems, STOP. Take a step back. Give yourself some time to objectively look at the situation. The things that go wrong in our lives are data to be analyzed to determine where changes need to be made.
You have one job in this life, which is to find and fulfill your purpose.
Pause for a moment and think about that.
Your purpose always includes a sense of satisfaction that you cannot get any way other than byfulfilling your purpose. So when you are miserable, it’s a sure sign that you’re not in the center of your purpose. When that’s the case, rather than remain and complain, or lower our expectations and adapt, gather and evaluate the data about what you dislike and what is making you miserable. Consider the way you want to spend your life and what you want in your life, and then begin to make adjustments to work from where you are now to where you want to be.
Everything on the road to fulfillment of your purpose will not be laughter and light. There will be some tough times. There will be times on your way to your purpose that you learn by process of elimination what it is not.
There may be seasons that involve different work and different people. Mine the lessons out of every situation, good and bad. In relationships, notice how different people bring out the best (or the worst) in you. In school and in the workplace, notice what you do well, what comes effortlessly to you, what others come to you for, and what you have to make extra effort at doing. These are the clues to the lessons you will learn from different situations.
There is no winning and losing here—only learning.
Your purpose will involve joy. You’ll be happy. Of course there will always be reasons for sadness, but the happiness of fulfilling your purpose will far outweigh those situations. If you are not experiencing joy in your life, you probably haven’t yet found your purpose.
Even after you’re actively pursuing fulfillment of your unique purpose, there may be things that go wrong in your life, things that you did not expect, like the untimely death of a loved one, the loss of a job or career, divorce, tragic accident, or any of the other “suddenlies“ that can change everything in an instant.
After the initial shock has worn off, the best thing we can do is to stop, step back, and try as objectively as possible to analyze the data. What happened. Why did it happen (we may never know the answer to this question). Most importantly, what can we learn from what happened?
“Suddenlies" that change our lives are game changers, but not only in a negative way. “Suddenlies” can be the dramatic thing that yanks the slack out of us, gets our attention, and prompts us in a way that nothing else would, to make a dramatic change in life. A career change, relationship changes, a relocation to some place that we’ve always wanted to live, or a lifestyle change to a way of life that we’ve only ever dreamed of.
A diagnosis of cancer, the death of a loved one, the loss of a career, or any other life-changing situations can be powerful enough to cause us to stop, gather and evaluate data, and then make adjustments in our lives so that we find our passion and experience joy.
As long as you’re breathing, it’s not too late to mine your lessons and use them to find and fulfill your purpose. What are you waiting for?