Imagine having a compass that always points you towards your true north, no matter how stormy the seas. That compass is your purpose – the driving force that gives you the strength to overcome any obstacle. As Nietzsche said, “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” That’s why the next step in the GOLDEN method is so important – it’s all about determining your purpose and motivations.
It’s a practice that has carried me through some of the toughest times in my life, from finishing chemotherapy to competing in the Paralympics. And it’s not just a tool – it’s a mindset that can help you move forward no matter what life throws your way. So if you take away just one thing from what I’m saying, let it be this: when it comes to resilience and empowerment, having a purpose beyond yourself is absolutely crucial.
With the GOLDEN formula, you can navigate life’s challenges and find your way back to living a beautiful life. The formula consists of six key steps:
Grieve any losses or setbacks
Observe what has worked in the past
Love and care for ourselves
Determine our purpose and motivations
Enjoy the process of growth and learning
kNow our own worth
The Power of Defining Your Why: Using a Purpose to Fuel Your Future
I will never forget the moment I rang the cancer-free bell at the hospital. It was supposed to signify the end of my chemotherapy journey, but instead, it marked the beginning of a new life that I wasn’t ready for. Losing my leg, my friends, my gymnastics career, and my mobility left me feeling empty and hopeless.
Months after chemotherapy, I found myself angry, depressed, and refusing to use my prosthetic leg. I didn’t want this new life. I didn’t see the point. I didn’t want to keep going. I felt despite having won the physical battle with cancer, cancer was still winning.
It wasn’t until my family intervened that I realized I was in fact still letting cancer beat me mentally. With their tough love, I knew I had to find a reason to live beyond myself.
Changing my mindset wasn’t an overnight transformation; I found myself in a deep depression, trapped in a dark hole with no way out. I was searching for any glimmer of hope to guide me towards the ladder I needed to climb out. Eventually, I understood that it was up to me to create that light and once I found it, I knew I could find my way to the top.
As I reflected deeply, I realized that despite being cancer-free, I was struggling to move forward in life. I couldn’t do it for myself, so I thought back to the friends I made in the hospital. Shockingly, nearly 30% of them didn’t survive cancer. While I had, I felt as though I was living as though I died, too.
I wanted to live for them, to show other kids who lost their mobility that life could still be great. I created my own light, my own purpose, and my own motivation to live a life worth fighting for.
With my purpose defined, I began searching for the ladder out of the deep depression that cancer had left me in. It was a difficult climb, but thanks to this newfound sense of direction, I was able to make my way towards a brighter future.
Over time, I tried my hand at various sports, including gymnastics again, but nothing quite compared to the feeling of empowerment I got from tumbling and flipping with two legs. I reluctantly bid farewell to the sport that had once been my everything, and embarked on a journey to find something that would reignite that same fire within me. Swimming, tennis, and even waterskiing were all fun, but none of them quite hit the mark.
Then, one fateful day on a rehabilitation ski trip, I discovered snowboarding. Suddenly, everything clicked into place. I had found my new passion, and it was like the ladder had finally reached the end of the hole, allowing me to finally climb out.
Throughout the years, whenever I found myself struggling with my mobility, my sense of purpose, or just the challenges of daily life, I always kept in mind the reason why I had fought so hard to overcome my amputation. It was for all those other kids out there who, like me, needed to see that life was worth fighting for.
As the years have gone by, my sense of purpose has evolved and grown, but that initial spark still burns bright within me. Every time I set a new goal for myself, I make sure to define my why, my purpose, and my reason for continuing. And it all started with that single, defining moment when I realized that I could still live a life full of meaning and adventure, even with a physical challenge like an amputation.
Practical Tips and Tools: Uncovering Your True North and Defining Your Why
Discovering your “why” is an essential step towards creating a life of meaning and fulfillment. Here are some strategies to help you define your purpose:
- Turn your past hurts into healing for others by using your experiences to help others.
- Cultivate awe, gratitude, and altruism in your life to develop a sense of purpose beyond yourself.
- Utilize helpful resources like The Define Your Why workbook which will guide you in clarifying your purpose. Receive your free workbook here.
- Always include defining your “why” in your goal-setting process to create a clear direction and purpose that will drive you forward.
- Don’t try to do it alone – rely on your support system to help you stay on track and listen to what others appreciate about you.
- Embrace challenges and try new things to find what truly resonates with you.
- Reflect on your values, passions, strengths, and talents to identify your unique purpose.
Once you have defined your why, it becomes a powerful tool to help you stay motivated and overcome challenges when pursuing your goals.
The Crucial Role of Purpose in Building Resilience and Motivation
Having a clear purpose and living intentionally can be a powerful tool to help you stay motivated even when your goals feel impossible. This truth was never more apparent to me than during the 2018 Winter Paralympics.
As I stood at the start gate of my first race, everything was going wrong. I had broken my snowboard that morning, I was falling in my training runs, and I was facing off against a fierce rival from France. The pressure was so intense, and I felt myself starting to choke.
That’s when I remembered my purpose for being at the Paralympics. I wasn’t just there to win medals or prove myself as an athlete. I was there to show my daughter Lilah that anything is possible, even when life throws you curveballs. I wanted to inspire her to chase her dreams, no matter what obstacles she might face. With this in mind, I took a deep breath and whispered, “for Lilah.”
At that moment, the anxiety melted away. I was present, focused, and ready to go for the gold. When the start gate dropped, I charged forward with everything I had. I took the lead in the first turn, and from there, I never looked back. Each turn, each jump, each second on the course brought me closer to my goal of winning for Lilah. And when I crossed the finish line, I knew that I had accomplished something far greater than just winning a gold medal. I had reminded myself why I started this journey in the first place, and that was the real victory.
Aligning your Goals with Purpose
In relationships: defining the purpose and values of the relationship can help partners stay committed to each other and work through challenges. When both partners understand the purpose of their relationship and what they hope to achieve together, they can work towards a shared goal and stay connected even during difficult times.
Struggling with mental health: defining your purpose and values can help them stay motivated and focused on recovery. When you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve and why you want to achieve it, you are more likely to stay committed to their treatment and work through setbacks.
For individuals seeking personal growth: defining your purpose and values can help you identify what they truly want in life and create a roadmap for achieving your goals. When you have a clear sense of your purpose and motivations, you can make decisions that align with your values and move closer to living the life you want.
Maximizing Your Potential: Begging Finding Your True Purpose
As you move through different stages of life, remember that defining your why is an ongoing process that can evolve over time. Stay open-minded and be willing to adjust your purpose as needed to keep your motivation and sense of direction strong.
Remember, discovering and defining your why is like a light in the darkness, illuminating the path to your goals. With the knowledge of your purpose, the what and how become clearer and easier to pursue. I invite you to start this journey by utilizing my free Define Your Why workbook. Click Here!
Comment below and share your why with others and let it inspire and motivate you to keep pushing forward. Your why can be a source of strength and encouragement, not only for yourself but also for those around you.
The GOLDEN formula is a powerful tool for navigating difficult times, and by following each step, you can live a Gold Medal Life. In the next post we will dive into the E:Enjoying the process. Now, take a breath, you deserve it.
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