Most of us live out lives by accident – we live as it happens. Fulfilment comes when we live our lives on purpose.Simon Sinek
Life in lockdown has been like stepping back in time. A few years ago, I wrote an article for Kindred Spirit magazine about remote working. At the time, I’d just published my second novel and had just finished travelling around South-East Asia. I wrote about the freedom of choosing my own hours and places of work, and how much better I felt being able to work in a rhythm that suited my body and energy levels. I wrote that article, convinced that it was something everyone deserved to be able to try for themselves at least once.
Before lockdown, 1.7 million people in the UK worked from home. Compare that to the Office for National Statistics’ estimation of 20 million working from home now. I think we all know that life has changed on a global scale when it comes to work and how we get things done. Sooner or later, things will start to open up again and lockdowns will ease. The world as we knew it will change. But what about you? What about your life?
What was your life like, pre-lockdown? Did you bounce out of bed in the morning, excited for the day ahead? Or did you drag yourself to work, wishing you could do something else? Lockdown has forced us to slow down and view our lives without the distractions of work, socialising and general busy-ness. Many have enjoyed spending more time with family, doing creative things around the house or learning online. And a lot of us have been realised how much of our time was filled with things that weren’t as important as we thought. The good news, is that we can absolutely use this time to figure out what we do want from life, and how to prioritise the things that matter so that when lockdown eases, we can start to build a life that’s full of purpose. Here are some journalling/contemplation points to get you started:
What would your perfect day look like?
Waking up without an alarm and quietly sipping on a coffee in silence? Going for a hike in the mountains? Having time to work without distraction or would you prefer the buzz of conversation around you? So many people complain about not having enough time to do the things they’d like to do, but what are those things? When you know what your perfect day looks like, you can start to incorporate it into reality.
What lights you up?
We all have things that make our soul sing. For me, it’s writing and teaching yoga. For you it might be playing the didgeridoo, horse-riding or baking. What are the things that calm you down, bring you to your centre and release your creativity? Likewise, where do you feel at your best? In the countryside or a city? With other people or alone?
What are your unique gifts?
There are some things that everyone can do. And then there are things that only YOU can do in the special way you do them. Maybe you’re ace at creating warm and welcoming spaces, or you’re a badass at calligraphy. Maybe you’re a master matchmaker or a super-safe driver. Writing a list of your unique gifts, and constantly adding to it is an easy way to identify where your innate, soul-driven skills lie.
What would you do if you were absolutely guaranteed success?
Most of us don’t live our lives on purpose because of fear. When fear of not making enough money to pay rent makes you opt for a soulless job in a shop instead of fulfilling your dream of being an artisan baker, are you going to love it just as much? What is it that you would do if nobody or nothing were able to hold you back?
Questions like this are great at the best of times but right now, they’re especially potent. If you’re dreading going back to work with colleagues you don’t get on with, then you can absolutely do something about it! There might not be another time where we get to slow down like this again (let’s hope not, from a public health point of view!).
There has never been a better time than now to start building the life you’ve always wanted to live.
Hello, lovely. I’m Nat.
I’m a yoga teacher, coach and bestselling author with a passion for self-development and self-empowerment, based in Bavaria, Germany. You can find out more on my about page or get in touch via social media.