How to not drift through life and get what you really want

Maybe “the life you’ve always dreamed of” sounds fluffy to you, but I promise you it doesn’t have to be. I’m sharing short, practical and personal lessons with you on what I’ve learned from finding my life’s purpose and living it out on a daily basis, along with all the struggles along the way.

If you haven’t already done so, take the LifeScore™ Assessment to clarify what’s most important in your life, and how to tangibly create the life of your dreams and achieve your biggest goals.

All of us have room to grow in this area, but knowing where you stand is a necessary first step before that growth happens.

To listen to the audio of the lesson, which includes some bonus commentary from me, click here.

Lesson 2: Decide not to drift

Have you ever noticed how some people just seem to drift through life, without direction or purpose? Maybe you’ve noticed that about your own life.

I did this for nearly 10 years. It made me miserable. I kept complaining to my wife about what I really wanted to do but was too afraid to do.

It reminds me of a time when I was about six years old, afraid to go outside and play with the other kids. My family and I were living in a small apartment near Aurora, Illinois, and I was so shy that instead of going outside to play with the other kids that summer, I stayed indoors.

But whenever the other kids from the apartment complex would run around the courtyard, I’d chase them from one end of the duplex unit to the other, running from window to window so that I didn’t miss a thing.

Of course, I was missing everything. And I wanted to be out there playing with them, but I was scared. Scared to leave the comfort of home. Scared to step out. Scared to be rejected.

But one day, my mom (who was probably annoyed at a hyper little boy racing around her house when he should have been outside that summer) sat me down and said,

“Jeff, if you want a friend, you have to be a friend.”

She taught me that if I wanted people to know and like me then I had to make the first move. I’ve never forgotten that lesson.

Often in life, we’re waiting for someone else to make the first move.

We’re stuck inside, watching others participate in the game but never taking the bold move to join in. We’re hoping someone invites us in, hoping we don’t have to do the messy work of asking or simply showing up.

But that’s not how life works. At least not for me. Maybe you are different. Maybe you got invited to all the parties in high school and all the girls (or guys) wanted to go out with you and you never had to deal with awkwardness or rejection or fear.

But I did.

And as someone who’s dealt with that, I can tell you. It’s easier to just not put yourself through it. Easier, but not better.

Sail your ship

There’s that old saying: “A ship is safe in the harbor, but that’s not what a ship is built for.” The same is true of you. I believe that there is work that you need to do in this life. Important work. Work that only you can do.

But it won’t just happen. You can’t just drift through life and create the change you want. It’s going to take work and intentionality. You’re going to have sometimes swim against the current and brave the onslaught of the waves. You might even get dashed upon the rocks on occasion.

So it’s anything but safe. But this is what you were made for. This is why you are here.

Step out into the light, become your true self, and decide not to drift.

This article first appeared on Goins, Writer.