We all have our off days – or weeks – sometimes.
Part of being human is navigating the ebbs and flows of life. As we grow, we start to figure out what tools, tricks, and techniques we can use to help us shift the “blah” moods more efficiently.
Remember Your Purpose
I was having one of those days a couple of weeks ago.
After a long couple of days being in the hospital for my son, I was feeling exhausted in every sense of the word. Bone deep exhaustion that goes beyond the physical, and hits you deep in your soul.
I was feeling unmotivated, and missing the feeling of being “lit up” by my work.
So I turned to one of my most impactful tools by saying to myself this powerful phrase:
“OFF self, ON purpose.”
I grabbed the hot meal that hospital staff had boxed up for me and took a little detour to a spot where people experiencing homelessness often gather. I offered the box lunch to someone who gladly took it, and I was grateful for the opportunity.
The opportunity to remember my purpose. To be able to give back, even in the smallest of ways.
I don’t tell you this for recognition. I tell you because after years of doing this, it’s become a natural habit – and one that works.
Performing acts of service help us get out of our heads and back in touch with what our role is in the world.
Giving back is a win-win. It helps you feel good, and the people you’re helping to feel good.
Rut Be Gone!
When you’re in a rut, you feel this redundant sense of monotony. A lack of inspiration or motivation.
The best way to get out of a rut is to disrupt your daily routine.
It may seem obvious, but it can be difficult to remember when you’re in the thick of it.
Routines are important. They help create structure, discipline, and a sense of normalcy. Too much routine however, can make you lose your passion for life.
Disrupting your routine doesn’t have to be huge. In fact, the smallest of changes can sometimes be the most impactful.
Going for an evening walk instead of watching T.V.
Sending a message to someone that popped into your mind, instead of just waving it off.
Choosing an herbal tea instead of wine one night.
When I chose to reroute my way back from the hospital, I made the conscious decision to get out of autopilot. This forces my mind to get off self, and back on purpose.
“Off self” doesn’t mean forcing yourself to bury or ignore things that are weighing you down or need to be addressed. It means taking a momentary break from thinking about those things, so that you can zoom out and see the bigger picture once again.
This momentary break gives you the chance to muster up the energy to take action. One small action that will help you feel like your more purposeful self again.
Action Creates Energy
It might feel difficult to gather the strength to take a detour – literally or metaphorically. But the small amount of energy it takes to take one tiny action in turn creates more energy.
You know the rush you get after a solid workout. The spaciousness and relief you feel after an intense conversation. The groundbreaking feeling after doing something that you’ve been scared to do.
Action creates energy.
Even the smallest of actions.
These little changes add up, and help give you the energy and motivation to pursue your passion and get back on purpose.
That energy is amplified even more when the actions you take help to serve others as well.
Giving back to your community and the world helps fill us with a sense of purpose, and belonging.
You never know who you’ll come across, what stories they have to tell, what inspiration you can get from simply lending a helping hand and giving back in your own way.
Now ask yourself – “What small thing can I do RIGHT NOW to get me OFF self, and ON purpose?”
Here are a few ideas:
- If you have a garden, leave extra goodies outside for neighbors to feast from.
- Send a message to someone telling them what impact they’ve had on you.
- Your friend that’s going through it – offer to walk their dogs or pick up their groceries.
What are you waiting for?