Life Lessons in the Real World

RSS 2.0

4 Steps to a Fulfilling Life Mission

4steps.jpgIn a previous article, we discussed the power of synergy. Synergy is the powerful force that occurs when your daily activities align with your internal motivations. If you’re confused about what I’m talking about, that’s great because it gives me a chance to do what I love most: explaining synergy to people who can use it to make their own lives happier.

The Four Steps 

The path to a synergistic life has 4 steps.  These 4 steps are your key to increased energy and happiness:   

  1. Discover your message.
  2. Discover your strengths.  
  3. Choose your medium.
  4. Choose your environment.

First, let’s clarify terminology.

  • Message: Something you feel compelled to communicate to the world, either explicitly or implicitly through your actions. It is the driving force within your life, the purpose waiting to break free, the reality you want everyone to experience. If you say you don’t have a message, I say you’re wrong. You just haven’t discovered it yet.
  • Strengths: The natural talents that allow you to communicate your message. Speaking, painting, writing, singing, designing, analyzing, problem solving, building, and just about any other talent you can imagine are all potential strengths.  
  • Medium: The context-specific application of your strengths and message.  In the business world, this would be your job title.    
  • Environment: The governing body that regulates your medium.  Unless you are self-employed, this is the company that signs your paychecks.  

Some tasks may be fulfilling in and of themselves, without any intrinsic meaning or purpose.  But many people want work that aligns with their life mission, a desire related to the Protestant concept of a calling.  We want to know that our work contributes to the common good, is a good fit for our strengths, and is personally fulfilling — this type of job satisfaction practically begs you to develop a clear personal message.

Most people skip right over this step, which is akin to writing a book without a topic, singing a song without a melody, or beginning a complicated construction project without a blueprint. You might have some idea what you’re doing, but you won’t have any idea why.  

An Example of an Average Joe’s Failure to Appreciate Synergy

Joe is a computer programmer. He is frustrated with his life. He feels like the work he is doing is pointless. One night after work, Joe goes to a party. A pretty young girl walks up and asks, “What do you do?”

Joe says, “I’m a computer programmer for Tech Solutions.”

Okay, stop. Look what Joe just did. Joe identified himself as a computer programmer. His whole identity is wrapped up in his job title, his medium of expression.  If we assume he is good at his job, he may have also told us something about his strengths: coding, analyzing, and problem solving.  And he definitely identified his environment, a company named Tech Solutions.  But notice, Joe hasn’t said anything about his message.  If Joe’s like most people, he doesn’t know what it is.     

Let’s rejoin Joe’s little conversation, already in progress.

The pretty young girl looks at Joe, seemingly impressed, and says, “You’re a computer programmer? Why do you choose to do that?”

Joe thinks this is a very strange question. Maybe this girl has been reading too many self-help books or something. “Why do I write computer programs?” he asks. “I guess because it pays the bills.”

Grabbing another beer from the near-empty cooler, the girl says, “Do you like it? Computer programming, I mean.”

“Actually, I hate it,” Joe says. “I think maybe I’d like to do something else.”

“Really?” she asks. “Like what?”

He pauses for a moment, staring absently at the plasma television mounted to the kitchen wall. “I don’t know what I want to do. Something different, I guess.”

Joe hates his job because he finds it meaningless and unfulfilling. He couldn’t care less about the computer applications he spends all day programming. There is a disconnect between Joe’s internal motivations and his daily activities, and until Joe finds a way to align these two things, he will continue to feel unfulfilled.  

Are You Ready to Live Synergistically? 

If someone comes up to you at a party and asks what you do for a living, how do you answer? And more importantly, if someone asked you to explain the mission of your life, could you do it?

The next four articles in this Synergy Series are designed to help you think critically about your message, strengths, medium, and environment.  I recommend that you bookmark this page so you can use it as a launch-pad to the companion articles and read them when you have time.  I hope the information finds you well.

You Are Reading an Article Series — Synergy, The Key to Greater Energy and Happiness:

  1. Intro: Synergy, the Key to Greater Energy and Happiness
  2. 4 Steps to a Fulfilling Life Mission
  3. Discover Your Message — Synergy Step One
  4. Discover Your Strengths — Synergy Step Two
  5. Choose Your Medium — Synergy Step Three
  6. Choose Your Environment — Synergy Step Four

15 Responses to “4 Steps to a Fulfilling Life Mission”

  • […] 4 Steps to a Fulfilling Life Mission […]

  • […] 4 Steps to a Fulfilling Life Mission […]

  • […] to you, I recommend reading my introductory article on synergy, the follow up article on the synergy process, and my article on message discovery before proceeding. A complete list of the articles in this […]

  • […] you need help finding the right career, read 4 Steps to a Fulfilling Life Mission.  If you don’t find inspiration there, look elsewhere — most importantly, look inside […]

  • bla says:

    Why do you think your readers are male?

  • JohnPlace says:

    bla: I don’t. Why do you ask?

  • Angry and Tired says:

    “Some tasks may be fulfilling in and of themselves, without any intrinsic meaning or purpose.”

    Something that is fulfilling in and of itself holds intrinsic value.

    I believe you meant to write “extrinsic” in this instance. Great article. Of course our lives today have gone in a horribly wrong direction with the cubicles, hours of traffic, etc. The need for extrinsic rewards is evident in the declining math and science abilities present in the United States today. Myself, for example, always held a passion for the maths and sciences in the world. However, upon entering college and unsure of my future degree, I was easily convinced to become an accountant. While this has mathematical implications and certainly mathematic skills are required, for me, this is not true mathematics. Despite this, I chose the path with the expectation of greater monetary wealth. What, I asked, could I possibly due with a degree in mathematics ? Teaching was all that came to mind. Of course, one Bachelor and one Master degree later, I realize my horrible mistake. I would love to go back in time and pursue higher mathematics and sciences such as physics, chemistry, etc. but feel that I have already wasted so much time in my “chosen” discipline and it is too late to turn around.

  • My spouse and I absolutely love your blog post 4 Steps to a Fulfilling Life Mission see almost all of these posts such as 4 Steps to a Fulfilling Life Mission being precisely what We are searching for. Does one supply guest people to post articles for you. We wouldn’t mind creating a article or elaborating on a few of the topics you’re posting concerning here. Again, amazing site! Rob Rasner Magic

  • I have to check with you here, which isn’t something I often do! I enjoy reading a blog that will make individuals think. Additionally, thanks for allowing me to remark!

  • I enjoy you because of your entire labor on this site. My mom really loves getting into investigations and it’s really easy to understand why. I learn all about the dynamic means you give very important guidelines by means of your website and in addition foster response from the others on that area plus our own daughter has always been understanding so much. Take advantage of the rest of the year. You are always conducting a powerful job.

  • doudoututu says:

    Fantastic things from you, man. Ive examine your things before and youre just also amazing. I adore what youve got right here, truly like what youre saying and the way you say it. You make it entertaining and you still manage to keep it sensible. I cant wait to study more from you. This is truly a fantastic weblog.

  • Mora Kryst says:

    While I agree with the points in 4 Steps to a Fulfilling Life Mission , I think the positive sentiment around today is a result of a politically engineered set of circumstances. The demand for consumer credit is still weak and there is no improvement in the housing sector. The developed countries are surviving on their governments ability to just borrow and spend into their countries which is unsustainable. Regards, Mora Kryst.

  • Jerry Stepps says:

    This is a good news intended for bloggers. It opens use of a wide spectrum of who find themselves finding the spot to words their questions. With an individual’s theme, I can gain any visibility I am having at present. Thanks with this informative submit, I learned a good deal!

  • I adore foregathering useful information , this post has got me even more info! .

Leave a Reply