Life Lessons in the Real World

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Discover Your Message — Synergy Step 1

messagehead.jpgYour message is 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.

Discovering your message is the first step in leading a synergistic life. If synergy is a new self-improvement concept to you, I recommend reading my introductory article on synergy and the follow up article on the synergy process before proceeding.

My Journey to Discovering My Message

My message (which is certainly different than yours) is simple:

I want everyone to understand they are capable of overcoming obstacles, finding happiness, and living up to their potential. I want to tell people they can be more powerful than they ever dreamed, and I want to show them how.

Although I was not able to articulate my message until I was 34 years old, my first glimpses of my message were in grade school. I was an overweight child, shy and unsure of myself. Schoolyard bullies tormented me. I put up with bullies for the same reasons that people stay in abusive relationships or dead-end jobs – because I felt powerless. These childhood experiences eventually inspired me to help others be more powerful.

As I grew older, I noticed a common problem plaguing the world’s underachievers: lack of self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is defined as a person’s confidence in his ability to accomplish something. In college, I tutored a great many students who struggled with their classes because they lacked confidence in their skills. And again, after college, I mentored several employees whom the company had brushed aside as incompetent for the very same reason. With a little encouragement and the right kind of training, these castaway employees and struggling students became successful.

And every time I helped someone learn new life-skills, I felt good about myself. Every time I helped someone increase his self-efficacy, I felt a little pang of hope deep inside my soul, a joyful feeling telling me I was on the right track. By living, learning, and helping, I discovered my message.

What have your life experiences taught you?

Discover Your Message

A quick search on the Internet will reveal several articles on how to discover the meaning of your life. The techniques advocated usually involve brainstorming or free writing, the idea being that the longer you write, the more likely your purpose will come bubbling to the surface. Some of these techniques are actually quite helpful. But I believe the most effective method of determining your message is simple analysis.

What truths do you believe in? What do you want the world to know? What lessons have you learned that you feel compelled to share with others? Certainly your life has taught you something of value. Identify the lessons you feel passionate about and you will discover your message.

Notice, I’m not asking you to figure out what job you want or what actions you should take. Actions are context specific, and we haven’t gotten that far yet. In my synergy-process article, we discussed how people tend to define themselves as a medium (a job) instead of a message (a purpose). Don’t make that mistake.

In other words, if your medium is writing, your message should not be, “I want to share my writing with the world.” Rather, your message is the underlying topic that compels you to write, the one topic that supersedes all others, the one you want everyone to read about. The ability to write is a skill, and the job of being a writer is a medium of communication. But the message, that’s the thing being written.

A message can be as general or specific as you like. For our friend the writer, a general message might be, “Books free the soul and inspire the mind,” whereas a specific message might be, “Genocide must be stopped,” or “Consumerism has a negative side,” or whatever else moves him. The writer’s message could be anything — absolutely anything. It’s up to him! The only requirement for his message is that it should compel him to write. And the same rules apply to you! In other words, your message can be whatever moves you. You decide your message. The only requirement for your message is that it should compel you to act!

You don’t have to be a writer to communicate a message. The question is whether or not your job is a suitable medium for your message, a challenge we will tackle later in this series of articles. For now, don’t think about your job or your skills. Just think about your message.

If you are having trouble coming up with your message, open up your word processor and start brainstorming. Write whatever comes into your mind. Your goal is to write a single sentence you feel passionate about and want to share with others. Think of it as your mission statement in life.

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

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