I often refer to myself as the black-sheep of my family. I’m the weird one. The one that doesn’t have a job. The one that has always illogically followed his intuition and made spontaneous decisions to act. The one who has never been attracted to or compelled to follow the norms of society to get the degree, the job, the house and just settle for a life that isn’t incredibly joy-filled and purpose-driven. I have followed my path and it has led me to exactly where I want to be, and this week, I want to encourage you to do the same.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it is not an easy path, nor is it always clear and straight, but it’s the one that has led me to my joy and purpose in life. From a young age, I have never wanted normal, I have always been driven to do what few people are willing to do. The process I needed to follow to play professional sport, be optimally healthy, write books and create a business from home has met with lots of resistance from other people, and, though I hate to say it, my own limiting beliefs.
There is such a strong magnetic pull to stay in our own status quo and stay doing things that are accepted by society, the people whose opinions we care about most and our own self-belief, that it can be very difficult to break free. There are two paths you can choose from; the one less travelled and the one most travelled. Before you choose your path, be very clear on the direction it is leading and the destination it will take you. Then, be strong and courageous enough to decide whether that is where you want to be in life, or not, because once on the path, the destination is predictable, whether you like it or not.
I have never been one to stay on a path that was not going to lead me to joy. I was a teacher for a few short years and got out knowing in my heart that it was not my path. I worked in a gym for less than six months before realising that it was not taking me to my purpose. I lasted fifteen years as a personal training and got to the top of the ladder when I realised it was leaning against the wrong wall. It wasn’t until I made the illogical and courageous decision to write a book, with no time, no experience, no qualification and limited ability, that I accidentally found my path. It actually wasn’t accidental at all, it was in my gut, and I listened. Are you listening to your gut?
The question you need to ask is, do you want pleasing methods or pleasing results? If you want pleasing methods – in other words, be comfortable on a well-worn path – you will have to accept the results you get in life, based on where the path leads. If you are motivated by pleasing results, you may need to carve your own path or take the road less travelled to get there. It will be uncomfortable, inconvenient, full of obstacles, create doubt and bring you into contact with many people who will try to discourage you, but if you keep going, it will lead you to joy, fulfillment and purpose.
Get clear on how you want to live, rather than what you think you should do. Imagine a life full of that joy. What does it look like? Can you describe it clearly? Imagine how it feels when you wake in that life, and spend each day doing the things that bring joy, happiness, fulfillment and purpose. Who is there? What are you doing? How are you feeling? Where are you living? How are you living? This is your destination, not anyone else’s. Don’t let anyone else place their opinions, expectations, judgments, fears and insecurities and influence that will lead you away from your own path. Are you getting what I am saying here?
In my podcast this week, I talk with the wonderful Sara Picken-Brown, who has followed her amazing path to lead her to the joy she is living today. It’s called Find your joy, and is very much worth listening to. You are amazing. You have incredible strength and courage. You have the capacity and ability to be the black-sheep of your family. In other words, you can choose to push against the masses, reject what is expected of you and accepted by others, take the road less travelled and follow your own path. Enjoy the amazing adventure and joy as you do.