If you want to (finally) choose your path and get started on it in 2017, these 12 unmissable free resources will help you to make it happen!
The process I use to help people choose their paths is based on 6 key steps:
- Creating a daily routine that makes you happy.
- Identifying your strengths.
- Pinpointing what brings you joy.
- Researching how you can make the money you want to make.
- Working out what the world needs.
- Building up the confidence (and courage) that you need to put it all into action.
Once you’ve got all 6 of those going you're pretty much sorted! That’s why I’ve put together this list of resources based on these 6 steps. You can pick whichever step you feel you need to work on the most and start learning more.
I’ve also included an inspiring quote with each section because well, quotes are the just the best :)
1. Creating your daily routine
“It is better to travel well than to arrive” Buddha
Creating a daily routine that makes you happy is so important because the time to be happy is now! You don’t need to wait until some point in the future or until you’ve made a change in your life, you can be happy right now. It’s more of an attitude than an emotional reaction.
The important thing to remember is: Yes, choosing your path can bring you pleasure and meaning but it won’t change your level of happiness.
So how do create a daily routine that will bring you happiness? Here are two great resources that will start you off.
Resource One: Calm Meditation App
After using Headspace for two years I needed a change. I found Calm and I am in love! It’s got a beautiful shimmering lake as a background and plays relaxing bird song when you open it up. What more could you want from a meditation app? Plus there are so many free meditations you can try and even stories to send you to sleep!
Resource Two: Matthieu Ricard on The Habits of Happiness
Who better to learn about being present and happy from than from the happiest man in the world?
2. Identifying your strengths
“Play to your strengths." "I haven’t got any," said Harry, before he could stop himself.
"Excuse me," growled Moody, "you’ve got strengths if I say you’ve got them. Think now. What are you best at?” ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
If you know what your strengths are you’ll be able to use them! Obviously it’s important to know your weaknesses and to work on them too, but doing things that you’re not very good at should never be the central part of your career.
You will hate it.
If you spend your life focusing on your weaknesses or even things that you’re just ok at, you’ll never reach your full potential. We each have different strengths for a reason. I like to think that if everyone used their strengths to the full, the world would be a positively extraordinary place!
Two resources that will help you identify and play to your strengths are:
Resource Three: Free Strengths Test
This is a free test based on the brilliant Clifton Strengthsfinder (you have to pay for that one though!) It will help you to identify your own unique combination of strengths so you can start using them to the max!
Resource Four: Strengthsfinder 2.0 Summary by Josh Kaufman
Strengthsfinder 2.0 by Tim Rath is the ultimate book for learning about your strengths. However if you don’t fancy buying it yet, this summary by Josh Kaufman will tell you what you need to know.
3. What brings you joy?
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs put that better than I ever could!
The key thing about identifying what you love is that, although people think that it’s the most important thing when it comes to choosing a career path, it’s not. I would argue that doing what the world needs is most important. If you can mold that to involve doing tasks everyday that you love, then you’re onto a winner!
Resource Five: How to Live Before You Die by Steve Jobs.
If you haven’t already watched this then what are you doing?! Please go and watch it now.
What are you still doing here? Watch it!
Resource Six: O’s Find Your Passion PDF
This colorful exercise from Oprah’s O magazine will help you to quickly identify some things that you’re really passionate about. It even helps you to whittle down your ideas to your favorite. Once you’ve got them identified think about this question:
How can you start including your passions in your daily life?
4. Making money
“Money is not the only answer, but it does make a difference” Barack Obama
We all have weird hangups about money that we don’t even know about.
If you’re anything like me, you have an unhealthy suspicion and hatred towards money. You know that it doesn’t bring you happiness so you don’t value it as much as you should. I’ve only really started appreciating the value of money since I’ve started working for myself. I’ve learnt that it can help you to achieve your goals and give back to the world (if you use it right!)
These two resources will help you to get your money mindset sorted. You don’t want your attitude to money to get in your way while you choose a path.
Resource Seven: Money Mindset Shifts by Marie Forleo
If you haven’t come across her before, Marie Forleo is brilliant! She’s really funny but also talks a lot of sense (in a compassionate way!) This video will help you to shift your mindset if you’re feeling like money is really scare in your life at the moment.
Resource Eight: How Much Money Do You Really Need? By Chris Guillebeau
Chris Guillebeau is another one of my favorite bloggers. This great post contains a few insightful exercises and different approaches to help you to work out much money you really need to make each month.
5. Providing what the world needs
“It's the action, not the fruit of the action, that's important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there'll be any fruit. But that doesn't mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
This is the step that’s going to bring you meaning. Doing all the fun, hedonistic things that bring you pleasure soon gets old. Doing things that matter is crucial to achieving that sense of happiness we spoke about in the first step. Taking those actions that could really make an impact on others is what will allow you make a positive difference that will remain long after you’re gone.
Resource Nine: The Why and How of Effective Altruism
This is a talk that will inspire you to take action to help others today. It will also make you evaluate the actions that you take. Are they really the most effective way to maximise your positive impact on the world?
Resource Ten: Global Giving
You don’t need to wait until you’ve chosen your path to provide what the world needs. Global Giving is a brilliant website full of grassroots projects from around the world. Choose a project and donate a few pounds or dollars.
The project that you choose will tell you a lot about the causes that you care about. How can you help further them by being the change you want to see in the world? (Yes, Gandhi again!)
5. Courage and confidence
“All you need is the plan, the roadmap, and the courage to press on to your destination.” Earl Nightingale
You can choose a clear path and know the exact direction you want to go in but without the courage to take the first step and the confidence to keep going, you won’t get anywhere.
This is the step that I’m most passionate about. I have struggled with a lack of confidence throughout my life and I know I’m not the only one. Sometimes we think that if we’re pursuing our dreams, it’s going to be super fun all along the way. It’s not. It’s going to be hard and we’re going to have to be brave.
From my last blog post, you’ll know that research has proven that women are less confident and are more worried about failure than men. This affects our careers and impact that we have on the world.
These two resources are by two amazing women who’ve been through their own struggles with confidence and courage. Let’s change that statistic together.
Resource Eleven: Chelsea Dinsmore at WDS 2016
This talk will make you cry and then make you feel like you can do anything. Chelsea Dinsmore now runs the awesome site, Live Your Legend after her husband Scott Dinsmore passed in 2015. In this presentation she talks about how she coped with this loss and how she built the courage to keep on living. It’s probably the most inspiring thing I’ve ever watched. It’s also my treat for when I finish this blog post today! I’m going to watch it again :)
Resource Twelve: The Five Fear Truths by Susan Jeffers
Being scared of doing new things is totally natural. I used to think that I was really weird and the only person whose fear would hold them back. I can now laugh at that thought and comfort you by saying this:
The reason that you notice that your fear is holding you back is because you want to move forward.
The people around you who never get scared aren’t pushing themselves to grow. Fear is not something to feel bad about or something that you need to change. These Five Fear Truths from one of my favourite books ever, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers, will show you just that.
Now go make yourself a cup of tea and get comfy. Then spend some time browsing these resources, taking notes in your favourite notebook and then, most importantly of all, take some action!
Which of these resources was your favourite? I’d love to know your thoughts. Comment below or send me an email: claudia[at]peacenpurpose.com. I’ll be eagerly sat at my laptop waiting to hear from you!