Have you ever found yourself running around like a chicken with its head cut off? Have you ever ended the day at 5 p.m. (or much, much later) feeling like you were crazy busy but you didn’t get anything important accomplished?

Don’t worry. Everyone feels like this.

Every day you get pulled in different directions, drama unfolds all around you, and you often find yourself wondering “how the heck did I get here?”

More often than not, the answer to that question is simple.

You ended up here because you didn’t have a single clear and concise purpose.

So today I’m going to share two things with you:

  1. Why you need to know your purpose in life
  2. How you identify your purpose in the next 15 minutes.

Why You Need To Know Your Purpose In Life

If you ever find yourself lacking focus and direction, feeling like you aren’t living up to your potential and as though you’re stuck on a never ending treadmill, you need a purpose.

That’s because knowing your purpose acts as a filter for all your behavior.

It works like this:

Let’s say you’ve identified your purpose right now as improving your health. And let’s say you’ve identified this as your purpose so that you can be more present and active with your family. Then one of your friends invites you to go out Friday night. You know that all your friends will be there, and that it’ll probably turn into a very late night with a lot of drinks.

With your purpose (improving your health) clear in your mind, you know that going out for a very late night of a lot of drinks isn’t going to help you achieve it.

This gives you the confidence to turn to your friends and say:

“Sorry, I can’t make it tonight. But if anyone wants to grab a coffee on Sunday and hit the park with our families, let me know.”

By simply comparing the option presented to your purpose, you’re able to say no. And by presenting an alternative way to reach the goal – spending time with friends – you’re saying no with class.

So How Do You Find Your Purpose?

When people start thinking about their “Life’s Purpose”, it quickly becomes overwhelming.

If you approach discovering your life’s purpose as a one time action, that’s no surprise. And as a result, most people pick something, fail at it, and become demoralized.

But I’ve got a different approach. I believe in finding your purpose by thinking “what is my purpose right now?”

This way, instead of trying to predict what will matter to you in 20, 30, or even 40 years time, you can focus on the here and now.

To do this, I recommend using the Wheel Of Life.

The Wheel Of Life

Get a piece of paper and a pen. Draw a circle the size of a mug in the center of it. Then, split it into quarters.

From the top right, these quarters represent:

  1. Health
  2. Wealth
  3. Personal
  4. Relationships

For each quarter, I want you to imagine there’s a scale going from the center of the circle to the outer edge. This is a scale from 0-10.

With that in mind, go through each quarter and rate each of the four areas of your life. Don’t overthink this – just follow your gut and identify where you’re sitting on the scale.

Mark your rating by drawing a line in the quarter at the appropriate place, and then color in the area from the central point to that line.

Do You Have Balance?

By now you should have rated and colored each of the four quarters. It is probably an odd looking shape, without a smooth, consistent edge. That’s totally normal.

What I want you to do now is imagine that this shape wasn’t just on your page. I want you to imagine it’s the shape of the wheels on your car.

Chances are you’re already imagining how bumpy a ride this would be. Every time your wheel rotated there’d be a big BUMP THUMP, and you’d shake down the road as you lost traction and tried to stay in control.

This is what happens when the areas of your life haven’t gotten equal attention.

Using The Wheel Of Life To Identify Your Purpose

Now you’ve got your wheel of life in front of you, look at what would cause the massive BUMP THUMP if it was the shape of your tires as you drove along.

Is one quarter dramatically smaller than the others?

Is one quarter dramatically bigger than the others?

Is half the circle well balanced, and half almost minuscule?

By answering these questions, you’ll know which area of your life needs the most help.

And that’s your purpose. To improve the one area of your life that needs the most attention, creating a smoother wheel of life.

When you do this, the activities in your life will be aligned. You’ll achieve more in less time because you will be focused, aligned, and know what really matters to you.

Now That You Know Where To Focus…

If you’re still reading, you probably found this exercise useful — and you’re ready to use more proven tools to unlock your potential so that you can finally live your dream life.

So let me start to share how you can really have it all.

You see, over the last 15 years, I’ve dedicated my life to learning what successful people do differently. How they think, what skills they have, and how they engage with the world.

I’ve spent more than $300,000 learning their success systems by visiting them in their private houses, getting access to their elite gatherings, and paying to join the clubs they were in so I could soak up their secrets.

I started applying the secrets of these highly successful people to my own life, and the transformation was incredible.

I sold a company, acquired the business of my dreams, developed deeper and more fulfilling relationships with the people I cared about, got healthier and fitter, and started traveling the world.

I didn’t need to fire walk, sit in a sweat lodge, or have a spiritual awakening in the hope that I’d suddenly got the insight I needed.

No. It turns out that success is incredibly systematic.

And that system has been designed and refined by extraordinary people who use it again, and again, and again to achieve their goals and design the life they want to live.

Tomorrow, I’ll share with you the simple dichotomy used by one of the most successful men I know to figure out where the system isn’t working, and how to address it.

Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne is the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. Craig has been a contributor to Men’s Health magazine for over 17 years. Today he teaches his gift high-performing entrepreneurs how to squeeze more out of their days, increase their income, and make more quality time for their families in his Perfect Life Workshop and Work-Life Mastery programs. Craig used his own advice to overcome crippling anxiety attacks in 2006, and he’ll teach you his 5 Pillars of Success so you can increase your income, decrease your work time, and live the life of your dreams. Learn more about Craig at craigballantyne.com

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Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne is the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. Craig has been a contributor to Men’s Health magazine for over 17 years. Today he teaches his gift high-performing entrepreneurs how to squeeze more out of their days, increase their income, and make more quality time for their families in his Perfect Life Workshop and Work-Life Mastery programs. Craig used his own advice to overcome crippling anxiety attacks in 2006, and he’ll teach you his 5 Pillars of Success so you can increase your income, decrease your work time, and live the life of your dreams. Learn more about Craig at craigballantyne.com