Life without meaning can be very depressing. Having no purpose behind what you do everyday can make your days grey and foggy like a November morning.
But once you discover something you love (or someone , sometimes ), all rays of light seem to gather to shine on that new purpose. It puts an engine behind your actions. It creates drive, movement. It attracts joy.
A few months ago, I started learning to sew and make clothes. It started from a childhood wish, and I didn’t expect to love it so much, after failing to put the thread into the needle for the first 10 times!
But soon, I became focused on getting better at sewing. I read books, blogs, magazines, roamed shops for fabrics and dreamed about the intricate collections I would design. Eventually I had to slow myself down, because all my free time was going into sewing.
I really think that finding a focus – a goal, if you wish – in your life can help bring clarity and a ray of light.
It’s that thing, when someone asks you “What have you been up to, lately?” and you answer “Oh, there’s this new thing I discovered/I’m learning/I’m doing. Let me tell you about it…”
Here’s how to find one:
1. Think about yourself and something you dream of. What is it you want? Is it quiet? Balance? Social activity? Is it time with yourself? Health?
2. Build a ritual of hobby around the desired state. If it’s quiet, learn yoga or meditation. If it’s balance, enroll in a cooking or sports class. If it’s social, find a hobby club in your area. If it’s time with yourself, book a day at a spa once per month…you know better than I do.
3. Help it evolve. Focus becomes greater as we realize how much we learn during the process. So allow the hobby or ritual to unfold itself. Be attentive to what you learn new about yourself. Experiment new approaches. Go further.
4. Let it become part of your identity. For me, sewing is a way to develop and showcase my creativity and artistic side. Allow your goal to shape you and permeate into your identity. See what you become and allow this skill to go even further, into who you are.
5. See where you can use this newly developed identity further. I found it easier to be creative once people around me recognized my creativity in the clothes I made, and encouraged me to use it more. I even used my creativity in areas I hadn’t imagined before.
In the end, focusing on something new (a hobby, a challenge) is a form of development. It nourishes us to be bold, to do more than just swim in grey muddy everyday waters. And sometimes, when we push our head to the surface we see that the sun is shining more than before.