Days pass by.
Each day, a new challenge. People to meet, work to get done, clients, customers, bosses, family and employees to please.
Some hours, there are things that you enjoy doing.
Some hours, you dread.
Other hours, you do things you aren’t sure why you do them, but they make the time go by.
Would you say that the majority of the day you are happy? Would you say there are times you wish you were happier?
Days pass us by. Days turn into weeks. Routines and habits form, and aren’t broken. Weeks turn into months. Months turn into years.
All the while, not much has changed – just the same old, same old; some hours of fleeting joy, some hours of boredom, anger, sadness, or just a plain lack of feeling.
What’s stopping you from being happy every waking hour of your day? Is this possible? Could you change something right now today which could impact your outlook on tomorrow?
In this post, I’ll be writing about something which has been on my mind for a while now: eliminating noise, and talk about finding meaning, purpose, and passion in your life.
Pursuing Happiness, Meaning, Purpose, and Passion
Why do you do the things you do? What makes you happiest? What are your passions?
Something I’ve worked on in the past few years has been pursuing happiness and meaning in life.
Can I maximize the hours I’m happy in life? How could I structure my time or daily routines to not be stressed out and allow myself to achieve my goals?
What I’ve learned now, is that by pursuing happiness, meaning in life, and purpose, I’ve found what’s important to me, and by aligning my actions with these values, I’ve become much happier.
What’s important to you?
Determining what makes you happiest and what your passions are boils down to the question of what’s most important to you.
Is your health important to you? Are you someone who loves reading, learning and growing? Is family something you value? What about your financial well-being, is this important to you?
For me, what do I value?
I value creating things and helping others. I love being around my family. Learning, reading, and growing are all things I value as well.
All of these things are important to me, and form my purpose in life: creating things (this blog and podcast) to help people become better and do more in their lives.
I’m happiest when I’m doing things around this purpose – it’s taken me a number of years to get here, but now, filling my days with creation has helped my mental state and allowed me not to get down as much as in my teens.
What if You Don’t Know Your Purpose?
What if you don’t know what makes you happy? What if you don’t know what your purpose is, or what you are passionate about?
If you don’t know what your purpose is, or what makes you happy, this is completely okay!
Honestly, before I go to bed every night, I think back on the day and assess the best times and the worse times. It’s a process, and something I’ve been personally working on for 5+ years.
After 5+ years, I still don’t know the answer to what makes me happiest, but I think I have an idea.
Personally, I know I love building things, and I love helping people. I love blogging and working on this website because it’s building something and it’s helping others.
If I’m not doing one of those two things, then it probably won’t make me the happiest person I can be!
For you, first and foremost, with many things in life, turning inward and asking yourself questions about your goals, wants and dreams is key.
What do you want in life? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What kind of lifestyle do you want in the future?
These questions and more are important to ask, and answer, for yourself if you want to understand where to go next.
Next, I want to share with you what I think is a HUGE problem in the world today: noise.
What is Noise?
Noise is unwanted sound.
Noise is unwanted content – a disruption in your daily life.
Anything you cannot control, influence or affect is noise.
Why is noise bad?
Noise distracts us from our best work.
Noise holds us back from true happiness.
I’m looking for overall life mastery – I want to maximize my money and time spent on things which will bring me happiness.
What doesn’t make me happy?
- Watching the 9 PM news and hearing who shot who, who stole what, and what company did something wrong.
- Hearing about how this random person on the internet did something random and it was “funny”.
- Reading about why the stock market is going up (or down) and what the outlook is (no one can predict the future – 99%+ of stock “gurus” are not worth listening to)
- I’m sure I could come up with 100+ more things not worth tuning in to because it’s noise but I’ll stop here.
With all this noise, how can we succeed?
Eliminating Noise to Free up Our Mind and Body
There are a number of ways which I’ve tried and found successful in eliminating noise:
- Unsubscribing from Emails
- Turning off the News
- Comparing Yourself to Others
- Reading Books instead of Articles
- Searching for the Truth instead of a Quick Fix
- Setting Aside Time for Social Media
Through these ways, I’ve eliminated the noise, freed up brain power, and supercharged my productivity, happiness, and energy to get more done, have better conversations, and maximize the number of hours I’m enjoying life.
By focusing on what I CAN control, and not focusing on what I CAN’T control, I’ve been much happier and productive.
Unsubscribing from Emails to Eliminate Noise
When I started blogging, I wanted to be in the know with many of the other bloggers out there. I went on a hunt to find many different personal finance and self-improvement blogs to read, comment, and subscribe to for further engagement.
Each day, I would get 10-15 emails from different bloggers notifying me of another post.
Over time, I stopped opening 5 of those.
Then the next 5.
And finally, I started deleting the majority of those instantly.
It was time for a purge.
I’m sure you have something similar with sites you sign up with for coupon codes or notifications.
These emails are just noise if you don’t care about them – and they distract you from your daily life.
I encourage my email subscribers to unsubscribe if they don’t want to hear from me.
Go ahead, click unsubscribe on a bunch of your own emails to eliminate noise from your life.
Turning off the News to Eliminate Noise
Back in 2015, I was in a job that was slow most days.
I’d be on my work computer and would bring up Yahoo Finance, CNN, Fox News, CNBC, and a number of other news outlet websites to try to stay up to date with what was going on in the world.
The amount of negatively brought me down, and sucked the energy from my body and brain to do amazing work I was capable of.
Who shot who, what happened to this random famous person, why is the sky blue over in New York City – all of this had 0 impact on my life.
All of this had 0 impact on my life, and yet, I was letting it impact my psyche.
I dumped cable, and stopped going to those website.
One of the best things you can do starting today is dumping the news from your daily routine.
Comparing Yourself to Others
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” — Theodore Roosevelt
Humans naturally compare themselves to other people all day long – it’s something I do, and I bet you do it too.
I look at my peers and compare what I’ve achieved and what they are doing in their life.
It’s all a waste of time.
Going on Facebook and seeing your friends post pictures of their recent family vacation, or scrolling through Instagram and seeing the latest clothing trend are both examples where you see the best side of someone else – and naturally compare and feel sad.
I wish I could be in Hawaii. I wish I could wear that awesome clothing.
Could you control either of those things? Possibly, but that would be a distraction from your purpose.
Reading and listening to others talk about success and their accomplishments can be beneficial for inspiration, motivation and learning, but at the end of the day, it’s just noise because you CANNOT control what others put out on the internet.
All you can focus on is what you are doing in your life.
Reading Books instead of Articles
Many news websites and blogs pump out many articles every single day, some 100s of articles a day.
If you are a writer and journalist, you are paid to come up with an interesting story and piece to satisfy your viewers and drive traffic.
Many articles are clickbait, poorly written, or don’t portray the full story.
Reading every article on the Huffington Post or USA Today is not going to make you smarter – and actually, it will probably frustrate you.
Instead, books can be much more beneficial to get the core content and improve your clarity and understanding on a topic.
Books can take years to research, write, and publish, and because of this, they are more likely to be well written and contain accurate information (of course, some books won’t satisfy this, but nothing is a guarantee).
Reading books, instead of articles, can help you cut down on the noise in your life, and also improve your understanding much more on a topic than reading something on some news website.
Setting Aside Time for Social Media
One of the biggest time sucks in the world today is social media.
Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest captivate our attention for many hours each and every day.
My cousin’s aunt’s dad’s friend caught a really nice fish this weekend, awesome!
Do I care?
No – it’s just noise distracting you from success!
I’m being a little bit harsh here, but it’s true.
Unless that guy who caught the fish is a good friend of yours, it’s kind of pointless to let them occupy your mental space….
Similarly, I see on Twitter a lot some influencer making a profound point and many people getting all worked up about it.
Should you let this raise your blood pressure? Probably not…
Remove noise from your life, and be at peace.
How to Keep the Noise at Bay – Focus on What’s Important to You
Keeping the noise to a minimum is so critical for success.
Have you ever deleted the Facebook app off of your phone to stop wasting time, but then a week later, re-installed the app and fell back into the same social media routine?
Did you ever set a limit on yourself for TV or phone time, but then stopped abiding by this limit?
After removing noise, it’s important to keep that noise away.
Filling that time and mental gap is critical for sustained success.
How can you ensure you are going to fill your new found time wisely?
New habits take 21 days to form, but I know you can do it.
Thinking back to finding meaning, purpose and passion in life, by pursuing the answers to your questions, and putting into action the answers you’ve came up for yourself, you can achieve anything you want.
Concluding Thoughts on Eliminating Noise and Finding Meaning, Purpose, and Passion
With many things in life, I recommend starting with questions and turning inwards.
For some people, it’s connecting with others and being social. For others, like myself, it’s about building and creating things that weren’t there before.
What makes you most happy? What is your purpose? Do you have goals, and what do those look like?
I love asking these questions because starting with why is so critical. Getting into a questioning mindset and learning more about what drives your happiness is the first step.
Once you’ve answered these question, you can move on to focusing and finding your trend within the noise of the world.
Readers: what is your purpose? What are your passions? Do you look to do things which have meaning, or do you just do things because that’s what you’ve always done? Do you have recommendations for eliminating noise in your life?
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