How to figure out your life purpose if you are struggling or unable to do what you really love, and everyone around you thinks they know better what you should do.
In this video coaching newsletter, I discuss an email from a very frustrated half German, half Bolivian former Brazilian Jiu Jitsu athlete that suffered a career-ending shoulder injury. He previously had been competing and traveling all over Europe at the highest level. His heart, passion and focus had always been about training and competing since childhood. Now he feels totally lost and like a man without a purpose.
His family wants him to go to medical school, and he is now back in Germany and miserable. He is unsure of what to do with his life now and asks my opinion on what he can do to get back on track and feel like he is fulfilling his true purpose in life. I share some things he should focus on to help him grow and evolve to the next level. My comments are in (bold parenthesis like this below) in the body of his email.
My name is Bob, and I am half German, half Bolivian. I am reading your book over and over, and I want to thank you for and the help and value you have added to my life.
I am in a very unusual situation right now and I want your opinion for a correct decision. Long story short, since I was a boy I competed in a martial art called Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at the highest level. I traveled all over Europe competing. I had the potential, the talent and the discipline to become a professional, since everything in my life was about Jiu Jitsu. I loved it more than anything and was the best at it.
(What do you love to do in life? If you don’t love something, if you’re not absolutely committed to it, you won’t suffer for it. You won’t work hard enough to become a master at it.)
One month before moving to the states to build a life out of it, I broke my shoulder. I cannot compete at the same level again, as it will break again causing a worse injury.
(If I was having a phone coaching session with you I would ask, what do you love about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu? What is so awesome about it? What is it that just fucking lights you up? Then, I will ask, what else do you love? Depending on how many limiting beliefs a person has in the way, and whatever story they’ve invented to get in the way of them doing what they want, usually within fifteen minutes to a half hour, I can get people to really open up and start telling me all the things they really love to do.
The whole point is, we’ve got to get the core needs, the things that are most important to you, the things you most love and enjoy doing in life. And it’s important to write all of those down on paper. Once you have a list, the idea is to line up some kind of career, business or career path that will enable you to have the life and lifestyle where you can do everything that you love.
If you’ve got ten things on your list that you absolutely love to do more than anything, and your current job, career and lifestyle only affords you the ability to do half of those, every day when you get up, you’re going to feel like something is missing. You’re going to feel like you’re not doing what you were put on this earth to do. But if five or six of the things that are on the list are things you do day in and day out in your job, and the other four or five of the things on your list are things you get to do in your lifestyle, you’re going to feel like you’re doing what you were put on this earth to do. That’s going to make you really happy. It’s going to make you feel fulfilled, because success is making progress, and being happy is a direct result of feeling like you’re making progress towards achieving your goals and your ideal life and lifestyle.)
This was two years ago. Since that day, I have no purpose, no direction or place where I belong in life. I am lost like never before. I live in Germany now.
Since my family lives in Bolivia, I always thought that it would be great to move to them and study in Bolivia, as we always had a wonderful home, a beautiful, huge and tight family. Sincerely, it is a paradise to me, as we were all really close.
(You’re living in a country where you don’t want to live, and you’re focusing on going to school, but the only reason you should be getting a college degree in anything or going to a trade school is because that degree or trade school is going to give you the skills, the tools and help you develop the talents you need, so you can go out and get the job or career that you want. If you’re just going to school for the sake of going to school, you’re wasting your fucking time.)
The only problem is that educational costs are really high. The only option that I have is to study at the public university doing a subject that I know is not for me: medicine.
(There’s no point in getting a degree in medicine if you don’t love it, or you’re not going to work hard enough when things get really difficult. You won’t be willing to suffer for medicine like you were willing to suffer for Jiu Jitsu.)
My family wants me to do that, since they supported me at everything that I did. In Germany, though I can study for free, it’s not everything I want.
(The only reason you should be in Germany is because you’re going to school to get a degree that’s going to help you do something you really love in life. If you’re going to medical school just to please your parents or your family, at some point you’ll probably just end up dropping out. A lot of people do that, because they’re not committed to what they’re doing. They won’t suffer for it.)
As time passed, my parents and I started to get into fights and arguments, as I was really frustrated not knowing what to do with my life, and it wasn’t healthy. I was doing something that I wasn’t sure about. It came to the point where I got sick of all the sleepless nights, drama and pain that I moved to Germany about a month ago. To be honest, I never wanted to be here, since I was unhappy in this country as fuck.
(How are you going to have a great life and lifestyle when you’re living somewhere that sucks? You’re not going to be as attractive to women as you could be if you’re not living some place where you’re not absolutely in love with where you are living. You’ve got to ask yourself, where do I want to live? It sounds like you really want to be back in Bolivia.)
The only times that I was really alive was when I trained. Now I don’t have Jiu Jitsu anymore and just exist. I am lonely as fuck, have no friends, and it’s cold and dark, especially in winter. Man, I miss my family and friends, and I don’t know where to go or what to do. What is your opinion on all of this?
Please help me find my path again and take the correct decision.
(We know you love Jiu Jitsu, and we know you love Bolivia and being close to your family. The only thing that’s missing is immersing yourself in something you love. Sit down and work on your list of everything you love to do. Nothing sets you alive like Jiu Jitsu does, so maybe you should be doing something like coaching or sports commentary. If you love Jiu Jitsu more than anything, you have to continue to be involved in it in some way, even if it’s teaching.
If the only reason you’re in Germany is because the schooling is cheaper, but you’re going to school for a degree in something you don’t even want to do, the chances of you even finishing that degree are slim to none. If you’re going to go into Jiu Jitsu, maybe you can go to school for a degree in business so you can learn how to run a business, especially if you’re going to have your own organization where you train other people in Jiu Jitsu.
When you love something and you can’t think of anything else, you have to find a way to be involved in it. Competing in Jiu Jitsu is just one aspect of the martial arts industry. There’s all kinds of careers you can go into if you can’t go back to the mat. Maybe you can train, maybe you can teach, maybe you can run clubs, maybe you can get involved in the organization running competitions.
You’ve got to ask yourself, what do you love to do? If you’re more of a leader type of person, maybe you coach or mentor. Maybe you have a natural talent for management, leading other people and running organizations. Maybe a degree in something like Business Management or Entrepreneurship might be a better degree to get to compliment your experience. Maybe you don’t get a degree at all, work as a trainer, and immerse yourself in teaching what you know in Jiu Jitsu, mentoring the next group of people that are coming up.
These are only questions you can answer in your heart. Go to your family and tell them you’ve made this list, this is what you want to do, it’s what you love more than anything, and you need their support. Tell them, “I don’t want to live in Germany. I hate it there. I don’t want to major in the medical field.” As long as you’re passionate, and you believe in what you’re doing, I’m sure they’ll support you. Obviously, they want the best for you. They care about you and they love you. You said yourself that you had a very tight family, and they always supported you in Jiu Jitsu.
The problem is, you haven’t made a lateral move or moved into a side business that runs parallel to the Jiu Jitsu industry. Every athlete is going to hit the wall at some point. You have to think about what you’re going to do when you hit the wall physically. You’re at that point. You’ve hit the wall physically and you can’t compete, but I don’t see why you can’t train others or work in the industry.
Make a list of everything you love to do in life, and match those driving force needs up to job description details. And if it requires some kind of certificate or training, that’s what you go to school for, because that’s going to make you feel alive. If you have an emotionally compelling reason to get a degree, you’ll be willing to suffer for it.)
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From my heart to yours,
Author, Speaker, Peak Performance Coach, Entrepreneur
“Your true purpose and calling in life tends to evolve as you gain more experience and immerse yourself in doing what you love. In order to feel truly fulfilled in life, you must be able to consistently, week in and week out, spend your time doing the things you most love and enjoy doing. What kind of work would you do if you did not need to work for a living? Every professional athlete and person who does physically demanding work will eventually ‘hit the wall’ and be physically unable to continue performing at the same level. One of our core human needs is to always be growing and expanding beyond our current capabilities. Always be thinking about your next step and personal evolution. Once you have mastered something, the next natural progression is to help others to master and achieve the same level of proficiency, much like a parent seeks to enable their child to become better than they were at everything that is important to them.” ~ Coach Corey Wayne
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