The average American spends 11 hours a day consuming media.
Every. Single. Day.
Two hours and 22 minutes of that time are spent on social media. The rest is spent in front of a TV or online reading, listening, or interacting with content.
According to my iPhone, I’m better than average.
But it’s hardly worth celebrating...
I've spent 2 hours and 14 minutes using Instagram, nearly 4 hours in email, and 3 and 1/2 hours playing in my new Oculus Quest (which is next-fucking-level incredible) over the past 7 days.
Thank God I don't watch Netflix on my phone... tracking that would have easily added 14 more hours to the mix.
That’s 24 hours this week, to put it bluntly, dicking around with things that really, ultimately, in the end, don't fucking matter.
Which is Why Life Hacks Are So Great…
That’s why "life hacks" are so great, right?
Like life hacks from Robert Allen about NOT keeping a zero-inbox. Or the one from James Altucher about NOT reading the news. Or the advice from Niklas Göke about being vulnerable and handing out a "trust advance."
These life hacks are little morsels of advice to help you focus on the things that matter. They are quality recommendations that will absolutely save you time and lead you to a better life (or at least prevent you from the bullshit activities that might take you away from it).
What’s more, each of these hacks is related by an underlying, fundamental hack.
A single hack all three have in common.
One root hack to rule them all!
One hack, FORGED IN THE DEPTHS OF MOUNT...
I'll get to the point.
One Hack to Rule Them All
Simon Sinek had it right when he wrote his book, Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team.
Rick Warren put a point on it with his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?
These books discuss the importance of having one fundamental driving force to guide your every decision, your every action.
That driving force is purpose.
And purpose, however small and obscure you think it is, is the ultimate life-hack.
Really? God. Isn’t That a Little New-Age Woo-Woo?
I’ll admit, purpose sounds a little woo-woo, a little new age. But there’s a reason it’s not only an obvious life hack but the ultimate one: when driven by purpose, you experience dozens of immediate, practical, life-changing benefits that make all other hacks irrelevant.
James Altucher’s suggestion of NOT reading the news is based on the principle of purpose. Why not read the news? Because doing so won’t positively affect the main goal(s) in your life.
Robert Allen’s suggestion of NOT keeping a zero-inbox is also. Why NOT worry about having zero unread emails? Because spending time responding to other peoples’ bullshit requests takes time away from shit that matters to you.
In other words, reading the news and keeping up on your emails is neither relevant nor helpful to doing that which you were put on this earth to do...
What is a Purpose?
Purpose gives you clarity. With one fundamental driving force in your life, there's no question whether the tasks you're working on will help or hurt.
Purpose gives you focus. When you have a single guiding light to follow, everything else lies on the fringe. It's easy to eliminate distractions and remain single-mindedly focused on that which matters.
Purpose gives your life meaning. When you know your destination, everything you do to help you get there is meaningful and fulfilling.
Speaking of which...
Purpose fulfills you. Loading your day with meaningful activities that align with your reason for being fills you up with energy, happiness, and satisfaction.
Purpose gives you drive. When you have somewhere to go and something to do, there's no use sitting around. Your purpose will sit at the forefront of every activity (or non-activity), beckoning you to take action, inspiring you to grow.
Purpose redefines success on your terms. When the ultimate objective in your life is something only you can do, there’s no use following the rules and limitations others’ have constructed. You get to define how you achieve success. You get to choose how you succeed.
Finally, purpose makes you grateful. When you live up to and for your purpose, there are no regrets, no second guesses; only clear, focused, meaningful, and fulfilling action driving you to success on your terms.
And that’s something to be grateful for.
I Have Goals. Isn’t That Enough?
Goals are great.
Goals are helpful and practical and useful.
People who set goals have been shown in study after study to be more likely to achieve them.
But no, goals aren’t enough.
A goal alone sets you on a path that, one day, will end. It will either end in failure (at which point you’re left wondering how to recover) or in success (at which point you’re left wondering what to do next).
Purpose is the one thing that will guide you through failure, help you recover from it, and keep you moving onto bigger and better things after you succeed.
Beyond that though, the wrong goal can be detrimental to your success.
If your purpose in life is to become a marathon runner and you set a goal to complete the swim to Alcatraz, you’ll swim to prison but die on the road.
If your purpose is to become an author and you set a goal of selling $3 million dollars for your business, you may succeed in but never write that book.
Goals, when not aligned with your purpose, will distract you from doing what’s necessary to live a life of meaning. It’s the very reason so many find financial success but aren’t happy. They’re winning at money but failing at life…
All because they’re not aligned with their purpose.
Or maybe because they haven’t found it.
How to Find Your Purpose
So now I’ve convinced you that finding your reason for being is the ultimate life hack? Now you want to know what you were put on this earth to do?
I’m afraid to say, that’s far beyond the scope of this article.
But, so as not to leave you hanging, I’ve put together a few find-your-purpose worksheets that aim to do just that. Download them here and discover your guiding light, your driving force, your one true calling using questions I’ve uncovered from dozens of books and even a few Tony Robbins exercises.
These worksheets will help, but finding your purpose won’t be easy.
Once you find it though, everything will change for the better.
Purpose Changes Everything
Let it change everything.
In a National Institute of Health study performed in 1998, researchers found that people with purpose lived up to seven years longer than people without. Imagine what you could do with seven extra years.
Find your purpose and change how long you can possibly live.
In a 2013 Gallup/Healthways study, having a purpose has also been shown to double the likelihood that you’ll learn something new every day. This is the same study, by the way, that showed you’ll increase your likelihood of being engaged at work by 400%.
Find your purpose and become a rockstar at work every day.
And, speaking of work, purpose can change your business too.
Multiple Neilson studies have shown that customers will pay more for a product with a purpose, and are more likely to select a product with a purpose over one without. Not to mention, 7 out of 10 millennials want to work for a company with a purpose.
Define your company purpose to increase sales and attract top-talent from a new generation.
Find your purpose. Let it change you. Let it change your business.
Transform yourself from the average person spending 11 hours consuming content and over two hours on social media into someone who spends every waking moment sprinting toward a better life.
A life of purpose.
READY TO CRUSH IT?
Download my Purpose Discovery Worksheets with 7 questions to immediately help you find success and happiness in your work and life.
About the Author
HUSBAND, FATHER, ENTREPRENEUR, BUSINESS STRATEGIST, AUTHOR, FITNESS NUT, ORGANIZATION FREAK, PRODUCTIVITY JUNKIE
I help high-achieving entrepreneurs organize their brain and schedule so they can organize their life and business.
Ready to crush it? Subscribe to my free, weekly newsletter on personal excellence and business mastery that one client called “The Owners Manual to an Awesome Life.” I’ll also send you to the article, 10 Ways to Massively (and Immediately) Improve Your Life.