Years ago, I asked a young boy begging on the streets of India what he wanted most in the world. His answer was simple: “a pencil.” I reached into my backpack and handed him one of my own, and immediately saw his eyes light up with possibility. In that moment, I felt a sense of purpose that has driven my actions ever since.
Here are three essential steps to unlock your sense of purpose and become unstoppable.
1. Get out of your comfort zone.
Go beyond the places that make you feel safe. When you do this, you’ll discover who you are and what makes you feel most alive. When I left the comforts of home to travel through the developing world as a college student, I soon began to immerse myself only in the experiences that spoke to a sense of meaning. It was through creating separation from my normal life that I found a connection to what I was most passionate about. Giving up normalcy and complacency is sometimes difficult, but the rewards greatly outweigh the costs.
2. Never take no from someone who can’t say yes.
Most people believe that in order to get things done they have to find a friend at a company that can offer them help. But the truth is, even if that friends wants to support you, they often don’t have the authority to move mountains on your behalf. For anything you aspire to achieve, there’s someone that can unlock the resources to make it happen. But you have to find who that decision-maker is before making the ask. Get in front of them, because if you have to hear No, you might as well make sure it’s from someone who at least could have said Yes.
3. Choose to make your life a story worth telling.
As humans, we are natural storytellers, and the tales of our experiences are ones that we should be excited to tell. Although most great stories require overwhelming odds of failure, it’s within the contours of uncertainty that life’s magic is discovered. Fight for what you believe in and surround yourself with people who help you grow. Because one day all of your possessions will fade away, but the strength of your legacy and the story of your life will remain. Make it a beautiful one.
To read more of these steps, pick up your copy of The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change now