I often find when talking to real estate investors that they are so driven to achieve, that they lose sight of what they are actually working toward. While ambition can move you forward in your career, it can destroy your personal life if you’re not careful. On the other hand, surrounding yourself with the wrong peers or partners can make it impossible to achieve your goals.
Defining your “why” in life — also often referred to as your purpose or personal mission — is a deeply reflective and meaningful process. Your “why” is a guiding principle that gives your life direction, meaning, and fulfillment.
Ultimately, we are all trying to achieve a happier life. However, if you’re not connecting your goals to a greater personal mission, it’s easy to get lost on your journey. Here are some steps to help you discover and define your “why.”
Take time to reflect on your values, passions, strengths, and interests. Consider moments in your life when you felt most fulfilled, happy, engaged, or proud. What were you doing? What values were you expressing? What got you there?
2. Ask Meaningful Questions
- What activities or pursuits bring you joy and fulfillment?
- What impact do you want to have on the world or the lives of others?
- What are your core values and beliefs?
- What challenges or issues resonate with you and motivate you to take action?
- What legacy do you want to leave behind?
3. Identify Patterns
Look for patterns in your interests, experiences, and goals. Are there common themes that emerge? These patterns can provide clues to your deeper purpose.
4. Consider Your Strengths
Think about your natural talents, skills, and abilities. How can you use these strengths to make a positive impact on others or contribute to a cause you care about?
5. Inspiration from Role Models
Identify individuals you admire or consider role models. What qualities or actions of theirs resonate with you? How can you integrate those qualities into your own purpose?
6. Visualize Your Ideal Future
Imagine your life several years down the road. What does it look like? Free yourself beyond the constraints of your current life. What is your true ideal for work, family, and relationships? What are you doing? How are you contributing to the world?
7. Write a Personal Mission Statement
Organize your thoughts into a clear and concise mission or vision statement that encapsulates your “why.” This statement should express your purpose, values, the impact you want to create, and how you want to do it. It needs to be on paper; otherwise, it will be too abstract and subject to change in your mind.
8. Live With Intention
Once you've defined your “why,” use it as a compass to guide your decisions, actions, and priorities. Align your daily life and goals with your purpose to experience a greater sense of fulfillment and satisfaction. When making big decisions, refer to your statement to ensure that your decisions will move you closer to your vision of an ideal life.
9. Seek Feedback and Support
Share your mission/vision statement with trusted friends, family members, or mentors. They can provide valuable insights and help you refine your understanding of your “why.” If you know someone who has gone through this process, they may provide you with an example to review. They can also support you in your journey.
10. Continuous Reflection
Your “why” might evolve over time as you learn and grow. It is an iterative process and can be a moving target as your life changes. Regularly revisit and reflect on your purpose at set time intervals. Try to revisit at least once a year. As you experience new challenges and opportunities, your understanding of your “why” may deepen and evolve. Also revisit after any major life event like marriage, a new job, a career change, or having children.
Your journey as a real estate investor is not just about accumulating wealth or achieving professional success; it's about creating a life of meaning, fulfillment, and happiness. By taking the time to discover and define your “why,” you lay the foundation for a more purpose-driven and satisfying career.
Your personal mission will serve as a guiding light, helping you make choices that align with your values and aspirations. Remember, this process is not static but evolves with you, providing ongoing clarity and direction. So, embark on this introspective journey, commit to living with intention, and watch how your real estate endeavors transform into a path toward a truly fulfilling and happier life.
About the Author:
Vijay Prabhakaran is a commercial real estate investor who has invested in small multifamily properties in Chicago over the past decade, which allowed him to replace his take-home pay and shift to non-residential commercial properties. As a Best Ever blog contributor, Vijay aims to share his experience achieving financial independence and his decision to focus on multi-tenant retail and industrial spaces in the Midwest.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action.