Are you at a crossroads? Starting a new chapter or planning your career? Struggling with finding a sense of purpose?
Whether you’re a school leaver, a uni graduate or a fully-fledged adult in the midst of a sea-change, Laura Bennett’s new book could help you.
The Hope 103.2 announcer has just self-published her first book titled Live Your Dream: How To Cut The Crap And Prioritize Your Purpose.
Put a little more delicately, it’s all about focussing on what’s important in life.
The Danger Of Having Too Many To Do’s
Laura said she was inspired to write the book after returning from a relaxing, technology-free summer holiday, only to realise just how much “mental noise” her everyday life was creating.
“I came back to work and felt this tension and stress, and I realised it was coming from all the different voices in our lives, and that life was just so noisy,” she said.
Hope 103.2 is proudly supported by
“The things we follow on Instagram, the books we read, everything you pick up becomes another item on your to-do list.
“You end up feeling, “I’ve got to eat better, run faster, go to better cafes,” and you end up with all these voices in your life speaking into what you should do with your time, and what to believe about yourself.
“There were so many things vying for my attention, and this sense that people struggle to work out their sense of purpose.
“But I also realised that I was allowing these voices into my life, and that we have choice and power over those things.
“I thought, “wouldn’t be great if everything could just shoosh, just be quiet for a second, so that we could distil life down to the things that actually help us find purpose.”
The Secret Is To Simplify
To address the problem Laura decided to simplify, filter out the excess noise, and focus on the essentials that were most important to her.
And her thoughts became a book.
“When I first started the book, I didn’t have a title, I just kind of had this idea of what part of my heart I wanted to communicate,” she said.
“I mind-mapped out the things that I felt were associated with purpose, that would really help filter out the noise.”
Her mind map became five fundamental aspects of life that she encourages readers to consider: Purpose, Identity, Influences, Actions and Money.
A Generation Struggling With Purpose & Direction
Laura said she believes that everyone is born with purpose and destiny, but many struggle to find it, in a world flooded with possibilities.
“We live in a generation that’s told “you can be anything, do anything, you have so many choices”, and we’re empowered to do everything we want,” she said.
“But there’s so much option and choice that people end up in this place of confusion. They’re at a loss to know where they find purpose.
“So they explore and attach themselves to anything and everything that people or the media say they should. We’re all guilty of doing this at times.”
She believes each the key is to become aware of what’s most important to you, and not be distracted by every cause that rolls through your Facebook feed.
Her Christian faith makes her even more certain that anyone can find their purpose.
“In seeking our purpose we seek connection with God, and that brings us closer to him,” she said.
Don’t Listen To Other People’s ‘Labels’
In Live Your Dream Laura recounts plenty of personal moments – including the time she realised how much we label each other.
“I was with some friends I hadn’t seen in ages, and they were saying things to me like, “You’re so loud”, and other things that weren’t true anymore,” she said.
“I woke up at 4am feeling frustrated by the labels they had for me. I thought, “if they can make labels for me, then I can make my own”.
“So I got up and wrote out this list of the labels that I knew who I was. I wrote things like, “She is strong”, “She is favoured”, “She sees roadblocks for what they are and moves them out of the way”.
“It became this daily affirmation thing. Then through the day when something challenging came up, I would step into the labels God sees me as, not other peoples’ labels for me.”
Five Quick Keys For Finding Your Way
While the best way to read Laura’s message is in her book, she does give five quick tips from each of her key topics.
1- You Already Have Purpose
“A lot of people think you’re just born and your life is about trying to find some kind of purpose. But I think we are actually born with a purpose, and your life is about living that out.”
2 – Your Identity Is Not Defined By Other People
“The big thing I want people to know is that you can make your own labels, you don’t have to let the other ones people make stick.”
3 – You Can Control Your Influences
“’Yes’ and ‘No’ are the two greatest gatekeepers to our lives, that determine what influence us.”
4 – Your Actions Count More Than Words
“Having vegetables in your fridge doesn’t make you healthy. You have to eat them! Don’t just stick your ideas on the wall. You have to put your thoughts into action.”
5 – Get Your Money Under Control!
“If you want to live your dream you have to have your finances in order.”
Laura’s Big Dream
As for her own purpose and dream, it seems Laura’s living in the middle of it; she’s always been passionate about the media, arts and culture industries, and influencing them in a positive way.
“When I was little I had a dream to be an actress, a model or a film star, but as I grew up it was a leaning for the entertainment, arts and media industries, and radio was a big part of that,” she said.
“I’ve always been a big people-person, a talker, and I love stories. I had a gift to listen to people and encourage people and share my heart.
“My dream is to work in this industry it with such a level of excellences that brings credibility, and in a way that brings clarity to who God is, and empowers people to be who God envisages them being.”