What is (Life) Purpose?
This may be the second most important personal, intimate, and profound question we all face in humankind just behind “What is the meaning of life?” and just before “What is Freedom?”. And it is most likely same the reasons it is the most difficult to answer. It takes a lot of work just to consider what it actually IS before we even consider HOW to Live with Purpose. All the more reason (especially in these times of short attention spans) to not consider our Life Purpose – it’s a lot of hard work – brain work – thinking.
Our access to this personal question is openly available to anyone who can understand our existence (we know that we are humans on the planet for less than 100 years). It is not so openly to those of us who are not aware of even this particular paradigm of life.
Life Purpose is being in control of our life. It’s knowing that we will be doing the same thing forever – in some way or another. LP is the reason for waking in the morning.
Purpose is creative. Imagination comes from looking outside the ordinary and mundane and envisioning another way of expression. Purpose is inventive and sees new possibility in things. Purpose is curiosity and always asking ‘why’. These are not things that we learn or practice like a skill. It is an internal process within each and every one of us.
We can decide this way of living for ourselves; but often for most of us, it is decided for us because we gave up option of deciding a long time ago.
The Meaning of our Life Purpose (LP) is …
… based on feelings, both physical and emotional.
It is a sensation inside our body and mind >> a collision course of creativity and curiosity. It’s a scientific and medical action that takes place in our bodies that we tag with a meaning or a name.
These feelings are found in a lot of things we do over our lifetimes. Feelings are important because they provide the snapshot of memories (both good and bad) that left an impression on our lives. These feelings may then end up being connected to doing something great, and we loved it, people around us loved it, and it was something that we felt was a genuine contribution to life.
With those feelings, which we want to replicate forever, we end up making stories about ourselves. Stories about our abilities, desires, obligations, family, competency, and any other description that would give us reasons NOT to follow through on our desires.
Nobody else can decide or define it for us. It is personal – DEEPLY personal to a point where we may not even share these feelings with anybody else – not even our families and spouses.
We decide as individuals what our own LP is and means to us.
The quest to discover our LP is an Internal Process with an External measurement.
While the issue of our Life Purpose is not always apparent to everyone at all times, it’s there for all of us. It’s already inside of us waiting to be expressed to the world. Waiting for us to ‘release the hounds’ of our secret desires. But, before we can even consider the thought of seeking our own personal LP, we have to complete other necessary psychological and social tasks to be ready for the inquiry of the mind.
First thing, we have to complete other necessary sociological processes in our lives. Have we tried things we liked and excelled – only to realize it is only ‘hobby-worthy’? Have we taken any risks to seek out our LP? Have we looked back on our lives to find any strings of similarity?
How do we KNOW it’s Our LP?
When we have found our LP, we instinctively know already that it is found. Again, as I said earlier, it is something we decide – so it is a result where we know unequivocally that our life (and the lives around us) is lit up with joy and excitement. That’s one of the great payoffs – everyone benefits.
Some ways the feelings express themselves are in the nature of who we are being. Sometimes, our thoughts can be obsessive and overwhelming. Scary! (That may be why we shy away from further inquiry – the fear factor!)
Another good hint of our purpose is when other people tell us we ‘should get into’ or ‘be’ something that we’ve just gloriously and happily demonstrated. They don’t understand why we don’t do it professionally and make lot’s of money doing what is fun. Sometimes, other people can see it before we can – sorta like bad habits.
“Getting a feeling of your Life Purpose is like
having great sex for the first time.
Once we’ve experienced it,
We spend the rest of our life trying to duplicate the feeling.”
Living within our LP is a difficult proposition to consider because …
Probably the most difficult to seek and achieve, LP remains elusive to most because it involves 2 sides of our humanity at the same time:
1 – our individual Way of Being (Thinking):
– it colours our way of seeing the world and the perspective we have on it
– based on how we feel about ourselves
– being comfortable with who we are
2 – our individual Way of Doing (Acting):
– based on how we feel the world perceives us as individuals
– the expression of what we are thinking about the world
– it requires us to live with ethical and moral values
It takes a lot of conviction, courage, patience, and personal understanding to even consider the possibility of living a Life with Purpose. Worse still, there are a million reasons/excuses for not seeking our LP that let us off the hook.
It’s always someone else’s fault. And we end up at the end of our lives saying we ‘coulda, shoulda, woulda.”
Sadly, we miss the fact that it is really the fear and discomfort we are avoiding that is really taking place in our hearts. Besides, who deserves to feel this good in life (and get paid for it, too)?
Next posting …
Why is having a Life Purpose is important to us.
See you next time,