This question is the same as ‘what is the meaning of life?’ I have found that the human brain needs this question answered. We need a purpose or a meaning. The brain needs to operate from a core out into the world. It needs this as a biological motivator behind every action, besides survival. What I have found is that I have answered this question of purpose for myself and others many times, because it changes. The point is that we do function better when we have a purpose, or a direction. And without knowing what the meaning of life is we keep asking it because we want to make sure that what we are doing is not meaningless.
The truth I have come to hold is that life, in fact, is without one meaning and our lives are without one singular purpose. If the meaning of life to one person is to love, and the meaning of life to another is achievement, they are both true. They are both real in that persons’ perspective. This means that they are not one purpose or the other. They are both and also neither. This means that there is no one meaning for all, and in fact life is meaningless and purposeless.
This is great news if you like the luxury of choice. If life has no prescribed meaning, then you can choose whatever meaning you like. Life is whatever meaning you choose to give it. So too can your purpose be whatever you chose it to be. And it can change today, tomorrow next week. What matters is that when you choose that purpose, you are mindful, present and aware in as many moments as you are able.
Is your purpose to raise these 3 children? Be the most careful, mindful and present you can be being that mother. Is your purpose to share the magic of tea with the world? Then be the most conscientious person you can be while doing that. Give it all you’ve got. Be good, be nice, be kind and do that job diligently as if it were the most important purpose in the world.
My purpose is to help others find their purpose. At least that is what my purpose is this year. Next year I may find my purpose is to assist female entrepreneurs through the psychology of their playing field. Either way, I will be the best at it that I can be. I will be mindful of my thoughts, words and actions and I will endeavor not to project my thoughts, fears and programs onto them. I will listen to hear, not waiting to speak and I will be the non-judgmental support that they need in that moment, not hoping to get a moment of glory for myself but to properly be there for them in that selfless moment. These are deliberate, well-thought out mindful actions and traits I wish to cultivate, no matter what purpose I choose to buy myself with.
In choosing a purpose for a time, here are some tips on how to find your naturally occurring purpose:
What do you think about most often?
What do you day dream and night dream about?
What would you do if you were super wealthy?
What do you talk about constantly, without prompting?
What do you envy others for being able to do?
What do you browse mostly on social media?
What do you zone into, sometimes losing time or what is happening out there in the world?
Now if you answered major-league baseball to most of these questions and then quickly say, well I cant make a living out of that, then you are not looking for the answer to ‘what is my purpose?’ You are looking for a practical answer to, ‘How can I make money without risk in this world?’
Finding your purpose most often is accompanied by a unflinching desire to do this particular thing, something that you burn inside about, something that you think about all the time and will not listen to others telling you that its wrong, bad or a waste of time. It’s the passionate feeling you dwell upon and the reason you may believe in a higher power, the feeling that surpasses all other worldly pleasures.
I am not talking about love here – I don’ believe that is worldly – no that is what makes the world go round. I’m talking about the doing part of this world.
If major-league baseball is the answer you had and you are deterred from it by practicality then you either need to find your real purpose or admit that you are happy not fulfilling your purpose. Sometimes it take a lot of hard work, uphill climbing and sweat and tears to fulfill your purpose and sometimes its the easiest clearest thing in the world. Again we are not here to answer how tough your purpose will be, we are simply trying to find it. My mother would answer gardening to all those questions probably, if not that then sewing. How do you make a living from that? Become a landscaper, a florist, work at the botanical gardens. The other option is to do any job that pays the bills so that you can just spend most of your free time gardening. Remember a purpose does not have to be your occupation nor does it have to stay the same, it can change. You also don’t have to do your purpose all day every day. You can also have 3 purposes.
But is this a purpose or is it a passion?
So what is my conclusion now that I have perhaps thoroughly confused you? What your purpose is, is to be mindful in every moment. To be aware, present, thoughtful, deliberate and kind. Treat others and the environment the way you would treat yourself. Do good, don’t judge, help when you can. Put yourself in others’ shoes. Reach for your dreams, celebrate with others when they achieve theirs. Connect. Love. Empathise. Be mindful when you eat, when you purchase and when you get angry. Create and share it. Slow your thoughts, your temper and your driving. Play hard, make friends but remember to rest, meditate and reflect on your behaviors. Plant trees, be patient with older folks and don’t troll online. Don’t waste your time being angry, rather try to understand. Find the silver lining in everything – I promise you it is there.
Your purpose is to be.