Purpose of Life – Which Direction Should You Take
What’s my purpose in life and how do I get there? Those are two of the most asked questions on this planet. Have you ever asked yourself something similar to that?
You have something very unique in your life to accomplish, which is very great. Of course, the question that comes after that is, ‘What is it then?’ But that is just about as far as most people will ever go. You may ask yourself this question, think about it for a few minutes, come up with no answers, and then just go on with your daily routine.
If you ever want to accomplish your purpose in life you have to go beyond the ‘What is it’ question. How do you do that?
You first have to realize that you won’t have all the answers in the beginning. If you are waiting for a bolt of lightning to your hit you and reveal to you what it is you're supposed to do in life, it will never happen that way.
Your Passion in Life
The first thing you need to determine is what in life you are passionate about. What gets you so excited that you can hardly contain yourself when you think about it? Or what cause makes your blood boil when you hear people talk about it? Most likely this is the starting point of your greatness.
Why do I say the starting point? Because once you finally have an idea about what you want to do you must then ask, “in what direction do I go?” and “how do I start?” Believe it or not, those questions don’t matter as much as you may think they do.
The second thing you need to do is to simply begin pursuing your "purpose in life" passion. Don’t let the question of ‘What direction do I go or how do I start’ stop you from actually starting. Most likely, there is some type of organization, group, or online presence that is doing something very similar to what you have a passion to do.
Get involved with these people. They have probably already laid much of the groundwork in developing what you are passionate about in life. You can then jump right in and start helping them.
By being around these people you will begin to develop and fine-tune exactly what your purpose is. As a matter of fact, your initial purpose for getting involved may change somewhat as you begin to develop your greatness in lfe.
That’s why it is not so important to know everything about your purpose in life before you start doing it. It’s kind of like this: Imagine you are in Los Angeles and you want to drive to Florida. You aren’t real sure where you want to go in Florida but you know Florida is where you need to go.
You have two options:
1 - You can research, study, ask people, look at maps, and all kinds of things to try and find out the best way to get to Florida. You are not going to leave until you know exactly how to get there, the dangers involved, the speed traps to watch out for, where to best rest stops are…you get my point. The problem with this is that you will never know everything about how to get to Florida
2 - You can just start driving. You may ask one or two people you meet along the way which road to use and then just go. On your journey you will meet people who will help you with the best routes, and they will even tell you of places they went to and experiences they had on their way to Florida. By the time you get there, you will have gained so much knowledge that you now know exactly where you want to go in life when you reach Florida.
The point is this, you can sit around and wait for the perfect opportunity to fulfill your life's purpose or you can simply start out on your journey and, along the way, you will discover and fulfill your purpose.
My suggestion is: just start moving!
Do You Know Where Your Life Is Going?
Knowing what you really want out of your purpose in life is a major key to success, after all, achieving your dreams in life is the greatest success you can have! If you don’t know what you want out of life you can end up wasting it chasing the wrong things…
… until you wake up one day and realise that it’s too late to get out of the rut you’re stuck in! Set aside a few minutes now in a quiet place with a pen and a piece of paper to go through the exercise in this article. You will find that you are much clearer about what you want from your life
The Whole You Must Get Involved!
To discover your life dreams you want to concentrate on more than the obvious signs of success – money, possessions and your position in your company or society. Your life's purposes have to be for your whole life. Relationships. Family. Contributions you have made to your community and to the world have to be in there too. And you don’t want to miss out on all those things of personal significance that give you joy.
To make sure that you uncover all your dreams, you will have to use both sides of your brain – the emotional right brain and logical left brain in this exercise. As you read on, image yourself in the situation, not just physically, but also your feelings and emotions as the story unfolds…
Unleash Your Imagination to Find Your Life Goals
Imagine you are going to a funeral for a very close friend or relative. Have you ever had to do this? Remember, or imagine what it is like, how it feels…
You feel sad at the loss of your friend, sad at the thought you will never see them again, sympathy for other mourners, deeply affected by this loss…
Then you look around room at the hundreds of mourners attending this funeral and you get some positive feelings about your friend’s life, a life well led, a life of great significance that touched all the people in the room in so many purposeful and positive ways…
There’s a muted buzz of conversation, little groups of people talking…
You go up to look at the body in the casket and you get a sudden shock of recognition…
It’s you!! this is YOUR funeral!!! You are floating round the room as a ghost. Then you realise that you can go anywhere, listen to anyone completely unnoticed. You float over to a small group talking about the you they remembered. A friend, a close family member, someone who knew you at work, someone from your community.
What would you want them to say about you? Imagine, think about your wildest dreams, your biggest ambitions, what do you really want to be! Don’t let your present circumstances constrain you – you are trying to find your purpose in life here.
Write Down Your Life Goals
Close your eyes, think about this imaginary conversation. Each person will remember a different aspect of your life – you as a spouse or parent, as a friend, as a co-worker or boss, as someone who made a difference in the community. You can have more people join if you want to think about other aspects of your life…
Write down what they will talk about, who you were to them, what you achieved in your life. You aren’t writing short term goals here, this the big picture of your whole purpose in life.
When you’re finished writing down everything that’s said in this imaginary conversation, take a minute or two to look at what you’ve written. Re-arrange it into a series of statements about you as a relative, a friend, in your place of work, as a member of your community. You should find that you’re much closer to understanding your life dreams and some of your deepest fundamental values.
Reflections on a New Image in Life
Occasionally I have an identity crisis. I think that's good. From time to time I have to ask myself questions like: Who am I? What am I doing? Do I like doing it? What is the purpose of my Life? Am I good at it? Will it help the world? and How does the world know I'm doing it?
It began this time when I asked a friend and colleague to help me with the process of re-examining my business card and letterhead. Since my last printing, I had expanded the way I work with voice, conflict and aikido, and I wanted my visual image to reflect the changes.
I thought it would be simple. She'd take all my questions and resolve them in some way that would be clear, concise, visually pleasing, have purpose and relate to my life. She did -- but it wasn't simple, and I wasn't prepared for what lay ahead.
When she showed me her ideas I literally stepped back, wide-eyed, and almost stumbled over my chair. She presented a new, much more powerful image of me, my life and my work. It was very different from the look I'd grown accustomed to, and it simultaneously shocked and delighted me. It also began an internal process of discovery that has been quite interesting.
Aikido - Purpose and Power
I thought I knew who I was, what my purpose in life was. I just had some questions about how to visually integrate the different aspects of my work -- voice, aikido, conflict resolution -- into a coherent package. But I had a basic image that I'd been using and that functioned pretty well. As it turns out it wasn't the whole me, nor was it the whole purpose of my work.
In the Japanese martial art Aikido there are two central elements. One is learning to flow and blend with energy. The second is the power and purpose you gain when that happens. Aikido is a very powerful martial art. It is not resistant, but it is not passive. Verbally, we use aikido when we are clear about our position in life while acknowledging others, and when we use words to connect instead of attack.
I have always identified with the flow of aikido but found it more difficult to engage its power. Similarly, in life I find it easy to blend (listen, acknowledge, agree), but more difficult to use power (state my position, my purpose, ask for what I want, say no). My image on paper reflected that too.
Increase Power and Purpose in Life
In my aikido practice -- and in life -- I’m learning to be more powerful and purposful, and it's fun. I throw harder, and I communicate more powerfully. But it's not always easy because my image (both of myself and reflected in others) says that I'm a "nice" person. And that "nice" image conflicts with a "power" image.
Powerful people aren't always nice, and nice people aren't usually powerful. But is it possible to be both -- to blend and be powerful at the same time? In fact, aikido's message is that true power lies in blending. Power without blending is destructive. And to blend without power and purpose is to lose our center.
Now back to my image control problem. The graphic reflection of my work initially challenged my life's self-image. But the timing was perfect. Just as my work was evolving to include the powerful aspect of aikido, my colleague captured that power and clarified it graphically.
Critical Questions About my Purpose
One of life's ongoing conflicts is the question "Who am I?" Both personally and organizationally we need to address this conflict periodically and to ask ourselves who we are and what is our purpose in life, whether our inner and outer images are accurate. To flourish as an individual or a corporate entity, this kind of clarifying conflict is vital.
Annie Dillard said: "How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives." We all need to revisit our image on occasion, because it forces us to ask the important questions that must be asked if we're going to create the life -- the organization, the school, or the company -- we want, one that is uniquely ours and that we love.
Our ultimate power is not the power to control how others see us but to appreciate and bring to light the undiscovered parts of ourselves. As we move forward in life, our evolution has a natural flow to it. Am I enjoying my work or am I struggling? Do I create my purpose in life anew each day? What energizes me? Where am I going and to what end? Important questions for all of us this year, this day, this moment.