What’s my purpose?
Why am I here?
I guess everyone has the same fears of not living up to their potential, at least sometimes. But maybe purpose isn’t something we need to find. Maybe purpose finds you.
I’ve spent an unhealthy amount of time fretting over my perceived lack of purpose in life, so much time that I think the meter is full, so to speak.
I’ve decided to stop worrying about it. Of course, if I could just decide not to worry life would be a walk in the park. But I can’t, and it’s certainly not. Life is hard. Magnificent, but hard all the same.
A purpose isn’t really anything. It’s very abstract, and physically intangible. Emotionally, though, purpose is very salient. We want to feel like we’re heading in the right direction in life, like we’re doing the right thing.
I submit to you remedy to this constant yearning for knowing what to do:
Accept that you don’t know what to do, and just do what you enjoy.
It’s not easy, but it’s simple.
But I don’t even know what I enjoy doing! Is watching Friends a life path?
To which I answer,”no, you idiot, of course not”. Be sensible.
We all have multiple interests, some of them have little or no value, inherently, while other interests have great potential for making a living and feeling good about yourself.
I guess I should articulate this thought a little more precisely: To enjoy something is one thing. I may enjoy eating cake, or watching netflix. And that’s fine, really. But feeling fulfilled is a different story.
You can feel enjoyment for something without feeling fulfilled by it, like I enjoyed the last birthday party I went to and pigged out on cake, but it didn’t leave me feeling like I’d done something important, valuable, or relevant.
You can also feel fulfillment from doing something that you don’t really enjoy, like intense exercise, drinking a green smoothie, or hanging up laundry. You know it’s important, and that’s why you do it.
Then there’s the third category, the one we should focus on for the purposes of this post.
There are activities that you enjoy (everyone’s different), that also leave you feeling fulfilled!
For myself, there are a few things that fit this profile. Writing is one of them. So is drawing. Another is building or making stuff. Meditation, nutrition, studying subjects pertaining to my other interests. There’s loads of things, really.
Well, pick one, preferably the one you feel most exciting, and stick to it. Get better at it. Become as skilled as you can become. I believe well-directed, intelligent work leads to increased fulfillment and motivation.
Fulfillment and motivation lead to mastery. And mastery opens unimaginable doors in life. Finally, all those open doors will reveal your purpose.
Obviously, I hope, some sensibility is required. Building castles out of playing cards may be fulfilling and enjoyable, and in some cases you may be able to make a living from it if you play your cards just right (pun actually not intended).
But I would tuck it away into the dusty folder of “monetization highly unlikely”. It’s really your call though, because unlikely doesn’t mean impossible.
You see, I believe that purpose is less a question of fate, and more a question of free will. To some degree, we decide on which purpose suits us best. And thank god, right?
It would be pretty ****ed if all you wanted to do was be a conceptual artist but fate had decided that your purpose was to be a corporate accountant.
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