That’s right. I said it. You have no purpose. At least not in the way you might think about it. Or, better put, the way you’ve been trained to think about it. Society loves to tell us that we all have a purpose, some special reason for being here that’s completely unique to us. All we have to do is go out there and find it. The problem this creates is that we’re constantly searching. We’re always looking for the thing that’s “perfect” for us, sure that if we just look hard enough, the clouds will part, a divine light will shine upon us, and the voice of the universe (probably Morgan Freeman) will announce, “Here is your reason for being.” And of course, that’s a load of bullshit. It’s never going to happen. Kind of like when you can’t find your sunglasses. You start looking in all the usual places, but pretty soon you’re looking in the freezer, under your pillow, in the bag of dog food. It’s only when you say “F” it, I guess I’m going to do a lot of squinting today, that you realize they were in your shirt pocket the whole time. You were so invested in the act of searching that you became blind to what was right in front of your nose.
When we spend all of our time in search mode, it means we’re constantly looking to the outside for gratification. We think that excelling in our career, or sending ten bucks a month to starving children in Africa, or volunteering at the homeless shelter is going to grant us fulfillment. Of course, I’m not suggesting you stop doing those things. Being of service is part of being a good human being. But it’s not going to get you any closer to “finding” your purpose. Because it’s trying to create from the outside in. “What is the thing out there that’s going to give me a sense of joy, a sense of pride, a sense of passion?” And the reality is, those experiences don’t come from the outside, they come from what you cultivate within yourself.
I put this in the same category as “finding balance” in your life. I’ve said before, balance is bullshit. Self-help books love to tell us that the key to happiness is finding the perfect balance between the time and energy we spend on our career, time with family and friends, and personal time. The truth is that balance is fluid. There will be periods of time when 90% of our energy needs to be spent on our career. It doesn’t mean we ignore our family, but rather that the time we do have with them needs to be focused. As with most things in life, it’s about quality over quantity. And like your life purpose, quality time is not something you’re going to stumble into or have presented to you. It’s something you create from the inside out.
With that in mind, rather than looking for your purpose, I recommend that you declare your purpose. Trust your mind and your own intuitive self. Make the decision, “I’m going to do X.” Whatever that may be for you. By choosing it for yourself, you are declaring that this is the right thing for you. Otherwise, you would have chosen something else. Decide who it is you want to become, who you want to evolve into, and put yourself in 100%. Start molding yourself into that person and trust that the process of the journey is going to be what takes you to your purpose. You’re never going to do something that’s not yours to do. The universe simply is not going to permit it. Whatever purpose you choose is the purpose you’re meant to live.
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