Today’s focus is on purpose…I mean that in all the ways that it can be taken.
Not only is it ON purpose as the subject matter but it is also on purpose in that it is deliberate and planned – therefore it qualifies for the third meaning in that it is in-line with my purpose.
That sums up the learning:
Purpose is all about giving your life meaning. You literally GIVE it (or assign to it) the meaning that you want it to have. Life has (in my opinion) no set agenda for us other than to give us an opportunity to experience it in all the many forms it can take and figure out WHO WE WANT TO BE in light of that experience.
When we talk about our lives having purpose, we are often reaching for a way to define who we are in contrast to who we are not.
We are essentially looking for how to define ourselves in this world and this may change over time as we experience more and more of life.
Your purpose may change over time, day to day even. Your purpose is simple to define who you want to BE in any given moment, to write the script of your life according to what you want to see and experience next.
We are not going to FIND purpose, we have to DECIDE to CREATE purpose for ourselves.
Do you suppose that Hitler’s divine PURPOSE in life was to kill millions of Jews? Was this his allocated destiny? Perhaps. More likely though is that he created this as a way of expressing his own opinions and preferences out in the world and making them become a reality through believing fully that this was the ‘right’ thing to do given his model of the world and because for HIM, it felt good to do this.
Do you suppose the child killer was given a signal from the universe that their purpose in life was to kill a child? Or do you think that they created this for themselves because they were driven by an inner belief that this was something they had to do to fulfil in themselves a powerful desire to experience killing a child (for whatever reason)?
If we accept the premise that purpose is something mystical that we are given at birth and search for throughout life until we find it – then we may also have to accept that perhaps Hitler (or your own version of something/someone you feel is in total contrast to your own ideas of right and wrong) was also living according to his purpose.
This means, on a philosophical level, we would need to accept that everyone was just doing what they needed to do and we should let them carry on.
The alternative is that our purpose is not GIVEN to us, it is DEFINED by us. In which case, we have some decisions to make!
If your purpose is not awaiting you, if it is not necessary to wait for the ‘feeling’ that you are on the right path, then the only thing left to do is to ask: “is this who I wish to be, is this how I wish to show up in the world, is this the best way to express myself?”
Instead of looking for a particular purpose for which you are here, try to decide instead the experience of the world that you would like to have. This is an invitation to define purpose by understanding what you wish to see in the world and then to go out and be an example of that.
The more that you live your life on-purpose i.e the more deliberate and planned your actions and thoughts are, the more you define who you are – which is your PURPOSE in life.
We live in a world of contrasts for a reason – to help us discover what we want and what we don’t want. If you see pain in the world and this is experienced as something you do not wish to see, then you can take something important from that knowing: for example you may decide “Part of my purpose is to reduce pain in my experience of life”.
This may take a million different forms – you may become a nurse, a doctor, a humanitarian, or you may avoid situations in which you might get hurt, you may not ever place yourself in a position where you may get hurt.
The KEY difference here is that the first few forms I mentioned are those where something you don’t want to see have formed a greater purpose for you – a way of being that has moved out beyond yourself and serves others too. The second forms are those where what you DON’T want to see have instead, restricted your life.
This is what I mean when I talk about BEING the thing that you want to see in the world.
There is a huge difference between BEING a force for the reduction of pain in the world and
DOING pain avoidance.
Who you are being is far more important than what you are doing.
Every moment you can ask, who am I being in response to this experience I am having?
Then when you have decided first who you wish to be, then you can inform your decision as to
what you wish to DO about it.
Look at your world, what do you see? Write it down, share it with me if you want to. For example:
Now decide – who do I want to BE that would allow me to experience what I wish to see?
Now, finally, ask what you can DO that would demonstrate that this is who you are BEING.
THIS is real purpose – responding deliberately and consciously in life to bring about what it is that you wish to see and experience in the world around you. Your personal purpose will differ from others depending on what it is that you wish to see and the method by which you decide to demonstrate who you are.
It may be that three people all wish to see peace in their world. They may though, choose three completely different methods through which they will demonstrate this. They are likely to choose the method that is best suited to their skills, time, interests, beliefs etc.
One may decide to be a teacher and demonstrate to their pupils the factors that have previously led to disharmony, war and battle so they are educated on the ways that peace has previously been disrupted.
One may live a peaceful life away from noise and big groups of people on a small rural patch of land in the middle of nowhere.
One may practise meditation at the weekends.
Their PURPOSE is the same – to experience greater peace. Their method of demonstrating this is open to a huge number of options – the option they choose is not as relevant as what it is that they have decided to BE.
Maybe the purpose you are seeking is already being demonstrated in your life and you are simply seeking a way to demonstrate it on a bigger stage, to a bigger audience, to a deeper level, to see more of it in your own life…whatever you discover is helping you to develop a sense of who you are and who you are not.
It’s ALL good