How to Find Your Own Purpose
Something motivates you to get up each
day. That something says a good deal about your
current central purpose in life. If you eventually
get out of bed because you don’t want to be
sacked from your job, then your purpose has
to do with money and security. If you get up
because of what people might think if you didn’t,
then you are motivated by a fear of disapproval.
A person’s life is already an expression
of their purpose, whether this purpose operates
consciously or subconsciously. If you are driven
by a purpose you’re not conscious of, then it’s
likely to have roots in fear. Motivation
of this kind is usually conditioned into us,
whether we like it or not.
Some people don’t believe in purpose
“just get on with life”, “take things as
they come” these are common phrases,
yet they are also clear descriptions of purpose
masquerading as lack of purpose. The unspoken
purpose here is continued physical survival.
Basic survival and social conformity are common
motivations, but why limit yourself to mundane,
inferior soap-opera scenarios when you can reach
for the stars?
Don’t Wait to be Told
You don’t need permission to decide your own
purpose. No boss, teacher, parent, priest or
other authority can decide this for you. Purpose
has nothing to do with sacrifice, getting approval,
being ‘selfless’ or conforming to somebody else’s
idea of the correct way to live. It doesn’t
mean giving up something you like for something
more ‘worthy’. Your purpose is derived from
what you most value. It pays, therefore, to
resolve conflicting values so that you avoid
being a slave to someone else’s purpose.
Purpose is not achievement. For example, achievement
can mean being successful at a job you don’t
want, to enable you to afford an expensive car
you don’t need, in order to impress a girlfriend
you don’t like... A purpose is something you
express continually in order to bring you pleasure,
not a list of things you have to achieve.
“I would like to have
been a doctor, so I could have served people
Cary Grant (paraphrased), in ironic mood.