Figuring out your purpose

I’ll be up front with you. I’ve not managed this yet. I keep thinking that there must be some grand purpose, some great dream, that should appear to me or pop into my head fully fledged. One that I can get behind and devote the rest of my life to. I have an assumption in my head that this is how all the great world leaders, activists, and entrepreneurs get started, but I’m not entirely convinced that it works like this for the majority of us mortals.

Perhaps it didn’t really work like that for the world leaders, activists and entrepreneurs either.  Maybe it was simply a long series of small ideas and decisions that built into something wonderful over decades because, presumably, they did not dismiss that small voice in the back of their head. The nice one. The brave one. The one prompting change, growth, progress, wacky ideas. I’d like to think so, as that makes greatness achievable for every, single, one of us.

So where should we start? Whatever our purpose in life is, it seems to me that it should feel fun, feel free, feel energizing. I spoke in a previous post about understanding who we are and knowing what we value in life being important. I am starting to understand how these are the foundation stones for building our individual version of freedom on. I also noted that who we are and what is important to us are likely to change over the course of a lifetime. Which now prompts visions in my head of building freedom on quicksand.  Think of them instead like tectonic plates. Always shifting and growing, sometimes colliding, but ultimately thrusting up beautiful mountains soaring into the sky. Those are your dreams.

‘Finding yourself’ has become a life’s ambition for some and a tired cliche for others. I do believe that in order to acheive our individual versions of freedom, we need to know our own strengths and vulnerabilities and what we value most in life. Maybe achieving our version of freedom is our grand purpose.

I know that the world is full of a confusing, wonderful kaleidoscope of possibilities, not all of which would be good for me in the longer term. Some people jump in with both feet only to find that they are stuck in a reality that did not live up to their expectations. Others, and I am one, tend to stand back, wallflowers, afraid of making a mistake, or not being able to perform. Neither are good strategies. What we need to do is to sit and think about what is important to us, whether that is being debt free, having more time with family, making new friends, seeing the world, spreading kindness and charity, or all of these things and more. Then, we can start looking at all those colourful possibilities out there with an informed eye. And ask ourselves – which ones align with what is important to me, at this stage of my life?

 

Think about it.

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