“Acknowledge your (true) purpose. Get on with expressing it. All day.”
Some of us have this emotional “gene” of stacking our lives against others’ lives. Others of us may have been spared this genetic makeup, but I think we all can relate in moments large and small.
My theory, if you do have the “gene”: When you compare your life to someone else’s life, you are essentially consuming yourself with that obsession as a tactic to distract yourself from yourself. And from your Self. Then you don’t have to deal. Neat trick, eh? You don’t have to deal with digging deep for the answer to “What do I honestly want in my life and how am I going to go about creating it?”
If you are having trouble figuring out what you do want, here is the ironic twist:
Seeing what others have or what others do is actually a hint for what you really want … otherwise why would you care about what that other person is, has or does as a measure of your self worth? It gets tricky though, because remember, we are not here to acquire material goods, impress others with our prowess or bask in the ego glory of our accomplishments. So the question then becomes, ” What do I want, as in: ” Who do I want to be as a person? How do I want to view my life? How do I want to feel inside? How do I want to express my creativity?” And so on.
Once I was hiking with my adult son, Nick, on a craggy cliff on a San Diego beach and the foot work was dicey. You really had to focus. He was ahead of me and I found myself watching him to guide my way, but quickly discovered that was not a good plan. It made me unsteady on my feet and I wasn’t looking straight at what was on my own path. It was a true aha moment when I saw the metaphor. If you focus on another’s walk on the path, you will miss your own. (And maybe even fall off the cliff.)
So the distraction from self is also the distraction from your purpose in life, a concept which has evolved over the years. It wasn’t such a moniker of happiness 40 or 50 years ago when the majority of people were content to work for the noble cause of supporting their families. There was less focus on the idea of having to have a higher purpose in life or work life. It is, of course, a good thing that we teach this concept to our children and encourage them to go for what they want and to do what they love. But the strange and subtle backlash is this:
If the prize is achieving purpose in life, then what are we to do if we bemoan that our current engagement in the world ain’t’ doin’ it for us in the Purpose department?
First: Get about the business of figuring out what your purpose is. What is it to you … In real terms. Then go about making it happen. A little bit every day. Really. Be strategic and reel it in.
Second: Experiment with this practical and more gentle perspective: Your purpose is to be your best self every day and to be open. Why is this a practical view? Because then every moment is meaningful. Living and loving life itself is the purpose. The rest of it, as to what you manifest for your career, finding your mate, grabbing that opportunity, well. That’s all just frosting on the cake.