Many parents try to direct their children onto a given life path. This is usually not done out of family vanity or societal positioning. It is done out of safety or, as I like to think, out of fear for their offspring’s well-being. It is an understood fact that the majority of modern human beings have no goals whatsoever. (1) Parents feel that it is incumbent on them to aspire to do something in this regard. The attempt, rather sadly, is usually pointless because I must discover my own path.
We certainly have experienced people like this. These are talented individuals who have lived their entire existence without knowing what they were supposed to do with their life. They never put their innate plan into action because they never knew what it was, never knew what they were supposed to do. At its most perverse, they never knew that every life has a goal, no matter how humble. How is that possible, you may ask?
Let us answer this question with an analogy. Think of the concept of love. It is an interesting and universal idea. As we know, “Love makes the world go round.” (2) Love is also said to be pure and to be kind. But if you have never experienced love in any form, how would you know that it exists? You wouldn’t, would you? Much like every person’s mission, love is multifaceted. We may know only one aspect — the love that our family gives us, for example — but, we may never know of the real physical love between a man or a woman, or the esoteric love of God. When any of the dimensions of love are described, we may know only one narrow perspective or none at all.
My assignment in life is much like this, it may have many incarnations before I can concretely say what it is in all its aspects. But if I don’t believe that I am here for a reason — a purpose — I am not. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If I believe that I am simply born to die in a pointless biological joke, I have missed the best part of life — its meaning, and my place in it. Most people, fortunately, know this is not the case. They understand that each life has value. Nature herself shows us that she is here to replicate and improve. It is the same with human beings. Yes, we are here to replace our parents and grandparents, but more importantly, we are here to improve the society.
We do this by each completing our piece in the zeitgeist (3) of our time. There is a deep concern today that we have lost our moral compass (4) due, in large part, to the New Atheism (5) or total disregards for God, Gaia, or the Universe. It is very important, I posit, that if we are going to set the world on a positive course and resolve the crises of our time, we must each do our part. Finding my mission, illuminating my path, will go a long way in this regard.
The great entrepreneur and visionary, Steve Jobs (6) leaves us with a thought: For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today was the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. Almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.
A closing thought: The process of discovering what I am supposed to do with my life is a practical and rational one. I must first believe that I have a mission — something I was committed to when I was born — an intrinsic part of me. I must then embark on that unearthing. Many of us will flail around with numerous paths before we settle on the one that is the correct one for me, the one that puts me in “a state of flow,” to quote Dr. Czikszentmihalyi. (6) When this is uncovered, great accomplishments usually follow. Two pieces of action form the key to the door of self-realization: the one is the making of your bed to end the night and the other is the writing your thoughts in your notebook to commence the new day.
To sum up: This week, we spoke about uncovering your own path.
To be noted: From E. M. Forster (7) –We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
Just for fun: “Abide With Me!”
For reflection: Jordan Peterson – What To Do If I Don’t Have Any Goals?
This week, on your reflective walk, please contemplate your own path in life.
Every day look for something magical and beautiful.
Quote: I am here for a purpose: it is up to me to discover what it is.