She spent the night crying in my arms…
feeling lost about the direction of her existence, feeling she is falling behind her peers. She is not where she is supposed to be! By now she should have graduated. By now she should be engaged and living with a guy she loves. By now she should be getting ready to start a family. By now she should have been making enough money to live. By now she should be living the life she wants…but when I ask her what this life she wants entails her response is shallow.
To just be happy she finally revels. To have a family and a job with some kids thrown in I guess (I think it’s really just to not feel the way she feels anymore).
Really I wonder? Is that what your life is really all about? Just a quest to become perpetually happy? No, I don’t think the goal of anyone’s life is to simply be happy. Rather I think, happiness and joyfulness are simply the beautiful by-products of living a life worth living. So really, the goal should be to live a life worth living (I will get to that).
All happiness is anyways is an emotional state.
A direction on your emotional compass telling you that things are going in the right direction. So the revers is also true…feeling bad means you are living a life that is not in-line with what your heart desires. But here is the problem we run into when it comes to your hearts desires: WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU WANT?
Let me guess, to just be happy and have a family and some kids (hint: we just went over this)
The problem with goals like “to be happy” and “to just have more fun” is that they lack definition. The mind can not zero in and grasp these two concepts because they are so patently and utterly meaningless. You might as well tell me your goals are to “meet the man of your dreams”, or to get a “good paying” job, or to “make lots of money”. These things never come true because they are not specific. What is a good job? What is the man of your dreams specifically like? What do you do now that is fun? What brings you happiness?
The real answer is to all of these questions is actually irrelevant.
Happiness and fulfillment come about by living a value driven life…not a goal driven one. Let me explain:
Goals are simply a desired outcome that can be achieved or completed. Like having a bucket list of things you want to do before you die. Each item on the bucket list is a goal driven goal. That is, once you get married and have kids, you are married and have kids, despite whether you are deeply in love with the other person or not. Goal driven goals often bring about a very powerful high that wears off quickly, sort of like buying something amazing. After a while it is not so amazing and you need another fix. This constant need for a fix is why goal driven goals are not as effective sources of happiness as value driven goals are.
Values are what guide us through life, they are a direction and never a destination. A value we all share is the desire to be loved. Unlike being able to purchase something and experience the high from that purchase, the desire to be loved is on going throughout your entire life. You can never cross it off as done for it is a value and not an experience like setting foot on every major continent on Earth (which would be awesome to do by the way).
So perhaps each item on the bucket list is a goal driven goal, but the motivation to create a bucket list in the first place is clearly value driven, specifically, it is driven by valuing being a conscious human being.
Values make life worth living.
They kick in when things get tough. You may not want to go run 3 miles today…but if you value health you bet your butt you will make time to do it. And this is the really wonderful thing about value driven goals too : The more you give, the more you get. Want more love? Give more love! (no purchase necessary)
A good eye opener:
Imagine you are old and in a nursing home. As you look back on the life you had just lived will you have wished you spent more time at the office? Perhaps more time at work? I hope not! So put yourself in that nursing home and think, really think:
- I wish I spent more time doing….what?
- I did not spend enough time doing…this.
- If I could go back in time to when I was (your current age) I would have done what differently?
STOP READING THIS AND PONDER SOME ANSWERS FOR A MOMENT
So the secret to leading a purpose driven life, one filled with happiness and fulfillment, is to live a value driven life. But how do you know what your values are? Well, you obviously value being loved… so what else? Being taken seriously? Being respected? Coaching others to help them achieve their goals? These are all values and I am sure you have some unique to you. Really though, your values are whatever you consciously want them to be. So to lead a rich and fulfilling life is to live a life according to what one values the most. The best way to live according to your values however, is to discover your purpose driven life. Your life purpose. This then begs the question:
What is my purpose? Do I even have a one?
Is it something we find or discover, or is it something pre-ordained before we are born? That is, are we created to fulfill a specific purpose in life and never had any choice in the matter…or is it perhaps that life is without purpose, a blank slate, and we give it whatever meaning and purposely we want?
I personally think the answer is simply “yes”
If you think it is something to find and discover then yes, yes it is. If you think it is pre-ordained then yes, yes it is. If you think life is without purpose and we give it any meaning we want, then yes, yes it is without meaning and we give it whatever meaning we want. What I am getting at is I think the answer is a conscious choice for each individual. Your purpose is in fact whatever you want it to be (or be it nothing at all). Either way there is no right answer, because no one can know the answer, they can only guess.
So you really have two choices the way I see it:
Live a life without any real purpose: Maybe do what you are told, get a job, a house, a spouse, and some kids. Follow the typical life template and retire. Not exactly a existence with any tremendous meaning, but things could have been worse. You live a quite and safe life content with what you have. You accept that a purpose for life could perhaps exist, and that you could have chosen a purpose for your life if you wanted to (you think), but decide to settle with the reality knowing that your life never had any real Earth shattering purpose.
The second choice is to live a life with purpose: Simply decide to have a purpose to your life. Maybe you choose it, maybe you discover it, or maybe you simply feel compelled to it like it was pre programed in you… regardless, you decide to have a purpose.
Your purpose driven life is a choice and it has to make sense
So how do you decide what your purpose is? What is my purpose? What process should you take? What criteria should it meet? Is your purpose and profession the same thing? How do you know if it is right? How do you act on your life purpose once it is decided? This ends part one, Why not subscribe so you don’t miss part 2: rss | email
Before you go, I have a confession: I wrote this for one person. You too may have found it helpful and I hope you will share it with as many people you think it can make a difference for. This is why I started this site. To help you reject mediocrity and live a life worth living.