|11-07-2006, 07:08 AM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Logan, UT
The *Why* behind your life purpose
Many of us have selected a life purpose, some as short as five words long, some full paragraphs of specific information. I'm curious, though, as to why we have selected our life purposes, and I would like to share my story as well.
I expect long explanations and as few dry keyboards as possible while we explain how we came to have the purposes that we have today.
Oh, and I'm blogging this as well.
- < ( . _ . - < > < > < > - . _ . ) > -
My life purpose is one of the five word purposes, but it encompasses me completely. My purpose is "To bring peace to everybody."
It is a lofty goal, and I don't know if I will see it finished in my lifetime. Honestly, I don't care if I personally bring peace to each and every individual. Just being able to help the process, perhaps by inspiring others, is more than I could ask for.
There have been several key moments in my life that have led me to this purpose. I grew up with my father after my parents had divorced while I was still in pre-school. I had always been an introspective kid, and was able to figure out simple physics as a toddler. One of my father's favorite stories is of how he put a latch high on a door when I was two years old, so that I wouldn't get out, only to hear the door shut an hour later, and a pool cue on the ground as evidence of how I had reached so high.
Throughout my toddler through pre-school years, and one of the events that led to my parents' eventual divorce, my mother had a boy friend. I was physically abused by him, and my two older sisters were molested. I don't hold animosity towards him now, since he served several years in prison as a convicted child molester. Whether or not he got what he deserved from the hazing that the other inmates gave him, I'll never know, but he is out of my life now, and I recognize that holding on to anger would only hurt me. After a while, I forgave him for my own sake. He would still play a role through most of my childhood, though, even while he was in prison, because of the excuses that the abuse gave me in shutting out the world.
Unfortunately, I was also a product of the American public education system. I was too intelligent for my own good, scoring 142 on an IQ test taken in kindergarten. Because of the divorce, my father was in no shape financially to put me into a private school, and charter schools weren't popular at the time. I developed some extremely bad habits with my school work, and despite learning the material quickly, I became bored with applying it. By second grade, I was in the Special Education system, and I would not escape it until I was in high school.
Second grade marked another important part in my life; my father had remarried. I had a fairy-tale life at that point, complete with the wicked step-mother, but no sign of a happily ever after. I am not exaggerating when I say that my step-mom is the least likely person to attain enlightenment. Under her stifling care, I received very little physical abuse, with the exception of being lifted off the ground and nearly thrown through a thick glass door. Her rage was legendary, and I would often get 'lectured' at for hours at a time until she would lose her voice about breaking rules that, even now, seem silly, such as leaving a plate in the living room. The arguments between my dad and her would sometimes last for entire weekends, and could be clearly heard from several houses away.
Just like the person who had physically abused me, I have since forgiven my step-mom, though I was able to look back and learn from her as well. Aside from a low self-esteem, and the opportunities missed from that, I haven't allowed her to affect my life, and I have learned how to control her emotions directly, so when I visit my father, she is unable to get angry.
When I was eighteen years old, however, I was more than happy to leave home and join the military. I had already learned how to hide in plain sight, so during initial training, I was never singled out. The generic abuse that I did get from my drill sergeants were nothing in comparison to the verbal abuse that my step-mom gave me, and the hardest part of training was being away from home for the first time. It was January of 1999 when I joined the U.S. Army, and besides the nine weeks of basic training, I had another twenty weeks of advanced training where I learned how to read doplar radar, and I missed being "The Distinguished Honor Graduate" by one tenth of a percentage point.
My first duty station was Camp Humphrey's, South Korea. It wasn't one of the many bases near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), rather, it was on the western side of the peninsula, about mid-way between the DMZ and the southern shore. I spent September 1999 to September 2000 there, and in that year, I became an alcoholic. (The legal drinking age is 20 in Korea, so I was legal through most of my time there.) I drank away a large enlistment bonus, until my commander decided to step in and send me to AA. Throughout that time, I had a long distance relationship, and halfway through my tour, I took leave and visited her, which was largely uneventful, but worth noting for later on in this post.
During my tour in Korea, I had an opportunity to visit the DMZ for a sight-seeing tour. Here's a little bit of history for those who haven't been exposed to it yet: Just over fifty years ago, the North and South Korean armies, along with the North's allies of China and Russia, as well as the U.S. and some other UN countries, stopped fighting, marched backwards one kilometer each, and have not moved since. That cease-fire is the only peace that exists between North and South Korea, and no declaration of peace has been made; they are still in a state of civil war, despite the extremely low number of casualties since then. The two kilometer stretch of land, now heavily covered by land mines and connected by only one road, is known as the DMZ. Along that road, in the center of the DMZ, there are a series of buildings, three of which are cut in half by a line drawn on the ground outside, as well as inside. In the middle of those three buildings is a table with the same red line cutting it neatly in half.
I can honestly say that the red line is the scariest thing that I have ever seen in my life. It represented (at the time) just under fifty years of cold war, marked by saber-rattling and a few attacks that could have easily led to the resumption of the war... It had the feeling that this one layer of paint was the only thing holding back divisions of artillery, and the second largest army in the world. I crossed the line once during that visit, and those four feet that I traveled into enemy territory were more than enough for me.
It was at that point that my idea for peace started to gel in my mind. I wanted to erase that line, but I couldn't because of the fear of that line being broken, allowing the terrors beyond to push through. I adopted the role of a statistic... I was part of our nation's saber rattling that ensured that nobody would attack the nation that I was born in, nor would they attack the nations of Korea, which I had learned to love and respect.
In September of 2000, I left Korea, and went to Ft. Lewis, Washington. My time there was largely uneventful, though I did slowly increase my drinking again. I spent another year before I had saved up enough leave to spend another month with my girlfriend, who had moved to upstate New York. I visited her in the last week of August, and the first week was less than I expected it to be. At the end of the second week, she had broken up with me. My father bought tickets to fly me back home, and that Monday, I was on a plane heading back to Phoenix, where I had grown up. While I was in the air, my grandfather had gone to the hospital for life-threatening pneumonia, with a very slim chance to survive (he survived another three years after that).
The next day was September 11th, 2001.
(Apparently, I'm too long winded, so I'm splitting this post... to be continued.)
|11-07-2006, 07:08 AM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Logan, UT
It was a shattering blow to my ego, that I had built around the idea of being a statistic to keep enemies away. I was already suffering from losing a long-term relationship, and worried for my grandfather, and then, my entire identity came crashing down with those towers. I still have trouble typing it out today, over five years later. I can not watch the videos of those buildings burning without crying, but neither can I turn away, nor would I want to.
Numbness was the only thing that I could feel for a while after that. Fortunately, when I checked in with my unit, they allowed me to stay on leave, because there was nothing that they could do, except to sit for days watching the news together, just as most of America was doing in their own homes. I don't know what would have been different, had I been with my unit on that day, but I can clearly picture all of the soldiers I had come to know sitting around a TV, some in tears, some too shocked to move, all of them feeling the same sense of failure and impotence, from the newest private to the oldest sergeant, with the commander in his office because he can't be seen as week in front of his soldiers.
Eventually, life went back to normal, but still with a hollow spot in the background. Days, then weeks, then months passed. A year passed, then another two months until something else important happened in my life.
On Thanksgiving Day, 2002, I was out helping to train an infantry unit, and we had gotten the day off. I pulled out my trusty calling card, and dialed my sister's number. I learned that she had a new roommate, who happened to be single. I didn't talk to her roommate on the phone, but we did talk over IM that night, and several nights after. We first met at the end of January, and hit it off immediately. I took leave again after that, and decided to propose in February. We had planned on having a long betrothal, but that went out the window in April, and I was married to Trina on the 20th of that month.
One of the first big changes that she brought out in me, is that she got me to quit drinking. She also taught me how to dress, since I was too geeky to learn that skill. At the end of our first year together, I thought that she was perfect.
The end of my four year enlistment was coming up, so my wife and I decided to re-enlist. One year after re-enlisting, though, my almost daily running caught up with me, and my hip gave out. I had a choice of either having surgery at the hands of an inexperienced surgeon, or take an honorable discharge. Obviously, since I can't run, and I'm now a veteran, I chose to take the discharge. We moved back in with my sister, and I started school. With my new-found discipline, and a wonderful wife supporting me, I began to work at Sam's Club, first cleaning toilets, then as a nighttime stocker. We lived about a half hour drive from the town where I worked and went to school, so for a long time, I had the schedule of waking at 8pm, working until 5:30am, sleeping in my car at my school until 8:30, learning until 2pm, then going home to repeat the cycle.
Eventually, I was fired because a pallet full of merchandise was mis-marked, poorly wrapped, and crumbled under its own weight. Unfortunately, I was the fork lift driver, so despite never having touched any of that merchandise, I was held accountable.
After that, I still thought that my wife was perfect, but I was astounded at how much more perfect she was then, compared to how much I thought she was perfect at the end of the first year.
I found Steve's site shortly after being fired, and started reading avidly. When I read about finding a life purpose, I tried the methods, but I just couldn't find something, so I put it out of my mind. I'd try again a few times, but without any success. Finally, as the five year anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001 came up, I remembered that hollow spot I had been hiding, and it gave me the clue to my purpose: Peace.
Now, I am living my purpose, helping people to find peace in every way imaginable, including participating in this forum and keeping my own blog. My life has improved dramatically, as I'm now teaching, and my wife is absolutely perfect, even more perfect than I could have ever have imagined before.
Alright, I've shown you mine, now you show me yours.
|11-07-2006, 07:15 AM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Kansas City MO
wow. nice article...
My purpose is " To have a profound, positive effect on as many people as possible and to help at least 1000 people become millionaires through teaching Napoleon Hills Success Principles and Internet Marketing Mastery".
|11-07-2006, 01:33 PM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Logan, UT
Of course you realize that the next question is "Why?", right Travis?
So, why is your purpose "To have a profound, positive effect on as many people as possible and to help at least 1000 people become millionaires through teaching Napoleon Hills Success Principles and Internet Marketing Mastery"?
You can be as specific or as vague as you want, but I'm very interested in the motivation behind people selecting their life purposes.
|11-07-2006, 02:04 PM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia
Awesome posts Adam.
I havent yet figured out my life purpose. I believe that the ultimate aim of everyone is to be happy. Im trying to figure this out still. I recently read the 'levels of conscious' article by Steve, and its intriguing. There are many things I want to achieve in life. I think I'm still trying to figure out the "means" of getting to some of my goals.
Last edited by Fusebox; 11-07-2006 at 02:11 PM. Reason: left something out.
|11-08-2006, 09:55 AM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Bedfordshire, Uk
I don’t know that I could say I ‘selected’ my life purpose – but I do think it has come and found me! The only thing that has been able to cut through the decades of fog of unresolved doubts and uncertainties that was holding me back is the “Find your life purpose in 20 minutes” exercise.
I knew that I had found my central purpose when after 20 minutes I found myself looking at a mindmap that had the words ‘beauty’, ‘share’ and ‘connect’ highlighted and the tears welled up in my eyes and my chest(heart) was full. The incredibly strong physical and emotional reaction clearly signalled that this was the kernel of my purpose. I was conscious of a sense of bewilderment - “how am I going to fashion a workable plan out of that?” was my first reaction (once I’d blown my nose etc.)
However, within 24 hours I had come up with an idea that combines my interest in the arts and craftwork with recycling and youth work. I want to form some sort of network or web of interests that all feed off each other and into each other. I’m still working out the details so that’s as good as it gets at the moment. I find it stunning that once I’d accepted my ‘mission’ so to speak, the ideas just kept popping into my mind, it was very exciting!
This is also a bit longwinded – I suppose terse people are less likely to be attracted to discussion boards!
|11-29-2006, 07:48 PM||#9 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
My purpose is to make dreams real.
I don't like writing about sad stories, and my life has a lot of them. So, I'll get to the point instead of write my autobiography here: I make dreams real because that's my gift. That's why I'm on this earth. I have learned through my life that I can make anything happen if I put my mind to it. Thus, I have decided to use my "powers" for good instead of evil .
|12-11-2006, 09:25 AM||#10 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Melbourne, Australia
My Purpose is simply complex
Like Geekchick9, I make dreams come true. I do this for myself and for others who are receptive to assistance and advice.
My Purpose is to be on purpose. Bettering myself for me and for all of you.
When I ask, it is always given, and being unattached to the outcome seems to help.
i focus, I daydream alot, I create, I take the appropriate actions and seek out others who can help.
I know it will manifest with the core essense of what I need if not exactly what I want.
I have always had a glass half full outlook and a real sense of connectedness from as early as a little child.
I have had some really shite events and loads of astounding events in my 37 years and I'm grateful for them all.
Many years ago a dear friend told me to ''embrace the pain'' and that it's as valid as the joy.
This enabled me to really address issues and clear my soul. From this moment I feared no more.
I understood it was all a state of mind and it would pass with the right perspective.
A wonderful opportunity to feel, learn for future compassion and to grow.
Having said that I've learned to navigate my life to avoid a great deal of the frustration and desire in life. A gift? or an attitude?
All my experiences have made me and will continue to do so. I believe in everyones ability to excel. it just takes time and a thirst for learning with an open mind. Everything is in flux and I am receptive to change, in fact I embrace it.
Anyway, It's all really quite simply complex.
The web I created recently, The Intention Engine is a perfect manifestation On Purpose!
P.S I like this post!
Last edited by intentionengine; 12-11-2006 at 09:36 AM.
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