|10-11-2011, 07:15 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2011
Advice on life purpose??
I'm having some major difficulty figuring out what I want to do with my life as far as a career. I'm very interested in and focused on learning and personal growth, yet I seem to be stuck, confused, and a little frightened when I confront myself with this question. I feel pressed for time, feel like I'm wasting it- mine and everyone elses. I definitely feel now is the time to make those moves, I just don't know what they really are. Mostly I feel I have massive plans for myself, yet it's still vague somehow lol all I know is that I can achieve a lot more than where I'm at, and the more I don't know how to go forward, the more stressful it gets.
I've tried having an earnest supportive dialog with myself about it, so far I see I come up with a couple ideas, but none seem to fill me with passion like I feel a life purpose should. More often than that I find myself coming up with reasons why it wouldn't work (not too smart, I know. Yet I can't help being critical and cautious sometimes) or just getting distracted from my train of thought all together.
I've meditated on it, trying to connect with some higher power or awareness and I seem to find a scary kind of emptiness to be honest... And if I do find something it's this state of a reactive little kid that couldn't possibly know the answer cause it's too busy trying just to cope with so many things it doesn't understand... I've had some reiki treatments as well, and I had a strong reaction to them, but no new insights as of yet. Just more amplification of a "Do something!" feeling.
People seem to be able to choose something and run with it, and I want to as well. Being uncomplicated and decisive yeilds success. I just want to make a living an awesome fufilling way. I'm just alarmed at why it's been so difficult to figure it out so far. My family is honestly starting to worry, and I don't blame them... Any advice or suggestions? I'd really, really appreciate it. I usually get a lot of great advice on these forums.
|10-11-2011, 07:43 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Feb 2010
I think it helps to see your life purpose as a state of being rather than a thing you do. It makes things less complicated and avoids the trap of thinking that there is only one path that is the correct path.
By adopting a way of being, I simply mean clarifying your values in life and then using them as a guiding framework through which you evaluate the success of your life. From such a framework, it doesn't matter so much what job you choose (unless it is really off the mark and is in no way compatible with your values). So long as you have the will to do so and the creativity, you could manipulate your environment in a way that is compatible with your values.
The other benefit to seeing your life purpose as a state of being rather than a thing you do is that you avoid reducing your purpose to one aspect of your life. If you live a principled life, your actions will be meaningful and self-satisfying whether you are acting within the context of a job, school, family, friends, conflict, death and bereavement etc etc.
Do you have a strong sense of your values? Coincidentally, I was just working on my list of values. It is nice to have one simply for the sole purpose of having some form of internal guidance. Rather than looking to others for approval, I can ask, 'Is this fair?', 'Does this make me feel good?', 'Am I reaching my fullest potential?', 'Am I living up to my sense of dignity?'.
|10-11-2011, 09:40 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jul 2007
I'm probably the worst person to go to for advice on this, but I think you're asking the wrong questions. That's why you feel like you can't possibly get the answer; because there is no meaningful answer to the questions you are asking. Your intuition has nothing to say on the subject, so you're wracking your brain for something that just isn't there. You probably don't have a life purpose, no matter what your family and society and the ubiquitous "they" tell you. Maybe your brain wants you to look for a way to live without a defining purpose being needed.
|10-13-2011, 12:16 AM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2011
Thanks for your words.
Values, yes, I can understand why it would definitely help to outline them. I feel I have a lot of them, the thing is, it's hard to think of this particular set of values that translates into a secure, grounded career.
I think I already know what I am... It's more like I'm afraid to actually go out there and make it happen. My values in a career I feel are just so revolutionarily different from what's out there right now. I'd be living a lifestyle that would definitely brave and unorthodox in a lot of ways. And, really, I'm just questioning whether I truly have the resources and courage to actually accomplish it.
It'll take faith, and although I have seen faith shift realities in amazing ways, I know there's still the doubt and self effacing criticism I have to overcome.
What are the best ways to enhance one's belief in one's self? Ways maybe a person can keep themselves from being sidelined by a stream negative feedback on how they are preforming a given task?
|10-13-2011, 12:50 AM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2011
Mind is an interesting thing. In a state of stillness / emptiness where you may find direction the mind will invalidate the state, it is looking for something that appears more appropriate by its standards and will dismiss a multitude of other possibilities in its search.
Maybe try another approach. Be open & allow any consideration an opportunity to make itself known before the mind casts it off. Think outside of the box & try to nurture an intuition more so than just the same old mental processes.
|10-13-2011, 04:13 AM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Feb 2010
You have piqued my curiosity.
What is it that you want to do that is revolutionary and unorthodox compared to what is out there already?
I'm sort of in the same boat as you. I know what my values are, but I'm afraid to push my self out of my comfort zone. I do think that people can get into the trap of 'planning out' their values and life purpose through personal development for no other reason to keep themselves in that safe zone.
|10-13-2011, 10:15 AM||#7 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Estonia, Tallinn
I actually believe a lot in life purpose and it's not because the society tells you should have one. It's because when I decided I had one, my life became more meaningful and purposeful. We just have so many options that it's ridiculous, I think you need to prioritize and pick out the best options and focus completely on them.
Questions that helped me find my life purpose (by the way, it really is a way of being rather than just a thing; and it evolves continuously):
- What do I really enjoy doing?
- If I had all the resources, what would I do?
- What problems are most heart-breaking for me? (They don't have to be big things like world hunger and poverty.)
- What did I dream of as a kid?
- What was I very strong at as a child and also what came very easily for me while others often struggled at these things?
- What am I very strong at right now? (Could be different from your childhood, but changes are that you are still good at the very same things.)
In my opinion, life purpose is something that is valuable to the world, something you really enjoy doing, something that keeps you getting better every day. It's a process and a vision rather than a thing you ever finish.
|10-18-2011, 09:07 PM||#9 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2008
As for wasting your own time? I doubt it. Stuff I did when I was younger that seemed to be a waste of time back then (because it wasn't getting me closer to a career) turned out to be valuable years later. It broadened me as a human being, as well as adding to my skillset and knowledge base.
The idea of "wasting time" only makes sense if you feel you must have reached [arbirtary milestone] by [arbitrary date]. "If I'm not married with at least one kid by the time I'm 30, It'll never happen." "If I don't have a real career goal and a job that relates to that by the time I'm 24/25/27, I'm a loser and will end up a failure." That sort of thinking. And it's hard to avoid falling into those traps because we're surrounded by people who believe in those markers of progress and keep reminding us of them.
So you (and everyone else) is much better served by throwing away these arbitrary standards for measuring your progress, and your level of success or failure in life. They don't mean anything, and they only make things harder.
I mean, hey--I'd like to have an art career. I paint, I design and print textiles, and I'd like to do other things as well. And I used to think that if I hadn't done that by the time I was 30, then 35, then 40 it just wasn't going to happen. But I'm 44 now and no longer give a damn. I just make art, have fun with it, and if I end up making money at it, great. If not, I'm enjoying myself. And frankly, I think enjoying those feelings of inspiration and fun and creative flow is part of my life purpose.
So if there's something you truly feel is the right course of action to take right now, do that. It could be education, it could be volunteer work, it could be lying around on the couch reading books, for all I know. It might not be something other people think you should be doing, but don't get stuck on that. Just keep doing what feels right, even if you can't put a finger on why.
What do you feel passionate about right now? Is there a specific social/political/humanitarian issue that you feel very strongly about? Getting involved with it as a volunteer might be the right course of action right now. Do you have any sort of creative work you love doing? Do that. Are you really into health/physical fitness/athletics? Pursue that. If you feel very strongly about something, that's a sign encouraging you to follow it.
Following those passions will often lead you to discover options for yourself that you didn't even know existed. And frankly, I think that learning to trust your passions to guide you is part of one's life purpose.
|10-20-2011, 01:32 AM||#10 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2011
Hi! I'd like to "piggyback" this thread and see if anyone can help me with my own struggle with finding purpose and meaning. Hope you don't mind.
Well, it looks like the ghosts of emptiness have been swirling about me for a long time now, but I hadn't really defined their character, or simply didn't have time to, as day-to-day business can take on a sort of "default purpose" for us.
Tonight, the ghosts were back visiting, and in their usual form: a vague restlessness and dissatisfaction that sometimes makes me irritable and prone to lashing out at others. So I thought I'd "Google" life purpose, which brought me here.
When I was younger, I was full of hope, anticipation and purpose. This may describe many of you. In a nutshell, I wanted to serve my country by working for a member of Congress. I was idealistic and excited. Life in every respect felt full of possibility.
After working hard to find a job, I secured work with a congressman from my home state. But the job, due to a hostile staff, ended up being a huge disappointment, and my health suffered. I developed clinical depression, and life would never be the same.
I met so many nasty, arrogant, uninspiring people in Washington that my illusion of finding satisfying work in a hospitable environment---AND where I was making the difference I wanted to make---was shattered. Although I toughed it out for a long time, I eventually ended up leaving the area.
This was a defining experience for me, and caused me to re-think my purpose. I am pretty sour now on this country. I don't like where we're at politically (i.e., divided), and the degree of malaise would seem only to respond to the hand of God. I almost don't care anymore.
Since then, I have labored from time to time to develop a new purpose, but unlike before, there is no passion underlying any of it. Further, I am more wary now of developing passion, as emotion alone does not guarantee good results. All I have to do is look back.
But without passion, I have no drive. No drive, no energy or initiative to see my purpose come to fruition.
There are things I like/love, and goals I have, but I can't seem to extract a purpose out of any of them. For example, I love babies/kids. I want to spend more time around them. Not sure if I can carve out a purpose around that, though...
So here I am. 46-years-old, and purposeless. Can anyone help me?
|10-21-2011, 08:32 PM||#14 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2007
AmericanGirl - if you feel either Ann or I can be of assistance to you, please let us know. You might start by visiting our web site at Helping People Who Feel Lost, Adrift or Overwhelmed Seeking a Spirit-Centered Life | Life on Purpose Institute | Life on Purpose Institute and seeing how our approach and Life On Purpose Perspective resonates with you. If it does, then let us know how we can be of service, and if you're not clear, just give us a call or send us an email and we'll explore.
And whether you choose to contact us or now, just know there is plenty of life on the other side of these dark night of the soul experiences.
Last edited by bswift; 10-21-2011 at 08:34 PM.
|10-21-2011, 09:32 PM||#15 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: In cyberspace
The Meaning of Life: Discover Your Purpose
Great mood-lifter ... no matter how low you feel about this.
Hope it helps you to move again, find your path. It is there, trust me.
|11-02-2011, 02:56 PM||#16 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2011
Like some others have said, purpose should not go with career. To me having a purpose is something that you truly have passion about. Too many people grow up just to get a job, get married and look forward to the one day a week they get to have off and do yard work. They believe career is their purpose but it is not.
Find something you love to do and get better at everyday! It may not bring you money, it may not bring you fame, it may not bring you anything but inner satisfaction, but thats all that matters!
I believe I have found my purpose, my passion, and it took me nine years of doing it to fully realize it. You will too, it just takes time, trial and error.
|11-04-2011, 01:12 PM||#17 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2011
Life has no purpose...it simply is beautiful. We try to find a purpose so that we can try to find value for ourselves that we can identify with. "Purpose" is an ego trip.
The purpose of life isn't to make 10 babies for God or to build skyscrapers or jumbojets.
Just be yourself, your creative self. Look for where you enjoy being creative and move into that. If you see your creativity is a blessing to life then know it is from your heart. If you see your creativity is destructive, then know your ego is using that gift of your's and don't allow that.
By allowing your creativity to bloom, you're allowing life to flow through you.
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