Discovering your purpose? Remember, “The map to this buried treasure is hidden within you. Your job is to get your shovel and start digging.”
Og Mandino says, “I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand. Henceforth will I apply ALL my efforts to become the highest mountain of all and I will strain my potential until it cries for mercy.”
The Wait is Over
It has taken me a few moments of introspection to write this article about discovering your purpose. I’ve researched this for a place to generate some ideas as this is a very important subject. Discovering your purpose is so important that once you wrap your life around it, the ease with which I tell you that your life will flow effortlessly will be a reality.
My firm belief is that humanity’s purpose is to help one another, to be a witness to one another. Help and witness them do what is the true question of purpose. Is there some manifest destiny to discovering your purpose that we as the human race are to achieve and what are we collectively trying to accomplish with our individual purposes?
I don’t pretend to have the answer to those questions nor do I believe that any one else on this planet can. Sure I’ve google’d this and there are over 15,000 pages which say that I am wrong. However, I have yet to see anyone explain this so that it makes sense.
In terms of discovering your purpose, most sites will tell you that God has a plan for you here on this planet. If you’ve read my other articles, you will understand why I choose to stay away from debates about religion. In my opinion, it’s an empty pursuit. Perception, belief, faith, and free will for one should never be up for debate as long as it does not impede upon those of others. Should I or anyone else believe “wrongly” and it offends God, then it’s our cross to bear.
My approach to this article on discovering your purpose is this: Life is a game. In this game of life, we get to pick who we want to be, what we want to do, where we will play it, when we will play, with whom, and how.
We are in fact co-creators in the image of HIM (Genesis 5:3) but of our own personal worlds living interdependently with others who are co-creators of their own. The rules have been established for us to operate within, the Golden Rule being of prime importance. Pause for a moment and think about this last paragraph.
HUMAN – (Hu (ancient name for God) Man) = god Man
I know a few of you will have a problem with that last statement. Does this frighten you? If so, think about this – if I was to take an empty bottle and dip it into the ocean, is the water in the bottle still ocean water?
To discover your purpose, try operating your life from the “co-creator” point of view as opposed to some small being set adrift upon this strange planet and subjected to the whims of life and all that it entails. Imagine also that when you see another person, you are seeing and respecting the godliness in them. Once you can view life and others from the “co-creator” viewpoint, The Golden Rule makes absolute sense. Why would you not treat someone as you would want to be treated?
On With the Show
Everyone at some point in there lives stood in the darkness observing the twinkling stars in the sky and asked, “Why am I here?” “What is my purpose?” And, started the journey of how to discover your purpose. Many have either turned to religion for the answers or have totally given up the quest. Some have even suggested that there is in fact no overall purpose to our existence and that we are simply here to remain in sorrow and suffering.
Some practitioners of religion say that you are here solely to serve God; and as a reward for serving this purpose, you get to go to a better place when you die – heaven. In the realm of all possibility, this could be true. I am not here to dispute or question your beliefs; however, please keep an open mind as we delve into discovering your purpose further. For those of you who do not take the religious route, I ask that you keep an open mind as well.
Religion is supposed to fit human life into a pattern of meaning. Religion should offer us a satisfactory explanation of the reasons for the existence of the human species. From this explanation, we gain a guideline to all of our thinking and action since we have a frame of reference from which to view other things, interpret our experiences, and to help with discovering your purpose.
With an understanding of this purpose of life, we will find it easier to see the meaning in our own individual lives. It is my belief that man was not placed here by accident, but that man comes upon earth in conformity with a divine and eternal purpose, one that directs or should direct every action of his life.
From the very beginning, there has been a great intelligence directing creation that we can “tap” into. As I defined on the purpose page, the purpose of life is to Live and Live Abundantly. Think deeply about this for a moment and I will expound upon this idea a bit.
When you think about living and discovering your purpose, what ideas come to mind? Generally, we want more. More of what is personal and to the degree that one lacks one of the core needs of life. In our search to Live, what we are truly seeking is to be happy.
Is there any wonder as to why we think that money or things will make us happy? On the surface, this seems exactly what I am saying; however, you will see that it’s a little more complex.
Happiness is the true goal of everyone on this planet. The very purpose of the law of creation is to enable you to be happy and enjoy abundance. It is the prime directive of life. In other words, the purpose of life is to Live and Live Abundantly. In doing so, you achieve a state of happiness. So, living abundantly is living in a state of happiness. How can it not be?
What is happiness and why is it necessary in discovering your purpose? Before we define the nature of this state of being, it may be helpful to define what it is not.
Happiness is not the accumulation of property or the worship of pleasure. I am not saying that you should have no fun, quite the contrary. Amusement is a great refresher to the soul. You should laugh loudly as often as possible.
However, a life of comfort and ease usually begets indifference to virtue. Almost unfailingly it drives all thoughts of virtue from one’s heart. We take a deep plunge into the pseudo joys and follies of the world all the while forgetting the real purpose of life. Check your latest Hollywood tabloids for proof. “Man does not live by bread alone.”
True happiness is predicated upon being whole. If you would seek, while discovering your purpose, the real purpose of life; you will come to understand that you must live for some thing “higher” than your carnal self.
Time to Get Out the Shovel and Start Digging
In discovering your purpose, I want to point out 3 criteria you should always use to gather answers to your questions.
- Simplicity – a simple answer to any question is usually best. But, keep in mind that we (mankind) are at best infants here on this planet. We don’t know much about a lot of things, the “why”; but through observation, we can explain the “what” of things. For instance, there is an immutable law about reaping and sowing that states – A seed planted in good soil with ample sunlight and water, will produce fruit of the same kind. You plant apple seeds; you get apples not an oranges.
This rule is so precise that it not only applies to edible fruit but it applies to human thought as well. You want success, abundance, or good health; then you must plant those seeds in thought with ample love and action. The law works each and every time.
Why does that work? How does a tiny seed that fits into the palm of a newborn’s hand when combined with necessary elements for growth produce a tree that will some day hold the adult that was once the holder of the seed? We don’t know the “why”; but by observing nature, we know the “what” which explains my next point.
- Look to nature for answers. Nature in its essence has provided man with keys to understanding the universe and to discovering your purpose. What is nature? Nature simply is. It needs no further explanation. I am absolutely happy that it’s so. Imagine if nature was emotional, played favorites, was prejudice, or confused. Nature, no matter what mankind throws at it, continues on, operating according to its law – no therapy, no hang-ups. We could learn a lot from nature if only we’d pay attention.
- Intuition – Intuition is man’s way of communicating with nature. You are well aware of the 5 senses of hearing, taste, touch, smell, and sight. Intuition is that unexplainable 6th sense that gives us a “gut” feeling that we should take some action. It knows without understanding. It warns us of danger and provides “hunches” that we should take that next step. It is the servant of faith.
Be of Service
There is a famous Christian author of the Purpose Driven Life who states that discovering your purpose or knowing intuitively what your purpose may be is wrong. He surmises that God has a plan and apparently only those of the Christian faith have a purpose. I am in no way disputing this as this is his belief. However, if God has a plan for me, how would I find out if I don’t look within? Now in terms of serving God, I think that the best way to do that is to see God within man and serve man accordingly, all of mankind without judgment, prejudice, or discrimination. Let me make this clear, discovering your purpose will lead you to being of service to mankind.
In the end, it is up to you. Whether you believe the religious path or not, it is totally up to you to decide what your purpose is going to be. My purpose is to help you with discovering your purpose and I don’t take this task lightly.
We have a myriad of wants, desires, and needs. We have a multitude of beliefs and responsibilities. The world is constantly distracting us. It seems like everyone is vying for our time. It’s no wonder we have difficulty finding meaning in this busy place. However, if discovering your purpose is your ultimate goal, you are going to have to put the world and all of its distractions on hold and answer a few questions. I would highly suggest you get a copy of “The Tao of You”.
Let’s start digging!
Get a pen and a pad. Write the first thing that comes to your mind. Don’t think about the answer. There will always be time to analyze. While discovering your purpose, you will be digging for buried treasure (your mind) in fertile soil. We need to remove layers of stuff piled on it until we hit gold.
Alfred North Whitehead says, “Our minds are finite, and yet even in these circumstances of finitude we are surrounded by possibilities that are infinite, and the purpose of life is to grasp as much as we can out of that infinitude”
- Do you play any sports?__________ Why?__________
- If you had a million dollars and a day’s worth of free time, what would you do? List the first 5 activities that come to mind.
- What websites do you visit when you’re just “surfing around” online? __________ What topics do these cover?__________
- Have you ever won a trophy or award?__________ What for?__________
- Have you ever been recognized for a contribution of services?__________ What did you do?__________
- Do you have pets? What kinds?__________
- Have you ever gone through a particularly challenging experience and come out of it stronger than ever?__________ What was that challenge, and what did you do to overcome it?__________
- Have you ever volunteered anywhere?__________ What did you learn through this experience?__________
- Do you have any specialized education?__________
- Do you have kids?__________ What do you like best about being a parent?__________ What do you find most challenging?__________
- What lifetime accomplishment are you most proud of?__________ What did you learn from this experience?__________
- Do you have firsthand knowledge of any medical illnesses or issues?__________ If so, which ones?__________
- Do you collect anything?__________ If so, what?__________
- What television shows do you enjoy most?__________ What kind of music do you listen to?__________ Do you ever attend theater events or other events related to “the Arts”?__________
- Is there anything you’ve always really wanted to do or learn more about, but just haven’t had the time?__________
A Proven Example
What I’d like to do next is to give you an example of what I used to discover my purpose.
The first thing I did was to try and understand that restless, life doesn’t seem just right feeling that I had been carrying around. This was key in getting me started.
I was then looking for that one thing that made me dramatically different from everyone else. I firmly believe that every bump, smile, bruise, bout of happiness or sorrow in my life was there to prepare me to serve mankind in some way, shape, form, or fashion.
I am finally whole and as perfect, strong, powerful, harmonious, and happy as ever. I’ve hurt some feelings and have had mine hurt as well. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I realized that my life simply is and that I needed to accept it as it is before I could design it the way I wanted. Salvation comes through inspiration or desperation. In my moment of choice, here is what I came up with:
I knew that life offered me more than what I was seeing. I wanted magic – a magical way, simplified, not void of earth’s natural limits; but a bona fide, tested, simple way to leave a life of lack and easily step into a world of abundance and success.
Once finding the secret while living a life of quiet desperation, I knew that I could show others how to live the life of their dreams. With that said, here is my purpose as defined by me.
- To help empower others to live a successful and abundant life.
- To help end the needless suffering due to a lack of information (people perish from lack of knowledge)
- Change the outcome of lives in an easy step-by-step process –“The Tao of You”
How Will I Know?
Because I don’t personally know your wants and desires, it’s impossible for me to emphatically say what’s best for you. Generally, look for that one thing that stands out most. The one thing that if money was no object you would do for free. Look for the thing that serves the most people and seems like such a large goal that it would be almost impossible to accomplish.
Bill Gates wanted to put a PC in every home. That doesn’t seem so far-fetched now but back then it seemed like an impossible dream.
Don’t be afraid to dream big. You are without limits except those you impose upon yourself.
It is simple (not easy) to live a fulfilling, successful existence and I sincerely hope that by sharing my experiences, the knowledge that I have acquired from my many years of study and training, I can be of service and help those who are seeking this information.