“What is the meaning of life?
To be happy and useful.”
Actually, Mr. Lama, the meaning of life
(along with the universe and everything) is 42.
Duh. I thought everyone knew that.
I’m making this Life Plan thingy that keeps getting more-n-more complex each week and is kind of annoying me half to death. I don’t know what I expected. Maybe like a blank form where I jot down some quick one-word answers and — voila! — suddenly the answer is lit up before me, with hardly any effort on my part.
Alas, that isn’t the way shit works. It would certainly make life a heck of a lot simpler. I resent that I’m expected to be all in charge of plotting my own course. I want someone else (perhaps Morgan Freeman?) to do all the heavy lifting, perhaps creating multiple drafts for my inspection. Then I can choose one and blame the asshole who came up with that plan when it all falls apart. This responsibility bull crap is for the birds.
“Having a purpose is the difference between making a living and making a life.”
And making an ice cream float with the last Coke, Mr. Thiss,
is the difference between a midnight snack versus night-long hunger.
Here I am, on the far side of 35, approaching middle age in a slow-motion panic because I haven’t yet accomplished whatever it I’m supposed to have “ACCOMPLISHED”. The glass-half-full crowd would point out that perhaps the best is still ahead. I guess I don’t have much choice but to buckle up for the ride and see for my own damn self.
“Here is the test to find
whether your mission on earth is finished.
If you’re alive, it isn’t.”
Thanks a lot, Mr. Bach.
Nothing like pressure to motivate.
Just what the fuck *IS* a Life Purpose, anyway? I just used the term “ACCOMPLISHED,” and while that falls into the right genre, I don’t think this quite conveys the correct meaning here. Following are some attempts at definition that feel sort of right-ish to me:
“Life Purpose” in philosophy means having a solid foundation upon which to stand, providing a sense of fulfillment, satisfaction, and meaning.
“Life Purpose” in motion means having a calling which provides the impetus to motivate movement in a certain direction guided by your moral compass.
Your Life Purpose, then, examines both where you are as well as where you want to be, in addition to the journey itself.
Indirectly, by its very definition, it also provides freedom. Knowing your Life Purpose allows you to dismiss that which fails to fall in line with your plans. Knowing where you are headed also means you know where you AREN’T headed. Knowing what you want likewise means knowing what you DON’T want.
Kind of like putting an “X” on everything your Life Purpose isn’t.
“Let yourself be silently drawn
by the stronger pull
of what you really love.”
I gotta tell you, Mr. Rumi philosopher person —
You pull on me and I am not going to be silent.
How do I go about finding such an elusive object? After combing through pages and pages of advice, I present to you the basic steps in identifying your Life Purpose, which apparently is important in making a Life Plan (who knew?).
- List your strengths, keeping in mind obstacles and weaknesses which may need to be overcome.
- List your passions, keeping in mind those moments when you have been at your happiest.
- List causes close to your heart and which are within your realm of influence.
- Find the intersection of your listed causes, your passions, and your strengths.
- From this intersection, write a one-sentence Personal Mission Statement.
- Act upon your Personal Mission Statement and use that feedback to continually refine the process.
According to Celes of the website Personal Excellence, “Your Purpose Should Be Timeless and Universal”, meaning that it shouldn’t matter what century you live in or what continent you’re on. Your Life Purpose should be true to who you are, regardless of your lot in life.
“Find a cause you deeply care about
for which you can effectively do something with enthusiasm.”
My son would say I should take up the cause to enthusiastically make him a sandwich.
My daughter would say I should take up the cause to enthusiastically color draw her a horse.
My hubz would say I should take up the cause to enthusiastically get this post written on time, as opposed to fucking three days late.
Here are my responses to all the above questions.
- My strengths are in:
composing decent, and sometimes entertaining, sentences;
making everything into a story;
moving past obstacles;
always finding the funny;
seeing the truth of all things;
learning and applying philosophical lessons;
empathizing with others in tough situations.
lousy at teaching others as I have zero patience;
lacking in sympathy for those who waste their material or mental resources;
terrible at self-discipline or mustering motivation;
extremely short-tempered and cynical.
- My passions are in reading, writing, sleeping, and spending time with my family, not necessarily in that order. These moments are when I am at my most content.
- Causes close to my heart include the anti-fracking movement, an issue close to home because land rights are currently being fought over in Ohio. I can’t understand the greed which would urge anyone to say fracking is safe. Fracking makes no god damn sense to me whatsoever.
I also care strongly about finding a cure for diabetes, because my nephew suffers this disease and likely has a shortened life span because of it. I can’t understand the greed which would urge anyone in big pharma to keep the cure under wraps just to make more money. That makes no god damn sense to me whatsoever.
People who beat up on the small and/or weak — children, dogs, handicapped individuals, or anyone else unable to stand up for their own rights. Abusive people (or companies, for that matter) have a special place in my cold, witches’ heart. If I am intolerant anywhere, it is with these assholes most of all.
It would appear I am moved by greed and abuse. Huh. Go figure.
- Combination of the first three points suggests I should be writing exposes on shit heads who abuse people or the planet in general, bringing dark issues to light. I suppose that’s what most of my truest rants revolve around, so I’ve kind of been on the right track all along. Go me!
- Personal Mission Statement: I will continue to do everything in my power, limited though it may be, to talk about greedy, malicious assholes, and find a way to bring them down, at the very least via crowd-shaming.
I find I this pleases me.
- I’ll continue reporting on this here bloggy-blog. The end!
Excellence can be obtained if you
care more than others think is wise,
risk more than others think is safe,
dream more than others think is practical,
expect more than others think is possible.
Eat that, haterz.