“What is your life purpose?”
Darned if I know.
I really dislike that question. I don’t have, and have never had, one thing that dominates my life, driving decisions and goals. I’ve always admired people who make it seem easy — you know, the ones that know what their college major is while attending high school. Or who set out lofty goals (become a doctor, invent a time machine, perform at Carnegie Hall) and then tick them off one after another.
Nope, I’ve never been able to see the big picture of my life like that. Not even in retrospect, where my life appears to be more like a crazy quilt than a woven tapestry.
Steven Covey starts the 7 Habits with having you write a mission statement. David Allen has you set your 50,000 foot level. Me? I tried the mission statement. I looked at the high level. And both produced the same results: a nagging sense that I was missing something big; that without figuring this out, I would have an empty and meaningless life.
This is not to say that I drift through life aimlessly. No, I do lay out projects — many projects — and work on them. I have many irons in the fire at any given time. Is it bad? I don’t think so. Especially if I think that my life’s purpose is to experience life and pursue interests and skills.
This is a secret I’ve never shared before. And I probably wouldn’t have, except for a podcast I was listening to recently — Stever Robbins (Get-It-Done-Guy)’s “How to Find Your Life Purpose“. What I really liked was the message he delivered: a life purpose is supposed to get you to fulfillment and meaning. So he asks himself what the next thing he can do that is fulfilling and meaningful.
So the message of the day is that if you have a life’s purpose and know what it is, great. If you don’t, don’t sweat it. It may be that your life’s purpose is simply to be you. Find fulfillment and meaning in what you are doing, and don’t worry that you’re missing something.
Photo by Gattou/Lucie/Back later