SOS BOOK - Chapter 2.7 What's the purpose of my life?
Our lives seem to lack direction! We just don’t understand the meaning & purpose of our life. So, we can wander aimlessly. We get trapped in the material world, with its temporary pleasures & tempting distractions. Is it just about competition & survival of the fittest?
CONTEMPLATE THE TRUE PURPOSE OF YOUR LIFE!
The discussion below is an opportunity for you to START this important INNER process. Seeking your true purpose is an important part of personal development and your inner journey.
Begin your contemplation as you read the discussion below. Allow any realization you get to slowly build, and then surface & present itself in due course. This can take some considerable time! The true answer can only come from deep within ourselves.
THE FIRST STAGE IS REALIZING WHAT DOES NOT BRING FULFILLMENT.
What is falsely masquerading as being meaningful in your life? These are things that WON’T EVER bring you inner peace & contentment! But they’re often what our culture or society has taught us to value & aspire to! Perhaps read on with this perspective in mind…
TO BREAK FREE, WE MUST REALIZE THE DEPTH OF OUR SOCIAL CONDITIONING.
We complete our education & training but somehow this process has de-personalized & de-valued us. There has been a constant pressure to prove ourselves. Our social conditioning has diminished our inner sense of self-worth!
WE HAVE FALSELY ASCRIBED SELF-ESTEEM TO OUR MATERIAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN LIFE
What's life all about? Is it just about getting an education and a job? Perhaps then building a career or business and starting a family? Just to have the whole cycle continue! Does fulfillment come from accumulating more or consuming more? Should we be training & competing just to work at something we find unfulfilling? Do we really need to justify & earn our place in this world?
JUST BECAUSE OTHERS ARE DOING THE SAME THING, DOESN’T MAKE IT RIGHT!
Most appear to be in a similar situation! Many focus on the temporary pleasure gained from things that money can buy. Some escape through socialization or social media networks. We may try some partying, drinking or holiday-making to ease both the pressure & the monotony.
LIFE BECOMES A DRUDGERY WITHOUT SATISFACTION & FULFILLMENT.
As a way out, we try material success! We may search for fame or fortune to provide satisfaction & fulfillment in our life. We can push ourselves so hard, to achieve these goals.
AMBITION & GREED HAS BECOME A SUBSTITUTE FOR TRUE MEANING & PURPOSE IN OUR LIVES.
We may also consider a committed relationship or ‘settling down’ to help ‘find ourselves’? Maybe having children and a family-life will be the answer? Perhaps succeeding in a career or in our own business is what we really need? We can try all these & more, but nothing really satisfies. Nothing really fills that deep void. We lack that inner-peace & serenity .
WE BUILD A MATERIALIST SAFETY NET BUT LACK TRUE INNER-SECURITY.
We just don’t understand what else to do! We inwardly yearn for inner peace, contentment and fulfillment in our lives. This is how we normally live! The unease slowly builds. We use the promise of that next promotion or achievement motivate us.
WE PROMISE OURSELVES THAT OUR DISSATISFACTION WILL EASE SOON!
We hope the situation will get better soon: after the next pay rise, or with our new home, a better car, or our new relationship. We live in hope that life will get better and we comfort & pleasure ourselves along the way. But soon these transient pleasures are not enough!
WE FEEL THE NEED TO SUPPLEMENT WITH ‘SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE’ CHEMICALS.
We add in ‘social aids’ such as caffeine in tea, coffee or cola, and then alcohol or nicotine in some communities . Finally, even these external aids are not enough. Our inner dissatisfaction is growing and requires a further response!
WE START OVER-INDULGING & USING PERSONAL ADDICTIONS.
We modify our personal behavior to subtly over-indulge in many ways. We try to gratify our inner needs, our inner hunger with other pleasurable sensations. For example, by consuming more food or sugar; more fatty foods or alcohol. This is greater than required for optimal health or wellbeing.
These become our personal addictions, our way to squeeze more temporary pleasure out of our daily lives. We need this to cope with level of our inner suffering. We can overindulge using many of our regular activities: our shopping, socializing, even our work or play. We can become workaholics or shop-a-holics. Or we can just keep ourselves constantly busy and preoccupied! We can subtly over-use any daily activity to extract more temporary pleasure.
SOMETIMES WE RESORT TO RISKY & MORE ADDICTIVE BEHAVIOUR.
We may turn to behaviors that are even more risky and addictive such as sexual promiscuity, gambling or illicit drugs. Superficially it might look like we are coping with our suffering this way, but deep down we still feel unhappy and empty. Inwardly we are so dissatisfied. We are unfulfilled!
IF WE ARE USING SUCH COPING STRATEGIES, IT INDICATES WE AREN'T LIVING THE TRUE PURPOSE OF OUR LIFE!
When we aren't living our true purpose, we miss out on the deep satisfaction of performing our unique role. We miss the joy of finding & using our unique talents & abilities.
It’s important to honestly look at which of these coping strategies we might be employing. WE SHOULDN’T DENY THE REALITY OF HOW WE MOSTLY LIVE. Facing this true situation of ‘what is’ or ‘our current reality’, is very important. The reality must ‘sink in’ and be deeply felt.
AS WITH ANY CRISIS, THIS PROVIDES A ‘WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY’ TO BREAK FREE! This concept has been described previously and more details on how to do this will follow in the subsequent chapters of this ‘SOS Book’.
In the meantime, hold the realization of how you are really living your daily life. Is this how you should be living?
Then perhaps contemplate an alternative way for yourself. What small steps could you take first? What direction in life would open more joy & fulfillment for you? Maybe that path is your true purpose? Maybe it’s that journey that provides the ‘meaning’ you seek?