What is your life’s purpose?

Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything. —N. Hill

—Warning! Be prepared for stream-of-consciousness below—

Hell! If I could tell you that, I wouldn’t be posting entries on “trying the Law of Success.” It seems so asinine to me. Really! When I hear, or rather, read others speaking of their discovery of their true calling, their life’s purpose, or their definite chief aim, I get annoyed. Now, it’s not that I don’t respect dedication and passion. I actually find both of these characteristics as highly admirable and generally lacking in my experience of Millennial American culture. So, if you’ve dedicated your life to a cause or you’ve been passionately involved in a profession or hobby, I’m likely going to have a great deal of respect and then some honest jealously toward you. I admire others who have found a path through all the muck and mire of life toward a singleness of purpose (aka a single vision of their bigger, brighter future).

I assume the purpose of writing a response to this question is the hope that the act itself of fighting through my conscious mind and behind the walls I built of responsible, reasonable decisions can lead me to find something more—something to be passionate about or well—to be driven toward achieving that something more.

I have had a good life. I have made good decisions. I have earned two degrees. I have pursued great careers.

My challenge is that my life has only ever felt meaningful temporarily as I have worked toward accomplishing definitive goals. I feel that there was a buried “urge” which compelled me to move through the thick trials of life because I saw the endgame. I knew the MBA program would end. I knew a brighter career option would come if continued to excel in my work. So, I can see how powerful a motivator a mere goal can be to someone. I’ve used goals my entire life, but as I get older I’ve begun to accomplish the basic needs I originally was driven to achieve, and now I need something more to carry me through to new ends.

Hence, this exploration into what a definite chief aim could represent to me. Part of my trouble is that my goals, up until this point in time, have all been tangible. That seems dangerous to me, and may be why I find myself in this predicament. The Law of Acquisition causes us to always want more than what we have. It’s true that this rule in nature can be beneficial as a means to ensure survival. The fittest are likely to gather the most resources to ensure their survival after all. However, this constant trek to want more and to never be satisfied without the bigger, better, and newer upgrades to one’s lifestyle essentially means one of two things.

First, that the purpose of your life is to acquire as many resources and goods as possible, knowing that the desire for more is insatiable, and thus your life cannot have a fulfilling purpose, because the insatiable cannot be fulfilled.

Second, that the purpose of life is to outperform your neighbor. Literally, keeping up with the Joneses becomes the ultimate, measurable status symbol for accomplishment. If you can stay ahead of your neighbors, you win.

Hopefully, you can see why I don’t find tangible goals as suitable for a definite chief aim in life. Great things can be done with goals, but I am having trouble making the leap toward the intangible endgame. What am I passionate about beyond the desire to succeed and excel in my life’s work? I want my life to be more than a good job, and I have to confess I have not made it past that point yet. So, here I am. Sitting down with well-read copies of Think and Grow Rich, the Law of Success, and Success through a Positive Mental Attitude and I’m still asking myself what is it going to take to get me the next stage. Napoleon would be disappointed.

What’s the secret to finding a fulfilling purpose in life?

I don’t have the answer, but I’m starting to think that goals, possessions, and money are more likely inhibiting this journey as they become distractions and additional responsibilities which require one to make decisions based on fulfilling obligations instead of pursuing happiness.

Just a thought.

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