I have a feeling that this period in my life will probably be seen as crucial when I look back on it. This is the period when I am seeking my life purpose, to step out of my old context of need (a powerful idea, I highly recommend reading the link) and into a new context of purpose. I’ve been reading Pavlina‘s site for years now, and I’m aware of his emphasis on purpose.
Even though Pavlina claimed Purpose = Freedom, I never really felt that way, however I had faith that if I pursued personal growth, I would eventually find my purpose, if it was something worth finding. It seems that that faith is working out. Over the last few months I had inklings of what my life purpose might be, including helping people fix their finances, learning and sharing ideas and just making people happy. None of these resonated that well with me although I knew I was getting closer to my purpose. The first two examples were not really life purposes, anyway, they would be more like missions. Being happy and making people happy is the closest to the level of abstraction that a life purpose is supposed to be at, but the wording seemed awkward. “My life purpose is to be happy and make others happy” just doesn’t resonate with me at the level it should.
I also realized that I felt purposes were restrictive. That is, you were restricted to one or two things for the rest of your life. However, as I made the switch from thinking of three-part essay structures as molds to be filled to skeletons to be covered, I was able to make that switch for life purposes, too, as I suggested at the end of my recent entry on Formulas. If you feel that purposes are like molds, you would clearly prefer to have the larger space of goals open to you than the smaller, restricted space, which is how I felt. I didn’t want everything, nor necessarily to keep my options open, but simply to have a larger goal-space available to me.
However, yesterday while trying out the new “Random Article” link on Pavlina’s site (which he added to use IM to find solutions to problems…and I found the answer to a big one the first time I used it, chew on that for a bit), I stumbled across an article called, Purpose = Permanent Message + Temporary Medium and it really struck home with me. If you notice, the first line of the above article has to do with the question of whether you just have one purpose for the rest of your life, an important question for me. At the end of the article, he suggests that:
Your message is undoubtedly simple, probably something you can reduce to a single word: joy, connection, love, forgiveness, acceptance, peace, reason, honor, sensuality, passion, relaxation, nonviolence, curiosity, synergy, justiceâ€¦ whatever.
That first one, joy, really resonates with me. I am not 100% sure joy is really it, but it really does seem like joy is a thread in my life, looking back on it (though this could simply be an example of information-seeking bias). I love to create and share joy. I love being happy. I dunno why but “joy” feels better than “happiness” in this context. Other words that resonate with me are peace and freedom, but I think it is the joy of freedom that I enjoy, and I seek peaceful joy, with joy again being at the top. My life purpose is to be peacefully joyous, enjoy freedom and encourage peaceful joy in others. Sounds kinda awkward so I’ll have to play around with the wording and so forth, but the meaning of that feels almost completely right.
So, what does this mean? This means that now that I have a message, I can find a medium. I could be a stand-up comedian, or I could write amusing blog entries, or I could share my love of ideas with others, or help people get in control of their finances so they can also enjoy peaceful joy. I realized that I really admired Ze Frank, and he does the same: share ideas he really loves and creates joy through humour. This will help me to figure out what to do in life.
I don’t know how many people enjoy my narcissism as I write incessantly about myself, but I hope something here is of use to you. If so, I always appreciate comments. 🙂