Why Am I Here? The Path To Purpose
Posted on June 12 2017
If you’ve never asked yourself the question “why am I here?” then you’re not breathing– you’re not alive. The Matrix is one of my favorite films. The first few times I watched it, I couldn’t explain why I felt so connected to the story. All I knew was that Neo, the main character’s search for truth hit a nerve. Looking back, I could say that I was only 14 years old; what did I know about the search for truth? Nothing but yet everything.
What is real? Why are we here? What have we compromised in order to stay asleep or be normal or fit in? Why have we made both self and socially constructed prisons home? However we’ve gotten where we are, we are the only ones who can get ourselves out and all it takes is a moment of true consciousness. For Neo, the moment his life changed was when he picked up the red pill instead of the blue pill. He chose to wake up and there was no turning back from there.
“Our job in this life is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.” ― Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
What is the meaning, purpose and value of your life? If you don’t know yet, it’s okay. What’s not okay however is just going through the motions of “life” and being complacent. What’s not okay is resting on your laurels while allowing the gifts deposited inside you to lie dormant. If you don’t know, then do something about not knowing. Start somewhere, pick up a pencil and draw something, pick up a camera and photograph anything; read–a lot, write down 10 ideas a day, push until something sparks inside your soul. Just do something.
“A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman. It’s only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate.” ― Steven Pressfield, Do the Work
Fear is a disease that permeates the depths of the human spirit. It causes procrastination, it requires that you have the perfect opportunity, the perfect amount of money, even the perfect dream. Fear gives you excuses of why something can’t be done and wraps it up in being realistic and practical. Fear will rob you of possibilities and you won’t even notice until you’re on your death bed wondering “what if”. There is no perfect time to start a business, have a child or see the world. Life moves as you move, the only constant is change.
It has taken me a long time to understand that “happiness and heartache are inseparably intertwined…without the tragic, the beautiful would be just a frayed strand of half-being” (Maria Popova, Brain Pickings). “The experience, not the destination…”, I often whisper to myself. When discovering one’s purpose, it’s often difficult and takes a lifetime of practice to embed in the mind that “there” isn’t as important as the path there. It takes the same lifetime to understand that the path is filled with dualities–light and dark, joy and sadness, ups and downs. One often discovers what one wants many times by experiencing what one doesn’t want. Through it all, it’s important to stay the course. It’s one thing to find the path and another to walk the path.
“I don’t so much fear death as I do wasting life.” ― Dr. Oliver Sacks
You know who you are. You may doubt that you do, fear what you already know and go around in circles to avoid the inevitable but deep inside, you know who you are and sooner or later, you’ll have to answer to your calling. When we are told that we can do anything, it’s because we can but we’re here not to do everything just some things. I believe that the source code that runs through this world, forming, creating and manifesting is the same source code that runs through us. When a flower rises, blooms and someday dies, there is no judgement from nature. That flower has fulfilled its purpose, it has lived to its full potential. That is all Life asks of us –to live to our fullest potential.
“Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny.” ― Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
There is a quiet, nagging voice that most of us have following us around. It’s the voice that asks us to be better, to do better. It’s the voice that tells us that we’re more than the 9 to 5 and 2-3 weeks vacation; that we are more than monthly bills and living paycheck to paycheck. It’s the voice that whispers “you can do that” when we see someone pursuing their dreams. Life wants to know itself through us. It wants to know what it’s like to write, paint, dance, heal, code. It wants to know what it’s like to compose a symphony and conquer a mountain. It wants to know how deep our resilience goes in the face of adversity. Life knows what we’re capable of, it’s just waiting for us to recognize it too.