What’s our purpose? Do we have one? Does it really matter?
There’s been various articles and blogs I’ve seen recently that have focused on ‘finding your purpose’, but what does it all mean and why are we worrying about it all? I can’t figure it out and I’m not laying claim to knowing the answer here, but what I do know is I’ve struggled with it too recently (and if I’m honest, still am). That might seem odd considering I offer workshops that help others, but I think from time to time we all get a bit stuck and need to clear some blocks in our life.
Now, from the outset, this blog, I’ll admit is probably going to be the worst one I’ve written. There we go…self-negating already! Why the worst? Because there’s no real thought behind it. I’m opening up and admitting that my brain is a bit baby food in style at the moment and I feel a bit lost myself. Could it be that I’ve lost my purpose and my way? Maybe it’s that thing called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and with Christmas on the way I’m feeling a bit blue. Who knows? All I know is life’s a bit bleurgh and I need some clarity again.
Do we need a purpose though? That was the question. I’ve done a few worksheets and workbooks recently, read a few self-help books, spoken to people, and I’m not really any the wiser on what my purpose is in life or whether indeed I’ve got one. Midlife crisis? It would be if I was of the age, although who gets to say when ‘mid-life’ is?
And is it that we lost our purpose, never had one, lose our way, or that we’re just feeling a bit sorry for ourselves? Maybe it’s all of these. I don’t lay claim to know the answer. Again, I’m a writer and youth worker, but surely something’s got to give and clear the mind at this time of year when the pressure is already high. Maybe you’re reading this and been through this or are going through this. What’s been your top tip?
I took to reading some of those positive inspirational quotes this morning. You know the ones. They’re written by someone whose name you know but you know nothing about, overlaid on to a picture of a mountain you’ll never be able to climb, and make you think, what the heck did I just read, I’d better read another in the hope it makes things clearer and I find my purpose.
Did it help? Not this time. Not really.
What has helped is sitting here, finishing an assignment, writing this blog, looking out at a baby blue sky on this crisp winter morning, the sun casting sharp shadows on the boughs of the naked trees outside. What helped was reading a quote that said (paraphrased) ‘this Christmas, your presence is more important than your presents’, and another which said ‘Having a rough time? Place your hand on your heart. That’s your purpose.’
In this moment, although I still don’t know that I’ve figured out my purpose in life, and really, who will, what I’m starting to think is that I’m just going to keep plodding along for now. If I don’t write cards or buy presents for Christmas, so what? Take me as I am. If you can’t, then you’re clearly no good to me at the moment. I don’t even need money spent on me so don’t waste yours. Help me and others who need that little boost this time of the year. Give your presence. If I don’t find a purpose right now, does it matter? I might just go for small wins and see what happens.
When life’s tough, maybe all we need to do is think of the small wins we’ve had recently rather than worry about where life’s going. I’m putting a few of mine below, not to gloat or to do ‘one up’ on whoever is reading this, but to make me realise, I’ve done some good stuff and to refer back to in the future if I need to. I’ve put a couple of links in just in case you’re interested.
My recent wins
- Wrote a play All at Sea and had it performed in a theatre
- Was runner-up in an International Writing Competition
- Completed my coursework
- Attended a training course when I really didn’t think I could manage it
- Woke up, dried the tears, and continued to live
Who knows where the next ‘win’ will come from, but I hope I’ll embrace it and recognise that perhaps it is just a small cog in a purpose that I’ve not yet achieved or recognised, or dare I say, not even required to reach.
Feel your heart beating? There’s a reason to keep going surely.