Delimit My Life

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing" ~ Hellen Keller

Day 23 What is my purpose?

As a young child, this question never really entered my mind. I was fine with living moment to moment, enjoying those long summers that lasted a life time. However as I grew, I like most kids asked a lot of questions always wanting to know how things worked or why it worked. “Why” became my new favorite word because it helped me to retrieve information quickly. I soon figured out that everything had a purpose, a place in this world. It didn’t take long though for the question to make a 180 degree turn forwards me. What is my purpose?

This simple question started me on a journey of self discovery.  Being raised religious, my early thoughts focused on God. Having been told that God placed us here, I reasoned that he had to know my purpose, my place. I started studying my religion closely trying to figure out what He was telling me. I would pray and wait for the answer, a sign of some sort, but nothing happened. I rapidly became frustrated with not knowing, not a lot of patience back then, so I moved on. I assured myself that if the big man upstairs wasn’t going to answer me then I was going to find it out another way.

Soon after, I fell in love with the ancient philosophers. They were asking the same questions I was, long before I was born, and they had written in detail their own thoughts. These were ideas that I could absorb, analyze, and understand for myself. However, I made little progress on finding my purpose, quickly realizing that philosophy is about asking questions that don’t have answers. This didn’t help me much since I wanted an answer. How can I live a life without purpose? It made life seem meaningless or pointless, and I didn’t want to live that way.

For a long time, I would just debate anyone on the topic and argue to the point of serious friction. The issue was that no one’s answer seemed to be adequate. I even searched through different religions looking for an answer. Every religion had their own, but I realized that they were all alike that the foundation on which most religions are built is the same. Consequently, I finally gave up on religion having an answer for me. I am not against religion rather I figured out that I don’t fit well in a confined way of thinking.  I question everything because there are no absolute facts in my mind. I have little faith in the unknown so I search through it looking for answers.

So then what is my purpose? As it happens in life, sometimes the simple questions have simple answers. You create your purpose! So idiotically simple that one would think everyone already knew it. However, I did not and I expect other people did not either, because the problem of finding your purpose starting by knowing the answer. But knowing the answer doesn’t give you a purpose. No, it only complicates the task of now having to create a purpose. However that is what is so wonderful about the answer, you get to choose my own purpose in life. It may be a little frightening because how do you choose?

You find that one passion that lights your heart on fire and makes life feel boundless. Then you grab a tight grip on that blazing chariot inside and ride it all the way to the sun. Let it drive your purpose in life so that you may always be moving forward!

You were put on this earth to achieve your greatest self, to live out your purpose, and to do it fearlessly.  ~ Steve Maraboli

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