Life purpose

I don’t understand. We have to have a greater life purpose. What is it with goals? They just make my life go by faster cause I can’t wait to get to the next one or set a harder one. They make me envious of others. Make me competitive. Meh. We have to have a purpose to compare our actions, our goals, our thoughts against. I wonder if I would feel comfortable being like Al Gore? Dedicating my life to global warming. That must feel good.  I think of movies first, actually. Movies like Slumdog Millionare that make a difference. That bring awareness to issues that often remains unspoken, in the shadows, or just not a part of average western awareness. Those are the kinds of movies, the kind of creations that inspire me. How does this relate to purpose. I don’t know. Do I make it my life purpose to make a movie that can have the impact that Slumdog does? No, don’t think so. But maybe. Perhaps it’s like work. Just do _something_ and from that you will learn. Pick a purpose. Run with that to your heart’s content. Be bold with that purpose. Be strong. And should that quest, that journey, that life mission lead you to a new purpose that may seem a better fit for you, go for it. Adjust your focus and never look back. Be bold and embrace your cause once again. …is this how we lead a life of meaning? Perhaps this is just like a game. Making life a game to be played. Creating finish lines and obstacles on our way. What is a purpose?

I Wanted To Change The World
By Unknown Monk, 1100 A.D.

When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world.

I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation.

When I found I couldn’t change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn’t change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family.

Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family. My family and I could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world.

When I think about this I just think about my family. Perhaps what I need to do is forget all this and just go to them. Position myself where I can just be near them all. I don’t know. …
Posted from my iPhone at 2am.
Edit: inserted poem.

15 thoughts on “Life purpose”

  1. Friends are family, too. 🙂

    Asking what life's meaning or purpose 'is', as if it has a specific one, probably doesn't have an answer. It would be pretty supernatural if it did.

    If you want happiness/fulfillment, I would suggest just enjoying your time here on earth. If you want to change the world, I'd agree with the monk. Try and be a good person. Spread the love. Figure out your passions (this may take a while). Pursue them in accordance with morality.

    Wish I could say more but this one will take a while to think about. 🙂

  2. John,

    Excellent post. I think Passion and Play have a lot to do with our overall purpose. I like to look back on my childhood and remember what I considered play, then adapt that with my current passions.

    It may seem kinda opposite of purpose at first, but I think both play/passion and purpose have a lot in common. Instinctively we (some people) think of purpose as some sort of hum drum responsibility to do something that may have a good overall goal, but isn't really all that attractive to the doer. I think it's quite the opposite.

    Our play/passion will naturally result in our life purpose.

  3. I absolutely love that story – I actually shared it at TxV's Fall 2008 inductions… I never knew who it was by. Thank you for that.

    your blog speaks of questions i've been pondering as well…
    What's neat is everyone has a unique way of answering the question – and what I want to describe as life's purpose is to me exactly what you described, just with different words.

    I'm in an interesting time now – have busted my butt since I can remember towards things I want, and some things I was told I needed to do… like get straight A's, or get a job. And between balancing things, I believe I've royally failed – over and over again, month after month, week after week, ending in dissatisfaction and usually depression. of course there are good days, but when you're in the habit of being burnt out or burning out… your burnt out lol

    I've been told life's purpose is to enjoy it, to seek relief, to just be in the moment, worryless, fearless, completely allowing myself to be all that life has cause me to want and be in this very moment. (it is interesting how the english language has so many tenses of time.. past, present, future – when the Native Americans have mostly here and now.)

    After TRYING to apply this idea of the purpose of life to CURRENT ambitions – it only worked temporarily, and then old habits took over and the feeling burnt out came again and again.

    from this, I deduced – my life's purpose is what brings ME joy – and to wrap everything else around that. My greatest joy is lifting people's spirits up through music, teaching, jokes, encouragement, or even a simple 'you're awesome' – and when I think of getting a business degree so that I can simply do that to all of my future employees daily, suddenly studying for accounting becomes more of a joy than it was.

    So now, for me, my purpose is to ponder on what I want and follow that – just as you said above – and just see where it takes me. Setting goals helps guide me, but its journey towards it, not the actual achieving it, that is the purpose – so I've been told.
    –“so much deliciousness in the wanting.” when i'm believing I can have what I'm wanting – it feels good… and that's my goal now, to just enjoy the wanting of everything i've ever wanted – my dreams, my current ambitions, and some of them UT girls. 😉 etc….

    i dont' know why i'm writing this – it is very odd that I even found this post – I went from txv's twitter to yours, to melissa's, back to your's, then your think27, and randomly to tumblr, and then to here – as if the word and meaning of purpose has drawn me like a magnet.

    Lastly – I love Warren Buffet's basic strategy for success –> jump on the opportunities as they come. His mindset is incredible “The fundamentals are in place to take us higher” – “we run Berkshire as if there is no better creditor”

    it is certainly fun to dream of being the next Warren Buffet or Herb Kelleher – why not? I'm learning quickly there's no harm in wanting and dreaming – and things are in place for life to get much better.


  4. I believe that everybody is born to serve a purpose on this Earth. My question is: how do you find out your life's purpose? I have no direction and have been lost and bored with myself for years. I would really like to find out what I'm supposed to be doing with my life. If I were to die now I would have nothing to show for it! I need a higher calling. How do I find it?

  5. try some reflection –
    right after you wake up in the morning, i find that the mind is much more quiet and clear.

    try waking up 10 – 15min. earlier, just sit up against a pillow, close your eyes and just breath. Get nice and relaxed, just breath, deeply and slowly.

    And then, open your eyes, take out a sheet of paper with these questions at the top, (and some of your own), read the first one, and see what comes to mind. – i suggest writing out the answers that come in a journal.

    -why am I here?

    -What do I enjoy most?

    -what are my stengths?

    -what are some of my fears?

    ——————these are just suggestions.
    a couple points that I've come to understand – i have much to learn AND everyone comes from a different perspective, so take what resonates with you…

    —————–our purpose, from my understanding, is to simply follow what brings us inner joy. Purpose, to me, is discovered while living IN the moment, rather than figured out by thinking about it. I haven't a clue exactly where I'll be in 10 years or what I'll be doing, but I do know what i LOVE doing. –

    —————-inner joy, as i've experienced it, stems from 4 sources –
    1. Things I normally enjoy, talking with family, hanging with friends, eating bbq chips, drinking red wine

    2. Selfless Things I'm wanting to achieve – establishing an elite entrepreneur network at UT, sharing with people the experience of CUTCO products, significantly impacting the lives of those close to me

    3. Selfish things I want in my life – a new saxophone, 2000 in savings, acoustic electric guitar, pay off wells fargo loans

    4. Acting towards – Feeling Good about – Acting out of belief towards what I'm wanting — holding Texas Ventures meetings, throwing events, booking CUTCO presentations, taking a percentage of what i make and saving it.

    so my purpose is to enjoy and love what ever it is im' doing – and that currently is Texas Ventures, CUTCO, UT Business School, and Daily Personal Development, and close Family and friends.

    ——————-actions, feelings, thoughts stem from either love or fear. To begin facing my fears, I become aware of them – (what are some of my fears?) anytime I feel uncomfortable about anything, i'm now aware there's a fear at the core of it.

    ——————–i don't have to FIGURE anything out – my limiting fears, my purpose in life, etc to enjoy life, to follow my passions. Because I've found that when I'm in a state of relief, joy, having fun, and believing — i'm discovering my purpose every step of the way.

    so to me, a purpose isn't something you FIGURE out cognitively, rather its something you ALLOW yourself to discover while following your bliss

    So then back to your initial belief – As I understand it, our purpose is what brings us inner joy. And I do believe that everyone here on earth who you see following a “purpose” or becoming something admirable, is simply following what he or she enjoys at heart and is passionate about. And notice how many different passions there are!

    Hope this helps (you can tell that something I'm deeply passionate about is unleashing the potential of others and myself – simply bringing relief to my friends to just TRUST in the proess of life as it unfolds and focus on ENJOYING the now has worked so far. still much to learn)

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  7. Life is meaningless. Do whatever you want to do. If you want to be ambitious, be ambitious. If you want to be hedonistic, be hedonistic. But understand, who you are, and be happy. Everyone is different, and everyone decides for themselves what they want to do with their lives. It's all about perspective. Don't concern yourself with “the meaning of life.” Figure out what you want to live for and do that.

    In the grand scheme of the universe we're a bunch of really fucking smart, but really fucking insignificant monkeys. Other animals have to worry about survival. We (as humans) have the luxury of sitting around wondering what we should do with our lives, because we're bored. (We got the survival thing licked.) Enjoy the free time. Have a statue made in your honor, or live a peaceful life with your family. It's all the same to the universe.

    PS. I'm a humanist. I live to see the scientific and cultural advancement of my race (aka: the human race). Is there a point to it? Not really. But I think it's a worthwhile effort, and it makes me proud. We are some magnificent monkeys! 🙂 No need to be modest.

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