Thursday, June 12, 2008

Our Life's Purpose

What if we considered for a moment the opposite point of view that, in essence, our life does not have a purpose?Maybe we have been asking the wrong question.

What if those of us who are healers simply enjoy being healers? What if we enjoy being the conduit of healing energy? What if those of us who are readers simply enjoy being readers and watching the spark of recognition come into the eyes of those people we read for?

Aren't inventors often driven to create a machine or a software that can do this, this and that more efficiently? They didn't dream of doing this since they were babies. They simply see this as a puzzle to be solved, and they enjoy solving the puzzle. By now we are all familiar with the Edison story. Did he really try 2,000 different ways to invent a light bulb because that was his life's purpose? Or was he simply challenged by this puzzle and he pursued it until he found a solution? When email was invented, was a person just trying to see if they could create a method to communicate more quickly than regular mail and cheaper than long distance phone calls? Or did they think of this as their life's purpose?

For those of us who are more metaphysical, perhaps we prefer to regard life as full of mysteries, rather than puzzles.When a singer or musician creates a beautiful new melody, are they just reveling in singing or humming this melody, or are they considering this to be their life's purpose? Are all doctors doctors because they consider it their life's purpose, or do some embrace the joy of solving puzzles, devising ways of keeping damaged hearts beating, when previous doctors said that it couldn't be done? Are all architects and interior designers in those professions because they consider it their life's purpose, or simply because they enjoy creating beautiful living spaces? Are some people great chefs because they consider it their life's purpose? Or do they simply enjoy finding different ways to create with food?Yes, the sales of millions of books with this concept or phrase in their title seem to indicate that people have a hunger to discover their life's purpose.

But what if there is no purpose? To me, the problem with this concept is that it seems to imply that there is something we need to be doing and that someone else needs to tell us what that is and that we should be following those instructions instead of doing what we like.

What if some of us simply enjoy what we do and people pay us for that? Some of us get well known for that which we choose to do, and ultimately get paid more.The other night, the History Channel showed a special on Edgar Cayce. It mentioned that he did not charge set fees for his work, but simply accepted donations and that he did it because he was doing what he felt best doing. Could it be that each of us does not have a purpose that needs to be discovered? The evidence seems to be that we will be most happy if we simply focus on doing what we enjoy doing, and find a way to do more of that.

There is no little vault somewhere that we open that tells us what we are supposed to be doing and what our life purpose is supposed to be, so there is no point looking for it. Instead of asking what our purpose is, perhaps we are better off asking how we can spend more of our time doing what it is that we really love to do.

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