Many writers struggle with understanding the purpose of their lives.
You may know you love to write, or have to write, but that doesn’t really tell you your purpose. You may have even thought that once you hit upon this writing thing it would all be clear.
And it wasn’t. You’re still struggling and floundering.
Some people just seem to have a knack for knowing who they are, why they are here, and go full force forward into the life of their dreams. Damn them.
Then there’s the rest of us.
For us less clearly focused folk, discovering our purpose and significance is just a wee bit more of a challenge than for those irritating people who can tell you from age 5 what they are going to do and then do it without hesitation and setbacks and are totally fulfilled. Blah blah blah.
What’s going on? What’s the difference?
Why do some of us have to start and stop and start over again, and again, in our quest to find authentic meaning in our lives? What are we doing wrong? Tweet This
Don’t you want to know, don’t we all want to know, why we are here?
If you are here – I mean here reading this blog, not here on our planet – chances are really good that you are an author, or an online writer or that you have to write to support some other aspect of your life (such as an online business).
If you ask a dozen people who write, why they write, you’ll get a dozen answers. Everything from “I see writing as a high and holy occupation and I’m committed to save the world from ignorance” to the more singularly oriented “I write because I just know that the world is waiting to read my brilliant thoughts.”
No matter why you write, bear in mind that writing is something you do; it’s a tool.
So, even if you are a “writer” you still may not be able to lay your finger on the big “it” of your life.
That’s not fair, is it?
And since you’re read this far into the post I’m going to reward you, with not just 1, but 2 mistakes that people make when they are actively thinking about what their purpose might be.
Meaning of Life Mistake 1
One common thing people do that leads them astray from fully understanding their passionate purpose (s) is that they think it has to be huge and life-altering.
It does not. It just has to be yours.
My apologies for sharing this example with you but since it’s been stuck in my brain for years, well, misery loves company. I heard this story on Oprah many many years ago. There once was a woman and what she loved more than anything else in the world was popping zits. She found it satisfying. Indeed. She is now (or was at the time of the show) a top facialist to the stars of Hollywood. She’s making a great living doing what she loves.
So don’t mislead yourself getting hung up on thinking “purpose” has to mean “big”. Something as small as a zit can take you there.
Meaning of Life, Mistake 2
So, what is the biggest orneriest mistake that often keeps us from understanding our own personal purpose. That leads us astray and unfulfilled, repeatedly?
Here it is:
We focus on the mechanics, not the emotions.
Let me explain further. We don’t do something because of what that thing is, we do it because of how it makes us feel. The lady who loved zits? Every time she popped one she felt intense satisfaction. It wasn’t about zits, it was about the satisfaction.
So, when you sit down to contemplate the true meaning of your life don’t ask what should I be doing, ask yourself questions such as this:
- What makes me laugh?
- What makes me cry?
- What makes me forget about the passage of time?
- What makes me feel proud?
- What satisfies me?
- What scares the bejabbers out of me?
The things you answer with create important feelings in you because they matter in some way – to you.
Now look at your current life and ask yourself, what can I do with where I am right now, that will make me laugh? That will create a feeling of satisfaction? What types of things give me the feelings I want?
Some people want to feel useful, or important, or satisfied, or powerful…
When you open yourself to beginning with the emotion rather than the act, then you will begin to see there are many things you can do that will create that particular feeling for you.
Once you are focused on the feelings that a type of job, or way of writing, or an action will produce in you, you can seek those types of actions out and the world is suddenly filled with all sorts of possibilities that can become part of your purpose.
If you live to take the actions that create the feelings you want, then before you know it, you’ll be living a life of personal purpose that truly works for you.
You don’t need to be a Hollywood star to feel important, maybe you just need to go out of your way to help elderly people get safely across the street. You may not need a best seller to feel like a success, maybe you just need to write a poem to your daughter and share it with her.
Now, what do you want to feel?
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