Do You Really Need a Purpose?
As a child, did you find that you had to do precisely what your parents asked you? Just to avoid a massive argument. Whether it be ‘helping’ your mum in the kitchen, or assisting your dad in building an IKEA table. Did you get that feeling that all you wanted to do was keep the peace and maintain a state of happiness?
“Happiness = A feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.”
As a child, did you find that you had to do precisely what your parents asked you? Just to avoid a massive argument. Whether it be ‘helping’ your mum in the kitchen, or assisting your dad in building an IKEA table. Did you get that feeling that all you wanted to do was keep the peace and maintain a state of happiness?“Happiness = A feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.”
“Validation = Shows the recognition that their opinions are worthwhile.”
For my A-levels, I wanted to escape from my schooling and home environment, just like you probably did. In my last term at sixth form, I had somehow curated a toxic atmosphere with my family. My behaviour resulted in them ‘walking on eggshells’ around me to maintain the peace, the irony of it. As it happens, I was clearly deluded enough to believe that the only way out was going to university when, in fact, I needed to reflect on my actions. It was clear the catalyst was the older students I met returning to school and walking around as if they were celebrities. They talked to us about the wild parties and the friends they had made with the newfound freedom. Which was the complete opposite of us, who were stuck at school counting down the days until we could leave. At this point in my life, I was chasing the feeling of freedom.
“Freedom = The state of not being imprisoned.”
At university, in my first year, all I wanted to do was reinvent myself, meet new people and have those wild experiences that I had heard about. I was able to at the cost of being disengaged with my degree. The idea of a girlfriend absorbed me in my second year, resulting in yet another distraction, love has a way of making everything else seem insignificant. By my final year, in all honesty, I didn’t think that life was worth living, my mind was not in the right place, and I was close to dropping out. At that point, I was chasing survival.
“Survival = The state or fact of continuing to live or exist”.
Finding a purpose is something that I have pushed myself to have during these crucial periods of my life. It’s only now with hindsight that I realise that purpose has been an ever-changing target. It is an evolving vision for what you want to achieve. However, I have recognised that when my vision is well-aligned with my passion and the feelings I have, then I tend to have a better drive and outcome. It is only when you understand your feelings and why you have them that you can truly focus on how to approach actions, each one inherently leading towards the end goal. By realising, you are chasing a feeling and channeling that energy towards the vision it is more likely to be achieved.
“The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
As a final note, I say go forth and embrace the positive feeling that you may have been dealt with. Question the negative ones through a quick, and internal reflective process and enjoy what life throws at you so that you can grow. In the end, we are all trying to exist as a meaningful life form on this round ball we fondly call Earth travelling at 67,000 mph around our Sun. No matter what purpose we chose, it’s essential that we enjoy our short time on this crazy roller coaster we call life!
“Happiness = Reality — Expectations”