Finding your path, purpose, what is the meaning of your existence.
It’s a thought akin to a broken record, continuously deciding to pop up throughout our lives, and when we think we have the answer it decides to throw a curveball and question it in a different light which blows our mental narrative right out of the water.
Let me preface this article in its entirety — everything discussed here is merely what I have tried, doing and planning on attempting in the future and I’m still forming my path. YOUR path is the most important thing, don’t think just because something works for me means it will work for you, but what I can say is, give it a try.
Stop thinking out the path
The notion, we have a higher life purpose built into our DNA and as soon as we become conscious we have to seek out this north star as if it’s our only goal to truly live a fulfilled life, is not a true reflection of reality.
We all do have a calling, but we pick it. As humans, we grace this earth for an unknown amount of time, and the craziest thing about it all is that we know it. We are conscious of our own mortality. We grasp at the understanding that we eventually reach the stepping off point in life where we venture into the truly unknown. While we are alive and breathing, shaking off the narrative that you have to keep thinking about the path you must take is of paramount importance.
Thought can be the inhibitor of progress
Sometimes you pick the path, sometimes the path picks you. From what I understand from my experience is that our paths may start in one direction and completely pivot to a new one, one which you are least expecting in reality. For example, I began Economics at University, with the goal of being a hot-shot, high flying Investment banker. Now, I document my life in the form of content on the internet aspiring to be the best version of myself. If you asked 18-year-old Viraj if this was what 23-year-old Viraj would be doing, he would have probably thought you were batshit crazy.
I like to look at it through the lens of a captain aboard a ship at sea, one does not go against the current and wind for that would likely lead to some sort of accident. However making use of the elements, embracing them as a driver towards the destination one has defined is wise.
We only see the true path we are on when we pause & look back.
There’s a narrative in society, one I don’t agree with
All things are supposed to be easy life included.
I do however understand where it comes from, in this age of information and interconnection we have grown accustomed to seeing the fruits of the hard labour that individuals endure, and when the work is shown it’s a hyper-idealised version of it to bring about some form of digital engagement.
Obviously, we didn’t read the terms and conditions when our parents signed us up to the game of life but this is not something we can dwell on, for life is not to seek comfort, life is to seek discomfort, it’s in this pace the one that we all have tuned ourselves to avoid, that we learn.
Placing oneself in awkward situations, where we are potentially out of our depth is where we can find new currents to sail with. For example, about 10 months ago I was categorically against creatively communicating my thoughts into words and posting my work. About a month into the world’s lockdown I started my online journey and have not looked back since. That’s not to say it hasn’t been difficult, I’ve had creative blocks and mental breakdowns along the way but I do feel a fire burning deep within, continuing to spur me on.
To place oneself in an uncomfortable position is to try something new, to further refine the learnings that we currently have as a way of bettering ourselves.
Stuff that turns you on
So we’ve covered, as humans we get in the way of ourselves by thinking too much, to get ourselves from the slumber the mind keeps us in, we will attempt to embrace uncomfortability in whatever form it takes.
“Find stuff that turns you on”
A quote from the book ‘Green Lights’ by Matthew McConaughey, what he’s getting at, is seeking things that light you up in more than just a single dimension. Through placing oneself in uncomfortable situations we will begin to discover what we do and don’t like. In other words, what is a turn-on and what is a turn-off. For myself, there are a number of things that turn me on, one of which is story-telling.
The ancient roots of stories have lubricated the gears of humankind for millennia establishing a vital knowledge transfer transcending generations. Stories enable education through the emotion of individuals’ experiences. It’s a developer of culture, a form of social cohesion, bonding people with a connection that can consciously unite them. It’s the moments in which each of us shares our vulnerability. Our stories connect us to our universal truths and learnings, moulding our perception of the world through a timeless link to bygone eras, present moments and future realities. — Not bad for a kid that was hell-bent on dealing with numbers.
I can’t tell you what your feeling of being turned on is, it’s respective for each individual. I, however, can describe mine and, simply put it’s a combination of curiosity and difficulty, mixed with a spoonful of happiness, with an underlying taste of obsession. I wake up each day wanting to be better at it.
The illustrious path we all seek is only visible in front of us a short distance, yet behind it is visible as far as memory serves. To seek a path is to look for a concept we have built in our heads to make sense of the lifetime of living that we undertake on this earth.
To find a path is to not find a path.
In the simple act of looking for their path, a predetermined route laid by another individual, one finds others’ life stories. That’s all they really are when you strip them down, so stop searching for someone else ‘s life story, get into uncomfortable situations that allow growth to take place and fine-tune your ability to recognise the moments that turn you on.