The meaning of life is arguably to find your true passion and purpose, at least in an individual sense. One of the key components to a happy and content life is knowing that you are pursuing what is right for you. How do you know what is right for you? Usually, it is a feeling. No one else can point you in the right direction, although often people will try. Only you can know for sure what it is that really makes you thrive, that really gets your heart pumping.
Passion is characterized by an intense beating of the heart, and a clarity of the mind which always comes through when everything is just right. There can be a range of passions in life; food for example. A fine glass of red wine, art, music, poetry, saving people’s lives, flying a plane, sitting on a mountain, diving underwater, jumping off a cliff with a squirrel suit on. All are equally valid passions. Passion is subjective and involves a resonance; a feeling of being at one with the activity, object or idea.
To find out what your passions are think about what it is in life that really makes you tick. This will be easier for some than others. Maybe it is something you already do in your life, that you just need to realize. Often, because of the busy lives we lead, we actually know what our passions are, but don’t give ourselves the time to act on it. If this is the case, and something cropped into your mind whilst reading this, then it is a matter of accepting your passion and cultivating it. Do what you love!
If you have not yet been flooded with an image or a feeling then think long and hard, perhaps as far back as being a child. Think about what really interested you at school, regardless of how well you did. Think about hobbies and activities that you have been keen to participate in throughout life. Sometimes passions are somewhat interchangeable. For example, if you always enjoyed martial arts, and practiced jujitsu, you could consider taking up a different one like Qui-Gong, or even a completely different sport; you might simply be passionate about physical exercise.
Passions can be related to jobs and careers, intellectual pursuits outside of work, physical endeavors, or can be as subtle as wanting to help other people. If you are unsure still what your passions are then make a mental note over the coming week of everything that happened that you really enjoyed, no, more than enjoyed; work out what you find truly invigorating.
Finding your true purpose is a result of finding your true passions. True purpose can be found be acting on passions. I don’t personally believe we have to have a single purpose in life. Rather, just as we can cultivate many passions, we can also live with multiple purposes. In fact, the more passions, and the wider the range of passion we allow into our life, the more purpose we could wind up with. So go and do new things, learn extensively, and try and transform your life so that more and more of it revolves around your passions.
When you are passionate in life there appears to be more meaning. From a perspective of passion and meaning we are able to best decide, consciously, on our true purpose. For example, I am passionate about walking in nature, and about exploring other cultures. For now then, my true purpose is to travel the world on foot. It is my purpose because it reflects my passions, and it is my passion because I know it is right for me; I feel it. Someone else might be passionate about technology, and also about performing. Perhaps their purpose is to educate people on technology in public speaking sessions. Who knows, I am not them!
Sometimes we can experience barriers that prevent us from either knowing our passions and purpose, or from acting on them. If we do not understand our own worth this can lead us to settle for a life without passions. Perhaps we were told we were not good enough, even though we are truly passionate about something. It is important to separate passion from being “good or bad” for long enough to just enjoy ourselves, and engage with our passions on a level of sheer enjoyment. Don’t let anyone knock you down. Anyone can learn anything, and passion will be enough in the end.
Another major barrier is that we often get wrapped up in what other people want us to do, and what they think our passions and purpose should be. This is non-sensical and is the problem of the person with the expectations, not yours! Forget about it. There is no way to please everyone and yourself at the same time. It is crucial to overcome all expectations even if they are from loved ones, as is common with parents and lovers. You have to do what feels right for you, it is the only way. Then you will know passion, and then you will understand your purpose.
A Higher Purpose?
Do I belief in a higher purpose. Personally, yes I do, but this discussion would get highly meta-physical if we ventured too far down that road. My own belief is that every one of us has a higher purpose. The good news is, if I am right (which I am not here to prove) then it isn’t something that particular needs to be thought about. A higher purpose, philosophically speaking, would be guided be a higher energy, and the pull would be/ is for me so overwhelming strong that it could barely be considered a choice.