My purpose in life is to give happiness to whomsoever I can through whatever means I have. Unfortunately, most people are not able to identify their purpose because of the environment they are brought up in. People do not understand the ‘why’ behind what they are doing. A vast majority is tutored since their childhood that singular aim of their life is to study and get a job to provide for their family. In the rat race for a job and provisions they fail to realize that aim of life is not surviving but it is living meaningfully.
Environment matters in finding purpose in life ….
In my part of the world not many children grow up in an environment where they are encouraged to think independently. Usually till completion of education the parents and teachers drive the decision- making process. Thereafter the bosses and at times the spouses take over.
Most parents love to lead the way. They expect the child to follow the exact route they have selected for him/her. There are others who though allow the child the freedom of selecting the path but jump to lay the bridge moment an obstacle is sited. There are very few parents who just guide the children and encourage them to find their own solutions to the life problems.
The need of getting good marks in examinations and necessity of good job is continuously hammered into the child till they get one. Landing a good job becomes the sole life purpose of most of these individuals. How easy or difficult it will be for a child who is brought up in such an environment be able to decide what he wants from life is anybody’s guess. While lessons should be drawn from the experience of elders in problem solving but those should not become the only option.
The resultant effect is that children grow up into confused adults and most grab the first job on offer. The joy of having landed a job does not last long for many. The very job becomes the biggest stress generator of life with no relief in sight. They feel helpless and stuck. How can someone not trained to take independent decisions can be expected to make difficult decisions concerning life.
The beauty is all know what they are doing but are not very sure why they are doing it. A look around makes it amply clear that not too many professionals are satisfied with the way their lives are shaping up. Unfortunately, not many of them make serious efforts to bring in the change and make compromises with the circumstances. Hopping from one job to another without a serious thought is also not an answer to the misery.
Finding the purpose in life ….
The parents should encourage the children to make their own decisions in early stages of life. Yes, there should be discussions and options generated but the final decision should be left to the child. Convincing does not come easy but that is the best way forward. ‘This is the way it has always been done’ attitude does not work anymore. Google is always there to help the kids pick holes in any arguments put forward by the parents. So, elders, exercise patience and practice logic to convince, attempts to enforce won’t work for long.
Youth must understand that life beyond college is more about the ability to face rejections/ failures. They will face much more rejections than the successes they meet in life. There is no alternative to patience, imagination, and hard work in pursuit of success and satisfaction.
Jobs are needed for survival, but it is the purpose which gives satisfaction. It is always better to pursue the purpose with a full stomach. So, it is advisable to have a job till your life purpose becomes the only job you have. It is not easy but certainly achievable. There are people who have worked 18-20 hours (8 doing a job and 12 following the dream) a day to reach their goal.
There is not one solution fit all template of purpose. Each one has to define it his/ her won way. For some it can be seeking and sharing happiness while for others it can just be seeking self-fulfilment through adventures/ teaching/ inventing/ discovering/ dancing/ singing / painting and other means. Purpose is related to not just what gives you happiness but also why it gives that satisfaction. A purpose is not big or small, it comes in all sizes.
To put in simple words, purpose is doing what you love, what gives you sustained satisfaction. But unfortunately, most people mistake infatuation for love and lose interest midway. Purpose is achieved when the heart and mind both are in sync. Majority of professionals get totally infatuated by the first job they get and lose sight of the purpose/ passion.