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Why Your Life Purpose is Bullshit

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“You do not belong to you. You belong to the universe.”
Buckminster Fuller

Every one is looking for their purpose. Must have a purpose! There are a lot of gurus out there happy to sell you on the urgency of knowing your life purpose.

A story I often hear from motivational speakers is the story of Alice in Wonderland and Cheshire Cat. Alice stands at a crossroads and asks the cat which path she should take. He asks “Where are you going?” She says she doesn’t know. “Well then, it doesn’t really matter which path you take.”

People treat this story like it’s so profound, as if it’s evidence that you should know where you’re going. You MUST know where you’re going! Really?

I have a different take. It doesn’t really matter! It’s nice to know where you’re going. It’s far more pleasant to have a clear direction, but the odds are you’ll be getting lost along the way. Your life has its purpose, and this purpose expresses itself as you meander. The act of finding intermediary goals and getting into action will put you on the path of your larger purpose.

What is far more painful than not knowing your life purpose is beating yourself up for not knowing your life purpose.

Even worse than that is to have personal development people telling you that you have to have a life purpose. Of course your life has purpose, whether you see it or not.

Let’s cut the crap.

Your primary job in life: be happy. Happiness is not for the faint of heart. I’m not talking an “I got a Kindle!” happiness (though I’ll take it if you got it). What is the quality of happiness that doesn’t depend on changing circumstances? Happiness through serving, learning, loving, and becoming more truly yourself every day.

If you can learn to be happy, then you will be a model and a teacher for others to be happy. And they will be models and teachers for others to be happy. If we could all be Buddhas for happiness and fulfillment, abundance and prosperity, imagine the possibilities for the world. It doesn’t really matter if you get an MBA or paint flower pots. Where is your joy? What brings you your true abundance and prosperity? That is your purpose.

Goals and accomplishments are important. They give our lives direction, support us in our happiness. Like a finger that points to the moon but isn’t the moon itself, our goals point to something bigger: our desire to be fully realized, loved, valued, happy beings. The big cheese.

What do you desire? What would it take for you to be fully happy?

Notice what naysayer thoughts pop into your head when you think about getting your dreams fulfilled. We’ll call those thoughts your naysayers. Things to know about naysayers:

* Your naysayers show up when you care about something, so their presence can be a good clue that you’re on the right track. Kind of like a flag in the sand saying “Treasure Here!!!”

* Naysayers represent a point of view, not THE TRUTH.

* If what your naysayer says doesn’t empower you, say “Thank you for sharing.” (Then give your naysayer a pat on the head and some apple juice and graham crackers–quiets them down. Sit him in a corner. Go back to your life. Repeat as necessary.)

money monster

Get back to what you love. Pursue goals. Pay attention to clues from the universe. That’s how you live on purpose. And tell those seminar leaders to fuck off.

 

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