I remember saying, when I was in my teens trying to figure out what to do with my life, that I wanted to be ‘there’ and not have to go through all the crap to get ‘there.’ Some of my classmates had their lives already planned out, knew what they were going to do, how they were going to do it and were on track to making that life vision a reality. I, on the other hand, really had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I entered a Catholic seminary because I thought I would ‘fit in’. Later, I went to teacher’s college because I knew I needed a ‘saleable skill’. And, while I know I’m an excellent teacher, it has never been my life’s purpose. I was always a bit jealous of those who ‘knew’ what they wanted and went for it.
I have been looking into passion and purpose for several years now. There are a lot of ideas and theories about how we develop and maintain them. There´s no lack of success literature and YouTube videos on how to achieve it. But despite the quantities of material I’ve consumed online and on paper, I still haven’t found the ‘thing’ for me. My career over the past forty plus years is more like the ‘one piece at a time’ car that Johnny Cash sang about years ago: a cobbled form of many and varied things.
I know that I wouldn’t have fit into neither the corporate, nor the blue collar world. I’m not an artist nor an entrepreneur. And I know I’ve been fortunate, but I’ve often dreamed a regular 9 to 5 job with a regular pay cheque and a retirement package: work, go home, forget about work. And then I give my head a shake because I know that a regular day in, day out routine was never for me. Factory work one summer cured me of that. I know I like variety and challenge. I like trying new things and implementing new ideas. I have developed a lot of skills over the years and I have always had to hustle to keep it all together.
What I have done with my work life has allowed me to try a myriad of things that have kept me off the streets and rather comfortable. I have time to read, think, write, chat and generally enjoy my life. What more do I need? I’ve been thinking about what happens for the next 30 years of my life. What should I do so that I’m not wasting my mind and body sitting in front of the ‘boob tube’ and life passes by?
There’s no ‘right’ answer. There is no ‘thing’, no ‘there’, no ‘arrived’.
I’ve come to the conclusion that my purpose is to enjoy life. Simple. Welcome each day, each event, every challenge and every triumph as it come along. Stand up after you fall and move forward. Enjoy that too, it’s part of life. Falling short isn’t a loss if I learn from it. I don’t think it really matters what one ‘does’ in life, as long as you enjoy it. One size never fits all. It’s important to make things work for you and not what works for others. Trying different things in life has a cost, but it is one that I would gladly pay again and will continue to pay in order to keep exploring this incredible life and to enjoy what happens to me along the way. Yes, I plan for the future and I know that I need to be flexible enough to modify, change or toss those plans when new information comes along. What matters is enjoying today. Whether you’re the CEO of the company or the producer on the line, life can be enjoyed.
I guess I never, ever got ‘there’ in my life. I know that I never need to get ‘there’. The important thing, I believe, is to enjoy being ‘here’.
One thought on “FINDING PURPOSE”
Dear Tim, I beg the differ, you are a a very good artist……..whether that is your purpose or not is, of course, up to you. I believe that we spend a lot of time worrying about Plan A or Plan B, but C is what happens and wasn’t planned. For me, making a list of what gives me mental, physical and spiritual pleasure keeps me moving forward. Thank you for continuing to share your well thought out writing with us.