I came across a website by Steve Pavlina (www.stevepalina.org) where there is an article entitled, “The Meaning of Life: Discover Your Purpose.” He suggests that by typing the question “What is my purpose in life?” at the top of a page and typing a series of answers that pop to your mind that you will discover your true purpose in life. He says that you will know when you have found it because it will be the one that makes your cry. I cannot say for sure whether this works or not. I suppose it does for some and not for others. I am sure however, that this exercise is not harmful. It probably helps anyone who engages in it whether it reveals your ultimate true purpose or not.
I did not reach tears when I tried the exercise but I did find my answers revealing. Here they are in the order in which I typed them:
- To be important, recognized and valued
- To love those I love, have compassion for those I do not, and forgive those who really piss me off
- To say something that has never been said and be recognized for doing so
- To have more courage, more love and more self acceptance
- To write with a passion and honesty that pierces but does not wound
I recognize two things about myself in these phrases. First, besides the questionable desire for recognition, is that I think something is not being said that needs to be said. Apparently, I also think that for such a thing to be heard it has to pierce through something. I am sure that includes but is not limited to cliché, presumption, denial and conclusions that are accepted too quickly. Second, that I wish to become more loving, compassionate and courageous.
As I think back over my life and look at these two purposes, I cannot help but think of Socrates and Jesus. They are, in different ways, the two people who have influenced me more than anyone else. They were both involved in piercing through conventional thought and they were both interested in increasing justice. I am sure it was just incidental that both were killed for their work in these areas. Now I am about to cry.