In the last several weeks individuals at varying stages of their lives have broached the topic of purpose in conversations with me.
The level of depth in the questions asked covered a broad range. Am I meant to take this job? Should we try for a child? Would this radically different hair style work on me? How do I find my mate? They all covered different topics, but the theme remained — What am I supposed to be doing with my life?
I’m sure this is a question most everyone asks themselves at one point or another. After all, we’re human. We don’t have the answers to everything and we certainly cannot read the future.
Some people don’t want to find the answers. They carry on with their lives on a day-to-day basis. They earn paychecks, pay taxes and stay within the dotted lines. Their lives are simple and the existential questions that plague others don’t bother them. They are happy with living their lives.
Other people spend their entire lives searching for answers to these questions. They make what some would call mistake after mistake attempting to find the truth. Failures only serve as encouragement to try something else. These are the people who seek purpose.
They want passion in their lives. They want to have a reason for doing what they do. They are the explorers, the thinkers, the poets and the faithful.
I am not saying one mind-set is better than another. Both types of people have merit.
The survivors keep the peace. They mediate conflict and protect what works and what has been proven. They are guardians.
The explorers challenge ingrained ideas. They set out to prove theories wrong, though not always successfully, and they ruffle the feathers of the establishment. They are rebels.
Maybe we don’t all fit into one of these categories nicely, but I believe most of us lean toward one side of the coin.
I don’t know what my purpose in life is in the grand scheme of things. Maybe I’m meant to be a strong community journalist, a leader and someone who fights for others. But maybe I’m not meant to be any of those things. Who knows?
I think the best any of us can do is find what makes us happy and run with it.