A Purposeful Life by Robin Trimingham
One of the concepts that we stress at Olderhood is the importance of developing a purpose in life.
I personally subscribe to the philosophy that we are all born into this world with a secret purpose to fulfill – a life mission if you will.
You don’t have to agree with this point of view, we can be friends whatever you believe, provided you are welcoming to strangers and the sort of person who would give a quarter to someone who needed change for the parking meter.
I just like the idea that I can be here for a reason, and do something productive (and hopefully helpful) with my time.
I realize that it is very tempting to believe that the world we live in is a completely random assemblage of our choices (and to a certain extent it is) and that there is no meaning to it at all. If that’s the case, maybe it’s not such a big deal that wars and terrorism go on day after day, or that people are starving.
Somehow I don’t quite believe that – do you?
So, not being able to believe in randomness; I must then believe in purpose.
And, if I must believe in purpose, then I might as well believe that I can accomplish this purpose.
Notice how artfully I have dodged the obvious problem of deciding what this grand purpose actually is?
This masterful stalling tactic is what I refer to as getting an “education”. I am kicking the tires, smelling the roses, watching the sun rise and generally taking stock of things. In short, I am “learning” who I am and what I can do to help, by experiencing the world around me in all its complex detail.
At some point I may even declare the education complete. If I allow that to happen, I might have to quit stalling and actually be helpful. That’s is a rather ominous and slightly scary prospect so I may be tempted to put that day off indefinitely, or I may play a little trick on myself and bury that day in the past.
You see, that would be a very sneaky thing to do indeed – by burying the day that I became helpful in the past, and not even admitting to myself which day it was, I could be helpful all the time (heck even now quite possibly) and not have to be burdened with the knowledge that I was actually already leading a life of purpose.
This would remove any pressure to live up to my own, or anyone else’s expectations, and just allow me to get on with the job. I might never achieve any level of notoriety, but the job would get done just the same.
Hmm … not a bad strategy actually.
What do you think?
By Robin Trimingham