Life is akin to a competitive game. Without purpose, you risk remaining stagnant, possibly being eaten up by life's challenges. Nature has an inherent structure where a select few dominate in terms of creation and productivity, while many are left struggling to make ends-meat! Being stuck in hopelessness and laziness makes one vulnerable to the harmful clutches of ego and society. This negativity, whether hidden behind a mask or not, often reveals itself through symptoms like depression, anger, or even unemployment.
Marcus Aurelius once mused, "Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking." One finds value in life by embarking on daily journeys of self-improvement. Every day you have to focus on improvement of some trait or skill that you find stimulating. After all, if there's no mission or purpose, what is the point of existence? Consider the lives of those who've lost their way:
Gang members, searching for love and belonging, often fall under the sway of those with similar challenges. Cult followers, feeling unacknowledged, find solace in ideologies that mirror their personal narratives, opening themselves up to manipulation. Drug addicts, in pursuit of fleeting feelings, become susceptible to the dopamine rush, escalating the risk of serious addiction. And today's youth, pressured by social media and societal expectations, grapple with issues ranging from depression to a distorted sexual identity.
Yet, the antidote to these malaises often lies in two powerful attributes: Purpose and Self-Accountability.
Naval Ravikant once stated, "Happiness is a choice and a skill, and you can dedicate yourself to learning that skill and making that choice." The shaping of this perspective often starts at home and school. Regrettably, in contemporary times, both these institutions sometimes falter. Parents, albeit unwittingly, might prioritize societal trends over individual well-being, leading to a form of dangerous conformity. Schools, with their standardized tests and one-size-fits-all methodologies, often stifle creativity, churning out conformists instead of innovators. Some studies have even shown how ‘troubled’ kids in the classroom become leaders once they go outside. The emphasis of education should be on practical life skills and developing, organizing, purpose!
Jordan Peterson offers insight, stating, "When we are young, we are neither individual nor informed. We must compare ourselves to others because standards are necessary. Without them, there is nowhere to go and nothing to do."
Parents first, and school second, share a responsibility in helping the younger generation find their passion. This discovery often serves as a beacon, guiding them towards value and purpose. As I've journeyed through life, I've learned the significance of focus and decluttering my mind. A personal mantra I often revisit is: "Be wary of the man who wants too much, for their mind is too chaotic to attain even one of them." I made up this mantra based on the quote related to chasing two rabbits. The challenge lies in managing one's ambitions without being overwhelmed by them.
Understand, that every individual's path is unique and by comparing oneself to another is futile and often misleading. A celebrity's glamorous life might be riddled with internal battles, while an ordinary person's simple existence could be filled with contentment. Rather than becoming consumed with jealousy or despair, commit to personal growth. "I am going to be better each day by moving forward one step at a time towards my purpose."
To find sustainable and meaningful activities, one might not always have clear direction initially. But every step, however small, can lead towards monumental accomplishments. As Marcus Aurelius wisely stated, "The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts." Here's a simple action plan to pave the way:
Write down one thing you are interested in.
Write down a GOAL or a something that you could obtain within that interest
Write down 4 actions that are necessary to attain that goal or “something”
Write down one action that you can work on
Work on that one action, for the day, and cross it off when you are done
If you do not finish it, write it down again, and do this until you can cross it off
Once that one action is complete, move on to the next action and do the same process
Through such structured introspection, you'll invariably gravitate towards value and purpose, becoming more grateful, driven, and self-assured in the process. As you work on that ‘one action’ you will discover more actions and more steps you have to do. Write them down, you will get to them eventually. Always grade your action steps in order of importance. Dedicate time in your schedule, each day, to work on the ‘action step’. Through this process you will find VALUE and PURPOSE leaving you more thankful, motivated, confident and disciplined.
Thank you for READING!!