The Anti-Life Purpose (or your purpose is not what you think)

“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are” —Joseph Campbell

A lot of people talk about life purpose. They say it’s something you’ve got to find, something you have to figure out. It’s this elusive, intimidating thing, that if you don’t discover, will cause your life to be forever devoid of meaning.

Pretty terrifying, right?

No wonder so many people think they just don’t have a purpose, or that maybe they do, but it’s just too frightening of an idea to approach.

I’m here to tell you that’s bullshit. You do have a purpose, but it’s not what you think.

It’s not something “out there” that you need to find. It’s not hard to figure out, like a mesmerizing labyrinth or ambiguity.

That’s because your purpose is to become who you are.

That’s it.

Nothing else. No big, fat, phony mission statement. No saving whales or ending world hunger. That’s not your purpose. Those are activities, and albeit they may be worthy ones, but they’re still simply goals. Your purpose is not a goal, an action, or a cause. Your purpose is much bigger than that.

Your purpose is to express your fullest potential, to unfold, and spiral out the amazingness that is YOU.

You can have goals, causes, missions, and even start social movements if that’s what you want. But those things are still not your purpose. Those are extensions of it, which is you.

So your purpose is to discover your path. The path that only you can own. Your purpose is to live deliberately. To create and share your gifts with the world.

When you realize that you are the author of your life, you start to realize that you don’t have to live by the rules as long as you make the choice to step outside them. You’ll find something interesting; that all those lines you’re not supposed to cross… they’re imaginary. No alarm sounds. No spikes rise up from the floor, or yellowish gas is released from some unknown source.

Empty threats.

So your job is to test your assumptions. See what happens when you do what you want. See what happens when you follow your own path. Even when you’re not sure what that path is, just take the step that you feel called to. You have to learn to trust yourself since all of this time you’ve been following someone else’s plan. When you set out to create your own plan, your own map, it will be blank at first. That’s pretty terrifying. So just start doodling. Create lines, then draw outside them. Crumple it up and burn it if you don’t like where it’s heading. Start over. Start daydreaming again. Pick your favorite colors and get to work.

Because your purpose is not what you think. Your purpose is to become who you are.

photo courtesy of djwhelan

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