Yesterday, I talked about life purpose and shared the simple but highly emotional process that I went through to discover my own. The outpouring of that exercise left me with a high level of anger and resentment. I was angry that it had taken me 35-years to learn that this process would help me significantly, and I felt resentment towards my mentors for never teaching me.
Of course after taking a chill pill and taking time to reflect I realised that my mentors didn’t tell me because they didn’t know. I then decided to turn the anger into something more useful and positive and this is one of the reasons I created this blog. So how on earth does this happen? With all of the advancements in modern technology why are we seemingly so behind when it comes to the simple question…
What am I going to do with my life?
I believe that when you are very young you start to sub-consciously understand your life purpose, but then as you get older society keeps it pinned down so it can never rise to full prominence. Take my 21-month old niece Amber for example. She comes over to our house and is like a little bundle of energy. She is into everything and for the most part always plays with a smile on her face. Her approach comes from the fact that she has no fear and it is a wonderful sight to behold. So what do us adults do as she goes about her business enjoying herself? Why we shout at her of course. We tell her not to touch this or that and not to go here or there. We think we are being protective of her because she looks so fragile but in reality kids are very durable. We are acting in the same way that we saw our parent’s act and the same way that they saw their parents act. Society’s way of doing things has a long lineage!
Inside every one of us is that tiny seed of the “you” that you were meant to become – Jack Canfield
As Amber gets older we will tell her who to love and who not to love. We will tell her whom she should be friends with and who she shouldn’t be friends with. We will tell her to stop crying, stop being so stupid, eat everything on your plate or you won’t get a desert, go to sleep, wake up, you are not wearing that and do not answer me back or you will get a crack! My cousin rang me the other day and we were talking about his nipper. I asked him what he was into these days and he told me that he was getting into dancing. His child is five years of age and my cousin told me that it was difficult to find a class for him because the only classes he could find were ballet or tap and he wasn’t going to do ballet or tap!
Time erodes our needs and desires as we try desperately to conform to other people’s wishes
Society says that ballet and tap is for girls and street dance is for boys. It is ingrained so deeply into our minds that we don’t even question it. When I stop for a moment to ponder this issue around dance, I think the decision not to send a boy to a ballet class is made because we think we are protecting them. We think that we need to harden them up for their inevitable playground clashes. Being a ballet dancer is the same, as being a little gay boy and that simply will not do! So in the end we just do as we are told and with the new rules of life firmly entrenched in our minds we repeat the cycle when we have our own children.
Is it any wonder when you ask a child what they want to do when they grow up that the most common answer is – I don’t know!
Another thing that we do is lie to ourselves. We are scared of the truth. You see our sense of purpose is a strong little bastard and as much as our mind tries to bury it under the junk, it still manages to claw a finger or to up into the air. When we see these claws we retreat into ourselves and lie. Why? We do this because we are afraid of change and absolutely love the Status Quo. Maybe Francis Rossi realised this when he created the soft rock group of the same name.
Everyone loves the Status Quo!
We tell ourselves that our lives are fine and dandy. Women convince themselves that their life purpose is to raise children. What do they do when their children have been raised? They raise their children’s children. The men think their life purpose is to earn money. It doesn’t matter what type of job it is as long as they earn money to pay the bills. This behaviour is driven by the need NOT to change. Follow the easy rules of life. The thing is, understanding your life purpose and then following the rules to a much more fulfilling life are easy too. People just don’t realise it.
Please spend some time reflecting on your own life for a second. Is there more to life than what you are being served at the moment. Housewives who choose a better way of life do not have their children taken away from them. Men who go to work will still have to find a way of making a living. But are there activities and experiences that you are missing out on? What are you going to do when the dust settles and there is nothing left to do? What has retirement got in store for the person who doesn’t plan?
What have your barriers been? What has your period of reflection told you? Please leave your comments and share with the community. Tell us what you think?
I was so excited after I realised the simple and powerful truth that I could do anything I wanted to. I love so many people and so I ran to them all to share the good news. I was about to change people’s lives in a simple and yet profound way. One by one my loved ones told me to leave them alone. Their life was fine as it was and they did not want to change. When I pushed a little further and asked them, “If you were Aladdin what would you have wished for,” they refused to even participate in the discussion.
Here were people telling me that life was so awful and yet when presented with the opportunity to change – wouldn’t move a muscle. All of a sudden life was great after all. I have come to realise that a lot of people are happy with their lives and do not want anything more, however, not wanted more does not mean they can’t have what they want. This leads me to believe that people do not want to set themselves up for disappointment. Rather than try and fail they would rather just keep doing what they are doing. My inspiration to write this blog post was born out of the sheer frustration of it all.
If you want to seek more help and guidance on these issues, and hang with like minded individuals who struggle with the same problems, then why not head over to the Needy Helper Hub
Photos courtesy of socialspice.de, tibchris & photochord (cc @ flickr.com)