A Purpose Driven Life
“I love those who can smile in trouble…” – Leonardo da Vinci
Attitude is everything. Your attitudes shape your reality. So what is your attitude towards life? If you are a sensual thinker, meaning you strictly perceive life through your body´s physical senses (what you can see, hear, touch) life may eventually be seen as meaningless. If you see the world in a purely materialistic way, you will be driven by life.
But to anyone who takes a penetrating look into life, you will need to admit that we occupy two worlds. The external visible world and our inner invisible (psychic) world. Our bodies fuse the two dimensions together.
You may be having a conversation with someone, apparently listening, yet in your invisible world of thoughts, feelings, and emotions you can be thousands of miles away.
Nature created us as a self evolving organism. It brought us up to a certain point, but it is up to us to develop our own selves.
Finding Meaning and Purpose: Being a Student of Life
“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” – Marcus Aurelius
I think the best attitude to have towards life is that of being a student of life. One where we take all of life´s experiences as learning opportunities and ‘see’ that they are necessary for our development. This way we are able to get something out of every experience. “Good” or “bad”. This outlook towards life will develop our inner senses. This gives meaning to our lives. We thus develop insight and live intuitively.
When we take life purely at face value (the reality that our physical senses present us with) we end up blaming and complaining when external circumstances are not to our liking. We then use all our energy to try to change our circumstances. We change jobs. We get a new girlfriend. When the novelty wears out we find ourselves back in the same place. Yet we somehow never make the connection that the cause and solution lie within us.
You can especially see that self development comes to a complete stop with people who use money as a way to solve all their problems. They throw money at everything, yet inwardly they remain quite poor.
In order to really grow from our experiences we need to approach them consciously, mindfully. This is how we grow. To do something out of compulsion is very different from doing it from understanding. It is only from the perspective of understanding, which means seeing for yourself why a thing is necessary, that inner development can take place. We then are able to handle life much more intelligently. Instead of trying to avoid what we label as unpleasant experiences, we know we can change the way we take them.
“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” – Wayne W. Dyer
Bringing our total awareness (being aware of your awareness) to our daily acts we live them fully, and by doing so we don’t leave any traces in our inner space. When we do things unconsciously, we plant karmic seeds that when the time(circumstances) is right will spring up. Just look at any reaction you have. What is a reaction?
If you take a penetrating look you will find the seed of a past experience that is now dictating how you act in the present, pushing aside your present moment awareness. This is living in bondage. Awareness burns your karmic seeds. This is why changing in the present moment not only creates your future, but simultaneously changes your past. Take a good look inside, how much of your past do you still carry? Why can’t you let go of what doesn’t serve you?
Creating Your Life’s Aim
Life is a constant series of forks in the road. How you choose is through will power and by having a higher aim that you have created for yourself. Other wise life will choose for you, things will just happen, and your life will largely be the result of accident.
At each fork you have the opportunity to strengthen your will. Real will that has its own intrinsic volition because it’s connected to your innermost core. What we call will is typically imposed from without. Our external reality presents us with a situation and based on our superficial likes/dislikes a desire arises within us and we become compelled for the time being to pursue it. We are so easily derailed off of our path when a shiny new toy shows up.
With each fork in the road, I ask myself if this will take me closer or further away from my life’s aim. Without this aim I would succumb to what may appear to be more attractive, but in the end only take me further away from my aim. It is my compass in the sea of life, one where endless distractions take us off our intended course.
We all need to formulate our own life long aims. Without one we will fall victims to life´s hypnotizing and often intoxicating attractions.
Take the time to really figure out what your one and main lasting interest in life will be. Keep it to yourself. Nurture it. Constantly water it, but let it remain within you. Don’t let it out and let it become a property of the world. There is incredible power in keeping such a thing only to yourself. This is a move out of the Alchemists playbook.
Defining Your Purpose: What type are you?
To help you define your aim, you can look at it like this. People on this planet can be practically defined into three types. They will fulfill their purpose on earth by either: doing, knowing, or becoming something.
- If it is doing, what do you propose to do? As an exercise try to picture the day of your death. By having accomplished what you set out to do could you die happy? Is it writing a book, traveling the whole world, or mastering 10 languages?
- If your aim is related to knowing, ask yourself explicitly what it is you wish to know. It may be still unknown to yourself; but if you are of this type, you may be quite sure there is something you have an ambition to know. If I could understand such-and-such, I’d die happy. Your happiness depends on discovering what it is. Einstein formulated the aim that he wanted to know the thoughts of God. What an incredible scale of thinking he had. People of this type is far fewer than the first.
- Now, if your happiness lies in becoming something, this is the hardest aim to formulate. It requires that we get an objective picture of what we are, free of any illusions. What are the potentialities that we possess? We need to actualize our potential. If you are of this type you need to define something, because without an end then there is no becoming, that is, no value, no meaning. Maybe you have no passion to do, or to know. Have you any to become? What is It you wish to be? This is the rarest type.
You need to ask yourself what life aim will give you the most desirable future?
With the end clearly defined, your happiness depends on your effort to rise. And complete happiness results from the maximum progress towards the aim you have formulated.
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