A few years ago, I landed my dream role in my career. I had worked hard for it and started pushing myself even further to go up the career ladder. Every time I get promoted, I get a sense of success, and then I would ask myself, ‘What’s next?’ and work tirelessly towards that.
It’s not up until recently that I paused to think about life’s purpose and one of the things that keep coming to my mind is —
Which life’s purpose am I looking for? The life that’s given to us by nature or the life we have created for ourselves.
More I thought about it; more I remembered this board game I used to play as a kid called ‘The Game of Life.’ This game got created in 1860 and has gone through several iterations since then.
The rules of the game were simple —
- You are given a plastic car (with empty holes) at the beginning that represents you.
- You fill that plastic car with a spouse and kids as you spin the life’s wheel.
- You go through ‘Life’ — college, career, earn money, buy a house, pay insurances, and go to your retirement.
In the end, whoever has the most currency wins (including ‘currency’ you get for having a spouse and kids).
Also, to add ‘it’s the most boring game I have ever played.’
This game sums up the life most of us have planned for ourselves, and we are all running to reach the finish line and ‘win.’ But is that all there is to it?
I have been a part of this race for as long as I can remember and have just recently started asking myself, ‘What should be “my life’s” purpose?
Where are we going wrong?
Start with the why and your values
We are exposed to this life right from an early age. Whether it’s the games we play or the education system, it is designed to train us to follow a set path of life. One of the main reasons for that is the smooth functioning of society with people performing their defined roles.
Because of this training, we forget to ask ourselves the most important question — ‘What are my values and why?’. Taking the time to understand what makes us who we are and why, is crucial to finding our purpose.
But isn’t there something even more essential than the purpose that we need to figure out first? Its intentions.
What are your intentions?
Let’s say you spent a lot of time self-reflecting and found your goal. It could be a career role, arts, buy a house, travel the world, help the unfortunate or something else. It’s essential to understand your intentions behind it. If you achieve this goal, will you feel happy, free, content on contributing to society?
Finally, does it fit in your life?
How different would your life be once you set this path for yourself? If you are willing to change it, make sure to make a plan and keep checking with yourself, is this something you want and why?
These answers could be different for everyone.
For now, my only thought is that life is to be lived, have experiences that take your breath away. Not to tick checkboxes and race to the finish line with the maximum ‘currency’ in the end as our time here is very limited.