You’ve Found Your Life’s Purpose, Congratulations — But Did You Live?
Even if you don’t have all the answers, enjoy every experience. That way, you at least lived, and that’s something.
There are times when the thing you love to do the most is the very same thing you get tired of. The high of doing something you love loses its excitement. You begin to wonder why and step away to find the answers over time.
We all make time to do the things we love. Some are blessed to make their passion their career, and some pursue it in their leisure time. But for some, like me, who are clueless, we like to keep our doors open and take in every new opportunity.
But in the process of reaching towards the finish line and being sure that this is what we are meant to do, we forget the very reason for our existence — life.
Time Is Ticking — Are You Living?
The aim of getting better and finding what inspires us is hugely vital. Maybe that’s why when we get bored or disinterested in the very task we love doing, these are signs that we need to be inspired. That’s when we head out in nature, read a book, talk to a friend or watch a movie. And that’s when I saw the animated film ‘Soul’.
Based on a concept that resonates with everyone, we are in a constant state of discovery. We read to polish our skills, practice to get better and then teach others if it helps others grow. But what we forget in the process is to value the gift of life.
We encounter countless people in our lives. Some offer us their services, and we greet them and make small conversations. But life isn’t just about small talk. It’s about the impact we have had on others, and how will we be remembered?
Ask yourself, are we genuinely making most of our time on planet earth? It doesn’t mean that we need to change the world. However, we can choose to live a life in the best possible way and cherish the company of others.
Savour Every Experience
In the nine months that we spent in the womb, we take it for granted. We don’t realize that no matter how good or bad our childhood was, we at least have the now. We cannot change the past, but the fact that we live and breathe today is a gift like no other. And to truly make the most of it, we need to make time to live.
Don’t just learn, experience.
Don’t just read, absorb.
Don’t just change, transform.
Don’t just relate, advocate.
Don’t just promise, prove.
Don’t just criticize, encourage.
Don’t just think, ponder.
Don’t just take, give.
Don’t just see, feel.
Don’t just dream, do.
Don’t just hear, listen.
Don’t just talk, act.
Don’t just tell, show.
Don’t just exist, live.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
Life as we know it isn’t just black or white. It’s grey, blue, yellow, red and an amalgamation of a thousand different shades. That’s what makes life interesting in the first place: the ups and downs, the pain and joy and the fall and the rise. In the quest of fulfilling our life’s purpose, we forget to pause and experience the feeling behind every new experience.
Think of it this way. When we try new cuisine and take the first bite, we pause and let our taste buds analyze the countless flavours. We allow our mind to make ques and memories, never to forget the outburst of new flavours. We savour every bite and make a mental note to recommend the dish to all food lovers so that they too have an opportunity to have such an immersive experience.
Now imagine if we attempt to pause and understand every moment we spend in our day. From the moment we wake up to enjoy our morning tea or coffee to our first morning meetings to countless emails and then lunchtime. There are hidden moments wherein we ignore how each moment made us feel. Whether good or bad, what was it that life is trying to teach us?, but we just side line it as we want to finish our task list.
“If, then, I were asked for the most important advice I could give, that which I considered to be the most useful to the men of our century, I should simply say: in the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.”
― Leo Tolstoy, Essays, Letters and Miscellanies
You and I get to live today while someone else is struggling to breathe. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we cannot predict. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but we have the now. If we were given one hour just to sit back and ask ourselves, have we truly experienced what life is all about, the answer would probably be no. So then, if we know the answer, it’s time to make the most of it now.
It doesn’t have to be to travel to every nook and corner of the world or correct our wrongs. It’s about making the most of all our experiences and enjoying every waking moment. Even in the lows, we are constantly learning and becoming more assertive. When that phase is over, we become more aware and humble. We become more empathetic and understand that nothing should ever be taken for granted. Instead, be grateful and count our blessings. Because in gratitude, we pause and explore all our lessons and all the gifts we are blessed with.
Simple stuff, too, can be counted as the most profound blessings, including an opportunity to sit in peace and enjoy a morning cup of tea: clean drinking water and fresh air to breathe. Three meals in a day is a luxury. But to truly appreciate these gifts, live in the now. Spread love through virtual hugs, and when you receive love in the most unexpected ways, you know that all your time on planet Earth was not a sheer waste of time.