Life Will Lead You To Your Purpose
Creating Habits To Battle Demons
As a young person we battle our demons constantly. They seem insurmountable, unstoppable, amazingly insidious. Life itself is one complex, confusing war.
A large part of this war is created because we do not know where we fit into the world. We have very little idea of what we are doing here, and what we should do about any of it. To make things worse, we are flooded with hormones, pushed around by bullies, and covered in acne.
What adults pretend is that they have found a place where they fit in, but the big secret is that most of them really haven’t. It doesn’t matter if we are 9 or 90, nobody really knows what we are doing here, why we are alive right now, or why we are the way we are. Life is extremely complex and mostly adults like to give simplistic answers to really complicated problems, in order to make themselves feel good.
The one thing that does change as we grow older is that we began to have a much more realistic perspective on the day to day issues that make up the majority of our lives.
After 40 or so years adults realize that we have spent the majority of our lives worrying about what to do with ourselves, how to become better, how to succeed or make a mark. But the secret is that there is no concrete answers to these questions, and even if we find some solutions, everything always changes anyways.
The questions themselves, a lot of the big ones, come from a cognitive mistake we are taught when we are young. Over and over we are pressed with the idea that we have to pick a vocation in order to be an adult. “ I want to be a cave diver when I grow up. I want to be a football player when I grow up. I want to be a violinist when I grow up.”
We are not allowed to organically find our way forward in life without a ton of expectations from various authorities.
We have to work our way through the awkward stages of life and find meaning that we create from our own experiences. When we are young we don’t have a lot of experiences, and the more experiences that we have the better understanding of what our purpose in life becomes.
The key is that our purpose reveals itself to us as we take actions.
As much as humans believe that we use reason to make sense out of the seeming chaos of our lives, our emotions and senses actually run our lives. The idea of Reason evolved to help us collaborate in social groups. As our brains enlarged, we began to be able to use reason to create tools and ultimately Science, which enabled us to hold a type of dominion over the natural world.
Humans are confusing. We use Reason to justify the mass slaughter of innocents as in war, and moral punishment as in religion, and taxation of the poor as in politics.
Many, many things don’t make any reasonable sense. Drinking alcohol or doing drugs to alter your brain chemistry doesn’t make any reasonable sense, but half of all Americans drink alcohol and a quarter of a billion people across the planet use drugs like opium.
We engage in irrational fights with our spouses, we drive while texting endangering countless lives including our own, and we eat at fast food joints and become obese, reducing our lifespan by decades.
We are less rational than a yeast cell, because we can choose to do the wrong thing and a yeast cell cannot.
So why do we collectively pride ourselves on our rationality? Because we want to believe in our own story before we find our purpose.
See, I don’t believe we have a purpose in life until our story leads us there. Once we arrive finally to the altar of our life’s purpose than we get to choose, and this is really where I think Free-will comes to play — we have the ability to choose to follow our purpose or to disregard our purpose and continue our own individual story.
Finding purpose in life is transcending our own individual story. Our demons can’t hurt us if we are not there to fight with them, if we are out in the real world doing what we must do, following our purpose in life.
Instead of considering ourselves extremely rational creatures, we should really consider ourselves, more than anything, creatures of habit. Habits are patterns we create, and we all know that the start of any habit, good or bad, can be difficult.
If we want to follow our true purpose, we need to consciously choose to create the habits that support our purpose.
I do think that life will lead us to our purpose at some point and that we will have to grab onto it when we see it, much like love. And like creating a good and healthy relationship, we need to cultivate a relationship with our purpose and instill habits in our life that support it, more than anything else.