How To Have a Life Purpose Without Falling Prey to Your Ego
Without any doubt, everybody wants more happiness and meaning in their life. Consciously or not, people are using their time and resources at their best to make this happen. Yet many of us are chasing happiness their entire life and never reach it.
Do you know why happiness is so tricky to attain? Could it be the direction of the search? Or is it the search itself? Should you stop bothering and leave everything to fate?
I hope this article will shed some light on what it truly means to create a genuine purpose that brings happiness and how to avoid the traps and delusions caused by your Ego mind.
Life Purpose: what it is, why it matters and what to avoid if you want to create one for yourself
First of all, what is the relationship between one’s Life Purpose and Happiness? This is a powerful question we should all ask ourselves.
Before you answer, allow yourself to drift for a few moments and contemplate on your happiest memories. Remember the times when you enjoyed certain things by yourself and the times when your loved ones were around to share the experience of the moment. It could be a trip, a movie, a barbecue or picnic, a concert, etc.
Can you feel the difference? I’m sure you do and this is because the memories created together with your loved ones mean so much more.
Wise man throughout history realized a simple truth: Happiness comes from within and cannot be found without. Furthermore, happiness never comes from what you gain, from fulfilling your own needs and desires. It can only spark from that which you are offering to others.
This being said, I invite you to explore the legacy of wisdom we inherited. Here are six principles which if applied correctly, will lead to a genuine exchange in your relationship with the world.
1) Happiness comes from creating value for others
The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
The purpose of life is to contribute in some way to making things better
― Robert F. Kennedy
Already pointed in intro, this first principle is fundamental so it needs to be reinforced. Happiness is not something you will receive, it’s something you offer. Simply put, it comes from expressing and sharing your gifts with others in a way that serves them. This is the universal life purpose model that brings a lot of meaning and authenticity to any person. Although it sounds simple, very few people actually commit and explore this possibility.
Many people say that “you don’t need anything or anyone to be happy”. And this is true, happiness is independent BUT, we feel it most when we share it.
2) Discover your passion
If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life.
― Marc Anthony
Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.
― Albert Schweitzer
Be honest, what good is “success” for if it’s not making you happy? Can you compare the motivation you have when working a boring job with the spark resulting from doing something you love?
If you can’t find a job that’s centered around your heart, you should consider creating one. Build the courage to start nurturing your passion, get good at it and slowly turn it into a service.
Depending on your schedule, your hobby may take a small part of your time at first and take a form of charity. But eventually as your skills grow, so will people’s gratitude and interest in your work.
Seeing others happy will give you the motivation to continue and grow and soon you will find ways to generate income.
Take full responsibility for nurturing your passion because it is a key component for an authentic and happy life.
It should never depend on anything or anyone. Just start by sharing with others! Here are some practical first step examples:
Suppose you like jogging or riding your bike in nature. You can organize a group event for your friends and colleagues at first and from there it will naturally grow.
What if you like cooking chilly sauce? Offering free samples to your neighbors will make them not only happy but they will also grow found of you. They might ask for more, become your customers and even spread the word.
Personal Example: When I got in shape, a girl from work asked me how I did it because she also wanted to shed the extra pounds. After I told her how I succeeded, I invited her to join me for a training at the gym. One year later I ended up training her and five other people who were inspired by my success. This meant a lot to me, and to this day I keep finding ways to motivate and reach out to more people. This website, this article you are reading right now is all part of it and even if it took years to get to this point, it all started with very small steps.
This is how The law of Attraction works: by doing what you love and because you love it. Every little progress will encourage you to continue and prosper. The big secret? – take the smallest step and never let go.
3) Express your values authentically
“Living in a way that reflects one's values is not just about what you do, it is also about how you do things.”
― Deborah Day
“True glory consists in doing what deserves to be written, in writing what deserves to be read, and in so living as to make the world happier and better for our living in it.”
― Pliny the Elder
Expression can be seen everywhere in nature. Giving the proper environment, a flower blooms in all it’s glory and trees make big, delicious fruits. Birds show off through their singing and their colorful feathers. You are nature as well, born from it and you share the same traits.
So what is the right environment for you in order to grow and fully shine your uniqueness? If you want to take action, start by answering a few questions truthfully in written form (paper or digital). This is a great exercise and an important first step to become more conscious and transparent to yourself and others:
What are the principles that guide you?
What do you want to express in the world?
Can you be yourself around your family and friends?
Is your social circle encouraging you to become your best version?
What puts you down, what makes you hesitant?
Push through the cringe and write your thoughts and feelings down. Cooking them endlessly in your head is counter-productive.
Do you know how many people are not living authentically because they are slaves to other people’s expectations? I’ve met people personally who believe that happiness is not even possible and others who believe they don’t deserve to be happy. Well I’m here to say you can do it, you deserve it and it’s entirely up to you! Your happiness is a choice that it’s yours to make. Don’t let anyone, especially your own mind to convince you otherwise. Because the funny thing is, whether you believe you could be happy or not, either way you are right!
4) Check your desires for hidden biases and ulterior motives
“Deception and falsehood are attractive when they seem to bolster your case. Don't be trapped by them. Examine the evidence critically and skeptically. Recognize your inherent bias and thinking flaws.”
― Francis P. Karam, The Truth Engine
“Whenever you become anxious or stressed, outer purpose has taken over, and you lost sight of your inner purpose. You have forgotten that your state of consciousness is primary, all else secondary.”
― Pliny the Elder
Society has shifted people’s focus solely on the exterior, promoting the false notion that happiness can be achieved through material possessions, status, comfort, safety and more.
Just like children, we are pursuing the same toys in a different scale: electronic devices, cars, properties, job promotions, relationships, etc. And when we finally get them, we realize that the time we spent chasing and thinking how happy they would make us was just a hype, and even worse – an unfulfilling drive that wasted our time.
Without a true purpose these things won’t bring any meaning and the pursuit itself keeps you addicted and unhappy.
Use self-inquiry techniques and ask yourself the right questions regarding wo you are what drives you. This way you will learn to make a difference between following your true purpose or chasing your unmet childhood needs.
5) Be patient, your path lasts a lifetime
Patience is not an absence of action, rather it is "timing" it waits on the right time to act, for the right principles and in the right way.”
― Fulton J. Sheen
“The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience.”
― Leo Tolstoy
I have a question for you: Are you a short term or long term investor? I am not referring on how you trade stocks or Crypto coins, I am referring here to a much more expensive resource: your time!
Time is a special resource for two reasons: first, you can’t know how much you actually have left and second, once it’s gone you can never get it back. You can’t spend all your time at once but you have the option to decide how you spend it second by second.
Everything you invest in your passion you are investing in yourself… and vice versa. As long as you use your heart as a compass, you will not regret the time you invest in your hobbies.
Learn to see things as a marathon and not a quick race, because this way you are not setting any limits to your potential.
6) Keep it flexible, playful and open-minded
A wise man changes his mind sometimes, but a fool never. To change your mind is the best evidence you have one.
― Desmond Ford
Your soul is infinitely creative. It is alive and expansive in nature. It is curious and playful, changing with the tides of time.
― Debbie Ford
Even after you’ve found the courage to walk a purposeful journey, your Ego will still attempt to sabotage you. Success depends on prior preparation so you should become wise enough to spot and avoid the Devil’s common traps.
Always be willing to let go! Sometimes when we invest a lot of time and energy in one direction, we become over-attached. Attachments can make you rigid and even block you completely while you are convincing yourself that you are in fact honorably persevering on your path. If you reach this point, admit that you are no longer pursuing your genuine purpose and in fact you are struggling and draining your energy to swim against your favorable currents.
Become the change! Change is the universal constant of our world. Everything in your life is ever transforming, including your personality, so be willing to adapt your purpose. Shutter and rebuild your ideas in a playful manner, similar to building sand-castles on the shore.
Be open minded… and don’t take things too seriously. Dare to try new things! Always! And the most important thing, dare to fail! Against old-school beliefs, failure is the greatest teacher and should only be seen as a reference point towards improvement.
Keep working on yourself! Don’t forget about your person in this process. Your body mind and spirit must be healthy and in harmony if you want to have the strength and focus to create anything long-term.
Fortunately you don’t need to spend a lifetime chasing illusions to discover what you need to create and share in order to be happy. A wonderful Japanese concept and model named Ikigai, which translates “a reason for being”, is a powerful tool to determine your true life’s purpose. The search starts by looking inwards, so take your time to meditate and listen.
What are your passions?
What sparks a light in your eyes?
What are you really good at?
Is your skill useful to others?
Can you earn a living with it?
As you can see, the possibilities for your Ikigai are virtually limitless. It can be anything from a hobby, a pre-existing job or business model and if there isn’t one, well you can accept the challange and create it yourself. People express themselves through many ways: through services, art, knowledge, ideas, products, etc.
This is where the heroes journey starts – with purpose and vision. A consistent practice in personal development makes you more conscious and it plays a huge role in your journey. The better we become, the better we express and the more we share, the happier we will be. In conclusion the commitment to improving ourselves is the noblest thing we can do in our lifetime.
I hope to inspire you even for a bit to create a happy and meaningful life for yourself and others. Good luck!
“You grow old when you lose interest in life, when you cease to dream, to hunger after new truths, and to search for new worlds to conquer. When your mind is open to new ideas, new interests, and when you raise the curtain and let in the sunshine and inspiration of new truths of life and the universe, you will be young and vital.”
― Joseph Murphy, The Power of Your Subconscious Mind