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What's your purpose of life?

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  • What's your purpose of life?

    Yesterday I understood that the question "Why we live" can't be answered. It leads to the dead end. The one will never find the right answer. As such it's better to think "How to live". There're two options: to live good and to live bad. So I came to conclusion that my purpose of life is to "Live a good life" with all the resulting Goals: be kind with my child and wife to have a good relation, find new interesting projects to get the feeling of hapiness and so on. What's your purpose of life?

    E.

  • #2
    A friend of mine emailed this to me yesterday. Take it for what it is worth.

    ================================================

    E-Myth Mastery

    Excepts from Chapter 9: The Purpose of Purpose

    Most people seem obsessed with the notion of purpose. The world seems to be divided into those who believe they know their purpose and those who are searching for their purpose. I don’t think I know anyone who is blasé on the subject-doesn’t know, isn’t searching, doesn’t care. People who say they’ve found their purpose are judged to be mature, grounded, inspiring, on track. The ones who are searching, the majority it seems, are seen as anxious about it, frenetic, insecure, lost. Have you ever noticed how people don’t want to admit that they don’t know what they’re doing here? It seems to be a good thing to know what your purpose in life is.

    …Dear reader, I’m about to rain on your parade. And here it is in a proverbial nutshell: There is no purpose to purpose!

    “What!” Sarah said.

    …I told her that “purpose” the word, is deceptive. That there’s a narrowness, a strictness, a rigidity to the word that is very different form the energy or essence of purpose…

    Then why is the E-Myth and the work you do so important to you, Michael? Why are you doing it? Sarah asked incredulously.

    Candidly, Sarah, I have no idea. It just is…

    What were you hoping I would say, Sarah? That business has always fascinated me? It hasn’t. That the plight of people who own their own business is of deep concern to me. It isn’t. That my father’s failure in his small business which literally killed him, made me vow to help others like him avoid his fate? It didn’t. That my Primary Aim in life is to transform small business worldwide? It isn’t and never has been. These are the reasons people most want to hear and are inspired by. But they’re just stories, Sarah. Empty stories…

    The only answer I can give you to your question about why the work I do with small business is so important to me is, I don’t know…

    But what about purpose? Sarah asked. How does what you’ve said fit with what yo’ve said or at least implied about purpose…

    We have a purpose, Sarah, to create. And creation does no need anything other than itself to justify it. Creation, the act of producing something out of nothing, the love that one finds in the pure act of it, is enough to last a human beeing a lifetime.

    The question for me is not why this work is important to me, by do I behave like its important to me? Do I give my creative focus the time and attention and passion it deserves? Do I take my life seriously, or not?...

    …If I have any purpose in this life that feels real, it is to not lie to myself,.. That’s how I want to live my life, not lying to myself. …

    And that is what the true essence of purpose is. It’s a vision, no matter how that vision comes to you. And vision comes to people in the strangest, most unpredictable ways. ..vision will all but knock you off your feet. Purpose, in the sense of a vision, is what passion serves.

    …Vision is a reason to live. You can call it purpose, but the minute you turn it into a purpose, it calls forth the part of you that is more focused on results than process…

    Purpose doesn’t free you, Vision can.

    Comment


    • #3
      great question

      It's a great question! I agree each person has to define what she wants to do in life, and what's important to her, so "Why" isn't a great question. "How" is much better, and eventually becomes "what do I do with my precious limited store of minutes." In other words, it all comes down to action - making the best choices based on what's meaningful. I think David Allen's work helps make the "what" happen, and I believe other ideas have to be integrated to connect the what back to the motivations for living. For me the "higher altitudes" doesn't do this...

      Comment


      • #4
        ...and a great email, Howman (and how often does that happen - a random circular email that is actually useful)

        I'm slowly figuring out that all this talk of altitudes and goals and purposes can hinder us - and certainly hinder getting anywhere close to "mind like water" - if we conceive of it as describing some future state that will come to pass later. We somehow instead have to find a way of embodying our goals right now, however imperfectly.

        Here's Pema Chodron, an American Buddhist nun:

        In Tibetan there's an interesting word: ye tang che. The ye part means "totally, completely," and the rest of it means "exhausted." Altogether, ye tang che means totally tired out. We might say "totally fed up." It describes an experience of complete hopelessness, of completely giving up hope. This is an important point. This is the beginning of the beginning. Without giving up hope - that there's somewhere better to be, that there's someone better to be - we will never relax with where are or who we are.
        [...] To think that we can finally get it all together is unrealistic. To seek for some lasting security is futile. To undo our very ancient and very stuck habitual patterns of mind requires that we begin to turn around some of our most basic assumptions... Suffering begins to dissolve when we can question the belief or the hope that there's anywhere to hide.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by howman
          A friend of mine emailed this to me yesterday. Take it for what it is worth.
          (....)
          Purpose doesn’t free you, Vision can.
          I don't think it's worth much. This kind of discussion strikes me as the kind of semantic quibbling that is designed to sell a new generation of self-help books that say the same old stuff in different words.

          Have a clear destination...Enjoy the trip. Pretty straightforward.

          Comment


          • #6
            Scott_L_Lewis:

            That depends on how you tend to interpret the word purpose. If you take it as referring to some future result, you'll live your whole life waiting for some mythical time when your "goals" are "achieved".

            The trip *is* the destination. Slightly less straightforward, but a lot more true...

            Comment


            • #7
              Purpose

              I didn't really understand the e-myth thing either. The answer to "what's your purpose?" is probably going to be very similar to the answer to, "what's your vision?"

              Comment


              • #8
                Maybe the e-myth email is a bit of a red herring but I think there is an important point to be considered here... I think it's closely related to Borisoff's original post, personally, but apologies if others consider this a thread derail...

                It's been seeming to me more and more recently that there are ways of using GTD, often encountered on this board, that encourage us to focus on getting to a stage in the future when some Things have been Done. This is particularly an issue when people do the higher-altitude planning, and start to talk about Goals, Purpose, Vision, or whatever - they start to think in terms of a destination that they are en route to. When their projects are complete, then they'll be happy.

                But I think that can never be a complete recipe for living a stress-free, productive life, because it situates you mentally in some point in the future - and of course the future never comes. When you get to the point in time that you had imagined as being the future, when the Things have been Done, you find you've just got a hundred more things to do before you get to some new future state. It's a treadmill.

                But the deeper meaning of 'mind like water', I would argue, is in getting to a situation where you're trying, however imperfectly, to embody whatever it is you want to be in the current moment - process, not result. So GTD would more accurately be entitled (to paraphrase David Allen in the book) Knowing What You're Not Doing So You Can Be Present In The Moment.

                In fact, being present in the moment, and giving up the idea that at some point in the future you're going to get it all sorted out, may even be a good enough purpose/vision/primary goal, in itself.

                I'll shut up now...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Very worthwhile points, all.

                  We all are at different stages in our lives, and some things are very useful to some of us. Sometimes, a bit of wisdom strikes us at just the right time to be useful, while we're not ready yet for other bits (or have already internalized those particular bits of wisdom). And that's okay.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    GTD helps us to define what we should not be doing now.

                    Originally posted by ludlow
                    But the deeper meaning of 'mind like water', I would argue, is in getting to a situation where you're trying, however imperfectly, to embody whatever it is you want to be in the current moment - process, not result. So GTD would more accurately be entitled (to paraphrase David Allen in the book) Knowing What You're Not Doing So You Can Be Present In The Moment.
                    I totally agree that GTD helps us to define what we should not be doing now. And this is the most important a-ha I've learned from David Allen's book.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      As easy as this question can be asked and understood, it cannot be answered. Purposes...we have many..PURPOSE, having one. Hmm, Mine is perhaps to enjoy life as much as I can ( hehe, that rolls all the other purposes together)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The Destination and The Trip

                        Originally posted by ludlow
                        Scott_L_Lewis:

                        That depends on how you tend to interpret the word purpose. If you take it as referring to some future result, you'll live your whole life waiting for some mythical time when your "goals" are "achieved".

                        The trip *is* the destination. Slightly less straightforward, but a lot more true...
                        I define vision and purpose as both referring to a desired future state. Vision is an articulation the future state, and purpose is the intention to bring it about. Both are future oriented, and to say that one kills while another saves is making a mountain out of a semantic mole hill.

                        I do not agree that working toward a goal necessarily causes me to become a chronically unhappy person who will not be placated until the future state is realized. I can become that way, but that is because I have formed an unhealthy emotional attachment to the goal. I can work toward a goal without becoming emotionally attached to it. I can accept the facts that the goal is desirable and that the goal has not been realized and still be quite happy while I work on making it happen. I read a quote of E.B. White that said that he woke up every morning torn between the desire to save the world or savor it. This is really a false dichotomy. It is possible to savor the world as it is, savor the vision of the world as it might be, and to savor the process of bringing the vision about.

                        I also do not agree that the destination is the trip. They are not the same. That is why we have different words for them. If I lose sight of the fact that a process is intended to produce a result, I can just get lost in doing it. Indeed, it is just as easy to have an unhealthy emotional attachment to a process as it is to a goal. Having a goal tells me if my process is working, if I ought to change it, and most importantly, when to stop. To paraphrase the Buddha: "Once you have crossed the river, you no longer need the raft." It is stupid to carry the raft with me after I have crossed the river. It is also stupid to paddle the raft in endless circles in the middle of the river while thinking I am making progress.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Mmm

                          The purpose of life is to come to the knowledge that God loves you, and to know God through his love!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Borisoff
                            What's your purpose of life?
                            To max out (not waste)the resources given to me: time, energy/skills, material ie money. Intensity: it will never be the way it is again. To do what god asks me for. To follow his will for my life, trusting him, even if I disagree at first. Growing my trust in him. TO ENJOY THIS PATH.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Brent
                              Very worthwhile points, all.
                              I second that. Very good reading this thread so far...

                              Comment

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