"Learning to live and living to learn"
The father of American literature Mark Twain is said to have proposed that the 2 most important days in your life are the day that you are born and the day that you find out why! Although we have no control over the former, the latter, on the other hand, is a life-long research project, at least for me.
Over the years, in my work as an organizational development specialist, I have noticed that those people who are happiest and confident in themselves are usually people who have a clear sense of purpose in their lives. Now, in using the term “sense of purpose”, I don’t necessarily mean they know what they want to do professionally, although for many people their work provides purpose, I mean that they regularly ask themselves the question: “What does life want from me?” And they endeavor to answer it with something of which they feel passionate about.
I don’t know about you, but I find that feeling passionate about something is like the tide that ebbs and flows upon the shore. Passion for me is like a wave machine, when the tide is in, I’m fueled and ready to go but sometimes the tide goes out and passion subsides. I mean, if this were not the case then, I probably would have burnt out a long time ago.
This is precisely why I must continually revisit the question, “What does life want from me?”
Now, at the risk of laboring the metaphor, let’s assume that the tide is out and, well, like Lily, (the dog who must be adored), on a rainy day when we are about to embark on our morning walk through the park, and I open the door and she just stands there looking up at me with a look that can best be described with the phrase, “Seriously?”, I’m just not feeling it. Passion has abandoned me. Then I must turn the question around and ask, “What does life not want from me?”
For on those occasions when, for whatever reason, my passion for life deserts me, I find it easier to answer in the negative. I can be sure that life does not want me to wallow in confusion, feel sorry for myself and lament my lack of passion. And so, I fire up the great engine of my creativity, recognize that passion rules and plough on with my project in finding my purpose in life.
As for Lily, (the dog who must be adored), when she is not feeling it, well, she is just not feeling it and tomorrow is another day.