I have an announcement to make. There is something I want to share with you.
I want you to know why I am here.
I mean, on Facebook right now. I also mean, in life. I mean, in the world. I mean, in existence.
I mean: “Why am I here?” “What is my purpose?” “What do I truly want to do with my life?”
I have been asking myself this question for several years now.
Sometimes it was a quiet question running through my mind:
“What the flip am I really doing with my life?”
“Why am I not feeling fulfilled in life?”
“What is the meaning of life, anyway?”
“Why was I even born?”
“What am I supposed to be doing with my life?”
"Is this all there is?"
“Why doesn’t it feel like I’ve ‘made it’ when I have achieved everything I thought I wanted?”
I don’t know about you, but when I started asking myself those questions several years ago, I couldn’t really stay with the thought process. I didn’t have time to waste thinking about some existential mumbo-jumbo. I had to pay my cell phone bill. I had a project for work with a looming deadline. II had a to-do list two-and-a-half-feet long. I still had to renew my driver’s license, for God’s sake.
I would be overcome by that feeling that you feel when you attempt to contemplate something real, something important, something truly human, something deep and existential, and your brain simply refuses to stick with the line of inquiry. The distractions, the anything-but-this thoughts sweep in and you are suddenly preoccupied with all of the mundanities of life. Why did your spouse load the dishwasher wrong again? What day was your kid’s project due again? And, you’ve run away. You are so far from the question of the fundamental reason for your existence, it slips from your consciousness, stashed away as an unfinished sentence, likely to be revived with the next familial death, tragic accident or sudden loss. In other words, at a time when you will be fundamentally incapable (albeit in a different way) with really reckoning with the question.
So, maybe it will never get answered for you.
But I stuck with the question. And what you will find, if you do, is the true meaning of fulfillment. If you do not, you will not.
When I continued to ask myself the question, I took every Harry-Houdini-esque escape path away from sticking with the feelings and thoughts that it raised. I became defensive. At first, I justified my current existence as being my purpose. There was only so much magic I could perform, however. I know that was nonsense. I knew I was not living my purpose. And I had no idea what to do about that. I had no clear vision of what I wanted my life to be about. I had the usual placeholders that involved my relationships, my family, my work. Doing the best I could, being a good wife, impacting those around me, yadda yadda yadda… And for the split second when I could honestly look, I saw that none of those things outside of me were truly the answer to the question of the meaning of my life.
For the past two years, I have been doing even more tenacious internal work. Digging deep into what — if I could do anything with my life — would I really want me to be my purpose?
I read hundreds of books.
I researched the experts on finding your purpose.
I went to seminars.
I attended workshops.
I met with experts.
I got coaching.
I watched videos.
I did exercises.
I transformed my daily habits.
I changed my physical body, so that it was not a distraction.
And, too, I got stuck in so many aspects of the question. At first, I was so attached to exactly-the-way-my-life-was-at-the-moment-has-to-be-what-I-am-meant-to-do, because otherwise, I would be facing more change than would be comfortable for me. What if I failed in going to the next level? What if this was as good as it gets? Why did I always need to be seeking for more?
I have been a lawyer.
I have been a business owner.
I have been an academic.
I have been a teacher.
I have been a mortgage broker.
I have been an entrepreneur.
I have been a lot of things.
And none of those things are the meaning of my life. They have led me here, to this place, and for that, I am grateful. In the beginning, even admitting that I was not living out the purpose of my life was radically difficult. It was a blind spot, too sensitive and painful and raw to look there.
And even when I was broke, deep in debt, unhappy with myself, feeling bad in my body, spending more time worrying about things that I had to do than I spent actually doing things, even then, I refused steadfastly for months to even contemplate what areas of my life could be considered to be “not working”.
I justified to myself:
It was good enough.
It was better than most.
It was the best it gets.
It was the best I could do.
It was O.K.
I could survive.
I can deal with it.
I will persist.
It will get better someday.
I wasn’t wrong. I could survive. I was capable of suffering through, pushing, dealing with things, but why would I avoid doing what I could to make it AMAZING?
Why keep tolerating the mediocre?
Why continue just persisting?
Why accept struggle and suffering?
Why not shoot for the moon?
I assume it is because I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know where to start. And, since I had to admit my unhappiness before I could really look at these areas of my life to create them, I feared admitting it, and then being unable to fix it. At least if I was in denial about my dissatisfaction, I didn’t have to really be with it. I could pretend my life was something that it wasn’t.
At some point, I got clear that what I was sacrificing was MY LIFE. My vitality. My energy. My happiness. My joy. My fulfillment.
Then, I let the fear go. I gave up the denial. I admitted that there were areas of my life that weren’t as amazing as they could be. Some really were not working, and others were alright, but I was done with being “alright”. I committed to being AMAZING.
We have one life.
We have one opportunity.
We are miracles.
We are here.
We can make a difference.
We can so much more than we believe.
We can enjoy life to an unimaginable degree.
We are limiting our joy, energy and love in massive ways.
We can change.
We can transform.
It is never too late.
And that is why I have spent years deep in personal development, working on myself, on how to be the best kind of human, on how to inspire and motivate myself, and others.
And guess what? That’s what I’m here to do. That’s what I am going to do. That is what I am doing.
I am here to share everything that I have learned.
I am here to teach people how to go beyond what you know is possible.
I am here to show you how to overcome your limiting beliefs.
I am here to help you be the best version of yourself, to live your best life.
I am here to empower others to strengthen their bodies and minds.
I am here to push you to find and follow your passion.
I am here to bring you out of the deadness and busyness, into aliveness and vitality.
So, here’s my question for you:
What are YOU doing here?
I mean, on Facebook right now.
I also mean, in life.
I mean, in the world.
I mean, in existence.
I mean, why are you here?
When you think about it, notice where your mind goes. If your presumptive answer is something outside of yourself, you are not understanding the question. The reason for your existence cannot be another person’s life. That is their life. We are focusing on YOUR life.
I want you to look beyond your contribution to your immediate family. It is a given that we want to be the best spouses, parents, and children possible. I want you to look beyond that. I want to know about YOU. I want to know what lights you up. I want to know what brings you joy. I want to know what you would share with the world if you had a platform to share with the world.
Are you trying to figure it out? Are you looking for an answer, as though it exists somewhere in your head, or in the world?
Stop it. That’s not where you will find the answer.
In fact, you will not find the answer anywhere, or at all.
You will create your answer.
You will not be forced into it. You will not be cajoled or bribed into it. You will not discover it in a book, a course, a seminar or another person. It will not be demanded by your circumstances.
It will be created. It will be invented. It will be dreamt up.
You will design the framework for your life. Or, you will not.
You will life a meaningful, fulfilled life. Or, you will not.
Are you willing to consider the question? To recognize that the daily distractions and tasks and errands will not get done with joy or energy or love, until you are living a fulfilled life of purpose, with joy and energy and love. You have it all backwards. You think that once you get everything handled, you can turn to designing your life, and creating your purpose.
Start now, or do never.
You do not need anything other than what you already have. You simply need to quiet your mind. And open up to infinite possibilities. You need to set aside the limitations and reservations that you believe are facts. You must dream.
You will die, no matter what.
Why not live first?