Recent turbulence in financial markets have generated renewed interest in the topic of “purpose.” In the opening paragraph of the book “What should I do with my life?” author Po Bronson writes, “We want to know where we’re headed – not to spoil our own ending by ruining the surprise, but we want to ensure that when the ending comes, it won’t be shallow.” It has been said that Jesus knew his purpose in life at the age of 12. While hundreds of books have been published on this topic, a single unified universal answer to the question “What is my purpose in life?” does not exist.
I have often wondered if there is a common underlying theme or an overriding arch that connects my life experiences. In an a posteriori sense, I have been the happiest when I was fully engaged in the task at hand and lost track of time. Experiences were enjoyable when I was not analyzing and worrying about the many possibilities. Ironically, the papers (and jokes) I wrote that gave me the most joy were the ones that seemed to have been completed with “seemingly” no effort. And, during such fulfilling experiences, I received timely help and guidance from “unexpected sources.”
My life experiences have taught me that alignment with the cosmic intelligence makes manifestation of intentions efficient. Since this same cosmic intelligence is embodied in the world around us, my prescription to a person wanting to find his or her purpose in life is simple. Start by observing nature and try your best to mimic the patterns in nature. As an example, I have noticed the following traits in nature:
- Mountains, oceans, trees and planets spend a fair bit of time in silence. Silence seems to be the underlying platform for listening, learning and being aware. So, start by spending a part of your day in silence.
- Every entity in the universe has a unique gift, which it offers to the rest of the world. A rose has beauty and scent. Sun offers light and energy. Begin by asking two questions: What is my unique gift and how I can use it to serve the universe?
- Each entity in the universe fulfills its own mission and does not worry about what other entities are thinking about it. A lotus keeps on giving whether there is someone to appreciate it or not. Ask: What is it that I willing to do even if I do not get paid?
- Nature embraces change. For example, rivers change directions and speeds. Nature has rhythm, such as day and night, ebb and flow, and life and death. View every obstacle as an opportunity for discovery. Be willing to change. Be patient and do not obsess about a specific outcome.
- Everything in nature is interdependent. Be kind to all entities in the universe; you can’t predict when you will need help from something or someone.
- Nature offers its bounty in a non-judgmental fashion. Sunshine is not reserved only for good people. A rose does not alter its scent depending on who walks by. Offer you gift with love.
In summary, when you have doubts about your purpose, examine the events in your life and discover the underlying themes and patterns. If that does not work, one way to discover your divine purpose is to observe and mimic what works in nature. Start where you are. Find your unique gift (talent, skill, knowledge, time, energy, etc.) and offer it to the universe with love and in a non-judgmental way.