There’s a lot of pressure in life.
Too much really. Just working and earning enough money to support yourself and your family is hard, but now we keep hearing that we also need to:
- Find our true purpose.
- Follow our passion.
- Meet the one true love of our life.
- Live happily ever after.
So much pressure and such high stakes. It’s almost enough to make you give up because it all seems like such a hard mission.
Are we being sold an impossible dream?
One highly popular self development expert believes that you can discover your life purpose in 20 minutes by asking yourself,
“What’s my true purpose in life?”
Then writing down every answer that pops into your head until one of them makes you cry.
This strikes me as utter twaddle but I can see the appeal ~ first that we can discover what our life’s purpose in just 20 minutes and second that we have a purpose in life at all.
Is there a purpose to life?
If we stick to the facts of life our one true purpose is to procreate – to breed and have children so that our race is perpetuated.
In fact, this is just what people used to do.
At one stage life was about survival, and if you lived long enough to have children and see them grow old enough to create your grandchildren, then you were lucky.
These days we want more out of life. Now we want to:
- Live well into old age;
- Look young and beautiful until we drop;
- Travel the world;
- Be financially wealthy;
- Accumulate material possessions.
Although most of us still want children some people have rebelled and opted for a canine or feline offspring instead.
Oh, and we also want to know what our purpose in life is and follow our passion.
It’s not enough to be steadily employed in a job which pays the bills and allows you to save up for a decent retirement. Now we have to have life totally sorted out too.
Proof the stakes are too high
Unfortunately, while some tiny percentage of people are able to pursue their passions and earn a small fortune from them not everyone can.
Many people are happy to take a mundane job and pursue their passions in their spare time. And what’s wrong with that anyway? Not everyone can be extraordinary, not everyone can be famous for doing what they love, not everyone can get rich from it.
Take the ladies who run the tuck shop at my kid’s school as an example.
They work hard, they love what they do, and they’re good at it too, with profits rising every year which benefits the school and improves the kid’s education.
But the tuck shop ladies are never going to receive the global acclaim and wealth of celebrity chefs like Gordon Ramsay, even though they probably make better role models for our children.
Don’t believe some of the things you hear
I think the quest to find your passion, then follow it and hook up with your one true love are myths which are making a lot of people unhappy.
In order to find happiness – which I believe to be the true purpose of life – you’ll have to make a few changes to your thinking and accept that some of the things we’ve been led to believe might actually be making you unhappy.
It’s liberating to consider that:
- You probably don’t have one true life purpose or passion
You may have several goals, dreams and desires but these will change and evolve over time. Your childhood dreams may still coincide with what you want in your adult life – a few kids must have dreamed of becoming a train driver or ballerina and got there in the end. But generally, once you’re living that dream the initial thrill wears off and you still have to find something else to motivate you to get out of bed and get to the train station on time for the first run of the day.
- You probably don’t have one true love
There are certainly many people who could make a good partner for you in life. They’re everywhere and they may not be a romantic connection either. Maybe a group of friends with similar values and goals is enough and if you have that you have every reason to be happy.
- There’s no such thing as happily ever after
Life isn’t a fairy tale. There’s no such thing as fairy godmothers and handsome princes to whisk you away. Life will have good bits but there will be bad bits too – loved ones dying, relationships breaking down, jobs being lost, financial and health problems. Working out how to protect yourself from these bad times when they inevitably come is the key.
So What Should You Do With Your Life If You Don’t Know What To Do?
If you feel like it you could do some of the exercises I suggest in How to work out what your dream is.
Otherwise don’t push it at the moment, give yourself permission to enjoy what you’re doing right now. Forget about your unique purpose, life passion, one true love and living happily ever after.
Just live the way you are right now and try your best to be happy. No pressure.
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Recommended Course to Help You Work Out What to Do With Your Life if You Don’t Know What to Do
I highly recommend coach Barrie Davenport’s course Path to Passion. I met Barrie at Blogworld in 2010 – she’s a highly trained personal and career coach with years of experience and she’s utterly passionate about helping other people discover what their passion is.