Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Purpose of Life


Surely, even the most trivial, mundane and simplistic mind must at one point or another be faced with the inescapable burden that the question "what is the point of my life?" poses. Though some of us may have to wrestle with the frustrations of this question more often than others, it is undeniable that at some point in every person's life, no matter how fleeting the thought may be, we all consider what our so called "greater purpose" of being on this earth is. By no means have I found the answer to life nor do I believe I am any closer to finding the answer, in fact I'm sceptical that such an answer even exists, however, I do seem to have assembled my thoughts in a manner which allows me to keep my wits when the dreaded, self-doubt inducing question rears it's ugly head again. And so, it seems only fair for me to share this assembled mess of thoughts with anyone who hopes to find themselves at peace with this question for once and for all.

It was while back when I read the following quote by Pablo Picasso: the meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away" but it was only recently that I began to understand what it was really implying. Probably the most literal meaning which could be taken from this would be simply to find your talent and to use it for good. For the longest time I took this quote at face value. Recently, however my mind seemed to phase increasingly into a state of contemplation and this quote seemed to become an ingrained part of these phases. As often happens, I realised my contemplative moods would result in more questions rather than answers and one of the most prominent questions which would often crop up was "what if I never find my gift". I think it was this question which made me reconsider how I viewed the "purpose of life".

As we look back at life we find that we are less likely to remember the name of the guy who threw the best party back in high school and are more inclined to remember the name of our first grade teacher who may have sparked our interest in art or music or literature. I've never been good at analogies but I guess the point I'm trying to make here is we don't remember the things people do but we do remember the way people make us feel. It's the memory of people who are able to trigger emotions within us that our mind preserves. Wether it be a passionate speech which moved something inside you or a painting, that expressed all the things you could never say, on a canvas, chances are you remember the person because they were able to provoke something inside you. 

This may seem unrelated to the "purpose of life" but it is all in fact wonderfully interconnected. The biggest way in which we can change the world is to inspire someone to do the same. We remember the people who make us feel something, the people who inspire us in some way, and the people who do inspire us are often genuine, passionate people who believe in what they are doing. Perhaps the easiest way to acquire a genuine passion for what you do is to find what you are good at and to do it with full conviction. 

So, perhaps the meaning of life is not to find our gift but instead to find our passion, to find something which energises your mind and awakens your soul it need not be a talent it could be an idea, a belief, a cause, anything which ignites your desire to do something great. Because when you have a passion for what you are doing you will undoubtedly inspire people, often without even meaning to and there is no better way to improve the world than to inspire people. 

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