What were you meant to do? What is your purpose or mission? What is your identity?
These are much harder questions to answer when you don’t feel as though anything you’ve done to this point has met your expectations.
Success is yours to define, to be sure. But even then, it’s going to come down to whether you feel you’ve measured up to the vision you’ve created for yourself.
You can keep moving the goalpost, but all that does is reinforce your adult-sized dream – full of constraints and limitations.
It is healthy to accept that you might not become an NBA star when you’re 5’9’’, 40 lbs. overweight and 39 years old? Absolutely.
But should you admit defeat in the face of what you already know to be possible? What if a bit of elbow grease and persistence could bring your goal within reach?
Wouldn’t moving the goalpost, then, be a soft admission of defeat?
We’re always trying to balance everything out – impact, fulfillment, gratification, finances, material things, and more.
But I wonder whether we do this because it’s authentic to who we are, or because we think we’ll appear nobler, more honorable creatures for having something other than our own advancement in mind.
Is it possible we spend far too much time caring about how we’re going to come across to others?
If you want money and material things, wouldn’t it be best to admit this to yourself?
It’s not as though you’re not going to realize how ultimately empty that pursuit is. But you can’t shortchange that experience because it could be a valuable one. It might ultimately lead to your spiritual ascension.
We all know that money doesn’t buy happiness. But to know what that even means, we might first need to experience wealth.
This goes for everything else, be it relationships, travel, entertainment, or otherwise. Because on some level nothing will ever satisfy. And that’s fine.
The point is, can you admit to yourself what you are truly about? Are you willing to be vigilant about establishing clarity of purpose?
Further, why do we feel balance is so important? Nobody would call Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, or Oprah Winfrey “balanced.” They’ve achieved what they’ve achieved because they were out of balance.
Maybe trying to balance everything out is the wrong approach. Maybe it makes you a Jack or Jill of all trades and master of none.
We can’t have all the answers, no matter how long we’ve been chasing a version of reality we want for ourselves. We can’t take for granted that we know our mission or purpose. If anything, it’s only becoming incrementally clearer by the day. And that’s if we’re even paying attention to it in the first place.
It’s easy to arrive at a sense of purpose about yourself. But a successful business always adds values to others. It’s easy to create a mission for your community. But you will not have a community if others aren’t involved.
Reducing everything down to a mission statement and reciting it daily is not enough. In time, it will become little more than a mantra.
Perhaps we can gain a greater sense of clarity around these questions if we were to meet our immediate needs. Because if we had more flexibility and freedom, we’d have time and energy to contemplate the impact and difference we want to make in the world.
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