Why Am I Here?
What am I meant to do with my life that gives being alive a purpose? In other words, “Why am I here?” Have you ever asked yourself this question? I started asking this question when I was 16. A big question for a 16-year-old. I’m now 58 and I still ask myself this question. The difference between The Question at 16 and The Question at 58 is context.
When I was 16 I was looking for a life-long purpose, some insight into the direction I should take. Should I consider going to college for a Psychology Degree or a Fine Arts Degree? Should I stay close to home and family, or explore the world?
At 58 the question is more of a status check-in than a question. Have I done what I set out to do with my life, do I have time to do more? If more, then what more?
I also find myself using this question much more pragmatically now, and more in the moment. I often ask myself why am I here, in this room? Do I want or need to be here in this room, with these people, doing this task? If not, then, really, why am I here, and how can I not be here in the future?
The Context Of Time
What really changes the context of the question of “Why am I here?” is time. When I was 16 I felt that I had forever to Be, Do, and Have whatever I was supposed to Be, Do, or Have. At 58, I am beginning to truly understand the time limitations of being human.
Yes, there’s the obvious time limitation, death. Sometime in the next 50 years, I will die. There are also less obvious time limitations. How long will I have good physical and mental health or the ability to earn an income at will? How long will I have the support of friends before they pass away or simply move away and the support of family before they’re ready to give up on me because I’m old?
Some of us feel called to a particular purpose early in our lives, most of us don’t. Some of us, discover our calling later in life. Most of us don’t. Most people end up living a life of mediocrity waiting to be enlightened on what their true life purpose is.
There are all sorts of books I’ve read to help me find my purpose, such as The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, Finding Your Own North Star by Martha Beck, and A New Earth, Awakening Your Life’s Purpose, by Eckhart Tolle. All good reads, but still no spotlight on my perfect purpose.
Perhaps this is the ultimate example of free will. Maybe, those of us who don’t receive a calling are given the opportunity to choose our life’s purpose.
I’ve never been one to just sit around and think. I am a doer. If I don’t know what to do, I do something, anything. Action has a tendency to make the path appear.
Theodore Roosevelt said, “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”
It’s not always clear if the action I’m taking is the right thing or the wrong thing until it’s all over, but at least I am involved, not sitting on the sidelines watching and then being stuck living with the consequences of my non-involvement.
My Why, Right Now
I am one of the many who have not had the benefit of finding my calling. Sure, I’ve discovered lots and lots of things I like. I’ve had many careers and lived quite a few places. I’ve traveled more than a lot of people I know. In all of my adventures, nothing has popped up and said, “Here I am! Your Life Purpose. Embrace me and you will live happily ever after!”
I’ve adopted a way to take advantage of my experiences and not get stuck in the muck of looking for my purpose. I call it My Why, Right Now. It’s really taken the pressure off of the whole lack of life purpose thing for me, because it’s much more short term, and it always takes me to my next Why Right Now.
My Why, Right Now is a large overriding goal. In his book Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill refers to it as a Definite Major Purpose. It could be something like, getting a law degree, or raising my child to the best of my abilities or paying off all of my debt.
The Goal needs to be very important to me and have a positive impact on my life. Accomplishing it can take a few months or many years. It has to be something that I feel I can accomplish, with the right actions, even if I don’t know what those actions are, yet. I have to believe I’ll be able to discover those actions when it’s time to do them.
Here are the steps to creating Your Why, Right Now:
- Decide what it is you want to accomplish.
- Determine what you want to give in return for getting what you want.
- Choose an absolute end date for accomplishing your goal.
- Create a plan of action, and begin fulfilling the action steps.
- Write out a clear concise statement of what you plan to accomplish and why. Include what you’ll give in return for getting what you want, and the plan you have for accomplishing this goal.
- Read your statement out loud at least 2 times per day, but always first thing in the morning and right before you go to bed.
I’ve adopted these steps from Napoleon Hill’s book, Think and Grow Rich. The words have been modified to meet modern verbiage and the context of this article.
I currently have 4 Why Right Now goals, pertaining to 4 different areas of my life:
- Relationship with my Significant Other
- Home Remodel
I have found that limiting my Major Goals to 3 or 4 work best. It keeps me from becoming obsessed with only focusing on One Major Goal, and it keeps me from spreading my attention and time too thin by focusing on too many Major Goals at one time.
Reading my 4 Why Right Now Statements each morning keeps me focused on what is important to me, at this moment of my life. It helps me to set my intentions for the day. I always face the day with a plan that will lead me to exactly what I want to accomplish.
Reading my 4 Why Right Now Statements each night reminds me of what is truly important to me no matter how the day went. It allows me to reset my focus on my current Why’s, and to go to sleep with positive thoughts about what tomorrow will bring.
If you’re interested in learning more about creating your Why Right Now Goals, go to my facebook page and sign up for my mailing list, then follow me on FaceBook, watch for my Facebook Live videos. https://www.facebook.com/LAIVA-Connections-183745755815777