What if life’s purpose is to let life unfold as you live out your natural being? To follow the instincts to do what your heart feels before our parents, teachers and society labeled us? The same instinct that lets us know to crawl when we're ready, eat when we're hungry and fight or flight in the face of danger?
How to find meaning and purpose in life is an age-old question that has people asking since the beginning of time. After ten years of looking within, what I’ve realized is if we all made choices base on instinct, we'd be spending our lifetime amplifying our innate talents and acquiring knowledge and skills that support our authentic interests. Instead of searching for an answer, we immerse in opportunities and experiences to let the answer find us. Who we become would then provide a sense of direction for where we belong. However, life isn’t so linear and simple as our micro and macro-environments shape us the moment we’re out of the womb. We grow up under cultural, societal and family influences and values, and overtime, they become our manual for navigating life. That is until our instinct kicks in and tries to interrupt the misalignment, but without answers. Like the story of The Princess and the Pea, despite layers and layers of cushions, each of us have the ability to sense when things are off but we are unable to identify what we can't see.
Approaching our lives more deliberately can help us steer back to our own instincts and enable our thoughts and actions to take on meanings we define. This requires removing layers of cushions that have sound proofed our unique voices growing up. Through developing awareness and piecing together the trails left behind, we can bring meaning to light. Here's a favorite quote from Steve Jobs I gathered years ago coming back to make sense of things:
"Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life."
Look around you and be present with the emotions attached to the places you go, experiences you have, people you enjoy and jobs you've liked or wish were better. Pay attention to the recurring themes and use your creativity to begin stringing things together to make sense of your authentic self. Once you have a better sense of your core, you'll be better equipped to experience more and feel more so that the answers can find you.
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