Every community needs a venn diagram.
So here is ours.
I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of purpose. One part of my brain (the rational one I leave home at parties) tells me that purpose is an obviously arbitrary construct. Something we create to give our lives meaning.
The other part of my brain (and being) tells me that purpose is really all that matters for those of us who want to live a magical, and meaningful life.
I can’t tell you how many people I know who are fabulously successful in very conventional terms, but are deeply dissatisfied with their lives.
Invariably, there is a deep disconnect between what they love, and what they get up every day and actually do.
A few years ago, I had a really eye opening experience.
I had the pleasure of interviewing about 100 people who had a “near death experience”.
I’m not talking about a mere brush with danger, or some sort of close call with calamity. These were people who had been, at least to the best of their knowledge, clinically “dead” for a brief period of time.
I’m completely agnostic about what actually happens at the moment of death.
But what was so incredibly fascinating, was the commonality of one core element of the experience.
More than 80 of the participants in the survey said they were “told” (most often by a voice – or by some being or loved one they “met” on the “other side”) that they had to come back to do something.
That there was a mission, or a purpose or plan they had yet to accomplish.
I think about this, still – just about everyday.
These people were all 100% certain that their experience was true – and that this encounter, was a “real” one in the most literal sense. And their lives, as a consequence, were imbued with a sense of purpose and passion and a commitment to a different sort of fufillment than most.
I’m undecided whether the fleeting and flickering feel good feelings our brains bathe us, in these profoundly traumatic moments, are natures way of letting us down softly, or an opening into a magical and mysterious realm beyond.
But one thing I do know, after listening to 80 some odd complete strangers share the same general experience, is this:
Either we are hard wired, biologically to BELIEVE in purpose – and it’s powerful enough to make us want to “come back” in our most dire and dangerous moments.
There really is some deep and profound reason why each of us is here.
Either way, purpose is a powerful reason to keep getting up in the morning – and doing the work we love.
“Don’t ask what do I want from life?”, a more powerful question is, “What does life want from me?
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