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Friday, February 27, 2015

Day 697: What's Your Issue?

It's a funny thing. The real issue is seldom the issue in front of you.

We tend to get caught up in the events that transpired, we point fingers, get angry, get frustrated, or maybe we just give up. When something happens that pushes a button within us we tend to ride the waves of the emotional reaction that comes, we get tangled up in the web of the overwhelming experiences in this moment here and now.

Let me give you an example:
You make plans with someone, who has agreed to those plans and has agreed that their responsibility within those plans is important and that their actions will have an effect on other people's lives. While you are going along, doing whatever needs doing, you look up and realise that this person has not honoured their commitment and has placed you in a position of having to try and deal with their (lack of) action. Now there are a number of ways you might respond in a situation like this - most people will react most of the time - for example:
  1. You get angry and tell the person what a terrible human being they are with the intention of making them feel bad for what they did.
  2. You go and talk to one or more people about this person and their actions while you are angry (and create judgements and other ripple effects within these other people)
  3. You decide to ignore this person as a way to spite them, thinking that "they can deal with the consequences their actions created - it's not my problem."
  4. You stay quiet, but the anger and resentment builds over time until you reach the point of EXPLOSION
These are a few possible scenarios. What happens in each of them is that you are not likely to be focusing on the actual problem, but only on a symptom of the real cause. In addition to this, allowing yourself to react emotionally indicates that you have not fully considered the entirety of the situation, you have only considered YOU and how this person has inconvenienced YOU. You will not have considered the context within which this person did or did not act. You did not consider the nature of this person and that there may be certain patterns that they are manifesting (with or without being aware of them). If you were fully understanding the design and nature of the person you would not react - you would not take it personally (which is making it all about ME) - you would simply realise that this person is expressing a part of their design that they have not yet changed within themselves.

The tricky part comes next: OK, so you see that there is something within this person that they are manifesting - now how the hell do you help them? You will probably look at all the reasons why NOT to do anything to support the person: they'll take it the wrong way; I won't be able to explain myself then I'll look like an idiot; they are really good at debating and will find a way to invalidate what I am trying to show them; they simply will not see what I am trying to show them. These are all possible reactions you will face - the mind will always resist change. BUT it doesn't mean that you should stop there and go no further. You may not be able to help every person every time, but you will certainly learn valuable tools and approaches from testing what works with what kinds of designs. The very first step is ALWAYS to make sure that you are clear - that you are not holding any emotional reactions within you. You cannot support another while you are reacting - chances are that you'll simply exacerbate their reaction/experience. Another important tool is to practice looking past the scenario at hand and into what actually caused the scenario to unfold. Was the communication ineffective? Did one or some or all parties involved not consider each other and/or the relevant factors fully? Was the point not planned effectively?

Be willing to listen. Hear what people are saying. Look what exists behind their words - what is the real message they're conveying? Make sure you're on the same page. Make sure you create a safe space to share and investigate as a platform of support.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Day 696: Consistency in Communication

One thing I learned very clearly with working with horses is that your actions must be consistent in order to establish an effective relationship with a horse. Because you cannot speak words that will be understood by the horse that will explain to them exactly why you are doing what you are doing, especially if it is different from what you have done before. All the horse sees is someone who is consistent or someone who is inconsistent. This translates into things like inconsistency meaning that you sometimes allow a specific behaviour and other times not - how is the horse to know where he/she stands within the point? Your inconsistency will lead to their uncertainty and, more often than not, them exhibiting that behaviour whenever the hell they want to whether it puts you in a compromised position or not. Consistency on the other hand is where a specific behaviour is allowed or it is not allowed at all - simple as that. When you are dealing with a half ton animal something like this can make your life much easier and safer. The horse knows what is acceptable behaviour and what is not - sure, they may test that on occasion, but that is certainly better than developing a bad habit on permanent display.

As I developed this consistency within myself - of always being the same no matter what - I realised exactly how INCONSISTENT people are. It's not like we're sometimes inconsistent with some things, generally speaking we are pretty much never consistent. We behave differently on a whim, in a mood, depending on what we were just busy doing (dig a little into priming), based on whichever personality is currently activated, depending on how you're physically feeling - anything and everything! Something as small as one thought can change the way we respond in a moment. The way we look at things will determine how we will process the information and act - I mention this because we CAN change the way we look at things.

It's no wonder that most relationships between people are so shallow and breakable - no one knows what to expect from anyone else. We're always waiting for the worst to come out simply because sometimes it does.

The first time I noticed the effects of my change in becoming consistent was in the animals around me - our relationships became closer and they became more comfortable with me. The reason is simple - I am the same, I do not change, I do not act differently - no matter what happens or how I feel. The animals know exactly what to expect from me which creates a form of trust and willingness to be comfortable with me. I obviously enjoy this immensely.

Working with people is definitely different - we are much more prone to having our buttons pushed. When we react we change. We say, feel, think and do things we otherwise would not if we were in a calm and rational frame of mind. The key here is simple to grasp yet difficult to do: Get back to center. Get back to your calm and objective self - dare I say your TRUE SELF. When you feel yourself veering off course or spinning out of control, stop. Take a moment. Take a few moments if necessary. Breathe in and breathe out. Do not say or do anything to anyone until you have let go of the reaction. Tell them you need a moment. Breathe. Only when you are able to speak from a calm, objective and fully considerate starting point should you speak or act.

Sound crazy? Sound preposterous? Maybe we need some crazy ideas - it's evident that what we have been doing is no good - time to change. The only way forward is one step at a time.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Day 695: Managing Money

It is a funny thing... Children are not taught about money. School does not teach us how to manage our personal finances, how to do tax returns, how to start a business, tax implications of various personal and business actions or how to manage even the most basic of budgets. Many young adults must learn by trial and error, often racking up large sums of debt which they realise, only after the fact, is completely unmanageable.

Further to that, the complete lack of monetary education leaves many people with a very selfish and impractical way of spending. Physical appearance has become so important in so many societies that people will choose to buy unnecessary material items instead of things they actually need, causing scenarios where a person may not eat for extended periods of time just to fit in with the status quo. Selfish buying habits both contribute to and are caused by the issues we face in our society as a whole - it is a vicious cycle that feeds itself.

Money represents value, so people will put their money towards the things they value (most of the time). There are some few people who will buy almost anything on a whim, but there are other factors involved here that I will not go into in this post. It is quite rare to come across a person who manages their personal and/or businesses practically and without the influence of emotional irrationality.

So how do we fix this scenario to make money a practical tool to build on improving our society and interrelationships rather than a destructive force that breaks down social cohesion?

  1. Evaluate and redefine your values. People spend money on the things that they value, or on things that represent what they value. Do the things you value actually contribute to creating a value in life? Do the things you value contribute to creating a world that is best for all? What are you supporting with your money? These days, your money represents your vote - to a degree - you are contributing to the continued existence of what you are spending your money on. I am NOT saying that you should stop buying work clothes or anything like that - for the moment there are things that must be done in order to survive in the system SO THAT we can create a new world - becoming a beggar will help no one - make sure that you are in a position to support yourself and support that which brings value to ALL LIFE. 
  2. Once you are clear in your values, evaluate your practical needs. Do you really need all the things you think you do? Are there areas of your spending where you are spending your money unreasonably? Now this point of reasonableness will be determined by step 1 - evaluating your values. There is a difference between making your life comfortable and being excessive. What do you need to do in order to survive - and not only survive, but empower yourself so that you are in a better position to create change? If you are running a business, spend your money in such a way that you are ensuring, as far as possible, the stability and growth of the business. 
  3. Do not be a miser. lol. What I mean by this is that it helps no one if you then spend your money as sparingly as possible - it's not about NOT spending money - it's about putting your money towards supporting yourself and supporting what is best for all. 
  4. Create a budget. Now that you know what you need, work out the average monthly cost of this. Make a list of each expense. Deduct the total amount from your income. If your income is not high enough to cover your needs then you need to create a solution for yourself - find a way to make more money. At the same time you will obviously need to prioritise your needs and minimise the cost thereof. What may be a more difficult position to be in is to have money left over after your expenses, because now you are dealing with the question of self discipline. Now is the time to practically evaluate what can be done with that money. A portion could go towards a savings account to cover those unexpected events in life. It is up to you to evaluate how you can best use that money to contribute to what is best for all - sometimes this will be in the form of creating a new source of income which can then be used to create or support change. 
  5. Make a point to reassess yourself and your values often. It is very easy to slip into a moment of "it's MY money! I EARNED the right to spend it ALL on ME ME ME!"
  6. You don't have to live like a minimalist - unless that is the lifestyle you enjoy. It's not about denying yourself comfort and efficient living! Don't force yourself to keep on using equipment that is falling apart simply because you don't want to spend money on yourself. There is a difference between practical living and inconsiderate / selfish living. SO it's not always about NEED - when you are in a position to invest in the things you enjoy then do so - a funny little quirk to look out for is to not claim poverty in an attempt to contribute to other areas of your life. Human nature is a funny, funny thing - never stop being aware of who you choose to be!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Day 694: What Does Anything I do Have to do With My Happiness

Many years ago Bernard said to me "give up the things you want in this life, so that we may all have them in the next". It took a while before I got to the point of actually being willing to do this (I was a teenager when he first said it to me) and now I sit facing the task of asking every single person to do the same.

Most people will refuse. Most people are happy to leave all the unpleasantness to a few willing to give up in order to change the world. Most are happy with the idea that only a few leaders have to make the hard choices while everyone else just lives their life and does a few odd jobs for the cause every now and then. It is possible that change may eventually come in this manner, although I do not see it being before it is too late to reverse the damage done to the planet and ecosystem (to be fair we may be past that point already, but just haven't realised it on a global level).

Why should everyone be willing to give up their personal desires and preferences? Most of the time they simply do not contribute to creating the change the change we actually want to see. We find ourselves in the position of facing the consequences of not only our own actions (and inaction) but that of generations before us. Fixing this mess is no small task and will not be easily accomplished if everyone is running around trying to get theirs before they kick the bucket.

The funny thing is that most of your personal desires and preferences are created by the programming you received throughout your life, implying that those desires are not actually a part of "who you are" but are a part of "who you were made to be by the environment and people around you". Following this living realisation a funny thing happens. You live the life that you never thought you would, and you experience a peace and happiness that most people don't. Part of this can be attributed to the expectations and fantasied we hold onto within what we desire - expectations and fantasies that can rarely be fulfilled. The same can be said in the context of relationships - when you do not choose a partner based on physical attraction and/or "chemistry" and focus rather on whether this person will support you and vice versa, as well as whether this person will contribute to creating the life and change that will be best for all - you will find that your experience within the relationship becomes one of creation and self movement as opposed to trying to be with someone you may not actually have all that much in common with.

Looking back to my teenage years I had many dreams for all the different things I wanted to do and the life I wanted to live. Most of these things were about me - my wants, my fantasies, my dreams. I suppose this is what most teenagers experience. Sure, there were some differences in that I communicated openly with my dad and didn't do much stupid teenage stuff like alcohol and drugs, but I still had that desire to "be free" to do whatever the hell I wanted.

The moment that this really changed was when I realised and understood fully the extent of the problem we are facing in the world and that the way I was living was not only contributing to the problem but also a result of the problem. I was chasing after phantoms of a magical life, never quite "getting it". The desires and fantasies become so real and so all-consuming that it seems absurd to think of giving them up. In reality, you're never quite where you want to be or doing what you want to do when you're chasing those fantasies because part of the thrill is the fantasy itself - "something to live for". When your something to live for is just you, you can never seem to find that peace and fulfillment you so desire.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Day 693: Be My Valentine

It's Valentine's Day, a day to celebrate love and romance and other related things. I did some quick reading on Wikipedia and the gist of it is that it is named after a few saints named Valentine and the legend is that one/some of these Valentine guys did some stuff that could be considered as honouring love. It became a day associated with romantic love after Geoffrey Chaucer wrote some stuff, and then became a day where lovers expressed their feelings in the 1800's. These days it's a very commercialized day (and weeks leading up to it) where people spend significantly more money on flowers, chocolates and dinners than they normally would.

The dark side of Valentine's Day shows its face within all the people who are alone or who are rejected. Valentine's Day has one of the highest suicide rates. Here is one article about the downside of Valentine's Day.

The dark side first emerges at a young age, when you start being interested in relationships. There are often only a small handful of people who easily attract partners (usually because they are physically appealing). Not getting courted can be especially difficult for young children and teens, when their self image is fragile and their peers are cruel. It brings to mind questions like "what's wrong with me?", "why does no one want me?" and can lead to destructive thought patterns that they often do not know how to deal with, which means that it is that much more likely that those thought patterns will stick with them and become a part of their self definition and self image.

The other aspect of the dark side of Valentine's Day is how it creates a bubble of fantasy around relationships, where for the day, a couple tries to have the "perfect" relationship, but the definition of perfection often comes from overly romanticised stories and movies - they are so romanticised that they are simply not realistic and are sometimes entirely impossible. So one of two things will usually happen:
  1. The day is a complete disappointment to one or both partners - it doesn't fit the image that one or both partners have of Valentine's Day (what it's supposed to be) and may start to resent each other, simply because their partner did not fulfill their unrealistic and idealised picture of what Valentine's Day should be. 
  2. The day is magical and special and one or both partners now compares every day after this to that magical day. Obviously it is unlikely that they will be able to recreate the magical day, so they start to experience a recurring disappointment in the mundane day to day life. 
Neither one of these possibilities is good for a relationship. Both of them usually lead to resentment and resentment often leads to the end of a relationship.

So what the hell do you do on Valentine's Day? Nothing. Or at least, don't hold any expectations. The moment you start expecting or hoping for the day to go a certain way you are actually sabotaging yourself. I don't mean that you should make plans - just don't attach any ideas to your plans - meaning, when you think about what you will be doing and another thought or image comes up of a scene that you see as "the ideal Valentine's Day" you need to stop for a moment. That scene is a fantasy - even if you can create it, it will only be for a moment in time. It is not sustainable. Take a deep breath in, breathe out and release the image you're holding on to. Real life doesn't work the way it is portrayed in movies and fairy tales, we have to actually create what we want to live - and things don't always go to plan. We need to be able to adapt to unexpected events and we need to be able to still move forward after them.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Day 692: Your Change Can Bring Change

I saw a little sign in a supermarket the other day on a donation box that said "Your change can bring change". This statement is true, but not in the context of the donation box.

Your coins will go towards some cause, some band aid, (at least some of) it will (probably) go to some project that that charity is working on. It may even make some small difference in that specific cause. I have said before, a number of times, that many causes cannot have a global effect when each cause is focused on only one solution for one problem - they are focusing only on the symptoms, not the cause. It's like a thousand little band aids trying to stitch up a big gaping hole - it's not going to happen.

The kind of change that can bring change is less tangible, cannot be touched but can be felt. We each contribute to the state of the world - opposite to the thousands of opposing causes trying to patch all the leaks, humanity seems to move in a disharmonious unity. Disharmonious because the world we collectively create is one of pain and inequality. Unity simply because we are creating this world together - it is not something that can be done by a few powerful individuals.

Yes, for the world to be the way it is there must be massive compliance and acceptance of what happens. There must be a consensus as to the nature of the human - not on a superficial level (ie the face you show the world) - but on a deep level within the majority of people. The consensus must be that the nature of the human is such that is capable of creating and sustaining the world as it is now.

This does not mean that there is no kindness in most people - certainly there is. It also does not mean that people are deliberately cruel for their own amusement - this is relatively rare. What it does mean is that most people are ignorant of their own complicit participation in creating the world. Most people do not realise the effect their acceptance has on the world we see around us.

So, how do we change this? Not easily by any measure. It starts with those who have realised that they are responsible - they must become living examples of what is possible - that change is possible. Your change can bring change in others, and so, the world. This does not entail becoming part of some group or organisation, but it does entail research and investigation into holistic and sustainable solutions to the global issues we are facing. I mean specifically that it will require investigation into the source of the issues - it will require that we take a step back, out of the symptoms and look at the bigger picture in order to see where those symptoms come from.

Your change can create change. It may not be a quick solution - but there is simply no quick solution. Change is happening already in some ways, but not all of it is constructive. The efforts we have made are not enough, and more importantly, we have not realised how important it is to evaluate the world and other people objectively - this includes being able to set aside beliefs, opinions, cultural differences and so on in order to come to mutually agreeable solutions that will benefit the majority of life on Earth.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Day 691: Let's Play Monopoly

http://businesstech.co.za/news/general/79247/help-me-sue-eskom/

A disgruntled South African is so fed up with Eskom, that he has started a crowd sourcing initiative to take the power utility to court.


Oliver Coull said he started Court Ally, a ‘crowd funding justice’ website, in order to collect enough funds to take Eskom to court and break up its monopoly.
Coull said that in 2008 already, Eskom knew it would face a power crisis. “Yet 8 years later we are sitting in a worse situation with load shedding scheduled for the foreseeable future.”
“If they have done nothing in the past 8 years, are we really going to believe them this time round?”
Having launched the site earlier this week, he hopes to raise R2 million.
Coull is calling for a change. “Eskom needs to be partially broken up to allow greener energy producers into the market or at the very least open the grid up so anyone can feed back into it.”
“We will then be able to choose the energy companies we use, from 100% renewable energy producers to Eskom style inefficient diesel guzzling.”
“With new plans for this with their crazy R1 trillion dodgy nuclear deal, 16% increase per year, rolling black outs, R140 billion losses to our economy predicted for 2015… It’s clear we need an alternative to Eskom,” Coull said.
He said that he aims to collect funds to take Eskom to court either to a) break-up their monopoly, b) allow private energy producers into the market c) Open up the grid so everyone can feed back into it. - BusinessTech

Apparently South Africa will be enduring load shedding (rolling blackouts) for the next couple of years as Eskom (the one and only power utility) gets its shit together. Hopefully. They did say that the power crisis would be resolved by 2013 in 2008 when load shedding was a daily reality. Obviously that didn't happen.

There are a few nicknames for Eskom that you hear around town these days... "Eishkom" (eish is a Zulu slang word that translates loosely to what you would say if you accidentally burnt yourself on a hot stove plate, or you see someone fall off a horse during a dressage test). "Ek'sdom" ("I'm dumb" in Afrikaans) "Bastards" and "Incompetent pricks" are a couple more you might hear. The general sentiment towards Eskom is definitely on the negative side of the scale.

Read this excerpt from Eskom's Wiki page:

Load shedding was reintroduced in early November 2014. The Majuba power plant lost it capacity to generate power after a collapse of one of its coal storage silos on 1 November 2014. The Majuba power plant delivered approximately 10% of the countries entire capacity and the collapse halted the delivery of coal to the plant.[16] A second Silo developed a major crack on 20 November causing the shut down of the plant again. This after temporary measure were instated to deliver coal to the plant.[17]
On 5 December Eskom started major stage three load shedding in South Africa after the shut down of two power plants on Thusday 4 November 2014 due to diesel shortages. It was also reported that the Palmiet and Drakenburg are also experiencing difficulties due to a depletion of water reserve to the Hydro plants. Stage three is the highest degree of load shedding.[18]
On Thursday 4 November, Eskom fell 4,000 megawatts (5,400,000 hp) short of the electricity countries demand of 28,000 megawatts (38,000,000 hp). The power utility has the ability to produce 45,583 megawatts (61,128,000 hp) but could only supply 24,000 megawatts (32,000,000 hp) due to “planned and unplanned” maintenance. One turbine at Eskom’s Duvha Power Station is still out of commission due to a "unexplained incident" in March 2014.[19]

What I find to be somewhat confusing, especially considering that the general statement of Eskom is that it cannot produce enough power for South Africa, is that Eskom is capable of generating over 45 000 meawatts. Compare this to South Africa's demand of 28 000 and you'll realise that it does not compute. The problems recently are that the power stations keep breaking (or in Eskom's words, they had to undergo "unplanned maintenance") - but that still means that Eskom is generating well below it's actual capacity. One of the theories I've heard is that Eskom did not maintain the power plants for a number of years after apartheid ended. Another is that the apartheid government provided electricity selectively. The real reason? I can only speculate.

Eskom is one of the biggest polluters in South Africa. It has been using it's emergency diesel fueled generators for months (or longer, who knows), allegedly costing over R1billion PER MONTH. It's no surprise that the price of electricity has more than tripled in less than a decade.

Unfortunately, few people have the capital to opt for green energy, and since Eskom has a monopoly on the power industry in SA, most people feel powerless.

A similar situation exists with the one and only land line telephony service provider in SA: Telkom (AKA Hellkom). Telkom has no competitors, so is one of the most expensive telephone service providers in the world to my knowledge. Apparently the restrictions around telephone service providers are loosening, so change is expected - but this is not the first time I have heard that.

This is what happens when it is the interests of a few that are given precedence over the interests of the many. There are plenty theories about how Eskom and Telkom are the way they are because of who has invested in them - but I will not go into that. Incompetence is born from a lack of social responsibility. The way that Eskom and Telkom operate show quite clearly exactly how lacking in social responsibility their principles and ethics are. This of course is simply a reflection of society as a whole - we readily accept institutions and people who are willing to abuse for their personal gain as being a part of life - it is not. We determine what will be a part of life - this is not imposed on us by some invisible hand.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Day 690: It's So Easy to Forget

It's easy to forget the pain so many feel when you are comfortably safe and warm in your own home.

It's easy to forget the emptiness of lack when you are surrounded by distractions.

It's easy to forget that there are children who have no home and no family when you are preoccupied with all the little dramas in your life.

It's easy to forget that so many are not able to go to a doctor when they find a lump on their body when you're thinking about your back pain or your uncomfortable shoes.

It's easy to forget that life isn't always about what is the easiest solutions for you, but rather what is the best solution for everyone.

It's easy to forget principles when you're consumed by trying to get what you want.

It's easy to forget that life isn't supposed to be about money when everything seems to be all about money.

It's easy to forget that you have the ability to empower yourself when everything seems to be telling you that you're useless.

It's easy to forget to put yourself in someone else's shoes when your focus remains solely on yourself.

It's easy to forget that life isn't supposed to be this hard when everyone says that this is just the way it is.

It's easy to forget about all the ways you could change and improve your life when you focus on everything that's wrong.

It's easy to forget that not everyone has had the same life and experiences as you.

It's easy to forget that not everyone has the same level of education you have.

It's easy to forget that not everyone is as fortunate as you when you will not consider the possibility that you may be wrong.

It's easy to forget about others when there is something you want in the picture.

It's easy to forget that you're hardly ever really right.

It's easy to forget to breathe.

It's easy to forget to slow down and consider everything.

It's easy to forget that the way we live is unacceptable.

It's easy to forget yourself and who you are.

It's easy to forget the things that matter, so make an effort to remember in every moment who you are and what you stand for.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Day 689: How Family and Social Expectations Influence Your Relationships

OK so barring any more unforeseen power blackouts or meteor strikes or whatever, the hangout will be TODAY!! 21:00 GMT +2 hours / 19:00 UTC

I will be doing the monthly Relationship Support hangout tonight on family and social expectations and how they influence you and your relationships. Watch it live and send through your questions for real time answers. If you can't watch it live then you will be able to find the video on the DIP page on YouTube. Enjoy :)

And here it is:

How are you influenced by your family and environment when choosing a partner? How do the underlying expectations from family and society limit your choices? How can you support yourself when it comes to expectations when choosing a partner? We invite you to join the discussion with any questions or concerns you may have about choosing a partner.

You are as always welcome to take part in the conversation through placing comments and questions on the LIVE Google event: https://plus.google.com/events/cm4lh31mbtek4obj69r4do605o0

The hangout will be recorded so that you can watch it later if you are not able to make it to the live event:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFvHeuDzepg

We look forward to your input!
If you have topics you'd like us to discuss as we continue with the series on the Physical Body or for future hangouts, you can let us know on the hangout comment section or send a mail to desteniiprocess@gmail.com

The Desteni I Process Hangouts are held every Thursday at 19.00 UTC

Movie night hangouts where we review movies from a Destonian perspective are every Friday at 19:00 UTC

Desteni Senior hangouts are held every other Tuesday at 19.00 UTC

Want to know what 19:00 UTC is in your time zone?

You can use these free time zone converters:
http://www.worldtimeserver.com/convert_time_in_UTC.aspx
or
http://www.thetimezoneconverter.com/
or
http://www.worldtimebuddy.com/
or
http://easyclock.appspot.com/

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Day 688: What is Your Purpose?

This is a world with little purpose. While greed and desires abound, true purpose is hard to find. Most people are just trying to stay alive, keep their families safe, keep their jobs, have enough money to buy food, clothes and a place to stay. Purpose is often the furthest thing on their mind. Some people have dedicated themselves to living a particular thing(s), like a principle or ideal. Some people have dedicated themselves to reaching certain goals, like becoming wealthy.

Let me begin with a question: What is purpose?

The dictionary definition is: the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.


Pretty straight-forward. The problem is that humans were not given a purpose, we aren't born with instruction manuals that describe how to make proper use of our lives. Some turn to religion, others to self fulfillment - these are just 2 ways in which people try to find meaning. Maybe that is part of the problem: that everyone is looking for meaning / purpose "out there", waiting for something to happen to them r waiting for something to show them the way.

I propose that purpose is something that you must give to yourself - something that you must actually create. This means deciding what you want to do with your life and then actually doing it in every moment that you have. This doesn't mean that you have to quit your job in order to dedicate as much time as possible to pursuing your purpose - often you can have a job and still live your purpose. You also can't leave your family to go off and fulfill your purpose absent encumbrance of familial responsibility.

Living your purpose would have to be something you can do while still living your life like taking care of your family or making enough money to live comfortably. I propose that purpose need not be an exclusive life choice - meaning that you don't have to give anything up to live your purpose. You can work your purpose into your every day life a lot of the time.

Having said that - what exactly would purpose then be? The more I look at it, the more it seems to always go back to principle. Every single thing that you could develop as your purpose comes back to some principle. For example, promoting a message or a group can be traced back to the principles that the message or group promotes that you agree with and want to live and see in the world; or choosing a career path can be traced back to the principles that you see as being valuable within that career, or even the principles you would like to further nurture in that particular industry; even making a lot of money can be traced back to the principle of self fulfillment (which is more like an ideal than a principle, but for the purpose of this post it is acceptable).

So now it becomes about what principles you want to live and stand by in this world - what principle(s) do you want to live as an example of? What do you want to be representative of to every person who meets you? Once you know what principle(s) you want to live you need to decide how you can live it. Sometimes it's as simple as changing your behaviour in order to become a living example of compassion and sharing, other times it may lead you to obtain further education in order to follow a particular career path. Often there will be particular points that you have faced in your life that give you certain skills or experience that could be used toward creating purpose - especially the particularly difficult things that you have walked through. Your experience can become the pillars for creating a structure of support for others (for example).

What is important to remember is that real purpose is not about "want" - yes, there is a degree of enjoyment in giving yourself purpose, but when considering the state of the world today, it becomes apparent that purpose should improve our collective lives until such a time that all life is cared for and given the space and opportunity to live comfortably - in this setting we could shift more to self fulfillment (but not entirely because then we'd end up right back here again). So purpose becomes more of a practical choice than a fulfillment of a personal desire. You consider what is needed in the world and where your skills, knowledge and experience give you the ability to contribute to improvement.

What is your purpose? What purpose will you create for yourself and so give to the world?