purpose is freedom
It’s fair to say that if you don’t know your purpose in
life, you won’t be spending much time working on it. So
what will you end up doing with your working time instead?
Three things: 1) Working on your needs, 2) Working on other
people needs, 3) Working on other people’s purposes.
If you don’t know your purpose, the limit of the work you do
for yourself will be stuck at the level of need, which at
best has the potential to grow into greed. Not particularly
fulfilling spending your whole working life this way… Try it
yourself for a few decades if you don’t believe me, and then
look at the passionless shell that stares back at you from
your mirror.
As you work with/for other people, most likely you’ll be
putting lots of effort into satisfying other people’s needs
and greeds: your boss, your customers, your company’s
investors, etc. Even in your free time, you’ll be working to
fulfill the desires of advertisers who want you to watch TV
and buy stuff. Again, not particularly satisfying, although
you may be thrown a few bones by your benefactors, such as
the “gift” of working on some interesting projects. This
kind of life will ultimately make you want to stand up and
shout, “What exactly is the point of all of this?” But if
you actually do that, you’ll only get blank stares in
return. There is no point.
Now if you’re very lucky, you may get the chance to work for
someone or some organization which is itself focused on
achieving a conscious purpose. However, there’s no telling
what that purpose might be. If you don’t know your own
purpose, you can’t consciously choose to work for someone
whose purpose aligns with yours except by accident or
chance, and the odds of alignment are low. So there’s a good
chance you’ll be working hard to achieve a purpose you don’t
agree with. For example, if you join the military, you may
be put to use to achieve some big purpose, but what exactly
will it be? Most likely, in such situations, you’ll be given
a purpose to achieve that isn’t what you’d choose
consciously for yourself. Fulfilling to spend your whole
life this way? Not likely, but it’s at least a decent path
for people who don’t like to think much — others will take
care of all the thinking for you (and benefit greatly from
all your thoughtless doing).

So if you don’t know your purpose in life, what kind of life
will you end up living? I’ll sum it up with one word: owned
(or if you’re a tremendous nerd, pwned). Your life is owned
by others — their needs, their goals, their purposes. Why?
 Advertisers spend billions
every year to get you to take some small action. The company
you work for or the customers you serve — they want to own
you too. And how can you say no? You don’t have a better
option, do you? Might as well get a job and buy stuff, make
some customers happy along the way, and die quietly. That’s
what others have planned for you. That seems to be what
everyone else is doing. Might as well jump on the same
bandwagon… seems safe enough.
Is that the plan you wish to follow?
Yes? Great…
Hmmm… still reading, eh? Ok, welcome to the super secret
society for a purposeful living. Shhhh….
If you happen to be someone who’s consciously aware of your
purpose in life, then you already know what’s missing from
the above — freedom. When you don’t choose your own purpose,
a purpose will be given to you by others. You give up your
freedom. Sure you still maintain the illusion of freedom.
You can decide the low-level actions you take each day. But
you’ve lost the greatest freedom — the ability to choose
your own answer to the question, “What is the meaning of my
life?” If you let someone else answer this question for you,
then you’re owned. And it may not even be a single person
giving you that answer. Most likely it’s a collection of
many sources: advertisers, employers, coworkers, friends,
family, social pressures, etc. Each contributes a small
piece to your answer. But because there are so many
contributors, the answer that comes out is fuzzy and
complicated. So you end up living a fuzzy, complicated life
crafted by third-party biographers, many of which you’ve
never met.
On the other hand, when you know your purpose and live it
consciously each day, you’re free. No one else owns you.
Whether you run your own business or work for someone else,
you always see yourself as self-employed. You lead your own
life, and although others may hold formal authority over you
in some situations, you focus on what you can control and
don’t whine about what you can’t, and in so doing, your
influence expands to the point that you become a leader no
matter what your formal position. Your leadership comes from
knowing your purpose. While your circumstances will change,
your inner compass is constant. You could be caught in a sea
of external chaos, yet you’re always steering a clear
straight-ahead course, which allows you to feel certain when
no one else can. It doesn’t matter what position you hold.
When you live your purpose, you become a leader. When you
don’t live your purpose, you become property.
When you choose the kind of work you do, you consciously
choose what aligns with your purpose. Every day your actions
are your answer to the question, “What is the meaning of my
life?” You’ll still be bombarded by messages from others who
want to own you in some way, but those influences will
become harmless background noise, unable to sway you.
Whatever happens, out there, it’s like the waves tossing
around on a stormy sea while you’re 1000 ft below the
surface, where the water is calm. By knowing your purpose,
you begin living on a deeper level where surface happenings
like corporate politics can’t knock you around. Your purpose
provides unshakable stability and security.
If you don’t live on purpose, then you don’t even know how
to set goals. Even when you think you’re being proactive,
where are your goals really coming from? Ultimately, they’ll
come from your past conditioning, which means they’re coming
from others. You set a goal to buy a new house or a new car,
but if those goals aren’t driven by your own conscious
purpose, then they’re really the bank’s and the car dealer’s
goals for you, both of which are spending lots of money to
get you to adopt them. Even if you want to advance in your
career and make more money, there are many who want you to
achieve that goal too, especially since it will allow you to
spend more money and do more productive work. So whose goals
are you working so hard to achieve? Sure you think you want
all those things. You’ve been taught to want them by your owners.
To break free of working on your owners’ goals, you have to
know your own purpose. And this means you have to empty your
head of all your owners’ thoughts and conditioning and get
deep down to 1000 ft below sea level, where your thoughts
are clear and calm, where you once again remember who you
really are. At that level, all the external fluff fades, and
you can hear yourself clearly. You have to squeeze your
brain like a sponge to get all those owners’ voices out. The
owners’ voices are the ones that make you feel weaker and
more afraid. Once you go deep enough though, your own voice
will begin to reassert itself. You’ll remember what you’re
here to do, and you’ll recall the state of passion that
drives you to do it.
After that, the hard part is listening to this inner voice
and trusting it. It’s so easy to trust your owners because
they seem so certain, and there are so many of them. Your
inner voice is much quieter, but if you let it drive you
instead of the external world, you’ll come to know your
purpose, and your life will become immensely fulfilling.
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