down heavily, closes his eyes and lets out a deep breath. The sun scotched weather has had a number on him. His toil has yielded something. It will not be enough to fend of his family, but it is a good start. His major purpose that day is to fend for his family.
He has to get up from this heaven of rest and push himself once again, or else…This hand cart pusher is a statistic, representing very many people in society. As he gets up after counting his meager earnings, his thoughts are trained on the next assignment of hard labor. His purpose must be fulfilled.
All over the world, multiplied billions of people have a routine such as this man’s. The only difference is its variation in degrees of difficulty. Accountant, Business Developer, Motivational Speaker, Politician, President, entrepreneur and any other title you can mention, it seems that all these do not have a different purpose from that of the handcart pusher.
The question that we ought to answer is this: Is that all there is to life? Is that the purpose of our existence? You see, that question can be asked at different levels, but the greatest place that question is asked is from the longing of growth, contribution, and fulfillment. Now that is a purpose beyond any purpose, transcending all job titles.
Several years ago, I got a job because the oil and gas company was looking for an IT Specialist. Having a Higher Diploma in Management Information Systems, I was elated, thrilled and ecstatic to have this job opportunity. After a few minutes of a mock-up interview, I was given a lab coat and a gas mask and assigned to an intern.
She took me to a deserted, dingy and darkroom upstairs, some kind of cellar. IN there were stacks of papers, files and documents in a total mess. My responsibility? To find any document with a particular phrase. What was the purpose of this job? The oil and gas company was in court and was looking for some evidence in their recycle bins.
For some reason, they needed a computer specialist to do that job. After a few hours of toiling, it came all of a sudden from nowhere. A heavy sob of hopelessness and despondency. I wondered what my life had come to. Why would they need me to have gone to school all those years and end up there doing that?
I started longing for purpose, even though I did not know that that is what I wanted. I felt so lost, helpless and my heart cried to matter. This happened in less than a minute and then all of a sudden, that bitter cry left just as it suddenly came. But it had accomplished its purpose.
In order to understand the answer to our question today, there has to be a premise through which I am operating. It is simply this: That all of us, all humans have a purpose to accomplish. What is that purpose? What is the purpose for living? That, perhaps, is the crucial most important question for every individual soul.
What is it that is going to link up the handcart pusher to his purpose? How about the Business Developer and accountant and entrepreneur? It is simply that force of desire which is resident in all of us. There will come a time and indeed that time comes several times in a day or a week, where the handcart pusher stops all the traffic and wonders: is this it? Is this the purpose for my existence?
That force is called desire. Desire is a word whose root meaning denotes “Of the father”. From our roots, all of us have that inner push, that inner longing for something of meaning, something we can contribute to life and in the end have fulfillment, whatever job title that we possess. Now, that’s purpose.
What we ought to do is to learn to stay true to that desire, because it is possible to have this desire flattened out by life.
In fact, life operates in such a way to extol the status quo and to stop people from doing anything outside the norm. Life indeed has limitless possibilities, but society governs life through status quo, cultures and conditioning. However, desire always will go against these. In fact, for purpose to come to the fore, one must be a rebel of status quo, for the most part.
The meaning and purpose of life differs from one person to another, and yet society wants us to be raised the same, to be given the “same opportunities”, and to do the same tests and examinations. That’s why people are still asking that question, “Is this all there is to life?” What is the purpose for living? They soon find out that conformism and conditioning is not the answer.
The handcart pusher comes back home mightily exhausted. It is not just his body that is tired, his mind too and his emotions. Unless he has built such a strong mental toughness, he will soon wear out, especially if there is no hope for the manifestation of his purpose.
But one thing that can never be taken away from him is the fact that he is engaged. He is deploying an aspect of his potential. He is 1000 times better than someone doing nothing. The potential that he has is unlimited and directly connected to his purpose.
However, for as long as his level of desire is curtailed by the daily trudge to put food on the table, he might remain in that state all his life. It becomes difficult to move and gravitate towards his purpose, one that will bring contribution, growth, exploitation of potential and fulfillment.
In short, the answer to the question we are asking today is the same question. For as long as we are not asking that question at least from the angle of longing, deep desire to live it, we shall keep leading a life without purpose.
All these things: Purpose, potential, desire and questions are available to all of us. What is the purpose of your life? That depends on how desirous you are to know; how incessant you are in asking the right questions and how you are deploying your potential. That’s it.