I read this article about Hunter S. Thompson’s advice on finding your purpose earlier today. I like this idea very much. Live your life in a way that will make you happy, not to obtain a specific goal. The goal bends to your way of life. I think I’m getting the gist of it right. My perceptions are always a little off compared to others, so eh, maybe I’m close.
I’ve been going through this myself. The whole question of do you target a goal or ride the tides. Thompson’s idea, though, is somewhere in the middle. I always say the answer to anything is somewhere in the middle of the extremes, so that’s why this speaks to me so much.
There are things I know I want in my life. I want to do more creative things. I want to have more freedom and flexibility in my life. On the other hand, though, I want to pay my bills. I want a roof over my head.
Can I have all of that at once? Sure I can. Any of us can. But perhaps trying to set specific goals or label ourselves in some way isn’t the right path to take. Because, let’s be honest, jobs really are only labels unless they are truly who we are. I’m not a marketing manager. I’m a writer who just happened to work in a role with that title … if that makes sense.
I know I like to get up and do yoga, meditate and then take my pilates class. Yoga and meditation give me time to focus on myself, while the pilates class gets me out of the house for a bit and interacting with people. Plus, I just like to exercise. I like being physical. It makes me feel good, energized, happy. So working towards certification in this makes the goal fit the way I want to live. Is it the end game? I don’t know. Probably not. The only end game is death. Everything else is just a move on the chess board.
After my workout, I enjoy coming home to write for a bit, so that’s what I’ve been doing since I’ve “formalized” my daily routine (I mentioned it in my last post). My days are mine right now. I can do what I want and need when I want and how I want to do it.
I hadn’t planned on writing a post about this, but it made a lot of sense and I thought that others could benefit from it. So, I’m sharing it, mixed in with a little of my own experience. An experience that’s probably a lot like others’ experiences.
For me, scheduling out the things I want in my daily life helped me. That may be goal setting for some, but I kind of need checklists to focus. Otherwise, I flit about and get nothing accomplished. That’s just my way of functioning. It’s not for everyone.
My checklist though is not about reaching some end goal. Well, maybe a little it is in places, but a lot of it isn’t. I’ve made taking care of myself and doing things I enjoy priorities. They are the first things I do in the day, and then mid-afternoon when I’m at my peak business functioning (which is the opposite of most people), I take care of the business things I have to take care of. I set aside time to do the things to pay my bills, but it doesn’t rule my life.
I’ve even applied recently for jobs like dog walkers. Not because my goal is to be a dog walker, although I love animals. The particular job I applied to, though, would let me work for a few hours in the middle of the day, giving me a little structure, a little stability, and peace of mind. I need that … at least as I transition from where I am to where I’m going. It’s an active job that doesn’t require me to sit at a desk all day. The schedule gives me the flexibility to schedule my day the way I see fit. I have time for creative work, for self-care, and to “pay my bills.”
This involuntary break from a typical 9-to-5 job has allowed me to structure my day, my life, in a way that makes me happy. I would have never experienced this had I not gone through it. So, when you think sometimes life doesn’t give you what you want or need or the universe is just dead set against you, that’s probably when you are receiving what you need most.
Try to look at it from that perspective when you find yourself in the situation that makes you unhappy. It’s not easy to see, but if you can, it lifts your spirit quite a bit. Or that’s how I feel.
Sure, I could sit around and complain that I have no job, no money. Don’t get me wrong. I have my moments where I do that, too. After reading this article, though, I’m realizing right now that I’m building or living my life in a way that makes me happy. Now if I can just work the income into the mix, I would be set.
I have nothing profound or poetic to add to this philosophy of Thompson’s. I think it’s a productive way to look at your life and your purpose. Lord knows it is a hell of a lot less stressful. I hope you can take something from it.