I know too many people who have no specific direction in life. And it doesn’t come as a surprise that they can’t get anywhere if they keep it this way.
Your mission in life is closely related to this direction, to your goals and dreams, passion and interests, ideal lifestyle, satisfaction, level of success, and even daily habits, having peace of mind and sleeping well.
It all starts with being aware of your purpose. Once you find it, you’ll know the answers to the following questions:
- Why are we here on earth?
- What is the best use of our time?
- Do we have free will?
- How can we leave a mark?
- Is our existence meaningless?
and so on.
Yes, the answer to all existential questions, and the solution to all our doubts, problems and uncertainties, lies in knowing the why behind all this. And that can only happen by defining our true missions in life.
After a lot of contemplating, reading and writing, listening to others, and knowing from experience, I’ve come to the conclusion that we all have two of these.
The first is serving. The second is different for each person and it’s our job to find it out.
Here’s what Leo Babauta says in How to Build an Empire:
“How do you build an empire? You let go of the fantasy, and focus on your true mission in life. And if you don’t know what your mission is, then that’s your mission … figuring it out.
How do you build an empire? By serving. By connecting with others and caring. By helping others build their empires. By seeing that the empire that really matters is already here, in this moment, in your heart, in the goodness all around you, in the goodness in others. This empire cannot be taken away, will never crumble, and will fulfill you.
You build an empire by letting go of everything that doesn’t matter, of the fantasies, and seeing what’s here now. And then acting out of love.”
Mission #1: Helping others
Before anything else, we need to learn how to let go of our egoistic nature and open ourselves to the pain of others instead.
Not acting when someone around you needs help and there’s something you can do about it, is equal to the opposite of doing good.
Many people get serving others wrong. They think of the great causes of our generation and consider anything less meaningless. But that’s not true.
You don’t change the world by giving money to feed the children in Africa, or by being an aggressive environmentalist and starting arguments with politicians and turning people against each other.
True service comes in the simplest forms, and it’s part of our daily life. As anything else, it can become a habit. Once we make it our norm to give advice, share what we have, be a role model, give direction to those who need it, listen, smile, be polite, and so on – that’s when the world will become a happier place.
Another paradox of today’s world is this: Some individuals are being bad for too long, then have a deep realization, see themselves for who they really are, feel guilt and seek salvation. And they decide to make the world a better place. And they go out there and create chaos trying to save the planet.
What they should have done, however, is raised their children to be leaders and feed the hungry in their neighborhood first before they head to a Third World country.
Tim Ferriss talks about that too in this post:
“Service to me is simple: doing something that improves life besides your own.
This is not the same as philanthropy. Philanthropy is the altruistic concern for the well-being of mankind–human life. Human life and comfort have long been focused on to the exclusion of the environment and the rest of the food chain, hence our current race to imminent extinction. Serves us right. The world does not exist solely for the betterment and multiplication of mankind.
Before I start chaining myself to trees and saving the dart frogs, though, I should take my own advice: do not become a cause snob.
How can you help starving children in Africa when there are starving children in Los Angeles? How can you save the whales when homeless people are freezing to death? How does doing volunteer research on coral destruction help those people who need help now?
Service isn’t limited to saving lives or the environment. It can also improve life. If you are a musician and put a smile on the faces of thousands or millions, I view that as service. If you are a mentor and change the life of one child for the better, the world has been improved. Improving the quality of life in the world is in no fashion inferior to adding more lives.
Service is an attitude.
Find the cause or vehicle that interests you most and make no apologies.”
Now let’s move onto the second one of your two true missions in life.
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