I have been thinking for years about the purpose we should be striving to achieve, and I think that for me it is this – the influencing of others in such a way that builds them up and tries to gain a greater understanding of their ideas; the process of affecting others in such a way that does not tear them down, despite the fact that my values and opinions may contradict theirs; the sharing of myself so that others can understand me and the way I think and feel about the world.
This may not be the purpose to everyone, but I think that most people have this or at least some variation of this purpose. We are all in this world together and the social structure of our species requires that we interact in some level, and in our interactions we are often influencing one another.
Influence is a way to also feel purpose and meaning. We often need to assign meaning to our lives and that means we have to dig deep within ourselves and decide where we want to go from where we are standing. In the act of influencing others in some way, we can feel accomplished that we have had an effect on the world around us through the people we associate with, and I think that throughout most of history, a defining marker of humans is the desire to leave behind something great in our passing from this life.
We all want to be known for or as something, whether that be talented, loving, respectful, gregarious, strong, determined, or even, in some people, as frightening, dominant, or maybe wicked or formidable. In what we decide to do with our lives, we are leaving marks on people, and what those marks are will determine your existence in the world long after death. Some people are still “alive” in the minds and souls of people after thousands of years for the courageous or brilliant things they accomplished. Others are also “alive” for flagitious crimes against humanity and unspeakable acts of horror that were so profane that we will never be able to forget or ignore them.
We determine our purpose based on our values, and the way we influence others will reflect those values in some way. Rarely do we want people thinking of us in a way that we are not. If we are loving and kind, we do not want to be known as crude and disrespectful, so the purpose we have at that point is to prove to the world that we are loving and kind.
The basic premise is showing others what and who we are. What we decide for a career or life goal will often relate to that as well. Many people would rather live their lives doing something they enjoy. For me, this is definitely the case. And I want to use what I love in order to influence others in the way I listed in the first paragraph, as do most people I think.
For many people it is to be the best father or mother to their family, so they display an example of hard work and moral behavior for their children and a tenacity to encourage them to never give up and do what it takes to succeed. For many people it is for the sake of being remembered in such a way that makes loved ones proud to have been able to know them.
Whatever purpose is, it is our own personal responsibility to work our way towards it. It is not going to be easy for most of us, but it is a journey we all must make.
Stay tuned for my upcoming website! I have got to the point where I can start posting. It is just a matter of building up more content that I want to start with.