Everyone craves a “place in this world”. Finding a place is really that constant pursuit of purpose, fitting in, and finding the meaning of your life. Lost souls are the people without purpose, who don’t fit in, who cannot seem to find meaning in their everyday lives.
So often I hear this as an end goal, this finding of purpose. Everyone has a role to play and if I just find my role and stick to it I will be great, and I will be content. This idea is put into our heads early in life. As a child you are told if you do well in school and focus on a specific subject, career or sport you are praised for your focus and determination; you are expected to do well in life. The ones we worry about and fear for their future are the kids without focus, without a passion, without an end goal.
This seems to play out in real life. Sports teams that have the best players for each position, the ones that have been training for most of their life to play a certain role, are usually the best. Same goes for any company, organization etc., the players that are the best prepared and are successfully fulfilling their role allow the great machine to work, and all is well with the world.
What happens though as soon as a player’s role loses definition? This could happen because of a bad manager, or coach, on board who cannot identify the player’s strengths and/or cannot define the player’s role clearly; or the player him/herself loses certainty about this being THE role. Listening to the people around me, I believe both these scenarios happen far too often. When this happens the person feels a sense of loss; fear at not knowing what to do or what their purpose is in life; self doubt that they aren’t focused. Self doubt and fear magnify as they get older, since with age should come focus and clarity. You should know what you want to do with your life by now. There must be something wrong with you!!!!!
I listened to a great speech by Elizabeth Gilbert Flight of the hummingbird – the curiosity driven life. In this speech she pulls away from her past pushing of a passion driven life. She asks us to embrace the fact that we may be hummingbirds, going from flower to flower, spreading our talents and hard work here and there but not settling on any one flower for the rest of our life. We may look back and see an actual path through our life and discover that the path itself was our purpose.
STEPS to finding your place in life:
- Stop beating yourself up for not knowing what you should do with your life.
- Look back and see the path you are on.
- Engage and be FULLY present wherever you are on that path.
- If something starts to pull you in a different direction, put your seat belt on, and enjoy the ride to something new.