At the risk of sounding like I think that I have all the answers, I will voice an idea. It’s about why so many people are restless and unhappy. Without purpose… none of us is happy.
First, let me say that I’m positive that I lack most answers, much less all of them. But each of us has one or two things we can contribute. I’m sharing what I know, so you get closer to what matters to you.
We are, without doubt, trained to keep content with our lives as they are and to refrain from rocking the boat. You don’t need any governmental conspiracy theories to explain it, either.
Fast Food Thought
Assume for a moment that there are no policies designed to keep us fat, dumb and happy. There almost certainly are some but for the sake of my point, set that aside for a second.
Even if it’s nothing more than the result of us progressing, we still have a certain blasé about daily life. If not you, then just look around at others and watch them.
Try to listen for the sounds of restless (still living) spirits. Their voices are not difficult to hear. The first one you hear, might be your own.
We’ve chased conveniences (both as a society and as individuals) to the point of where everything we want is readily available.
We’re taught to believe that all you need to live is money. The idea is that anything else you might ever want is purchased with that money. Hence the thinking “there’s only a problem, if you lack a good paying job”. Outside of that, people only worry if a family member is physically sick.
End of the Road
The fact is, when you’re old, you won’t give a rusty bed pan about your day job. You will however, care about other things.
The end result of rat race thinking is we put our heads down and forget the higher realms of existence.
No, I am not referring to Angels, gods and goddesses, demons or ancestors. I’m talking about YOU… being the most creative, kick ass, actualized version of YOU that is possible. I’m referring to you, utilizing your potential.
We have gifts and they’re different for each of us. Some people quilt and others play a sport well. Some are tech gurus and some can act.
But the fast food trance of modern life zones us out into assuming that every bit of energy is properly dedicated to getting through the work week.
But what are you working FOR?
Well? Your Answer?
No, no… I realize that you’re saving up for a new house and a new car and college for the kids. I get it. Those are excellent goals to set aside your funds for and I applaud you for doing it.
But stretch your mind forward in time for a moment. It won’t hurt, I promise.
Ask yourself what happens after you have that new home, that new car and the kids all break bad and surprise you with awesome scholarships?
What are you going to do inside that new house? Where are you going to drive that bad ass, new car? And furthermore, are you doing absolutely any of that, right now?
If not… then why?
If you’re like most people, then no, you’re not doing the things that actually make you happy. Most people wander aimlessly through each day, scratching their heads and wondering why they no longer get the dopamine boost from the little escapes that used to help them forget everything.
Because most people are under the spell of thinking that the answer will come to them, when they get to the point of having enough money.
But it won’t.
Oh Crap. I Have To Think?!
You have to take control of your day or it will take control of you.
You have to decide, for yourself, who you are and what you want to be when you grow up.
Just having enough money, does not an interesting person, make. To make your life into a picture of excellence, you must live excellence, on a daily basis.
What I propose is that you ask yourself what you’re saving for. Ask yourself what you put on the back burner, only considering it, after all the bills are paid and all the errands run.
If you suddenly found yourself with money to burn and you no longer had to work, what would you do?
No… Not That.
You have some ideas that are valid answers to the question and some that are merely desires. We want to get at your underlying purpose, not the extra, icing on the cake stuff.
So, please don’t say travel. Travel is wonderful and we should all do more of it. But traveling is an experience that you have. It’s a thing you do to unwind, as a vacation from work.
Certainly, it sometimes serves as a way of enriching yourself. Examples are going to Europe to study your painting under a master painter, or to the mountains for that spiritual retreat.
But that’s traveling for the thing that you do, it’s not traveling because it’s your purpose. There are probably only a few thousand people on the whole planet who could find real, genuine purpose from travel, alone.
If you only know that you have always wanted to go to France, just because… then France is a vacation and your vacation is NOT your life.
It ends and you go home. After you have watched all the movies you can stand, you’re all partied out and you cannot possibly play another video game or read another book… what’s next?
To be a fully actualized person, you must have one or more pursuits.
As human critters, we don’t thrive from achieving goals, rather we thrive from pursuing goals. That’s why you get a new thing and you’re happy for a few days, before you’re all excited about some other, new thing.
The Neverending Gobstopper
I think this point has always been easier for me to grasp, because almost everything I do is a lifetime-size pursuit.
With my music, there’s always another song or technique to learn. With my magick, there’s always a new grade to work on or a new grimoire to read, a new spell to try out. I could spend my entire life doing either of these and never run out of new goals.
With my writing, it’s always… what have I done… lately. With my business, it’s “Yes, last month’s sales were great. What about this month?”.
There is no resting on my laurels to be had, in any of the above. That’s a bit nerve-racking at times and it’s also a blessing in disguise.
But that’s just it… I have these pursuits. There is no day job that could trick me into believing that everything is “good enough”. I already know that I must play music and that my magick studies are essential to my happiness.
I submit the idea that, unless you find out what your thing is (and you go after it, immediately) life will pass you right on by.
So… what, then?
If you’re unsure of what makes you feel alive and like you’re moving toward some worthwhile goal, there are ways to discover it. There’s a series of questions that I ask my patrons and those help me suss it out, pretty easily.
I love helping people tap into the thing that really makes them tick. I’ve helped a whole bunch of folks to see that there really isn’t much standing between them and doing their thing.
The success stories are part of my own purpose. In dark times, I remember the times that people thanked me for helping them through dark times.
One reason that many people don’t do their thing is because they believe that they will have to quit their day jobs and do it professionally. But you really don’t need to do that at all.
That’s a mental, defense mechanism whose sole purpose is to keep you from your purpose.
Your passion is your passion… not your paycheck. Not everyone is going to be lucky enough to earn a living, doing the thing that they were put on Earth to do.
But please don’t fall into a black or white dichotomy of “Do it for money or don’t do it at all”. That’s lame.
Instead, carve out small, regular chunks of time. You’ll be amazed at what even ten, dedicated minutes per day will stack up to, especially over several months or a year.
You will find that your gut rewards you with feelings of tranquility and purpose.
This begins, once you interrupt that negative trance of “catching up” and slip into the life-affirming trance of “I’ll do ten minutes of what I love, regardless of whatever else is going on”.
Where one of the final resistance points generally arises is in getting started on that first ten minutes.
Musicians, actors, bakers and gardeners alike, people who are head over heels in love with their passion, have all fallen into the getting-starting trap.
The trap consists of practicing the avoidance of your practice.
I’ll share an example of how it happens. Instead of practicing my guitar, I Obsess over the fifteen errands and chores that need doing.
At some point, I get all that done. Yet, where is the energy to play my guitar?
So I feel resentful about the chores, angry at life’s demands on my time and disappointment in myself, for not playing.
Then, I no longer feel like playing. No wonder, with all those negative thoughts and feelings going through me.
Exhausting, especially when I needed to first lift my spirit up… to my purpose, which is to play music.
The playing of music brings me joy and that joy gives me the energy and zeal to do other, necessary things.
Those other things rarely bring me any joy at all; they’re just to make money and put out small fires.
The Real Agenda
So you see, you MUST carve out the time to do what you love and you must DO it.
Otherwise, you’ll forget why you even bother with that job, that new-house goal or that car. Because none of those things actually make you happy.
They’re all just vehicles, for helping you do something else… something that you probably didn’t even list among your goals.
It does not have to be an art, by the way. Your thing could be that you help a charity or you’re active with a political cause… as long as it’s something that drives you.
Luckily, I figured out what to do to get myself into the habits that were necessary for forward progress.
That’s the only reason that I am any good at all in the things that I do… I figured out how to trick myself into doing what was required.
One example is in my music. While I haven’t quite hit my original goal of being better than Jimi Hendrix, I’m still getting better, all the time.
Along the way, I encountered challenges and blessings that I didn’t even initially expect. I learned how to sing, as well as play. Learning how to do live sound enabled me to run shows for many bands and I produced my own album, called Flagship.
It wasn’t part of my original plan, when I sound-engineered very large productions of musicals, like The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Jesus Christ, Superstar. But it was pretty cool.
Whatever moves you, whatever makes you feel like life is worth living, you make time for it and then you do it. And then you do it again… every day. You live that thing.
A Golden Ticket
Want help finding out what your thing is? Need some assistance to break through the resistance in starting it? Try doing Conjure Coaching with me.
I’ve got boxes and boat loads of techniques for helping you break out of the rut and into your own, actualized self. And you can keep your day job… I know that you’re terribly excited about that part.
The dynamic, self-motivated persons may excuse yourselves. There’s more than enough kick-in-the-butt here, to start on your goals.
But most people need some assistance breaking out of the negative trance. That’s where I come in; I help you do that. Some don’t know what to do and some don’t know where to start. I’ve cover both types.
But I cannot come to you. First, you must decide that your thing… must be done. You must decide that you are the only one who will do it and you must state emphatically that it’s possible.
One More Sand Trap
And you don’t get that by thinking about it. That’s a trap.
“You make some good points. I’ll think it over and if I can work it into my schedule, then I’ll do it”.
Your schedule will expand and fill up entirely, with whatever you prioritize.
Prioritize quality food and your schedule fills up with shopping and cooking. When you prioritize entertainment it will take up all your time. Prioritize money and you’ll chase the almighty dollar, all day long.
And in forgetting your real purpose, you will never have enough of anything to feel happy.
Remember, the modern world operates on consumer demand and its design is to keep you occupied.
From the time you wake up, until the time you lay down to sleep, there will be hundreds of things, people and minor emergencies, waiting to reinforce the trance, the one that already isn’t working for you.
You must create the trance of moving steadily closer to your own, ideal life.
Is That Really How You Want Us To Remember You?
You probably want a legacy that extends beyond just putting in eight hours of drone work, each day.
So prioritize your life, according to this question: On my death bed, what will I regret, if I did not do it, before dying? You have the gift of life. Use it for more than collecting a check and paying the rent or the mortgage on a large box, to waste away in.
Let’s figure out what the thing is that will allow you to feel like your life was well-lived. We’ll start strategies to get you doing it… immediately. Yes, immediately. Not achieving it right away, unless it’s a very small goal.
But we’ll get you on the road to doing that thing, the thing that gives you a resolute feeling of purpose. We’ll eliminate the blocks and give you the push you need to get started and the support to follow through on it.
And to those those excellent individuals who are already setting aside regular time and really working on their passions, I say rock on.