Thoughts around my continuing exploration of the dual themes of our life purpose and positive aging …
I was struck by this quotation from The Power of Purpose: Find Meaning, Live Longer, Better by Richard Leider. Okay, honestly speaking, I am struck by something on almost every page of this excellent little book.
I suppose one can say that some of us are “Purpose Junkies“, people who are on a continual quest for our meaning in life and trying to discern what we should do.
Some say that this is navel-gazing taken to the extreme, while others dismiss our attempts to discover self by pointing out that we need to “get out into the real world, where things are dirty and brutal. Just get a job and do it until you have enough money to not have to do it any more … Quit your whining” or similar.
IF ONLY I WON …
I reject the materialistic and simplistic view of life that posits work as simply a means to eventually not have to work anymore. However, I do sometimes find myself wishing I would win a Very Large Sum of Money in a lottery or drawing, so I could relax and …
See, what comes AFTER the ellipsis is where it breaks down.
If I win, finances would no longer be an issue, since my plans for winning large amounts of money only include paying off debt and a little travel. The plans do not include spending large amounts of money on “things” (aside from a new laptop). I would also not sink into a daily ritual of doing nothing unless I really felt like doing it … the rich man’s retirement dream.
THE TRUTH IS …
No, I have plans for how I might use that VLSM gift to do a great many things, many of which have nothing to do with me or my loved ones directly. Many of my plans have to do with things that other people would identify quickly as “Work”.
The simple truth for me is that the type of work I do is now a direct result of my focus on what I feel passion around. Helping others, creating dialogues, and encouraging change are all what I get paid (sometimes:) to do … these are work behaviors, some of my skill set, and the elements of my job description, which I wrote myself.
WHY ALL THIS MATTERS …
I think Leider is on to something with his idea that age and experience contributes to our desire to follow our passions.
For one thing, living through some life gives us a better understanding of ourselves, of other people, and of the environments in which we find ourselves, whether that environment be a family, community, social or cultural group, society, company , organization or institution, geographical area, or country.
For another thing, age should teach us that we really do not always have to just “do what is expected” OR “what we are told to do” … we have more freedom than that, if we are willing to accept the outcomes and consequences of making our own choices.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING or PLANNING TO DO WITH YOUR “GOLDEN YEARS“?
I am taking the position that age and experience will help me discern and live out my passion. Seems to make sense and sounds like a lot more fun than the alternatives.
Ripping up my plans to build the perfect front porch rocking chair in the Heartland ….