How to Discover Your Mission In Life
The rest of the series:
- How to Discover Your Mission in Life Part Two
- Bonus:How to Discover Your Mission in Life
- How to Use Your Mission to Make Money
Hello hello hello,
Today, I thought I would write a nice, light post on the meaning of life he he.
Now straight off the bat I must admit that I do not unequivocally, 100%, beyond-the-shadow-of-a-doubt know why we were put here on Earth or what our individual and collective missions in this life are. My belief is that as human beings we just weren’t meant to know this. Otherwise we all would! What I thought I would offer instead are three approaches that other people have taken successfully. In so doing, I hope I help you get to that core part that is deep within and is just bubbling with passion and life.
Three Approaches to Discovering Your Life’s Mission
The three approaches are:
1)Experimenting and testing until you experience flow.
2) Becoming a passionate problem solver.
3)Writing your way to your mission (An idea I was first exposed to by a man known as Steve Pavlina in his phenomenal blog www.stevepavlina.com)
Approach 1: Experimenting Until You Experience Flow
A Christmas Carol
I will begin with a bit of a story. As I go through the story, search for bits and pieces of yourself: they are sprinkled throughout.
I was sixteen years old. I was scared, alone, confused AND ANGRY . I had been at this school for six months and had already tried to drop out twice- I eventually succeeded the third time. Only one thing kept me going to school day after day after day: Mrs. Spelling.
You see, Mrs. Spelling was not just my legal studies teacher but she was also directing the theatrical piece that would be presented to the school, the church and the community at large. It was a performance of A Christmas Carol and I had auditioned and gotten the part of Ebeneezer Scrooge. I got the role because the only other person who had auditioned for the role was in Year 12/Form 4/ the last year of high school and they didn’t want to give him the lead role that would take a lot of time away from his dual career as school senior and singer in the church choir. Far from a vote of confidence for my being the leading man.
That being the case, when I went to Mrs. Spelling to tell her that I was dropping out of school, we had a conversation that went a little something like this:
“I want to go out and be a man and do manly things.” (Clearly I had no clue what I was talking about)
“If you want to be treated like a man then act like one. Finish what you started. Make sure you put on a good show like you promised when you auditioned.”
She appealed to my “manly skull crushing” ego so I obliged: I would finish this silly show because I was a man, but as soon as it was finished I was out of there.To say that I felt empty as I went through those auditions and went to class after class after class would be an understatement. I was searching for anything that felt good, anything that would light me up and I had long ago decided that drugs wouldn’t be it and at this point I had the charm of a mutilated raccoon and no cash flow so women or any other material pleasures were out.
And so in desperation I began to put my passion into the auditions. When I was asked to act, I didn’t act. I WAS the character, I hid behind him and hoped that I never had to come out. When I was asked to sing – I am not that good but I am decent enough for musical theater for those who want to know – I SANG and tried to embed the joy and feeling from the song deep into my soul. But still, there was something missing. Until……….
Day 1 of the performance. For some odd reason this day I felt incredibly angry. I mean the type of anger where I was shaking. And so there I am back stage two minutes before I am to come out and assume the role of Ebeneezer Scrooge and I am shaking like I am about to morph into the Incredible Hulk. It must have been a guardian angel who in that moment planted a thought into my mind that literally changed my life:
“You know, Ebeneezer Scrooge is supposed to be an angry, bitter, old geezer and right now I AM a bitter old geezer why not transfer all this anger and negative energy to Scrooge and exorcise it through him.”
And so I did. Rather than gently open the stage door, I kicked down the door and came onto the stage huffing and puffing, to the point that they could hear me breathing throughout the auditorium. Sarcastic remarks were expressed with a much more caustic tone and when I had to sing about how much I hated Christmas, believe me I HATED Christmas.
And then I began to experience that phenomenon professor, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi,(ten dollars if you can say that name right upon first hearing it) describes as flow. I completely lost sense of place and time. The only thing that mattered, the only place that I was, the only thing on my mind, was my character, Scrooge and the journey he was going through. I remember at the point of the play where Ebeneezer Scrooge is beginning his metamorphosis from grouch to a giving soul, I stopped examined what I was doing and shed tears of joy in my head. I had found my bliss, my muse and my passion.
Have You Ever Experienced the State of Flow?
Have you ever experienced the state I just described. Have you ever been doing something and:
Been completely present in what you are doing and felt no urge to do something else.
Lost track of place and time because all your mental space was occupied by the activity you were engaging in.
Actually felt as though what you were doing was energizing you as opposed to draining energy.
If you have felt that, then you have found your passion in life If you have felt it more than once, even better because you have more than one passion . If that is the case then you can pretty much skip the rest of this post and wait for the post on how to use that passion to make money.
If You Don’t Know What Your Passion Is
However if you do not know what your passion is then the rest of this post is for you. Just to recap, the three methods that I will be talking about in this series are:
Experiment and test things until you find ‘flow’
Write your way to your mission in life.
Become a passionate problem solver ( I will explain them all later on).
Experiment Like Crazy
If you have no clue what ignites your soul, then a way to find that out is to experiment like crazy.
The basic idea behind this is to try things that you normally would not try or that you have not tried in the past. If you are an accountant, trying taking an improvisation class. If you are a radio disc jockey try playing golf. If you are an actor try becoming a woodworker (if Daniel Day Lewis did it, you can too). You keep trying different things that you don’t normally do until you effortlessly experience that state of flow. There are three basic ways you can go about experimenting:
a) Going gradually out of your comfort zone.
b) Trying to find the exact opposite of what you do.
Letting your heart guide way and just trying whatever you feel like trying.
A Digression: The Cost of Drinking and Doing Drugs
Tomorrow I will go into a bit more depth about the three ways you can experiment and test things out.
Now before I leave you this great day let me put a little caveat on what I just said, be wise and sensible.
If you feel empty or angry and stressed and you try to fill that hole using alcohol or drugs or by indulging in superficial things that lack depth and bring no value or beauty to humanity then let me tell you right now that at the very least, over the course of your life, you will waste A LOT OF MONEY.
Don’t believe me: Do the maths with me: Now in my drinking days, on a light, easy weekend with not much going on I would drink from Thursday to Saturday night.
Now at the cheapest my alcohol bill was about $50 a night -well I was very very cheap and it was more like $8 but let’s say $50 because that is what I observed on average. So, $50 at the minimum and about $200 maximum.
So let’ s take the minimum and say you spend 50 dollars a night for 3 nights every single weekend. That is $150 a week: Already, you have paid a week’s rent. Let’s move on.
Including transportation, really bad food, buying drinks for that girl that you know will not sleep with you (Obviously this does not apply to women; for the women let’s leave it at $50 though we all know that half of y’all didn’t even know that you actually had to pay money to drink: “ What do you mean, pay? I show up, unbutton my blouse just a bit and the drinks chase me.”) and other miscellaneous expenses such as losing one’s phone, add another $100 dollars a and we are now at $250 a week. Rent for a lovely abode in the city center.
Multiply that by 54 weeks and that’s $13,500 dollars a year (for those who want it in third world currencies approximately 675,000 Kenya Shillings): Could you imagine what you could do with an extra $13,500 a year??
Now compare that with someone whose passion is similar to mine, performing in some capacity. If you develop your skills, at the smallest community theater, about 100 people come to see you. They pay at the minimum $10 a piece. That’s $1000 a show. Assuming you do three shows that’s $3000 a show. If you minus expenses, you have still made way more than the -$250 that would be the case if you choose drinking as your passion. We haven’t even begun to touch on the people who think they are ballers and are constantly on the Alizes and the Johnny Walkers and the Hennessys. We also haven’t even scraped the surface and discussed heavier drugs like weed and cocaine but I think you see my general point.
In short, please explore the depth of your soul, don’t cover it up with drugs or television or distractions. Get to that deep part of yourself and figure out,”Just what was I put on this Earth to do.”