The following is an extract from my upcoming book ‘Escape The Cubicle: Quit The Job You Hate. Create A Life You Love’ and is taken from Chapter 5: The Internal Battle.
This chapter explores the importance of having a purpose in your life and how your passions can show you what your purpose is.
Human beings are creatures of change and our wants and needs also change over time.
The only problem is that we also have a fear of change. Clinging to the way things currently help us to maintain a false sense of control.
But what happens when who you are internally differs from what you have become externally?
This chapter explains how this internal battle arises, why it makes us miserable and how having a clear purpose can help you to reduce this anxiety.
The duality of worlds
We live in two worlds; the internal and external world. The internal world is the one that consists of your feelings, thoughts, moods and sensations. And this is the primary world we need to be concerned about. Because this is the real you. This inner world only exists because you exist. It comes from you. When you live and lead from this inner world, you lead from your purpose.
Then there is the world that exists whether you exist or not. It is the external world around you consisting of other people, events, circumstances and other material things.
This world was here before you arrived and will remain after you are long gone. You only know this world through your inner world.
You perceive this external world through your physical senses and you make sense of this world through the feelings, thoughts, ideas and attitudes that make up your unique worldview; the lens through which you see this external view.
This can also be viewed as the ego. Problems can arise when people try to control their external world.
To find your passion and purpose, you need to explore both worlds. You need to look at your passions and talents that exist in the inner world and marry them up with opportunities that exist in the outer world. This will require creative thinking.
Too often we take on other people’s views of what passion and success should be. Alain de Botton, a modern philosopher, is a keen observer of the paradoxes and delusions of our cultural conceits. In his 2009 TED talk, he said:
”One of the interesting things about success, is that we think we know what it means. A lot of the time our ideas about what it would mean to live successfully are not our own. They’re sucked in from other people. And we also suck in messages from everything from the television to advertising to marketing, etcetera. These are hugely powerful forces that define what we want and how we view ourselves. What I want to argue for is not that we should give up on our ideas of success, but that we should make sure that they are our own. We should focus in on our ideas and make sure that we own them, that we’re truly the authors of our own ambitions. Because it’s bad enough not getting what you want, but it’s even worse to have an idea of what it is you want and find out at the end of the journey that it isn’t, in fact, what you wanted all along.”
Do you think it’s important to have a purpose in life? How do you find greater purpose in your life? Please join in the conversation by posting a comment below or like and share.