Sometimes I read a quote that gets me so interested I get hold of the book it came from. The following quote is one such example, ‘So many people have the TV or radio constantly turned on "for company," or spend their time reading trashy novels, aimlessly surfing the Net, and so on. Then suddenly one day you are old or sick and you realize you have done nothing with your life. All your thoughts are other people's thoughts and you have no idea who you really are or what the purpose of your life might be.’ The quote comes from Karen Kingston’s book, Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui.
I found it interesting this quote came from a book which I thought would just deal with clearing the physical clutter in your life. However, when I borrowed the book through my library I found the final three chapters deal with mental, emotional and spiritual clutter. The quote gave me plenty to think about.
It is easy to fall into the habit of surrounding oneself with television, radio and internet programs which are mindless. People around one may gossip, complain and be negative. Life is busy and there seems to be no time to think deeply about what one wants to do with this gift called 'Life'.
People who have thought about what they want to do with their life will have different answers. For some it is to be the best person they can with the talents and circumstances they have. Others will have employment they are passionate about, some devote themselves to helping others (this may be as a parent, friend or volunteer) and others express themselves through some form of artistic pursuit.
When I was young I generally accepted other people’s thoughts. If I did have a different opinion I tended to think I must be wrong, that I didn’t have enough facts or had interpreted the information incorrectly. As I got older I started to think that maybe sometimes I was right or that there was no right or wrong in a particular situation, just different, equally valid viewpoints.
It can seem like the right thing is to be what other people want you to be. This is especially if you are a ‘people pleaser’. It is easy to follow what other people are doing and to adopt their opinions and attitudes. Then you realise you can’t please everyone. You decide to be yourself but finding out who you are can take a lot of discussing, reading, questioning and thinking. I think many people keep growing, adapting and changing throughout their life and are ‘a work in progress’. This could be a good thing because it means they don’t have a closed mind.
There are many different ideas and some thought provoking quotes to do with the purpose of life. I like Eraica Chan’s clever play on words, ‘Life without a purpose is like an unsharpened pencil; it has no point.’ Eraica seems to be saying everyone needs to have worked out the specific reason for their existence. Christine Rice, an operatic singer has a more general philosophy. She says, ‘The purpose of life is to live, learn, and love.’ Perhaps the following quote has it summed up, ‘Finding your purpose is a lifelong adventure. Enjoy the journey.’ (Todd Stocker,Leading from the Gut: 3 Power Principles of Effective Leaders)