“I would rather be ashes than dust; I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot; I would rather be in a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow than in a sleepy and permanent planet; the proper function of man is to live, not to exist; I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them; I shall USE my time”
Jack London – Author
The greatest lie we can tell ourselves and the quickest way to death is to believe we have no purpose to serve. When we come to believe that we no longer serve a purpose and there is nothing more we can contribute to this life we die. It may be a quick death or it may be a slow death however to live with the belief that we no longer have purpose is a self imposed death sentence. This death of our self often may precede our physical death, sometimes by years and for others the loss of belief in our purpose is an accelerator of disease and death of our body.
It is our choice of how we perceive our purpose that makes the difference between living a life full of experience and knowing that we serve a purpose each moment lived and coming to believe that we no longer serve a purpose that distinguishes the living from the dead.
When we review the life of people who against the odds have survived advanced stages of diseases like cancer and AIDS we often find that they still saw a purpose for living and they did not accept the death sentence of a disease that had come to destroy their body. When we read of people who survived the Nazi concentration camps or the genocide missions in Rwanda we also find people who through some of the greatest suffering known to humankind that their survival was largely due to the fact they believed that they had purpose beyond the torture, beyond the near starvation and beyond all of the atrocities they experienced. People who believe they still have purpose often live well beyond the death sentence they face while those who have lost the belief of purpose rapidly succumb to the death sentence of disease or of their environment.
Still others go to their death full of purpose even to the point that they recognize purpose within their very own death. People like Randy Pausch and Gabby Bouliane showed us even as they faced imminent death of their body that they still had purpose and they even found purpose within their own disease and death. These two people and many others burned brightly right to the very end of their human existence. They did not lose belief in their purpose.
We each matter, we each have purpose and to tell yourself otherwise is a lie. Why do people lose their belief in their purpose? Why do some people become so lost that they give up on living and instead choose to simply exist until this body gives up the ghost and ceases to exist? There are many reasons why one would choose to believe they serve no purpose. One thing is clear though, to come to the conclusion that you no longer serve a purpose is a choice. Some people choose to believe they are without purpose because of what they perceive is missing in their life. One may perceive they are missing love or money or stature and come to believe that because of what they see as missing in their life that they have no real purpose. Others may come to a point in their life where some dramatic and often traumatic change has occurred such as the death of someone close to them, imprisonment, loss of employment or financial devastation and they can no longer see any future and choose to believe they no longer have a purpose. Often times when people lose their job or even retire they seem to age quickly and die within a short time because they defined themselves by what they did. Their job in their mind was their purpose and without the job they believed they had no purpose. We sometimes see the same phenomenon happen when a long term companion dies the other person in the relationship who was healthy suddenly takes ill and dies shortly thereafter, again the persons purpose was tied to the person they shared their life with and when their partner died so did their purpose.
It is critical to our well being that we believe and understand that we each have an individual purpose as well as a purpose of oneness with the entire universe. Our purpose is not defined by our title, nor by how much money we have in the bank, nor by weather or not we are in a relationship. You are here today because you have purpose; you are here today to fulfill your purpose. Some people get hung up on the belief that their purpose must be of some notoriety, while for some they may gain notoriety as they live their purpose it is important to note that our purpose is to love and to experience this life and that you are impacting your self, all whom you directly touch and the entire universe with every thought, word and action.
Know today that you have purpose and that your purpose is much broader that what you do for a living and who you may or may not be in a relationship with. Know that if today all that you owned was stripped from you and all whom you have a relationship were removed from your life that you still have purpose that extends beyond the externals of your daily life.
Live life to the fullest, live life on purpose!