Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Our Purpose in Life

A few nights ago, I tossed and turned but could not fall asleep. Random bits of thought would flash through my mind. After a few hours, I took an over-the-counter sleep aid. These don’t usually work, I think, as I will soon fall asleep from exhaustion anyway, but I take two for good measure.

The morning finds me in a blue mood. My thoughts have a theme; “what is my purpose in life?” It’s possible my brother-in-law’s terminal prognosis has me thinking this way and re-evaluating where I am and where I want to go, or even maybe where I should have gone. With that thought, past experiences flash from the earliest childhood memory to adulthood. If we all have purpose in life, then what is (or was) my purpose? That one question will have anyone thinking over the segments of their lifespan, I imagine.

I found myself creating a chart of the events of my life, possibly because so much of what I do for a living requires documentation. The document began to unfold as an outline. In looking at the outline with a critical eye, I realized that I was conducting a gap analysis!

A Gap Analysis can be useful in business to identify actual performance versus full potential. What areas need attention? What items were overlooked? What are the missed opportunities? Can this same process work in evaluating, improving and finding the purpose in our lives? That last question had me curious. I began the analysis in earnest.

Looking at the outline, my own personality became evident. I could see the paths I’d taken, but only I alone, know the reasons for them. I must then consider how the paths I’d taken led me to where I am today. I can imagine only, how it might have unfolded had I taken the alternate route. All I can do with the outline is understand my personality traits and how they guided my discussions. I can then use this going forward as my personal compass. A true understanding of how we think is essential here and requires a level of awareness we may not all posses.

My conclusion is this. To reach our goals we must be single minded. We must hold this plan as a focal point in order to manifest it into our lives. With the new awareness of our thinking patterns, and the courage to think in new ways, we can make progress in reaching our goals. Don’t get sidetracked. Repeat as often as you must, to those you love, what you want, and how you plan to achieve it. Say it aloud for it breaths life into your plan. Above all, strive for enlightenment, for it is by this path that we shall understand our place in this world, and ultimately, our own true purpose.

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