Great minds have purposes, others have wishes. ~Washington Irving
Assume you have got the wealth you need, the luxuries of life, the toys you desired, the big house and financial security. What will you seek for next? From that stage on, what will you desire for and want to do in life? What will be your purpose, and what will give you some sense of substance and value in life?
When this question was asked to those who truly have achieved all that they desired for by a group of researchers, the answers were found to be quite thought provoking to say the least. Once I read about this, I too went on to pose the same question to many that I personally knew and found very similar answers. This list consists of the things that truly fulfils ones sense of purpose and helps them heal in the warmth of their basic acts of humanity, love and peace. These are perhaps the essential needs to sooth our soul once all our wants bear little meaning in life. Here are a few of these wonderful things:
- To reach out and forgive those who they have spent their lifetime holding grudges against. Because, they feel that life is too short for holding such bitterness and they understand that when people are caught up in the complexities of life they tend to pay little attention to relationships and often end up hurting others in spite of their good intentions. And in reaching out and forgiving that cousin, a sibling, a parent or a friend, they feel much better about themselves, more accepting and understanding of others, and experience a lot more peace.
- To become more charitable and generous when giving to those who are in need. This seems to come with the understanding that their time, wealth and life holds no value unless it used for a better cause or positive effect. Thus we see many millionaires giving away a majority of their time and wealth to charities and they themselves indulge in philanthropic activities. The sense of gratification and purpose in helping humanity and nature becomes supremely important in life. Many often feel surprised to learn how valuable, important and purposeful their time, wealth, certain materialistic things and kindness is for others.
- Spending time with family and those who are dear to them. In the rush to gather the materialist wants in life, many often lose track of time and the people who give them the core comforts and support in life that enables them to go out and feed their insatiable desires of momentary satisfactions. Very soon, they find that the children have grown into young adults, the siblings have gone grey, their spouse have aged faster than they expected and health begins to point them to the very little time left in life. The time to express their gratitude and love to those who perhaps silently held the chords of emotions, morality, support and love all through their life.
- Give up their hatred and prejudice against others and instead spend their time to learn, accept and appreciate the things that make them who they are. Spending a lifetime hating things without understand them, living a life blinded by ignorance and arrogance, and limiting their otherwise boundless appetite to learn by their preferred closed mindedness serves very little purpose and meaning to ones life. Hence you see many seniors and people who retire early choose to travel to different places and learn about other cultures, faiths, customs, foods, and enjoy them. Often many love what they learn and regret not doing these things earlier in life.
- Turn to faith and the creator beyond the confinements of religious norms or rituals. Especially those who are inclined towards their faiths or religions often tend to find the need to explore further and try to seek a more meaningful spiritual connection with nature, and the creator as opposed to mundane rituals and forced customs. The numerous times when they eventually looked up towards the sky and sought for some divine intervention during times of troubles and pain in life drives them to explore the true powers and connections they once sought and experienced from this entity. Many find it very amusing to learn that there are more similarities than differences between the faith systems. And some choose to dedicate the reminder of their time choosing one path and trying to connect to this entity that is believed to be the creator.
- Share their wisdom and knowledge in an effort to inspire others. As we grow and learn through our experiences at every stage and age in life, we only find this wisdom and knowledge worthwhile if we are able to share it with others. We invariably offer our advises, share our thoughts, ideas and experiences with our loved ones and those who look up to us for our opinions in life. Many of us do not realize the role we begin to play in other people’s lives. How our actions, behaviours, words and deeds begin to affect others as they begin to either look up to us for our accomplishments in life or look down at us for the blunders we commit. Either they use us as an idol and aim to become like us or learn from us, or they use as an example of what not to become. Either way, conducting ourselves in a manner where we can be a positive influence on others becomes a major factor or even a purpose in our lives eventually.
A useless life is an early death. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The amusing fact about such things is that many, if not all, of these can also be achieved in our daily lives. We truly do not need to wait until we have achieved and fulfilled our materialistic desires in life to find the peace and purpose in life. We can choose to find peace, and make our individual lives more meaningful and purposeful by doing these things today. Why do we need to wait for us to experience those momentary satisfactions in life that soon losses its novelty? How many vehicles, mobile phones, and clothes do we really need to feel accomplished in life? Keeping up with the Jones soon looses its pleasures once they leave town, stop buying things, or find greater pleasures in much more simpler things in life and leaving you with little savings.
He who has nothing to die for has nothing to live for. ~Moroccan Proverb
Weather it is the Mayan Apocalypse, the every growing solar flames from the sun, the next meteor, a Tsunami or just our natural regression of health coming our way, we sure live have much lesser time in our lives today than we had yesterday. Whatever floats your boat or blows your hair back, you sure can make your life a lot more peaceful, purposeful and meaningful today if you can see past your daily pandemonium called life. But there is no excuse that will turn your clock back. So, take your time to express your gratitude to those who you love, and those who love you regardless, and be more forgiving, charitable, and loving. If anything, these qualities will only make you a better person and help you live a more gratifying life!
As you grow older, you’ll find the only things you regret are the things you didn’t do. ~Zachary Scott