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  • The Strategic Perspective

Rule 2: HAVE A PURPOSE AND RECOGNIZE THIS PURPOSE MAY CHANGE THROUGHOUT YOUR LIFE

Updated: Oct 11, 2019

This is one of the 36 rules that people tend to struggle with the most. However, if we want to have a fulfilling life, we must realize our true purpose. Why were we selected to become a part of this planet when we did? Why were we born into our respective families? Why did we have the specific experiences growing up, that shaped us into the people we are today? When we look inward, detached from ourselves, our emotions and our egos, we can fully understand the answers to these philosophical questions.


Everyone has been created with the energy of the universe to fulfill a specific purpose. Knowing this, we must try to create equal opportunities, that allow everyone the chance to fulfill their purpose, by not building unnecessary and unjust roadblocks. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that there never was, nor ever will be, absolute equality. It does not exist in any part of the natural world, be it plant or animal. We all have different genetics, that has given us all different strengths, weaknesses, physical attributes, intelligence levels and so on. This does not mean anyone is superior or inferior to anyone else, it just means realizing we are all different, and that is good.


One of the most popular words in our modern language is “diversity”. Diversity is the combination of everything that makes us unique individuals, though unfortunately, we tend to equate diversity only to the color of a person’s skin, gender or sexual orientation. Those are three very small factors that make us unique as individuals and have little to do in realizing our true purpose, in this modern world. I certainly recognize historic ethnic and cultural marginalization, but fortunately, now, determination, self-discipline, perseverance, and high integrity can take us anywhere we want to go. In other words, the only thing stopping us from realizing our true purpose is ourselves.


When speaking of purpose, I do not necessarily mean our jobs or careers. These are merely things that we do to make money, to pay for our living expenses. With that said, our true purpose may very well be how we make a living; though in this case, the correct word would be a vocation. A vocation is defined as a strong calling into a certain field of work, based on skill or interest, regardless of how much this line of work pays.


Many people spend their entire lives in search of their purpose, never finding it. This is because most of these people have actually been looking for what makes them happy. They have been fooling themselves into thinking that what makes them happy, must be their purpose. Our purpose will go far beyond what makes us happy; our true purpose may sometimes bring us great sadness.


A lot of people in the medical field have chosen this vocation because they have the skill and desire to help people. It feels amazing to make a positive contribution, to ease someone’s suffering or literally, save a life (I can tell you this from personal experience). In the same token, it felt terrible when we could not (I can also tell you this from personal experience). Emergency medicine, in particular, is a high-stress line of work, rarely affording you the time to feel “happy”. We did, however, feel fulfilled, knowing that we were doing our best to make a positive contribution to people’s lives.


More than the majority of the world’s population ends up performing jobs or careers, unsatisfied with the work they do, just to pay the bills or to maintain their lifestyle. While the former is done out of necessity, the latter can be a slippery slope and can be controlled by making different choices. In any case, there are many dirty jobs that will always need to be done. These jobs may be a calling for some, though not likely for many. In cases such as these, for the many, we must look outside of how we generate income to fulfill our life’s purpose.


Even though our purpose is usually hiding right under our noses, most of us never see it, never smell it, never find it. This is due to a paradox: While finding our life’s purpose generally leads down the path to fulfillment, only seeking true fulfillment will lead us to discover our life’s purpose. There are 36 rules to a fulfilling life, though you mustn't be a master at all of them, to live with greater fulfillment.


With all of this being said, sometimes our true purpose finds us before we find it. This tends to be the case with the natural leader. The natural leader rarely seeks out positions of leadership. They are guided along by an unknown calling and ironically, often resist it. However, once in this role, they flourish. They are of high integrity, fair, understanding and consistent. These traits make people want to follow them naturally. It is very easy to distinguish a natural leader from one that is merely power-hungry; one who will stop at nothing to reach the top. Unfortunately, due to the natural leader's habit of resisting the spotlight, we tend to see more of the latter in positions of leadership.


One last thing to keep in mind is that as we grow, or circumstances change, our life’s purpose may change. The sooner we realize this as an inevitability, the sooner we can shift our true purpose. It took me a little time to realize this after I got married and had a son. As fulfilling as emergency services were to me, I am a better father and husband while working in the business world. Fortunately for me, I have always had a passion for business. I still feel the need to help people, that is my life’s purpose - only now, I do it in a different way.


-JE


joshua.edelstein@thestrategicperspective.com