Many people are focused on finding their true purpose or life purpose. They spend a lot of time thinking about and trying to find their true purpose, but never get it no matter what methods they try.
My best advice is to forget it and give up because you will never find your true purpose. This entire concept of the words ‘true purpose’ is in direct contradiction to our intellectual capacity to discover that. True purpose, the word ‘true’ speaks about our true essential nature. That is not something that we can comprehend intellectually and we will spend our entire lives, if we even do take it seriously enough and are devoted enough to it, to move even one step closer to what we truly are.
You, an individual being, what are you? With the handful of exceptions such as Buddha, we will never know the complete truth of our nature and therefore our true purpose. So to be chasing or even having this concept that you can discover your true purpose is essentially living a lie. Living a lie is a waste of life and energy, and gets very very frustrating. What is happiness? Eliminating frustration.
Looking for truth has the prerequisite of believing in things that are true and not believing in things that are false. To think you will find your true purpose is false. The only exceptions we can point out in our world for an individual finding their true purpose could be Mozart, Beethoven, Da Vinci and others of genius who are born with such a level of talent that in their early years have already surpassed others who have studied for 60 years. Those are the exceptions to humanity in which we can say they have found their true purpose. But again, is that their true purpose, or is it merely an apparent purpose that has something yet beyond it and is only an expression of their true purpose, which will remain hidden.
There is the ‘apparent purpose’ and the ‘true purpose’. To search for the true purpose is saying I would like to grow wings and fly or gills and swim. It is beyond our human intellectual and emotional level to comprehend. It requires a state of consciousness that is far beyond the average human and is truly reserved for the very exceptional few throughout time.
The few who have achieved it have always left their teachings to say, “Give up, do not search for what you cannot find” “Be present and deal with what is in front of you in this moment alone.” The Buddha said, “In order to achieve enlightenment, one must give up all desires, in including the desire for enlightenment.”
Let us examine the logic behind it, being humans and intellectual, logic is one of our capacities. As one of my old teachers had said, being a religious man, “God does everything for a purpose, and if He has given you a logical mind, He must have a good reason, so use it.”
Using the logical mind we can say that our true purpose is related and directly connected to our true nature. Our true nature is something totally ambiguous, therefore our true purpose would also be ambiguous. It is not something we can conceive of or begin to understand in our current state of consciousness. To look for our true purpose is to waste life and energy. In order to discover it, you cannot seek it. You can only do one thing, and that is to cultivate a mind, focused and balanced, fully present and perhaps as the ball drops in the hole when it finds that exact spot in the universe that it matches, then you may have a moment of understanding.
A human being exists for only a blink in the eye of the universe, a brief moment in time. What could be any greater or truer purpose than to be fully present and experience the very part of yourself that you can conceive of yet not intellectually comprehend?
For all humans, there can be ultimately only one purpose, and that is the discovery of our true nature, which can only be done through the taming and balancing of our mind and emotions, which begins with the elimination of all negative emotions and attaining a peaceful contented mind. For only in that stillness and presence can the ball the size of an atom bouncing through the universe, fall through the very precise hole in that universe which will bring it to its original source.
Now, take that energy that you have put towards chasing the impossible goal and work towards reasonable goals of human purpose. Find things you can do that will better yourself, improve your life and give you satisfaction. By looking for the great true purpose, and thinking you may find that, everything else pales in the background and then nothing can be exciting or satisfying. That is a sad story and one we feed so well by convincing ourselves that we are searching for that true purpose so everything else is a waste.
Desire causes suffering. Desire for an unattainable goal will make you crazy and waste your life. Desire for an attainable goal leading to a peaceful mind will bring satisfaction and contentment which will remove the need for desires.
All this business about finding your true purpose robs you of enjoying each moment and forgetting about the vast purpose that drinking a glass of water serves. The cause of the cause. No water, no life, and you die. Then what purpose would you have? Looking up to the sky while walking a treacherous path will land you in a hole with a broken leg. Your true purpose is to pay attention, pay attention, and pay attention.
For those who are still not satisfied, I will give you an easy and very enjoyable purpose in life that I was given from a Zen monk in Japan, and that is; “Everyday, make someone smile.”