Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Finding Your Purpose

Train your will to concentrate on a limited objective. When young, your spread your effort over too many things. If your try fails, what does it matter? All life is a failure in the end. The thing is to get sport out of trying.
-Sir Francis Chichester (after sailing around the world at age 71)

I must admit that most of the dreams of my youth have never come to fruition. Much of my life has seemed like an accident. How did a 60’s hippie who once lived in a monastery end up in corporate America?  This doesn’t mean that everything has turned out badly. It just means that my life hasn’t exactly been a well-executed project plan. Many lives are like mine in the sense that people often end up in places they never planned to go. Did I want too many things when I was young and did I spread my efforts too thinly? Perhaps. Much of my life I didn’t know what I really wanted or what I might be good at doing. I was the person at age fifty who wondered, “What do I want to be when I grow up”? Are all the unfulfilled dreams failures? I think not. I’ve had some grand adventures along the journey of life and I think I will have more. In many ways I believe I am on the brink of realizing my own true purpose and I feel I am on the verge of some kind of personal break through. My fifties and now my sixties have been a time of great personal enlightenment. Although I still get annoyed with some of my behavior, I am no longer a mystery to myself. I know who I am and my reason for being is becoming clearer to me. We don’t always get to be what we want to be but we usually end up being who we are meant to be. I am not sure I will be sailing around the world when I am 71 years old like Sir Francis but I will leave my mark in some way. None of us are here just to take up space.

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