I was chasing something for a very long time; for years in fact. During these years, I struggled, I was frustrated, I felt like I am losing, I was sad. But after I got it, it was not very overwhelming as I had expected it to be. I didn’t feel I achieved something. In fact, I felt empty with the question of “now what?”.
Now there was nothing more to try. There was no purpose anymore. There was no struggle. There was no chase. In that moment I realized, I was actually happy chasing. I was actually happy trying. I thought I was frustrated, but I wasn’t. I was alive. I still am. But in that moment, I thought I was not.
In the hindsight, the process was satisfying. The moment of achieving was not as I thought it would be. 99% of the moments belong to the process or journey and only 1% belong to the achievement. But we humans, don’t enjoy that 99% and only focus on that 1%.
Rather we despise the journey. We are always in search of some shortcut to achieve, so as to avoid the pain or effort in the process. Years go by and then we think we missed out on the moments. We didn’t live as much as we wanted to. We were never in the present moment.
The only way to live more is to be conscious, be in the moment, focus on the process, and enjoy the process. Because there are no shortcuts. A journey is inevitable. It’s your choice, to accept this and start enjoying or despising the journey and waste 99% of life.
Happiness is in journey, it is in wait, it is in the chase. As it is rightly said, “Happiness is a journey, not a destination”.
Then again, I thought what is the purpose of life. For years, I have been hearing or reading from different people, pseudo-philosophers, motivational speakers, self-help books, etc. that we need to identify our purpose. People say, “my purpose is to visit all the countries in the world”, “my purpose is to become rich”, “my purpose is to become a musician”, etc. I spent years wondering what my purpose was. I couldn’t find any such thing as a purpose.
I asked myself a simple question: If everyone knew their exact purpose of life, wouldn’t it make us robots? If everyone was born with an itinerary of their life, that would just kill the excitement of life and make the human mind rigid. Humans would function like machines towards their purpose with no creativity.
That’s when it struck me: No, there is no such thing as the purpose of life. Even if there were, it wouldn’t be possible for the human mind to fathom “real” purpose.
The people who always say they have found their purpose have just created a goal in their mind and called it “the purpose”. There is nothing wrong in setting goals but making that goal your superficial purpose in your mind and becoming a slave to it by tying your happiness and actions to it, makes you nothing short of a machine. Once you become emotionally attached to it, it’s good if you achieve it, but you resent it if you don’t achieve. And you don’t always get what you want in life.
Same goes with (something people call it) a “bucket list”. I want to go this place, do that, wear those, meet him/her, etc. Same thing happens when you tie your happiness to these superficial items. If all the items are ticked in the list, well and good, but if you don’t tick all the items in that list, it drives you insane and makes you disappointed, because you led your mind to believe that if you do all those things in the list, it will make you happy.
So, why create a superficial purpose for yourself or create a bucket list and become its slave. Just enjoy the life with open mind and freedom, grab every opportunity to be happy, to enjoy, to be grateful irrespective of whether you are visiting Italy or Spain (which is in your bucket list). Maybe that is the entire purpose of life, “to experience it”.
Remember, life is too short to handover the remote-control of your happiness to a purpose or to a few items in your bucket-list.