Purpose is a problem because it tangles us up inside. Like a fish caught in a net that becomes more enmeshed as he tries to escape. It is often related to our outside selves (and frequently confused with What Do You Do?).
Purpose is a problem because it depicts a scenario where you are on a thin path (or rather a tiny circle, in the case of the Purpose Venn Diagram), when the world is broad and generous and full of opportunities.
Purpose is a problem because it tells you there is only one way (a perfect way), when your experience shows you that there are many ways, multiple paths, and a myriad of choices, leaving you stressed out about choosing the wrong one.
Purpose is a problem because it is self-sabotaging, because in your anxiety to pick the wrong purpose, you could be looking for perfection instead of purpose, and missing out on the joys of real life (which is decidedly imperfect).
Purpose is a problem because it positions us, once again, in a situation of Here and There. Here is OK but not quite good enough, whereas There has purpose and meaning. (Is it possible to have purpose if it doesn’t serve others or change the world in some way?) You can live your whole life and never have fulfilled your purpose (kinda like your potential, cuz, apparently, people who fulfill their purpose are also successful).
Purpose becomes like your soulmate – The One person you are looking for in a haystack of thousands. If you haven’t found the one then you can’t have relationship – and if you haven’t found your purpose then you can’t have peace. That’s nuts.
What is it we are looking for, when we are looking for our purpose?
What if there is no purpose to find? Is it possible that your purpose is whatever you are doing in this moment – whether or not it brings you great joy? Is it possible to find great joy in whatever you are doing in this moment – whether or not it is your purpose? (Often stories of purpose have someone quitting a corporate job to become a writer or travel the world. Is it possible to have purpose in life that includes a corporate job? A corporate job in a company that you didn’t start yourself, I mean.)
What if you are fulfilling your purpose right now? And now. And now. What if everything you have done up until now has been in fulfillment of your purpose? What if your only purpose is to be OK with the life you have led and enjoy the life you have now? (Not all the time, sometimes life gets messy and sometimes it really sucks, but it’s your life, why not have it fully and relax the examination of it?) (There’s a difference between a life examined and a life scrutinized to tiny bits and pieces.)
What if your purpose is just to enjoy your life, whatever it is? What if there is no purpose in your life other than to have it?
Will your life be wasted? Will it have been meaningless? Will you be forgotten?
What if the answer to all of those questions is: yes, yes and yes (and as you grow older you realize that indeed, it is)? Can you breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy your freedom? Because then all that would be left is to enjoy the life that you are having right now.
What if that was your only purpose?