Monday, October 05, 2009

“You never achieve real success unless you like what you are doing.”
Dale Carnegie

Consider a hammer. It's designed to hit nails. That's what it was created to do. Now imagine that the hammer never gets used. It just sits in the toolbox. The hammer doesn't care.
But now imagine that same hammer with a soul, a self-consciousness. Days and days go by with him remaining in the toolbox. He feels funny inside, but he's not sure exactly why. Something is missing, but he doesn't know what it is.
Then one day someone pulls him out of the toolbox and uses him to break some branches for the fireplace. The hammer is exhilarated. Being held, being wielded, hitting the branches -- the hammer loves it. At the end of the day, though, he is still unfulfilled. Hitting the branches was fun, but it wasn't enough. Something is still missing.
In the days that follow, he's used often. He reshapes a hubcap, blasts through some sheet rock, knocks a table leg back into place. Still, he's left unfulfilled. So he longs for more action. He wants to be used as much as possible to knock things around, to break things, to blast things, to dent things. He figures that he just hasn't had enough of these events to satisfy him. More of the same, he believes, is the solution to his lack of fulfillment.
Then one day someone uses him on a nail. Suddenly, the lights come on in his hammer soul. He now understands what he was truly designed for. He was meant to hit nails. All the other things he hit pale in comparison. Now he knows what his hammer soul was searching for all along.
Finding my purpose has been an inside job. It has requiered a deliberate act of my will, to cast aside whatever role anyone might be trying to put in me. I had to put aside images that I have seen in the media about what “should” be right for me. I do not want to be living life in someone else’s truth because that will only lead to further dissatisfaction.

The fires of passion burning at the center of my true purpose will protect me from being burned out. Burnout only comes from a sloppy lifestyle. Burnout is the result of living an outside-in life. You don’t ever get burned out by the inside-out living towards which your purpose and passions direct you. This Journey has me in deep thought about my next move in life.

Burned out people are never living self-directed lives. They are living by other people’s agendas, trying to live up to other people’s expectations. The realization of a genuine purpose always creates energy; it is like adding fuel to the fire. It creates joyfulness and a sense of always being right on the edge of wonderful things that are about to take place. You cannot wait to get out of bed in the morning! You cannot wait to get to your lifes work!

The destination is not the ultimate aim. The joy comes from the journey. Purpose is bound up in the process.
More to come