There’s a scene in one the books I’d written where one character, Ty, questions the motivation of another character, Aries, to do something dangerous. Ty asks her why she wants to go through with something that seems impossible, against forces that are much more advanced than her. He isn’t satisfied with her answers. He asks the same question again and again and in doing so he breaks through her defenses of the more obvious reasons to the true reason why she wants to do it – the fuel that will eventually propel her to move forward.
We need to ask this question. It’s the only question that gets us a real and true answer. We need to ask this question with regard to our life.
Why am I here? What is my purpose?
There is a phase in every child’s life when it asks this question a million times, it seems. You remember? The kids are on to something at that stage. As if they have access to the sense of something bigger, vaguely perhaps, but almost within reach. What is our life for? What are we doing here?
Seriously, what are we doing here?
The saddest question of all is the one that is being asked at the end of one’s life: “What was this all about?” Too many ask this question too late. It’s sad because without purpose there is nothing. Without purpose, this life will have been nothing but the blink of an eye, too short to have meaning of any kind.
We might not know what the answer is for a while. But we need to ask the question. Like a four-year-old. Why am I here? What the fuck? So that I can work a little? Live a little? Go to the beach once a year? See my children grow up? Retire and die? Really?
We need to ask the question.
With everything we got.
We can’t be satisfied with surface answers. We can’t stop until we know, with every fiber of our being, why we’re here. Purpose is everything. What do we want from life? What is it for? What the hell is it all for?
Have you ever met someone who was certain of his or her purpose in life? Their lives aren’t perfect. Nothing here is. But there is a burning in each one of them – a burning that grabs you, if only for a brief moment, and lifts you up to a place where you can soar freely for a while.
What is your purpose? Ask the question. Don’t stop asking. Don’t be satisfied. Until you find it. You owe it to yourself. You owe it to everyone you encounter.
Why are you here?
Don’t be afraid of the first answer, the very first time you ask the question. The answer will most likely be: “I don’t know.”
Don’t stay there. This is a devastating place. It’s a place where dreams die and a deep depression takes hold. Ask again: “Why am I here?” Ask again: “Why am I here?” Write down the answers. Sit with them. Don’t be satisfied. Ask again. And again. This is a painful process but it’s much less painful than answering “I don’t know” and stopping there. Don’t give up. Once you’re past the first answer, the path is set and you’re on your way. Stay on it. Stay with it.
At the end of the path, someone is waiting for you, stretching out their hand toward you. Remember why you came and you will know where to go.