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Thread: What is your Purpose?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    What is your Purpose?

    A while back, Catherine posted an article someone wrote about the Kondo method and how he/she believed that the spark joy question was the wrong one and that we should instead be asking something like, "Does this help me fulfill my purpose?" And I thought, "Wow, that's a big heavy question. Do I even know what my purpose is?"

    I've thought about it a few times since and I'm starting to identify what I feel my purpose is right now. And that it might change with time. I thought it would be an interesting topic for discussion.

    Do you know what your purpose is?

    And if so, would you be willing to share it with us?


    This is the original thread created by Catherine:
    http://www.simplelivingforum.net/sho...ot-the-right-Q

    I have to admit that I did not read the article, I just skimmed through it and in the interest of accuracy, I went to see what the author's actual question was and it's a bit different than what I had interpreted, but still a complex question. I think it might make the process of decluttering a very convoluted process. But interestingly, it opens up the idea that we might have more than one purpose in our lives.

    Does it help me fulfill a greater purpose with my life?



  2. #2
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I don't think I have a purpose, unless it's to be a reasonably good citizen and amuse myself here while I'm still breathing.
    I guess I haven't evolved much; don't care.

  3. #3
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaneV2.0 View Post
    I don't think I have a purpose, unless it's to be a reasonably good citizen and amuse myself here while I'm still breathing.
    I guess I haven't evolved much; don't care.
    Yes! Enjoying life as long as it isnt too much at the expense of others, is my purpose in the big picture.

    "Enjoyment " means for me, and also for DH, some community betterment projects because we like accomplishing tangible things. So, part of our amusements involve do-good ventures with a lower case "d".

    I felt a little embarrassed last week because I helped out at a "human support event" which I pretty much swear off and this one was even associated with Very Sick Small Children. But since I was not the organizer, just a helper peon, I am still able to claim no interest in the realm of human services social support.

    My priorities remain:

    bulldogs/pets
    cultivated plants
    old noteworthy buildings

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    Certainly, I am happy to share my purpose in life with you. My purpose in life is ‘to glorify God and enjoy him forever’ (Westminster Shorter Catechism). Practically speaking that means to follow God’s will which in turn means that I need to study the Bible and pray to know what God’s will is. It is a life long study of learning and changing every day. Sometimes it is easy and sometimes not so easy but I will persevere.

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    Helping people and animals. I helped a Mom on welfare go to college by providing free childcare for 3 years and helped with food the last year when they counted her $ she borrowed to pay tuition, books as income against her food stamps. I have done things like that my whole life but that was probably my biggest commitment. Like IL we do dog rescue and have taken old, sick dogs that their owners no longer wanted. That however is coming to an end because the cost became prohibitive and I no longer have the energy to do it. Plus we want to travel more so I have decided to only have 1 as they go by natural attrition and be more selfish. I have helped people clear out their clutter, taken disabled people to appointments, navigated various agencies for them and was a guardian for my friend with Alzheimer's. I also chose work in human services because it was my passion. I knit about a hundred scarves a year for the homeless. Now I teach 1 college class that has become my passion but they are paying me which is awesome) I am not one bit creative and always wished I could be. I would love to be that person painting, singing, designing,creating, etc. It took me forever to learn how to just make basic scarves. I enjoy reading posts about people making awesome things like CL. IL: you just might get converted yet)

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Payin' bills.
    “I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

  7. #7
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Here is the general summary question by the author of that article:

    "So when you’re holding one of your possessions in your hands, ask yourself, Does it help me fulfill my purpose? Does it help me craft a lifestyle in which I am able to build relationships and care for others, or might I be able to use my time, money, and energy in better ways?"


    I think about the mugs in my cabinet, and if I ask myself "Does this chipped Sun Studio mug help me craft a lifestyle of purpose?" it seems a bit of a leap, and even silly.

    But these days, as I'm looking at places to live while seizing up in anxiety over having to start the process of getting rid of crap, the question helps focus the bigger goal. So for me the question is "Does the totality of my 'stuff' help me craft a lifestyle in harmony with my purpose?"

    Earlier I also asked the question of you guys, "Should I keep my house and continue to slog my way through work for the next 5 years, or give myself my freedom by downsizing?" The money I've made through my job in market research has enabled a lot of good stuff: college for kids, a trip to Scotland so my MIL could take the kids to the house she grew up in, ability to pay my bills, etc. etc. But now, where do I want my life energy to go?

    I have focused on my relationships my whole life, and I think my purpose is wrapped up in them--my husband and kids. Now they are older, and I have started to find purpose in the joy I get in learning new stuff, particularly in the areas of permaculture and sustainability. I also find purpose in trying to pay attention to every moment. The momentary experience=purpose, because it is a little package of energy, imbued with the purpose to just "be"--and, to glorify God and reflect the beauty of creation.

    Most of my stuff is a barrier to potentiating my time and energy in those areas at this point. The bedrooms once occupied by kids. The basement filled with clothes once worn by kids. The boxes of project material I once worked on in my job. Probably about 1,000 square feet of the past. My house as a time capsule--maybe even a tomb.

    Geila, thanks for giving me the chance to write this stuff out. Helps me clarify things in my mind.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  8. #8
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    This "purpose" thing is confusing to me. Is everyone saying that they believe they are here to accomplish something?
    I don't have a purpose.

  9. #9
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    Deep thought and question. Don't have much of an answer. When I am gone I hope I give someone fun and pleasant thoughts when they think me. But I also know that when those that love/knew me are gone, I do not think I will have left a mark on the world as no one will know I was here.

    When I see an old grave yard when I am biking I almost always stop and look at the old grave markers or the ones that are disappearing into the ground. I think a kind thought about the name on the stone, because they were loved and probably did kind things in life.

  10. #10
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CathyA View Post
    This "purpose" thing is confusing to me. Is everyone saying that they believe they are here to accomplish something?
    I don't have a purpose.
    I think it can be defined as "why do you get up in the morning?"

    This was Viktor Frankl's point in his book Man's Search for Meaning, which is one of my favorite books. Here's an excerpt from an article about the book

    1. “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”

    This is the refrain of the entire book.

    Throughout the book, Frankl speaks deeply about his own ‘why’ and its power to help him endure his situation.

    He also speaks of many prisoners who had completely lost their ‘why’ and quickly lost their life as a result.

    Frankl and his fellow prisoners had to endure atrocities that many of us cannot even imagine. Prisoners had to survive on one small piece of bread a day and maybe some thin soup. They had to work 20 hours each day, digging and laying railroads and so on. If you looked weak, you were beaten. If you stopped working, you were beaten. And you didn’t get much of a second chance after that. You could be killed for any reason.

    There are three ‘whys’ that stand out from Frankl’s writing:

    Love
    Work
    Dignity in suffering
    We have likely heard many people utter these words from a concentration camp prisoner: “I have nothing to expect from life anymore”. In fact, we have probably uttered these words ourselves. Many of our own darkest moments look positively radiant when compared to that which POWs like Frankl had to endure. And yet we still have the gall to say such things.

    Frankl asserts that it doesn’t matter if we have nothing to expect from life. We can still find meaning:

    What was really needed was a fundamental change in our attitude toward life. We had to learn ourselves and, furthermore, we had to teach the despairing men, that it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life – daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfil the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

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