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The source of our happiness lies deep within us. The more we burn off the fat of our daily lives, and pare down to the core essentials, the closer we get to our deepest purpose. Our deepest purpose lies right in the center of our being, covered by layers and layers, moving outward, of lesser and lesser purposes. The course of our lives is a process of penetrating and removing each of these layers as we travel within.
One of my primary motivations for beginning to write about freedom and simplicity was to help me harmonize my thoughts in terms of what’s most important to me, in order to locate my next mission. Along the way I realized that it was possible, once I’d established my priorities, that I can live the life I want simply by starting to live it.
If you’re already living your dream life, or you’re fully absorbed in your lifework, then great – you can stop reading. But if you have a mission that has become a burden to you, and you’ve exhausted your passion for it, then you need to dissolve it now and allow room for a new purpose to reveal itself. If your heart’s not in it anymore, your heart’s not in it anymore. This is natural.
Maybe you have a sudden loss of interest in a project for which you were once passionate. Surprisingly, you may possess a clarity of thought or a sense of weightlessness, even an increase of energy, at the thought of ceasing involvement with the project. This is how you know that you are not simply bailing out too soon or failing. This is the universe’s way of telling you that you have completed this purpose and that it’s time to uncover a new one. We often see the loss of interest in our mission as failure, but this is a misinterpretation. Each pursuit is meant to be lived out to the point of emptiness, wrung dry of our fascination for it. This is growth.
It is only a blind adherence to old patterns and expectations that keep us from noticing the doors leading to greater satisfaction. When the flame of inspiration dims, you can’t let expectations of others direct your future. Subsequently, it is the duty of your loved ones to encourage that in which they believe you to excel, bless their little hearts.
In most cases, your old purpose will exhaust itself without your having a new one to take its place. The energy you felt when you withdrew from your old calling has begun to fade with your inactivity and uncertainty of the future. This is a test. You must now simply wait. Your new purpose will emerge but you have to allow it time to reveal itself. This could take as long as 6 months. You will need to devote some serious alone time now to reflect on your values.
Go camping, or book a hotel room for a weekend. The important thing is that you’re alone and that you take as much time as necessary for you to take stock of the essentials, and to develop an unwavering resolve to discard the rest. Remove yourself from TV and the noise of modern life. Read some philosophy or some other spiritually uplifting material. Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations is as good a place as any if you haven’t already read it. It is also a good idea to get your essentials in writing – this is the raw material from which you design your life. And by that I mean you must be the only one who designates what your life will consist of. This is your dream you’re living or, rather, your life you’re dreaming.
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