If you have any brothers or sisters you may remember when you would fight as kids; once your parents finally got wind of your shenanigans and began their interrogation of the guilty parties you always seemed to get in more trouble if you did the named offense "on purpose." My punishment would be much worse if they thought that whatever I did was "on purpose," rather than it being "random and accidental." Like that time I was grounded because I "accidentally" (ha ha) hit my brother in the head with my sneaker that just happened to fly off from my foot while he was in front of me! Ahhhh the memories!
As we grow up and become adults many of us hold this same fear; the fear of doing things On Purpose! So, as American writer and philosopher David Thoreau said the result is that many people begin to "live lives of quiet desperation."
What is YOUR purpose? If you don't know your purpose is it is difficult to choose your direction. If you don't have a direction then any direction you take can't be wrong. Right? If you can never be accused of doing something On Purpose, you won't have to take any responsibility for what you do, thus you'll never get in trouble for it. It's all an accident right?! Your decisions, your career, your training, your relationships, your life! Nothing On Purpose...
This is all fine and dandy I guess. As J.R.R. Tolkien said "All that wander are not lost..." right?! Maybe, except if for whatever reason you are not happy, fulfilled or passionate about your decisions, your relationships or your life.
You've all heard it, the complaining, the whining, the talk of always being the victim of circumstance. Granted life rarely works out exactly the way we want it to, but that doesn't mean that we are victims. It means that we have to learn to let go of our attachment, have faith, embrace change, learn how to be tenacious, persevere, survive and keep going!
Finding the balance to be able to go full throttle toward something, giving it your best shot yet not being overly attached to the outcome is something that is not easy to do. It takes constant practice. It is so easy to externalize our problems; to blame things that happen to us on events, people, circumstances, whatever we can to avoid the one thing that is constant in all of our lives... US!
Ok, now back to Purpose.
What is your purpose? If you know what it is, prioritizing and keeping focus is much easier. It doesn't have to be complicated, just clear.
Let me share with you what my purpose (take a seat, fasten your safety belts and hold on!)
Here it is (drum roll please):
My purpose in life is to:
Experience life authentically
& never stop learning
Tim Ferris wrote in his book "The 4 Hour Work Week" that his purpose was to love, be loved and to never stop learning it rang true with me and seemed to get directly to the point, so I added the authentic part and adopted it as my own! Oh, and by the way you should read "The 4 Hour Work Week" if you haven't it is a great book! In the upper right hand side of this blog site is an Amazon link if you want to check it out!
As far as martial arts go many people train for different reasons: Sport, competition, self defense, survival, preserving history, health, because it's fun, to meet people, to experience another culture, etc. The problem is if the purpose doesn't match the practice. For instance training in an art that is based on strict tradition in attempt to preserve a particular historical cultural experience and thinking that it is tactical street defense. Be open and honest with yourself.
My purpose in martial arts is the following:
~To help stay healthy mentally, physically and spiritually throughout my life.
~To train tactically to protect the life of myself and others. What others? All others!
~To share what I know with individuals who want to live more empowered lives and contribute to an enlightened local and global community.
My question to you is simply this:
What is YOUR Purpose?
Paradox, Humor and change
*I chose this picture of Jack Hoban because he often inspires me to train and live my life On Purpose! Thanks Jack!