(Image source: the incredibly talented cartoonist and author, Andrew Matthews – his books are highly recommended – see http://andrewmatthews.com/)
When was the last time you asked yourself that question?
Perhaps it was a friend or family member who asked you?
Were you honest with the answer and did you have to think about it first?
It’s actually a very hard-hitting question to ask a person, because with all of the pressures exerted on us by our fast-paced, consumerist society, we often doubt ourselves.
We may be “happy, on the whole”, but there are all of those ‘little things’ that affect us every day, like whether we were held up in traffic, just had an argument with someone, have just caught a cold, were dumped on by the boss today – the list is endless!
One of the things that can really influence your answer in a positive way is, “Do you have purpose in your life?”
“Of course!” you say… “I’ve got bills to pay, children to raise, a job to do” etc.
Well, they are indeed valid pieces of your life’s jigsaw, but they constitute ‘what you do’.
The bigger question is ‘Why?’
The archaic, stereotypical answers in our ‘Western society’ used to be that a man’s mission was to secure the best job he could, so he could bring home as much money as possible, to support his family. The ‘good lady’s mission’ was to raise the children and support her man.
Obviously that framework has been turned on its head by many of us.
The glue that used to hold together that jigsaw for many people was religion. For a fair chunk of the world’s population, it still is.
You may have seen the satirical movie by the Monty Python team, ‘The Meaning of Life’, which uses humour to address the question that mankind has struggled to answer unequivocally since time began. (Image source courtesy of Monty Python)
No matter if you haven’t seen it – the point is that the movie asks the big question.
One of the interesting things is the use of the tombstone on the poster.
If we can accept that we are all going to die one day, yet we are stuggling to define our life’s pupose, then here is a suggestion for you…
Imagine you are able to attend your own funeral, as a quiet observer from the back of the room.
How would you be remembered by your loved ones?
What would they say about you and your achievements?
Who would mourn your passing and why?
“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience”
In business we say ‘Start with the end in mind’ as we coach people about the importance of ‘exit strategy’.
“If, in our personal life, we consider the most personal fundamental we can, we must ask ourself, ‘What is my life’s purpose?’.
My theory for your consideration is that if you have an answer and you are living that mission, inner happiness will be inexorably linked.”
Tony Inman – Club Red Life Coach
So here’s my summary for this web post – a little exercise for you to do…
Don’t dismiss this as depressing or morbid – think about that eulogy at your funeral and ask yourself the following:
- Who, or what kind of person, do I want to BE?
- What things do I really want to DO in my lifetime?
- What would I like to HAVE in my life? (Whether material or spiritual)
If you can do that, you’ll be amazed at the difference you can achieve in your life.
Need some help?
That’s just one of the things that a life coach can help you with.
If you’d like more information you can sign up for free updates leaving your name and email in the box, top right of this page.
If you’d like a free leaflet on ‘Coaching for success’, just contact us, using the web contact form.
Or, if you have been considering talking to a life coach, contact Club Red and Tony will get back to you for a no obligation chat about how we might be able to help you.
Until next time, ‘Be Happy!’ (Or as Monty Python would say, “Always look on the bright side of life!”)