Steering Clear of False Purpose

If you look around yourself, you’ll see that most people follow the same dream. So much so that they all seem to have the same purpose. The most common example of this is how everyone believes their purpose in life is to earn money. In addition to that, starting a family also accompanies this desire to acquire wealth. This will sound very familiar to most people only because these are the words of your parents, teachers and friends. You’ve always heard people talk about these basic things. They’re repeated so often that it seems like these things are the sole purpose of humanity. But do you ever think about what role you had in determining these purposes for yourself? Were you ever consulted in establishing these goals or are they mere echoes of others telling you what your goals should be?  

Chances are that somewhere along the line others did the deciding and determining for you. Your elders, mentors, coaches and teachers took it upon themselves to decide for you without including you in the decision making process. So what you thought was a choice was nothing more than suggestions or conditioned messages letting you believe that you were the one making the choices. Yet, at best they were instructions that you were asked to follow to determine the course of your life. But if you think about it, there’s something that just doesn’t add up as these are purposes imposed on you by others. 

It can be very easy to believe that a false purpose is your actual purpose in life. You could be influenced by family, colleagues and society. All these factors sometimes convince you that a certain purpose is your true one. However, in reality, it may not be so at all.

Recognising False Purpose 

The easiest way to recognize false purpose is that it’s not your calling. Most often, it’s something that has been imposed upon you by people. It could be a thought, an idea or a suggestion. But it’s not your thought or idea. 

Many life coaches talk about how finding your purpose isn’t related to money or career. It’s about finding your true self. This is the self that you’ve hidden underneath the needs of people around you. It’s quite true that you tend to hide your real purpose underneath people’s needs. The society needs you to be a busy, nine-to-five person. So, you hide the carefree artist inside you. Your parents need you to get a good degree. So, you curb your desire to sing and dance for a living. Your family needs you to be there at all times. So, you hide your desire to be a tour guide. 

It’s due to all these reasons that you adopt a false purpose. Don’t be fooled by this purpose. It doesn’t come from within you. It’s being fed to you by others. Suppose you’re watching a movie with friends. You want to watch an adventure movie but they are more inclined towards a comedy. You may resist for a while but will eventually give in to their consistent nagging. In the bigger picture, this is how people around you can manipulate you into believing that the false purpose is your calling. 

Why You Need to Steer Clear of False Purpose 

Now that you have an idea of what a false purpose is, you need to steer clear of it. Your false purpose can destroy you. It can make you do things that you don’t enjoy or find meaning in. At some point in life, maybe ten years from now, you’ll regret not only the purpose but also the time you spent aiming for it. If you run after a false purpose, you’ll realize it sooner or later. In the beginning, it may seem like you are doing things right. 

Then you look around you and comfort yourself by saying that everyone else is doing the same thing too. Yet, deep inside, you lack both contentment and happiness. Then, you have an epiphany. A time when everything comes crashing down. You realise how you are just like others. 

You think to yourself, “What have I done that they haven’t?” “How am I different from them?”, “How is my life more fulfilling than theirs?”, “Did I spend my youth, grinding and working, to be just like others?” 

If you steer clear of such false purposes, only then do you find meaning in your life. To do so, you have to listen to yourself. What is your being saying to you? Don’t listen to others around you. Don’t listen to the guy telling you to be an engineer just because he knows someone who is successful as one. Your true purpose is something you want. It is something that you have thought for yourself. You’re not expected to do it. You just want to. That is the beauty of a true person. You won’t have to drag yourself to fulfil this purpose. Instead, you’ll just get the energy for it naturally. Your passion will drive you to do your best. 

Also, when you steer clear of false purpose, you do everything fearlessly. When you’re forced into a false purpose, it is often due to fear. The fear of your parents or the fear of being rejected by the society. However, when you find you true purpose, you do it with love. There’s no fear of letting anyone down. You know you’re doing this for yourself. 

How Can You Steer Clear of False Purpose? 

If you want to steer clear of false purpose, you need to listen to yourself only. Ignore what everyone else has to say. Spend time with yourself and learn about yourself. You’ll find what drives you. If you care enough for yourself, you’ll find the things that excite you. The most important thing is not to be fearful. 

Don’t fear failure but be ready to face it. Don’t fear rejection but have the guts to face it. People might tell you that you have disappointed them. But it doesn’t matter. You might be wondering, “How do I know I am not pursuing a false purpose?” The best way to find this is by seeing if what you are doing makes you feel fulfilled. 

If you’re following your true purpose, you’ll feel inspired by it every day. You’ll find new things in it to love every day. On the other hand, a false purpose will show its flaws very soon. To steer clear of this flawed purpose, you need to define your purpose. If you have defined your purpose well in advance, you won’t have any regrets later. 

Defining your purpose will give you a clear indication about your next move. This will ensure that you aren’t going towards the pursuit of false purpose. What matters is you and your ultimate fulfilment. Don’t let anyone tell you that you disappointed them because you didn’t go into medicine just like the rest of your family. If making music is your purpose, do that. 

Antoinette Foy says, “The core of your true self is never lost. Let go of all the pretending”. The philosophy behind this concept is to let yourself in. Once you allow that to happen, you won’t even need to find yourself. Your true self will just appear in front of you. This is the ultimate way to find your true purpose. Just be yourself and do your thing. You’re not everyone else around you so don’t even try to be them. 

By discovering who you truly are makes it easier to really know what your true purpose is, that is why having a coach or a mentor to guide you to find that inner passion makes it a lot pleasing. With the guidance of a coach or mentor you are able to pinpoint exactly what you are looking for, even of you don’t really know at this given point, they have the right tools to help you find the balance, they have the tools to help you find the deeper passion you have been looking for with little effort. 

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