The power of the mind to create patterns, establish behaviors and develop a lifestyle based upon the nature of our ideas can become a great tool for growth or a potential source of imprisonment.
For human beings it seems one unifying factor across cultural identities and backgrounds is the desire to actualize our notion of “the good” and to live a life that is as abundant with peace, fulfillment and happiness as possible.
I would argue that in general most human behavior stems from the driving desire to be happy and that depending on the self-control and awareness of the person in any given circumstance, the pathways taken to achieve that goal can be logically rewarding or imitating fulfillment. What I mean when I speak of “imitating fulfillment” is that the actions taken to appease short-term desire and temporal pleasures are often justified by only a conceptualization of a fraction of their actual yieldings.
More often than not, the short-term pleasures are the options that may increase the chance of harm or limit productivity for the long-term.
In order for human beings to find greater and sustainable happiness, I believe as many other philosophers and thought leaders have before me, that feeling a sense of purpose is essential. Even greater is when the sense of purpose is self-defined and developed in a means in which it is conducive to the talents of the person, allows for decent financial security and serves others. Without a guiding sense of purpose, the human spirit can lack direction and fall prey to cyclical behaviors of self-destruction.
The purpose does not have to be monumental, nor does it have to be permanent, but I find the happiest people are those who can explain to some degree what they love in life and what feeds their soul.
The key to not becoming overwhelmed by the idea of discovering purpose is to truly understand the fluid nature of life and accepting what you can and cannot control. Adaptability in the process of creating the life you want for yourself is critical. Things do not always go as planned and in any setting, it only serves you to have the ability to move past unexpected changes unscathed. Here is where the balancing act between setting goals and remaining open-minded comes into play.
If you are unable to adjust your actions to the unpredictable nature of life and keep working to achieve your goal through different strategies, you will limit yourself.
By spending time alone, journaling and meditating, we invite our inner voice to speak to us and inform us on the beauty of the moment. By practicing introspection and asking ourselves questions, we can start to piece together the hows, whys and whats of our desires. I think examining why we want certain things, whether they are material items, relationships or titles, is incredibly important.
When we keep an open mind and honor ourselves, we may come to find with greater clarity that all we want is possible, we have all the tools we need to eventually achieve our wildest dreams and happiness lies in every moment before us if only we allow it to manifest.
Disclaimer: I never want my articles to appear insensitive in any way to those diagnosed with Depression, etc. I am not suggesting that all people can meditate away their sadness and change their brain chemistry. I respect the journey of all people with their mental health.