Insert your work, your play, your hobby, your passion – then answer.
Most of do many things. That means many questions. Forget for the moment which ones deserve the most focus, or focus at all, but simply ask why?
Purpose finding is like way-finding for the blind. Banging into furniture, bruising our shins because we can’t find the way on the 10th try, or the 99th try, doesn’t mean there isn’t a way – simply means we’ve not found it yet.
When scientists in lab coats seek to discover something, or solve a problem, they are just as likely to find things they weren’t looking for as they are to find exactly what they set out to find or solve. Edison said: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” (whether he actually said that is debatable – but it seems like something he would have said).
It seems to me that most of us can relate to Edison’s wisdom and hard work – to never give up looking for a solution, that sooner or later we will have a breakthrough.
I wonder sometimes if we believed those same possibilities about ourselves, if more of us would succeed – or if fewer of us would.
Some things are very depressing.
Some things open our eyes wide.
Some things scare us out of our wits.
Some things please us beyond description.
Do these determine if we are happy, or not?
If we can achieve or not, soar or not, dream or not?
What is our purpose?
What is yours? What is mine? What matters most, or at all?
The answers to all these questions has to be – to help others.
Most of us spend our lives doing what our culture tells us to do – help ourselves. Help ourselves to career, education, lifestyle – to enjoy the good life. Take, do, have, use, spend, invest … and all will be fantastic. Many among us do life very well, live extraordinarily well. They drive fancy cars, dress exquisitely and jet away on finest vacations or stay home in sumptuous surroundings. Take, take, take. Receive, receive, receive. Seems pretty one sided, lopsided and wrong-sided. Give, give, give might be more appropriate.
I don’t help anyone by helping myself. I help them by helping them. If I want to help me, I think I need the same approach.
In our lives we are part Columbus and Edison. We are exploring, discovering. We are all Picasso and Michaelangelo. We are all painting our own bizarre portraits or sculpting ourselves – trying to determine our shape and proportion. We are all Frost and Dickenson, wishing our lives were more poetic. We are Shakespeare and Shaw – dramatically acting out our dialogue in search of plot twists and applause.
They may have all been completely screwed up – but no more than any of us. I think what separates them from everyone else who did the same thing is not that they were more brilliant, more gifted or more fortunate. I think they didn’t quit – and they gave their best work to the world.
We should all try more of that.
Instead of why?, we could ask why not? more often.
Why not try, do, give, _____ .. whatever inspires us?
column written/ published from Calgary
P.S.: to everyone who called or wrote yesterday – it was really a great birthday from dawn to night, great golf day, great dinner – thank you so much, everyone!
morning walk: 14C/57F, light overcast, gentle breeze and busy traffic early – unusual for a Friday morning – Gusta had some strong pulling, her nose wanting us to go up that hill. I suspect there were rabbit odors to pursue ….
Another day older and another year wiser; keep chalking them up! KK Calgary AB
Hope you are having a great day!, JF, Calgary, AB
Hi Mark: Happy happy birthday .. hope your day was most enjoyable on the course and over dinner with your friend. You seem to be incorporating some of your seminar lessons into your writing … obviously, for you, worth attending. Keep up the great work. Again, all the best for today and all those yet to come, BJR, Calgary, AB
Happy Birthday Mark! Hope your day is going well and have the best year ever!!, SM, Calgary, AB
Happy Birthday Mark! I hope your next year is a great one, AK, Calgary, AB
Mark, No, not just another day, but the day that celebrates you! From one Leo to another, best wishes for a really great day. Feel loved and appreciated all day!, CG, Capteown, South Africa
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARK! Thank you for including me in your email list. It is a good read. Talk to you soon, VP, Calgary, AB
Hope it's a great day. My niece was born on this day 17 years ago. The two of you aren't anything alike. Interesting, SG, Calgary, AB