• Archana Chakravarthy

To Goal or not to Goal?!

The principle of having a lofty purpose is spoken with such energy that i had almost succumbed to the belief that if you didn't have one, then you are an odd person out of all the other wise, successful people out there.

I have spent many a days and nights wondering and crying to figure the purpose of my life. This nagging issue remained a permanent feature until recently.

Then one day, a voice asked me "what if there is no purpose?", "what if there is only Life to live?".

Wow!. This question made sense. But that moment i denied reflecting on this,...eventually after many years, i revisited them, which was rather a soothing balm to my ever open wound actually. But i didn't take it at face value, the more i interacted with people through my work, i have come to know that there are people all over the spectrum of The Purpose. The spectrum ranging with- clarity of Purpose and action on realizing their Purpose.

My journey has taken me to places and spaces that have enriched my understanding of life - my life; there are so many domains i have ventured, many explored with passion, many prematurely aborted, many incomplete, many fulfilling, many joyous; this variety which must have supported my growth in reality (looking back now), invariably added fuel to the fire of the nag inside. Looking around i found real exemplary success stories of people with purpose, and this reinforced my belief that I must be going wrong somewhere...

It is not very long ago that i realized that this nag inside is majorly due the expectations of the world around me and its norms and not so much my personal botheration. Hence, this need to write about this and share.

While my reflections are true, it is also true that I conduct workshops on the importance of having a vision, having a purpose, setting a goal etc...so then what do i make of this internal dilemma, self-doubt, discontentment?. As an answer to this question, what i really think is important is recognizing a desire, when there is one; setting an deep intention on fulfilling the desire and then obtaining all the necessary knowledge and skills required to move in that direction. This regardless of whether the desire satisfies the definition of purpose or not.

The lacuna or the issue is when there is no desire!.

Especially when you expect yourself to have a desire but then you are either not sure or not aware. In such a situation, often you would feel a sense of purposeless'ness and directionless'ness. This would perhaps make you feel out of sync with the busy theatrics of life.

Worse, you would ironically follow the "grapes are sour" story, and announce to the world that "it is all hullaboo and this goal setting business is a humbak". Naturally then you would ask- What to do? How to be? What not to feel?....in a situation like this? Where should you start?. Before getting into answering this question, remember few points:

  1. It does help to have a sense of direction; for which, in my experience a desire is the seed to that direction

  2. Self-awareness and authentic self-talk is a must-have skill to recognize your desires or lack thereof

  3. Compassion and Optimism is a must-have attitude to grow with your desire, and the good news is that it can be learnt and developed

Now returning to the question : what to do? How to be? What not to feel?...when you don't have a desire?/purpose?

Point 1. Start with the question : are you happy with the status quo?...are you really happy?...is there joy inside you?

If yes, then move to point 6.

If no, then, take an immediate action. Choose to do something immediately. What to choose, how to choose?- Move to point 2

Point 2. Do something/anything that will help one or more people around you, for e.g. buy your housekeeping staff some tea, take a walk and help an old person/any person with luggage, donate some money, give some time to listen to someone's story...Trust me if nothing comes to your mind, just take a walk down the road, be aware of life around, there will definitely be something for you to do every time!.

Please note that this has nothing to do with your desire btw!.

If done, repeat from point 1. I

f not done or cant do then move to point 3.

Point 3. Do something/anything that you know that you "just got to do", for e.g. clean your room, take a shower, water the plants, step out of the room, step out of the house, wash the dishes, write that article, sort your refrigerator...the list could be just endless!

If done, repeat from point 1.

If not done or cant do then move to point 4.

Point 4. Do something/anything that belongs to your value system. For e.g. 'dignity' is your value, then dignify self first by doing as per point 2 and/or 3. If 'having relevance' is your value then do as per point 2 and/or 3. If 'honesty' is your value, stay honest by start telling yourself what you need to hear (it will at this moment mean doing either as per point 2 and/or point 3). Try it!.

Done all this? Then move to point 1 and repeat.

If you do not have a value system or not aware, move to point 5.

Point 5. Make a list of all aspects of life that seem important to you (may or may not include MONEY!). What have been the situations that you have felt (even momentarily) Complete?

Absolutely joyful? Absolutely light within? - those maybe your value-fulfilling moments, those maybe the moments of your values that you have been oblivious to!. Discover them.

After this, also make a list of aspects of life that you have felt (even momentarily) Incomplete? Insignificant? Heavy? Hopeless? Small? - those are the moments of value-antithesis. These are also the flipped-indicators of what is important for you. Unravel them.

Done all this? Super!. Move to point 1 and restart.

After you move minimum of three (3) cycles anywhere to anywhere from point 1 to 5, move to point 6.

Point 6. Life is what is you desire.

Have Faith, Believe, Build Confidence and Move...

Be a great Life that you are meant to Be!.

Don't get it yet? Restart from Point 1.

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