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Finding Our Place In The World ~ Part 2 April 19, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.

Continued from Finding Our Place In the World ~ Part 1

* * * * *

Our young man continues to evolve as he gets a job, hangs out with friends and loved ones, and interacts with the world.  Like Mozart and Einstein, he may find his purpose early in life and pursue it with passion, or he may have to be patient and experiment with life a bit longer in order to find the life that is the right fit for him.  

Perhaps he’ll get married.  Maybe he’ll become a father and experience the same joy his parents did as they watched him grow to the point that he could “leave the nest.” 

At the end of his journey, our once young man is apt to want to see some evidence that his life mattered, that he mattered.  Maybe he’ll make a difference by working with others to improve the world, or by making those around him happy.  Maybe he’ll compose music which makes our spirits soar, or write something that touches our hearts.

Through it all, he will keep evolving and developing based on the totality of his experiences ~ using pulling muscles to draw closer to some things  and pushing muscles to move farther away from others.    

If our young woman looks over her shoulder, to see how far she has come, she will be able to see a change ~ a change that is imperceptible from day to day and moment to moment, but is clearly seen with a retrospective glance.  She will see that she is not the woman that she was at age fifteen, when getting a date for the Prom seemed like a matter of life and death. 

She may see that her relationships with others have also shifted, at least subtly, and that she likes the feeling of giving as much as she likes the feeling of receiving.  Instead of caring only about her own Wish List, she starts to focus more on the Wish Lists of loved ones.  Instead of just feeling proud of her accomplishments, from the perspective of Ego, she feels good about the person that she is becoming at the level of Spirit. 

To be continued in Part 3.


1. Loreen Lee - April 19, 2010

I actually think it might have been an Einstein quote, (not sure) where I read on the quotes on Google, that once you find what you are to do, then you pursue it. It was a bit deeper than I’m making it here, but I know you’ll understand. Some find it early, some later, some….. May we help those to find themselves in what they do. Even those who are still looking are on a pathway, don’t you think? It will become ‘real’ to them someday.

2. nrhatch - April 19, 2010

Thanks, Loreen.

Not sure what quote you are talking about. But here are two along those lines:

Buddha said: “Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.”

I say: “Your purpose is to discover your purpose and then pursue it with passion.”

I suspect that even those who do NOT know that they are on a path are on a path. And if they stray too far off the path, spirit steers them back on course ~ gently at first, more violently if ignored.


3. Chad - April 19, 2010

Excellent post, Nancy.
My perspective:
Tools have purposes, people don’t. A human being is an end unto itself, not a means to anything. All that we need to do, is live and die. If we do that (and we can hardly avoid it,) “purpose” is fulfilled.

Or, to put it in slightly more morbid terms, death is the purpose and true fulfillment of life. It doesn’t seem negative to me, it’s just the truth, but some people don’t want to hear it.

nrhatch - April 19, 2010

Spoken like a true existentialist! : )

If our purpose is merely to exist . . . then it matters not whether we are happy, sad or terrified while we are here.

If our purpose is to be happy . . . then we need to find ways to accomplish that objective.

Chad - April 19, 2010

The “way” to be happy is to decide to be happy. It’s almost 100% under your own control. There are techniques, cognitive and physiological, but ultimately it’s a simple choice. The voice that we all hear that says “If only I had THIS, then I would be happy” is the most terminally stupid part of us, and killing it is part of wisdom. We already have what we need to be happy, if we have what we need to stay alive (if we actually need even that much.)

4. nrhatch - April 19, 2010

I agree, and have posted many articles on the topic.

By way of example: https://nrhatch.wordpress.com/2010/04/06/zen-and-the-art-of-happiness/

Other articles addressing the issue: The Art of Happiness; The Happiness Trap; Create Space for What Matters; The Last Lecture; etc.

Happiness is never in things . . . it is in us.

That said, we still need a way to fill our days ~ unless we just want to meditate under a Boddhi tree until death finds us. : )

5. nrhatch - April 19, 2010

Another overview on the topic of achieving lasting happiness is Power, Freedom, and Grace by Deepak Chopra:


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