Pinball
image by Marty.FM

You may be wondering why I have a picture of a pinball up above. Take a moment and visualize a pinball bouncing around. Often there is no set path it goes. The little clickers at the bottom ‘whack’ the pinball back up in hopes it hits a few things and scores more points. Sometimes the pinball gets through the middle and is lost. The goal of pinball is to score as many points as possible by hitting the ball back up over and over.

I Have To Admit…

I don’t quite know my purpose at times. Ever felt this way? I bounce around with ideas thinking, “Maybe I’ll try that.” Or, “I’ll give that a try and see how it goes.” And often I feel like the pinball, bouncing around in the machine with no rhyme or reason to what I am doing. It can be a devastating and piercing blow to action when this is happening. Sometimes I wonder, “Am I really doing what I am supposed to be doing?”

It’s difficult, isn’t it? Trying to find the exact path to take in your life. I know this all to well. As a young man in middle school, around the age of 13, I thought for sure that I’d make computer games the rest of my life. As I entered high school and began to play basketball, I thought, “Maybe I’ll play in the NBA, that sure would be great!” Still further life went along and none of these two things came to pass. Coming home from a two year service mission in Ireland, I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. So I figured I’d do what everyone else was doing.

Going to college

I went to college because it seemed to be the logical step after high school and my service mission. And other people had done it, so I didn’t feel to non-conformist by making this leap. Any of you ever experienced that? Did you go to college just because people in your family did? Or did you do it because your parents made you? Or did you do it just to get out of the house? Or did you go to college at all? And then I got to college and didn’t know what to study. Ever experienced this frustration before?

So you just try something. In my case, I tried ‘Computer Science’, which involved programming and creating software for computers. Sometimes you just try something when you want to proceed don’t you? You sample it. “Maybe this will be good,” you ask. As the pinball bounces around randomly, I have done the same. You just bounce around and see what ‘sticks’.

If you went to college, what did you study? Why did you choose to study what you did? Were you certain of yourself at that time?

Life after college

I like to call this the limbo years. Sure I was married and had an awesome wife. But I just went one day to the next. I woke up without a plan or real idea of what I wanted to have my life be like. Sure I worked jobs as a web developer and did stuff. But I don’t recall much of my life in my 20′s. And I think that is because I didn’t have any meaningful purpose set out. It was just one big long run of get up, work, come home, watch TV/play on the computer – and then rinse and repeat the next day.

Maybe many of you had an ‘awakening’ at some point in your life. I’ve found that most of the people I’ve seen online doing wonderful things had some moment in their life where they had had enough of the way things were. Whether it was a job, a marriage, a situation, someting, there was a moment of being discontented enough that it prompted a major shift. For me, this was sitting down at the computer over a year ago, playing the computer game, “World of Warcraft”.

I had had it. I was just mindlessly wandering around in the game, seeing so many others doing the same, and realized that my life was slipping through my fingers. The opportunities to gain in knowledge and skill were fluttering away. I was being a dis-service to my family by wasting hours and hours on the game each and every day. And so I quit it, right then and there and stopped. This I believe is the path to purpose. A moment of being so disturbed, that the purpose is then sought out.

Finding true purpose

I’ve met some extraordinary people here on the web. Many of them seem clear on their purpose. I am more clear now, but a definite purpose is something I am still defining. Sure, I want to help people and make a difference in the world. Doesn’t everyone really? This is where I am getting specific. What will be the vehicle for making a difference. What am I good at? What can I bring enough value to to make an impact to you who are reading this right now? This website is the start of my purpose. Who knows what form it will take 5 years from now. But I am seeking and getting specific. If you are struggling with your purpose, get specific. What are you good at, or what do you want to be good at so that you can contribute to other’s through it?

I’m not sure purpose can be fully discovered at any given moment. Life changes. Events happen. But the best description you can create for your purpose is what creates action. Look at a bee on a flower. Look at the sun giving nutrients to plants. Look at water giving life. Look at anything in life and a purpose is not too far off. A chair for sitting, a pool for swimming, a pencil for writing. Your purpose will give you meaning AND ACTION. Because you know what you are supposed to be doing. If your purpose is not defined, life will find one for you – and it will generally be something you are not happy doing. Why not be proactive and spend time each morning contemplating your existence!

In my next article, I will introduce a very unique website to you. The owner of it has a detailed interview that you can go through to really see what your purpose in life is. I will be going through the interview and answering the questions. I’ve said it before and will say it again. There are extraordinary people here on the Internet doing wonderful things with their websites. So much passion and intelligence in one place. It’s a lot to take in! But what a wonderful thing it is. If you haven’t already, take a look at the I.P.W.. There are super people there worth listening to!

The next article is ready and you can read my interview here.

My friends: What is your purpose? Are you still trying to figure that purpose out? What are the ways in which you will use your purpose in life to contribute to others?

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12 Responses to What Is My Purpose In Life?

  1. Great Post Jeremy!

    I’m currently in school for Medical Billing and Coding because I worked for a billing company for nearly to years and found it to be interesting.

    And like you I still don’t exactly know my purpose. Sometimes I feel jerked around like that pinball that you mentioned. But I’m reminded of the saying, “If you don’t fall for Something you will most certainly fall for Anything…”

    Sometimes I have to roll with the punches, but in the mean time I’m going to make goals and plan for them!

    Thanks for sharing!!
    .-= Jarrod@ Optimistic Journey´s last blog ..You Know You’re Favored by God When… =-.

    • Jeremy says:

      Yep I agree Jarrod, being your own pinball is better than being someone else’s pinball. Focusing that pinball is now one of my goals :) But I agree, sometimes we just have to roll with the punches and other times there are concrete and clear plans.

  2. Faye says:

    Great Article! Yes, I too have spent many years, seemingly ‘bounding around’ from one passion to another, never settling upon any one thing for any length of time, however recently, I’m able to see an ‘overall’ theme.

    I’ve come to accept that true life purpose really involves trusting, acknowledging and acting upon our moment to moment passionate urgings. When we follow these we’ll always be led in the right direction in terms of fulfilling our greatest purposes…and yes, for some of us, the actual activity we involve ourselves in will seem to change rather frequently. However, the one constant if we’re truly honoring our passions will be the experience of joy.

    When you think about it, if the overall purpose of physical life is to have a wonderful, joyous, loving experience, what better way to achieve this than following your moment to moment urgings towards your highest joys and passions.
    .-= Faye´s last blog ..Apr 1, Spiritual Enlightenment – What is it? =-.

    • Jeremy says:

      Hi Faye!

      You bring up a very good point that I haven’t thought of enough. And that is having a wonderful, joyous, and loving experience. What creates the highest joys and passion? I’m going to examine this more fully – thank you for that insight!

  3. Valerie M says:

    Great post, Jeremy! I loved how you got this out. I can definitely relate to the pinball analogy, that has been the story of my life. While it can come in handy — being flexible to try anything that hits you — it can get detrimental quickly. Perhaps we could play pinball with a purpose? To hit the highest number of points possible? That’s just me shooting out of the hip.

    I also wholeheartedly agree with the notion that if you don’t define your purpose, your path in life, someone will definitely decide it for you.
    .-= Valerie M´s last blog ..Reading between the lines (and why Americans need their arses kicked over their food choices) =-.

    • Jeremy says:

      “Pinball with a purpose” Now that is a great analogy! I think having a focus with a pinball would be very handy in racking up the high score quickly! Thanks Valerie!

  4. Thnx for sharing your journey Jeremy!

    I’d like to think that all our purposes are to leave the world a better place than when we arrived.

    Best, Sam
    .-= Financial Samurai´s last blog ..Riding Rocketships For Greater Success =-.

    • Jeremy says:

      Excellent point Sam – leaving the world a better place – in the end, if the lion’s share of humans end up doing that, human kind as a species will indeed evolve over time to levels that I don’t think we can foresee at the present time. Thanks for sharing.

  5. ayo says:

    hi jeremy,
    how are you?
    thanks for sharing this and i look forward to the next article.
    i love the pinball analogy and believe i still go through the pinball experience in many scenarios lol!!!. purpose is relative and at times the small things we love doing could bring about the purpose for our lives and the constructive changes we make could bring about the happiness we desire. i’ve shared this on few occasions : at 6 wanted to be a pilot because of the uniform, then 9 wanted to be michael jackson because of thriller. later on due to pressures internally and externally i wanted to be a doctor…., studied chemistry and woked in a pharmacy for one year, did a microsoft certification course, branched into IT/telecoms/utilities and has stayed in that industry till date……..
    BUT there’s been a huge involvement in youth groups, sunday school,befriending, mental health counselling, mentoring… and discovered i was passionate & fulfilled in this, so i channelled my resources to developing myself professionally, went back to study and is still studying, participated in seminars/projects involving coaching/counselling either voluntarily or as my practice (part time)…..
    once more thanks for sharing and take care.
    .-= ayo´s last blog ..Resolving Conflict In Relationships =-.

    • Jeremy says:

      Hi Aro! You’ve certainly done quite a bit in your life, wow! It looks like you have found your true calling in the assistance with youth groups, counselling, and mentoring. I have contemplated going back to school to get a degree in psychology to further facilitate what I am doing here.

      I appreciate you sharing your insights!

  6. Travis says:

    Wow, quite the read! I’ve spent plenty of time feeling like that pinball myself, although over these past 2 years I’ve made a lot of changes to my lifestyle that have definitely helped me come into better alignment with my purpose. From becoming a vegetarian to becoming less hostile with others, to becoming much more outgoing and extraverted, I feel like every day that passes brings me closer and closer to my final destination. It’s a long journey for sure, but I can certainly say I’m enjoying the ride as well!
    .-= Travis´s last blog ..Niche Blogs =-.

    • Jeremy says:

      Hi Travis – you’re right about the journey being long. The ride sure is wonderful, especially when you start seeing the fruits of your labor and harvest. You certainly seem to be well on your way to great things.

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