It sounds so official, I know. But if you intend to live a life examined, it’s probably a good place to start. If you don’t intend to do so, please carry on.
“The unexamined life is not worth living. ―Socrates”
What is my primary purpose?
I’ve asked myself this question many times. And at different times in my life, there have been variations of the answer. At times, there have been two. Other times, none, if I’m being honest.
But since as early as I can remember, I always wanted to be a father. My father was always there, and both of my grandfathers, too. I suppose it was their impact on my life that planted the seed. Who knows, maybe it was my nurturing mother who fostered it in me. All I know is that if you asked the five-year-old me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I smiled and said, “A dad. And, a baseball player.” And while I played high school and college baseball (and later competitively in adult leagues into my early thirties), it became clear that being a great father was really my primary purpose.
And since my late twenties, it became my true north.
For the better part of the last ten years, being a better father has been the focus of each and every day. I fail at times, as we all do, but always work towards raising my three wonderful children. And while I have a ton of interests, when everything shakes out, the number one purpose in my life is to raise my children well, graduating them through the stages of development with love, attention, and care, to the best of my ability.
Your primary purpose can be anything, but it should be something
Are you driven by the conviction that you’re going to be the one to cure cancer? Is being the best American bobsledder what drives you? Do you have your sights set on winning the student-voted award for the best teacher at the high school where you teach?
Do you just aim to be kind to everyone you meet? Or to do one thing nice for someone every single day, without getting caught? Or, are you aiming to become the richest person on Earth?
It doesn’t really matter. All that matters is finding your true north.
This seems kinda serious
It’s not. Well, it’s not any more serious than living a life where you feel challenged, alive, and contented.
More than anything, this is a reminder to pay attention to where you are right this very minute. Look at where you are. Is it where you want to be? If not, are you on your way (both literally and figuratively) to where you want to go? Are your shoes pointed in the right direction?
Don’t let your breath go wasted. We only get so many days. Don’t just occupy space and file to and from your work. Put your action where your heart is.
What’s your primary purpose? I’d love to hear from each of you what makes you tick. Cheers.