Purpose

33 Days of Truth: Day 3

Purpose

Hey hey hey! It’s Day 3 of the personal growth challenge I’ve taken on for my 33rd birthday: 33 Days of Truth. My goal until the end of April is to share something every day that is honest, vulnerable, and authentic about myself and my life. 

On day one I shared a bit of insecurity in my lifelong struggle to be open about my true feelings, to express myself fully, and to reveal more of my inner world to others.

For day two I took a leap into the past, exploring the events and circumstances that had the biggest emotional impact on me. The topic was trust wounds, and I feel like I only scratched the surface there. Not that I see myself as a wounded person with tons of baggage. Far from it! I’ve done my work and am a pretty stable, healthy individual in that regard. Referring to “trust wounds” even feels a bit silly and foreign to me. But it’s a phrase I heard recently and I ran with it.

We all have trust wounds. All of us have been weathered by hardships, our trust in life made raw in one way or another. In the context of wanting to be more vulnerable, exposing the areas where I feel the most hurt and betrayed in life is sort of a natural direction to take things for this challenge. That said, I’m taking a different route today, to talk about inspiration and purpose. Yay!

Yesterday, I wrote from 2am to 5am. I couldn’t sleep from being too amped up about ideas for this challenge, until finally I just surrendered and had my fun typing away in the predawn hours. Consequently, I was good and tired last night, and I slept soundly. But following my first thought this morning upon waking (“Omg my alarm didn’t go off!!!! Oh wait. It’s Sunday.” My one day off. Lol), my mind went immediately to what I might write for day three and I was again too excited to go back to dreamland. 

Three days in and already I’m feeling the positive shift of taking on this personal growth challenge. I feel happier and more fulfilled. I walked outside yesterday after publishing my article for the day, with a smile playing on my lips and the contented observation of, “The sky looks bluer!” It seemed that way, anyway.

I’m feeling more myself, more whole, as if the smokey substance of my being is taking clearer shape. I suppose that it is. I’m taking the unformed matter of my thoughts and feelings, and putting them into tangible form by way of writing them down, and posting them online.

I know this feeling from past personal growth challenges and writing efforts similar to this 33 Days goal, most particularly from 2017 when I started a challenge of 30 Days of Video. For that I only ended up with six days completed out of the intended 30, but it was a huge leap for me in the kind of meaningful personal content I was creating. In that case I also experienced a lot of inspiration.

It seems that whenever I flow in the direction of self-expression through writing and sharing publicly, in an inspired way, life takes on a finer, richer hue. Why haven’t I continued doing that consistently, if it’s so great? Why indeed. 

Inspiration

One of my favorite books on creativity (on life, really), The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, describes a ubiquitous force that tries in every possible insidious and cunning way to sabotage you from pursuing a higher calling. He calls this force Resistance.

The battle with Resistance is one every single human being goes through, in any effort to create, to improve themselves, to do something greater with their lives or for the world, be it taking on a new exercise program, learning to paint or solving the global hunger crisis… or simply sitting down to write a blog article. 😉

The counter force to Resistance, according to Pressfield, is Inspiration. 

I’ve personally found that when the force of Inspiration flows through me, it’s an effort for me not to write. Inconsistency, however, is the method Resistance has taken me out with time and again. Inevitably, it seems, other things going on in life take over and keep distracting me from actually listening to and acting on the voice inside that says, write, write, write

In order to overcome Resistance, I have to make myself ready and available to Inspiration for it show up on a regular basis. Cue: 33 Days of Truth!

Although I have ideas for things to share on this 33 day journey, I’m not deciding too much in advance what to write, in order to remain open to whatever wants to come out each day; that I may allow the flow of inspiration to carry me forward, rather than struggle upstream with my own agenda. So far, so good. 

This challenge is a reincarnation of various past attempts to do what I’m again doing now. Did I learn my lessons? Have I closed the loops on those karmic debts? How much longer do I even have to live an Inspired life on the earth, and how much more of it will I spend succumbing to Resistance instead? I sense in my heart of hearts that it is incredibly important that I continue with writing, because to not do so is to not live out my purpose.

Purpose 

Back in my early twenties, I yearned so much for a strong sense of direction and deeper meaning to my existence. I was constantly looking for the thing that I was mean to do with my life. In the search, I came across a personal growth exercise to discover such a purpose. When I did the exercise and finally hit on what my purpose was, the floodgates opened, for a moment everything was clear, all of my past made sense and the future was revealed, bright and meaningful. 

Did I start living that purpose right then and there? Sure didn’t! Resistance and Inspiration have been duking it out for years. Today though, on day 3 of my 33 Days of Truth personal growth challenge, Inspiration won. I’ve won. And it feels damn good. 

If you are curious about the exercise I did and maybe want to try it for yourself, the steps are below. They’re from an article titled “How to Discover Your Life Purpose in About 20 Minutes” by Steve Pavlina, which I strongly suggest you read. And pretty much everything else he’s written.

(Read all the Steves! Haha. Seriously, though: Steven Pressfield, The War of Art, and Steve Pavlina‘s work. Two thumbs up, five stars, 11/11!)

How to Discover Your Life Purpose:

  1. Take out a blank sheet of paper or open up a word processor where you can type. 
  2. Write at the top, “What is my true purpose in life?”
  3. Write an answer (any answer) that pops into your head. It doesn’t have to be a complete sentence. A short phrase is fine. 
  4. Repeat step 3 until you write the answer that makes you cry. This is your purpose.

It is a powerful process. At least it was for me. It took well over 20 minutes (like closer to two hours, if I recall correctly), but eventually I got to it. The answer that made me cry. 

“What is my true purpose in life?”

To give everything I’ve got. 

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