Make sure the purpose you choose for your life is truly your own, not imposed by any other person or institution.
Be glad your economic circumstances allow you the freedom to choose the central, motivating aims of your life.
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- Look after yourself, so that you can engage with and enjoy a shared existence on this planet.
- Contribute with kindness and support to the wellbeing of your family members and friends in particular.
- Get involved creatively in community-building and politics which support Democracy, Human Rights, and…above all, the Sustainability of Life on Earth.
- Don’t take demeaning or destructive criticism from anyone, especially if their personality is self-focussed and self-important.
About Alec Taylor
After Radio in Germany and TV in the UK – working as an announcer, presenter, and interviewer – I switched to Corporate Video. This led to a career as a consultant, coach, and trainer in Communication Skills and Creativity.
My latest coaching-service “MAPIO” (Making A Professional Impact Online) seems to be meeting a widespread need.
Contacting Alec Taylor
You can connect with Alec via email.
By Alec Taylor
How many of us make a truly autonomous decision about our life’s purpose….and can afford the luxury of making it?
BARRIERS TO INDEPENDENT DECISION-MAKING
In the early years of our lives, for many of us growing up in Ireland, Religion played a big part in moulding our purpose for us, as did family and social customs, “Serve God and serve others, especially those in need”, was the imposed mantra. No mention of oneself.
THE LONG ROAD TO ENLIGHTENMENT
Speaking personally, it was many years, more than half a lifetime, before I felt in a position to draw an unfettered conclusion about what the purpose of my life might be. And, even then, did the purpose I was choosing for myself refer to both my personal and professional lives? What about Society and the Planet?
THE ROLE OF SUFFERING
To be prepared to sacrifice one’s own life for the sake of others, was drilled into many of us throughout our schooldays by religious zealots. In my case, it was only after a long period of personal distress (PTSD) and mental strain that I was forced to take account of the price I was paying for trying to reach ‘sainthood’.
At long last, “Take care of yourself…only then can you help others!” was urged upon me. Self-compassion was presented as the new wisdom. Some of us began to focus on a purpose of our own choosing.
THE LUXURY OF FINDING AND EMBRACING OUR OWN DESTINY
Meanwhile for those who struggle every day simply to survive….without a home, short of food and healthcare, often responsible for children and their needs in a time of distress…for such people establishing a purpose in their life is a choice they do not have.
WHAT’S THE CONCLUSION?
What are the criteria then for reaching a decision about our purpose – for those of us who are fortunate enough to be above the poverty line?
• We are one global community but not yet acting like one
• The fierce gaps in life-experience are there for all to see
• Time is running out to ensure the sustainability of life on Earth
• Conflicts are diverting vital resources
A CONCERTED, SHARED EFFORT NEEDED TO SURVIVE
So, let’s re-introduce the concept of the ‘Common Good’…. of sharing with all of Humanity, of Nature, of this Earth (to whom we belong, rather than the other way around.)
…AND NOW TO BE PERSONAL ABOUT ‘PURPOSE’
With me, it’s been a ‘work in progress’ for far too long. So, it’s time I achieved a breakthrough and the following definition via Google is helping: “Your life purpose consists of the central motivating aims of your life,”
So, here’s my best shot at those central motivating aims:
1. Look after myself, so that I can engage with and enjoy a shared existence on this planet:
2. Contribute with kindness and support to the wellbeing of family members and friends in particular:
3. Get involved creatively in community-building and politics which support Democracy, Human Rights, and…above all, the Sustainability of Life on Earth: