“Always keep your purpose in mind. It’ll bring you back to the main road when you get lost.”

“Always keep your purpose in mind. It’ll bring you back to the main road when you get lost.”

Road Life

How many times has this happened to you: You want to do A, but to make A work you have to do B. To get to B, you have to use C. C is broken, so you have to use D. To use D, you have to do E. And so on.

Sometimes the simplest of tasks can turn complicated as each step seems to require another series of steps that divert us from the original path. For me, this pops up the most with technology failures. Each time we step down on another rung of this ladder, we seem to feel the burden of the previous rungs on us as well. By the time we are 3-4 rungs down, we’ve forgotten what we wanted to do to begin with, it all seems to be falling apart, and we grow increasingly discouraged. Lost, confused, angry, and frustrated could be other synonyms used to explain that horrible feeling.

But the way to overcome this is to always remember the purpose of what we were doing. We have to remember WHY we are doing it, so that when life throws us curve balls, or forces us to temporarily change course, we can find our way back. At all times, we should keep a close eye on what we were doing originally, and more importantly why. Understanding that “why” can be very helpful for many people (myself included) since it fills them with a sense of much needed purpose to keep them focused on getting to the original task, even if they’ve ended up going off on what appears to be an unrelated tangent (A somehow led to H, or worse, Z!).

That’s exactly what life is: a series of paths leading in all different directions. Without a compass, or a sense of direction to guide us, we end up wandering, getting lost, taking tangents that may not be entirely constructive. Having a purpose and keeping it in mind anchors us to the main road, like a compass always pointing back to the path we need to be on. No matter what obstacles jump in our way, no matter how curvy the road may get, the compass of purpose always helps bring us back to where we need to be.

Spend some time today and ponder on your short term and long term purposes. What is your purpose for doing things tomorrow? In a week? In a year? What is your life’s purpose as a whole? Are you on the right path to fulfilling that purpose? How can you get back on the right path?

Asking these questions can slowly help fine tune the compass, and lay down the road for the greatest journey of all…a life of meaning, a life well lived.

Some Additional Paths…

Passion and Purpose in Life – Zen Habits

Finding Purpose – Anxiety Culture

Finding Purpose – Power to Change

Discovering Your Purpose in 20 Minutes

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