Why earning money is not your real purpose (and how to know what is)

Why Earning Money Is Not Your Real Purpose (And How To Know What Is)

This is part 3 of a 7-part series on how to discover your real purpose in life.

“It is never too late to be who you might have been.” – George Eliot

When you were a kid, had you ever been told by your parents, teachers, peers or other people what you should do in life? It might be to earn a lot of money, to be successful, to be respectable, to be a filial child, to contribute to the society, to serve a higher entity, etc.

Are you living your real life purpose?

Whatever it was, what role did you play in identifying it? The likelihood was somehow, somewhere, people who were not you took the onus of deciding how you should lead your life on your behalf, without including you in the jury. Presumably, your role was to live out the purpose, not to question it.

These are imposed purposes – purposes which have been imposed upon you by other people as what they think you should do. Imposed purposes are not your real purposes because they reflect what others want from you. They have been glossed over and packaged as unquestionable, single universal truths. Because of the subtlety in which they were introduced into your lives, because of all the structures and pillars that are already in place in your world which seemingly hold up these beliefs, few people actually give much thought, if any at all, to them.

After all, if everyone around you is adhering to these purposes, there is simply no reason to question its basis.

I grew up pursuing imposed purposes, such as to earn money, to be successful, to be a faithful follower of my religion (Buddhism) and to be a good citizen of the society. After over a decade of unconscious adherence, I finally discovered my real purpose and began to actually live in a conscious manner. (check out the next parter in the series for the full story).

I need to clarify that I am not trying to undermine the merit of imposed purposes – in fact, even though I am now non-religious, I am more conscious and appreciative of Buddha’s teachings now than when I was a Buddhist.

All I am trying to say is unless what you are pursuing is the result of conscious evaluation and choice on your part, your life has not begun. And having lived on both sides of the dichotomy before, I can genuinely attest that there is indeed a very concrete, palpable difference between both.

A real purpose liberates. It comes alive from within your soul, igniting, burning, blazing, firing up everyday of your life and your existence. It is a purpose you have consciously created and come to embrace as your own.

It is not something you were told, read from a book, or were inculcated with by other people, by institutions, by society.

An imposed purpose, on the other hand, is assigned to you or conditioned in you by others. It based in fear, driven by ego and obligation to live up to others’ expectations. It is something that binds you and makes you feel disempowered at times. While pursuing it gives you short-term satisfaction, in the long-run a sense of unfulfilment starts taking seat, as if there is something missing in your life.

What is your current purpose in life? What is the life purpose which you been told or expected of from those around you? Regardless of what it is, I urge you to question them. Question the basis behind those assumptions and beliefs. How did they come to be? Why are they what they are? This will be the first step to being an active, conscious creator of your life.