Life Will Not Always Go According to Plan
The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.― Ralph Waldo Emerson
The purpose of our life is to experience the wholeness of who we are. Many people believe their purpose in life is to find happiness. This might be true if we were living in a utopian society, but I don’t believe happiness is the sole purpose for life. It is but one part of it. If happiness is our primary aim, why are so many people unfulfilled when there are more opportunities than ever? People are living longer; with better access to health services and cleaner food. We are more connected to one another through social media; yet some might argue this is the cause of unhappiness. Nevertheless, our lives are better and yet unhappiness and disappointment is still apparent. Whilst living conditions are better, people’s central needs are not being satisfied.
Certainly, I appreciate why people are unhappy; they have financial and family matters, relationship, career, societal, and environmental problems. However, if we tie our happiness to having our external needs fulfilled all the time, happiness will elude us. So, if happiness is not the main aim of life what is? I contend the purpose of life is to experience the extent of our being. This means life will not always go according to plan and there will be times we will experience heartache, pain and disappointment. Though it’s worth knowing this is not the end of the road, nor does it underscore how the rest of our life will unfold. It is a tiny blip in our entire journey, because just around the corner something could change the course of our destiny forever.
Awaken to Your Humanity
Let others lead small lives, but not you. Let others argue over small things, but not you. Let others cry over small hurts, but not you. Let others leave their future in someone else’s hands, but not you.— Jim Rohn
If we compare our life to taking a road trip from one state to another, it is natural there will be times when the trip will not go as planned. We may get a flat tire in the middle of nowhere, or develop a mechanical problem that requires immediate repair. This doesn’t mean the journey is over; only that we must find other arrangements to get to our destination. Life functions in the same respect, insofar as when everything is “smooth-sailing,” we might presume life will continue down the same path. However, when an unpleasant event arises, we are taken aback by how things turn so quickly. As you know, life can change at the “drop of a hat,” and this is not a sign our life is not unfolding as it should. This wonderful experience called life, is an amazing journey intended to help us discover who we are.
I realize not everyone holds a divine perspective of life; many sages and enlightened masters have proposed that the purpose of life is for divinity to experience itself through us. In other words, the universe cannot experience itself in physical form, so it does so through physical form and matter. Knowing that, we will face a variety of experiences intended to awaken our humanity; some of which may test us while others will inspire us. This is part of a greater plan for our life and I’m not talking about destiny nor religious precepts. The choices we make compound over time so we will either experience pain or pleasure. Consider author Victor J. Strecher’s perspective in, “Life on Purpose: How Living for What Matters Most Changes Everything,” where he explains the difference between embracing a hedonic or a eudaimonic aspiration: “Those who attained hedonic aspirations, however, reported greater anxiety and physical symptoms of poor health, whereas those attaining eudaimonic aspirations reported greater life satisfaction, self-esteem, and positive feelings.”
Experience the Wholeness Of Who You Really Are
Every choice before you represents the universe inviting you to remember who you are and what you want.— Alan Cohen
Some people become enslaved to their emotional pain and are unable to navigate their way out; despite their best effort. Similarly, others are obsessed with pleasure and may lead to a hedonistic life which is not sustainable. Neither is right nor wrong; but doing the best they can with their level of awareness. As we upgrade our level of awareness, the more informed choices we make. Pain and disappointment are not indicators of living an imperfect life. I would argue it denotes spiritual progress as long as the individual continues to grow and evolve from their experiences. “Everything changes and ends. Things do not always go according to plan. Life is not always fair. Pain is part of life. People are not loving and loyal all the time,” affirms David Richo.
Life is difficult, and no one has a true idea of their primary motives.
I say that in the best possible way. We are making up life as we go along; hoping for the best and trusting the next chapter will unfold according to our choices. The more informed and conscious we are, the better the outcome of our life. To experience the fullness of who we are, we must embrace every experience and discover the lessons contained within those experiences. That is, we learn and grow from them as we evolve.
When looking back on our life, we will come to realize that every experience was essential to shaping our character into the person we are today. Through my studies of aging populations over the last decade, I’ve observed those who faced immense difficulties in their life will lead long and robust lives. Perhaps it is because they grow resilient in the face of their struggles or as the adage goes, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” So, we should welcome every experience and see it as the entirety of our growth and development.
When the time comes to reflect on our life, we will realize that every experience was perfectly orchestrated so that our evolution is complete.