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The Problems With Finding Your PURPOSE

I have always been jealous of the people who always knew what their purpose was in life before they even started their careers.



 I mean, that would be nice, but that wasn't me and it's very likely if you are reading this blog, that it's probably not you.



If you are on social media or any kind of media, you probably have heard that, find your purpose, find your 'Dharma', Live your passion, and you will never work a day in your life. Look at movies like Eat pray love. So many people, I personally know in my life, have been on that eat-pray- love, kind of a journey to self discovery.


 But, is such a journey always necessary when you want to find your 'purpose' or your 'Dharma'?


 Before we delve into the necessity of finding your Purpose, let's really think about what is purpose. And then let's also talk a bit about Dharma.


In my books purpose is when awareness and action create something bigger than yourself. So, you need to be aware of what you are doing, and you want to take obsessive action to create something not for your tiny ego, but for a bigger cause than yourself. Through this process, you will find yourself and finding yourself is a loaded concept.


Honestly, there are various definitions of finding yourself. In the highest sense, I would say finding yourself is the only purpose that any human being has on this planet. But, of course, finding yourself could also mean understanding what are your values? What are your interests? What do you want to do? What is it that you want your life to mean at the end?


Once you realize what finding yourself means to you then the next task is aligning all your life's work towards that mission. That mission could simply be,

  •   I want to live a happy life,

  • I want a happy family and not many distractions.

  • I want to earn enough to make both ends meet and live comfortably.


 So, personally for me, that purpose YOU have to define for yourself. Once you find the meaning of purpose, that will lead you to the meaning of finding yourself. You give a meaning to yourself.


Now, coming to 'Dharma', you probably have heard 'Purpose' and 'Dharma' are very closely linked together. It's a really interesting concept for me.


' Dharma' as a word, gets taken out of context in all sorts of purposes. Sometimes people who are talking about 'Dharma' have no idea what they're talking about. But as an Indian, since 'Dharma' is a Sanskrit word,  I personally have some perspectives on this word and what its meaning is.


'Dharma', in very technical terms, means the property or the characteristics of an object of that person.

For example, think about the 'Dharma' of water. The 'dharma' of water is that it freezes at zero degrees Celsius. It boils at a hundred degrees Celsius. It's generally colorless. It's made of hydrogen and oxygen, and one of its purposes is to quench thirst.  But that is NOT its only purpose that you can use. The properties of water to quench thirst, again, water is also NOT the only thing that'll quench thirst.


 So, when you think about 'purpose' and 'dharma' separately, you realize that you are really leaning into your characteristics as the person who you are. Which is why looking at your values and your interests is absolutely critical to this because your values and your principles and your interests will guide you towards knowing what your 'dharma' is.


 'Dharma' is really literally the unchangeable characteristic of that person rather than things that are fleeting, or that can change over time or can be acquired or let go.

For example, my interest in filmmaking could be a passing phase or my interest in cooking gourmet food could be a passing phase, but my interest in finance has actually stayed with me for a long time, and you can call it my 'Dharma'. My interest in technology has stayed with me for a long, long time. My interest in literature has stayed with me for a long, long time, so that's 'Dharma'.


 So, think about who you were when you were a child, and, I know everyone says this, What is it that you really enjoyed doing? Don't think about it in a superficial way, like, I wanted to become an astronaut. Think about it in depth, like,  What is the underlying desire for this? What made you want to become an astronaut?

  • Was it the math?

  • Was it the space?

  • Was it your teacher?

  •  Was it something else?

  • What made you want to become that and what is that pattern that is constantly repeated in your life?

This thinking can only come from self-reflection.


So, very much like water, you might have a certain 'Dharma',  and you might use that 'Dharma' to fulfill a certain purpose. So yes, your 'Dharma' will take you towards your purpose. But, by no means, is your 'Dharma' your purpose.


Let us bring this back to life a bit.

For example, the 'Dharma' of a software programmer is probably that they really like logic. They have always been good at logically thinking about things and they have been good at doing that for a long, long time. So much so that, it's become ingrained in them and that has become their identity. That's who they are. That becomes their 'Dharma'. That 'Dharma' then lends itself to the bigger purpose of their life. This leads to that person becoming a software engineer.


As we have discussed earlier, 'Dharma' is very intricately connected with purpose. 'Dharma' is the nature of the thing that leads to the purpose. Thus, if you don't know your nature, your true self, your values, your interests, how do you define the your 'Dharma'? If you can't do that, how do you define what is it that you could be of best use in this world for?


If you understand that, that your 'purpose' and your 'Dharma' are really intricately linked, you need to understand why is it so difficult for us to find our 'Purpose', to find our 'Dharma'?


1. Here's the deal, both of these concepts that I have discussed here, are very abstract.

They're not like the two plus two in math that'll make four and always four. It's not even like a compound interest that I can talk about and show you on an Excel spreadsheet  about how much money that you could make if you continuously invested and compounded your money year on year.


This is more subjective.

This is more personal.

This is more abstract.


Which is why it's very difficult to get a sense of what it really means.


2. Then you add to it the continuous noise that we live in.

Technology has pervaded all angles of our life. How many times do we even get a moment in true silence? Unless we are meditating or are in a shower. We rarely have any moments of silence in our lives. When you walk down the supermarket, you go to the gym,  you always have a podcast on an audiobook ON. And while you are learning, you are training your intellect. You are NOT training your awareness.


That is where the challenge is. You need to become 'aware' to find your 'purpose'. You need to be self-aware, and the self-awareness only comes after you have sat in silence or stood in silence or walked in silence. Just being in silence  for a while after all of your haphazard thoughts have come and gone, have come and gone, and then there's a period of silence beyond which you start finding yourself.


3. Then the third reason why finding your purpose is so difficult is because people want to connect purpose with money.

Sometimes 'Purpose' is related to money. But, sometimes it is not. Sometimes your purpose could just be that I want to be a good person, live a whole and happy life, and that's it. That's my purpose.


The moment we start making purpose bigger than what it really is, there's a problem. If you want to make money, follow your 'leverage' not your 'purpose'. Your purpose is different from your leverage. Your leverage is what you are good at.


That you are a good programmer; You write good code; Maybe you have a career in software engineering, and that is what makes you money.  If you have multiple things, it could look quite different for you depending on your skillsets, your 'Dharma'.


For example, for me, I know I am a tech nerd, I'm a finance nerd, which makes it really easy for me to decide for a career in financial services within AI technologies.


If you ask me what my 'Dharma' is, I know that I enjoy technology. I enjoy personal finance. I enjoy finance. I enjoy personal development.


But if you ask me what my purpose is, it is just to find myself.


If you ask me what my purpose is in this society, maybe it's just to be a corporate senior leader or a mom, and that's okay. I don't need my purpose to be anything bigger than that, but I still need money coming into my bank account, so that, I can live a happy and healthy life. My leverage allows me to do that.


So yes, while there's wisdom in finding your 'Dharma', finding your 'purpose', I would say that if you simply want money, follow your leverage.


I'll also say this, that only when you feel sufficiently abundant in your life, then you start asking these big questions about what is the 'purpose' of life?


So, the first thing that you can do to find your 'purpose' is make money, become financially abundant. Feel that abundance. Don't live in scarcity. You are resourceful enough to always make both ends meet.

Then start creating space.


Space.


In terms of space in your diary. We all have cramped diaries. I have a cramped diary,  but the only way to cut a cramped diary is by creating space in that diary. So, start creating space in your diary


In terms of creating physical spaces where you can be yourself.  You can be reflective on who is it that you really are, where you don't need that noise to follow you around. This is one of the key reasons why I prefer boxing or swimming because it engages my whole body and mind and I can't be distracted during that time.


In terms of creating Social Space, where you can interact with like-minded people.

The third thing I believe that's worth doing is, finding your 'TRIBE'. When you are younger, finding your tribe is easier because you go to school, you play sport, you have your family around.

 But, as I have grown up, I have found that finding my tribe has taken a lot longer. But very interestingly, I have found my tribe on the internet. On the communities that I'm a part of, on the business groups that I'm a part of, and actually the Abundance Psyche community.


If you are someone, who's looking to find your tribe, come join the Abundance Psyche community because people are extremely supportive of each other and across all of social media, YouTube, Instagram, my blog.


If you want to talk to me personally, please drop me an email at, sudeshna@theabundancepsyche.com and mention the word 'Dharma' in your subject line.







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