There’s a lot out there about how to find your true purpose in life. People make careers through speaking engagements, books, podcasts, and any other medium imaginable. It’s big business because our world has become so complex and busy that too many people don’t feel as though they are on their true path in life.
Depression can be a powerful emotion. It takes a hold of you and makes you feel as though you can’t get out. I’m not going to say that the feeling can go away easy, but I know that the more you can understand what got you there, the easier it is to separate yourself from those feelings that creep up and try to take hold.
The main source of depression in my mind is lack of purpose. It’s a reason that wealthier nations are more prone to the illness. When you spend your days getting out of bed, going to work, and doing the same routine, just to go home and spend the last few hours of energy consuming entertainment from a television set or computer screen, sooner or later you will ask yourself “why?”
When you feel that you can’t get out of it, you begin to retreat inward. That’s when it gets dangerous and a downward spiral can occur. So we look to external stimuli to give ourselves reason to be alive. To feel good. But that always ends in failure, sooner or later. Unfortunately for many people it comes much later in life, to the point that there are lasting effects both physically and mentally. Whether it’s drugs and alcohol, sex, or material things, many of us seek to fill a void inside. Religion can even be a dangerous vice if practiced incorrectly – an idea that might piss off more than a few people. But if it makes you react, you should ask yourself why you react. Or if you just brush it off as “not me, not now” there might be a reason why you are ignoring the message.
One of my favorite quotes is from the movie Fight Club by one of the Protagonist/Antagonist combos, Tyler Durden:
Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.
So how do you get around that? How do you turn the anger of a generation into something good? It’s not to say that there is nothing we can do. I’ve found a solution. I’m not the first to say it and I won’t be the last.
Do what makes you happy.
It’s pretty much a cliche term now. But find what makes you wake up early and stay up late. Find out what makes you want to shout from the rooftops, to tell all your friends, family, and strangers on the street why it’s great. If you don’t know what it is, then figure it out. Go try new things. Join a club. Take a class at the community center. Interact with people and see what gets them out and enjoying their life. Learn from the successes of others.
For me, that is travelling to new places and pushing my inner limits to a point where I feel progress. Lately it’s been with the way my body interacts with nature. It’s a great feeling, and I love the ability to discover new ways about myself and the world around me. But for whatever it is with you, go forth and do it… because life is way too short.
When we are happy we are in a state of flow that comes from self love. The words are there but are you really taking it in? Or are is it going over your head? Think long and hard about the feelings you create throughout the day. What makes you happy from within? I’m not talking about outside stimuli. I’m talking about actions that incite the happinness from within. That is where you will shine to your ultimate purpose. Whatever it is.