As a society, we are fixated on chasing happiness, a thrill, or anything we can quantify as pleasurable, as the measure of our sense of purpose. However, how often does this pursuit feel empty? How many times do we justify our work and activities as meaningful? How much of the day is spent reflecting on the meaningfulness of the interactions with those around you or even the environment? Or is it that we just pass from point A to point B? Are the interactions that we are having meaningful and respectful or are we just distracted by the demands of the technology that hold us captive? Or is it just the fear of missing out mentality that runs strongly through our culture.
I personally can say that I struggle day-to-day with this concept of “purpose” and how to better interact with the people and environment I love and care for. What are the steps that we must take to be more present, to have the sense purpose? I am not sure, however I propose to start these in my personal life:
- Get off my phone. Yes, the cell-phone has become an extension of us, the need to check email, text messages and “check-in” with social media in nearly intoxicating. However, how much does it take away from those around us? I have found that this little piece of tech is one of the most distracting parts of our life when we are around each other. In our home, we are going to try an institute a limited amount of time in our evening to our cell-phone, the rest of the time will be filled with conversation about our day, making a meal or reading a book.
- 100% listen to the people in our life. Hear what they are saying, and maybe also not saying. If we continue to move through our life distracted, we might miss that our child or partner is distressed from the happenings in the day. Or in the clinical setting, we can be missing a piece of critical information that their body could be telling us.
- Immerse yourself. Leave all the other distractions behind. When you are on the trail, focus on the trail, heart rate, respirations, the feel of the light as it dances through the trees, smile. At work, reignite the passion in what you do, or find something in your current job that will keep you excited to return everyday! Job satisfaction is an absolute measure of health and an outcome measure!
- GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK. I get told this a lot. I try to juggle EVERYTHING. Sometimes the balls fall, which feels like everything is falling. We absolutely work hard to be everything to everyone, from our jobs to the activities that we enjoy. Its hard being human and recognizing that we have a breaking point!
I can say that my life has been sometimes an uphill summit push, there have been hardships that made me want to turn around and just quit, but there is the beauty that comes with the hardship. The people in my life have been pillars to my success, my daughter is a resilient force of human nature, my partner is adventurous, brave and passionate, my family in NM are my roots, as are all the people that I have acquired, all of whom provide nothing but good in my life. I do struggle with being distracted and taking on too much, as well as running on fumes until I crash. I am human, but I am coming to realize that there is more to chasing a sensation. I am working towards the soundness to better appreciate the moments with intention, that I have and will continue to have will, to move me a step closer to living with purpose.