Sense of Purpose

by Michelle Lasley

Michelle Lasley is a mother, wife in Pacific Northwest learning to balance green dreams with budget realities.

April 14, 2011


Categories: One a Day

Tremble .

Image by Cherie Priest via Flickr

Figuring out what the hell I am supposed to do on this earth has been important to me as long as I can remember. Why else would I dedicate an entire blog to figuring out what my life means now? If you’ve had a chance to read my “About Me” page, you will see that I outline some of the thoughts that have shaped my life. I often forget that I am not normal. I incorrectly assume that others would go about things in a similar manner as me. Recently, I’ve been very surprised at how many adults I’ve come into contact with who have either no sense of purpose and/or no sense of self awareness. This lack of awareness seems, in my judgment, to make them act immaturely, full of ego, with haste, and sometimes just be plain rude.

It started with a seed, when I was younger. I knew I had to be a part of this world for some reason. I grasped onto this idea of needing to do something. If the world didn’t deliver us individual purpose, what was all this suffering for? I had these thoughts at least since 3rd grade. People leaving, dying, abandoning, crossing your boundaries, teasing, ridiculing, bullying, suffering, not having enough, feeling ashamed of who you are – what’s it all for? This has to be for something. If it’s not for something, for anything, what’s holding us all here?

I have to believe in purpose on one hand as a pure survival mechanism. It’s too easy to say, “I quit!” if there is no purpose.

I never had a clear calling either. I never wanted to be a nun, a priest (ha, ha), a counselor, a doctor, maybe a lawyer, toyed with the idea of an artist – but no one thing called me to pursue it. The only thing that really did call me was studying ideas and trying to come to grips on figuring it all out. Simultaneously, I always knew that the environment and education were important to me. It has been and still is a journey figuring out what I want to do when I grow up. Each new piece I learn about skills I hold uncovers another piece to the puzzle. Different jobs paring down what I don’t and do like uncovers even more pieces. I like to know how everything runs in an organization, for example, but I don’t want to do all the data entry that might make it possible.

Most of the time, I feel like I’m reasonably self-aware. I know what I want and why. If something happens, it takes me a while to figure out what I’m feeling about a thing – but I’m learning. The bit that surprises me is when it seems that others don’t want to take the time to do the self assessment. Perhaps I’m encountering more people lately who want to be viewed as victims. They would rather just blame others for their ills rather than take ownership of their own wants and desires. Some people have complained about, for example, how a thing ran. But, there was a chance to try to run the thing previously – if they cared so much, why didn’t the put their hat in the running to run the thing? Why do they insist on complaining about something where after their opinions were voiced, the people whose responsibility it was to make that choice made it, but it wasn’t something they liked. So, instead of making a choice to shit or get off the pot, they decide to whine about not shitting!

This is my problem because I tend to loose respect, quickly, for people who play the victim card. You can only do so much coaching and counseling and building people up. At some point they need to drink the water.

I ask you reader – of those who you know, those who play the victim card – do you think they have a sense of purpose? I’m betting that they either don’t or they can’t figure it out. I’m betting that not having a purpose is giving them permission to play the victim and blame others.

Now, I suppose I should ask for the empathy to deal with these folks lest I act too snotty again because of the lack of respect I hold.

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