Seeking purpose today is my goal, discovering a reason and a need to get out of bed and do something, anything. Because, unfortunately, I have spent a large portion of my life aimless and without purpose. Wondering, and depressed, drunken and alone. So I started writing, I started working on my purpose, I started this website seekingpurposetoday.com for the sole reason to discover this purpose and transcribe my findings to the masses.
In the past 19 months of my sobriety from alcohol and drugs I have come to many profound realizations and have tried my best to expound on them here. However, like an archaeologist looking for old bones, I feel that I have finally stumbled on to the truth I have been seeking.
First I would like to share with you my failures, the paths that were colored with roses and beautiful signs only to be dead ends or lead right back to where they started.
My first failure was in writing and publishing my very own books. Not that writing and publishing your own books is wrong, that for me I saw a path that I had desired as a child, pushed away in a dark corner with a typewriter, writing about dystopian futures and alien abductions. But, I didn’t see this as only a beautiful calling of my imagination, I saw it as a paycheck, as a spotlight. I saw writing and publishing as a trophy and I wanted to have all the trophies in the world and for them to be bigger and brighter than all your trophies.
I lost my way, I no longer wanted to write because I loved to write, I wanted to write for fame and glory for money and prestige. So, my path turned back on itself and I found myself back at the beginning, starting over.
Second, was Social Media. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, all the necessary marketing tools I would need to build my book club of world domination. And with a fever of possession by a demon of glory, I tore into the Social Media game with hopes of building a community that would love and adore me and also buy all my books.
I became obsessed with numbers, with likes, with the attention of people that would flock to my positive and witty energy. The people that seemed so into reading and writing. I knew I had a market and so I took another path, one disguised as helping others, but with a wicked vain of helping myself.
I leveraged my social media interactions to create a YouTube show.
And this was my Third failure in seeking purpose.
UniWeb Interview Show. A place where I would interview other authors and creatives for the sole purpose of getting more attention to their work. What a great idea, I think I invented, I also invented the light bulb. Anyway, it worked. People were interested and more importantly, I was on fire with Purpose (with a capital P). I honestly did think I was doing this to help people and maybe in the beginning I was, but if I am being honest, I was doing it all for myself.
I was quickly becoming a champion for writers, I was seen as a source of light in a dark place that is self-publishing. And boy did I love that, for a while. Unfortunately, the tricky problem with alcoholics isn’t so much that we drink way too much is that we are incredibly selfish, manipulative and well addicted to feeling good. And, even if I was obviously only out for myself, I have a way of deluding my mind to the true intention of my ways.
Again, I found myself back at the beginning of the maze. I would like to point out that when I say I found myself back at the beginning I mean, I found nothing but an endless fathom of more, more, more. I lost all joy in the attention, or attainment it felt so empty that I put myself back at the beginning.
My next failure is a more recent one and one that I believed would be the truest test of my purpose in life.
Failure number 4, Stand up Comedy. I had spent so many years fighting with myself about getting on stage and trying stand up. Why, because my whole life I had been told I was funny or just laughed at. So, this was a path that felt predestined and with it the weight of destiny. Because I knew at this point, if Comedy was not, “my thing” then I was screwed.
Comedy was the last house on my block, the last remaining pillar from my old life, yet to be fully explored and worked on to see if it might be the true tree in the garden. You already know where this is going, it’s not. Another dead end. And not because I wasn’t any good, but because it again screamed at me of Narcissism and Ego. This incredibly vain attempt to again lift myself higher than the rest of the world and regardless of how you all feel about this, I felt like a cheap hooker.
I lost any real purpose when I made my purpose getting on stage and being the most interesting person in the room. I also believed that I was meant for greatness on the stage and that I deserved to have success. Which again are traps.
But I realized something, in all my endeavors that ended in failure and dead ends, the reason they led nowhere was that they were worth nothing. They were a means to my ends. I saw the paths of each of these failures as actual paths, and at the end lay my reward.
Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way. There is no reward at the end of my path, and I have come to humbly realize that.
True reward, is found in virtue, in sacrifice. In doing the right thing because it is the right thing. All other paths lead to nowhere, they will either swallow you into the abyss or you can choose to turn around and go back. Start the journey anew.
See in seeking purpose today, I have also been seeking truth. I have filled my life with enough false promises and idols. The only thing that interests me now is truth.
And the truth is- we are all made to suffer something in some way. It is the shadow that gives depth to the light. It is literally what makes us 3 dimensional. So, then the only real choice we have to make is what virtues to have, and this I found is the answer.
My greatest discovery- Seek not the pleasures of your heart, because they are already yours, given to you freely. Instead, seek out the darkness, the hard things, because they are the training grounds for eternal life.
I can not allow myself to get lost in distractions anymore, because I do not want to deal with the real responsibilities in my life. I must do what is in front of me each day and in that I will find the true freedom.
You see as an alcoholic, finding distraction is a way of life. However, as a sober man distraction is death and a path to damnation. Fortunately, for me I have come to find the only real purpose in life is discovered daily by simple practices. Practices that may not seem fun or glamorous, but we have established that is not a path I want to be on. Purpose is easy on the path of virtue, it says: Pay your bills, raise your children, treat people with kindness, and give thanks for what you have. In these daily practices life opens up to me and for that I am grateful.