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Finding Purpose

September 19, 2010

For those who are looking for their lifelong purpose, me especially: If you haven’t loved anything in a long while, how do you expect to stumble upon some career and fall in love in 2 seconds?

This is an overview of the journey I’ve been through searching for my life purpose, full of hardship, inner and outer struggle. The search hasn’t ended yet, and it may never will, but I sometimes wish I could just settle, have peace in my anxious soul, and just live a purposeful life, even though I’m not sure what that means anymore.

I don’t exactly know when I discovered the concept of purpose, but one of my first exposures was via personal development blogs, which I started frequenting around 2005, first year in college. At that time, I was convinced that I should have a life purpose in order to live the best life I can, but I thought that it is something that hit in a moment of higher epiphany. I thought that everybody has a unique calling, as if it were encoded in their DNA.

I soon quit this idea, realizing I can’t wait idly for “the moment,” and that I have to put my brain to work. I thought my solution lies in meditation, the power of the brain and whatnot. That started around the second year of college, and with it a wave of depression the effects of which still linger today. The feeling of being trapped by my major, my thinking trapped a cage of social expectations, “practical” considerations, and other meaningless stuff, kept pounding at my soul. I was dying inside.

And you know how day-to-day life has a way of stealing you away from the big stuff in your life, small life taking you away from big life…

Final year of med school was better, I studied well, managed to raise my grades and graduate with a good GPA. I had few negative episodes during the year, the thoughts that once haunted me were pushed to a tiny corner in my brain. But there was still something missing.

Graduation, like many other major life transitions, brought to the fore the ideas that hid in my brain; maybe it was the sudden transition from having too much to do, studying for the finals, to having nothing to do. It is then I started to realize that the years I spent “thinking” did me nothing, and that there has to be something else.

But there wasn’t anything else, there only was (and still is) a chance to go do training in the US in a couple of years. I had decided that my thinking was narrowed by my social, familial, life situation or whatever, much like meditating in a coffee cup. The change in scenery would surely set my mind free to new possibilities.

But dang it, I don’t want to live like that. I don’t want to merely switch off, live like a zombie for a couple of years, just so that I can go abroad, and maybe, rediscover myself. I just can’t do it. I want to enjoy every day, I want to wake up in the morning with a smile on my face, as the cliche goes. I want to find that thing that drives me, excites me, takes me away. Yet I couldn’t find it…

But then it struck me just a few days ago that I haven’t been excited about a life decision for a long long time. The overwhelming frustration just killed my soul, I can no longer love. I am incapable of passion. How am I going to find a career I love if I can no longer love? Any change in my situation isn’t going to solve this. This is deep inside me, this has nothing to do with anything, anyone.

So here I am now, trying to find long lost love, trying to revive it. I don’t know how I’ll do it, but it’s going to take a while, that’s for sure. At least, I can take relief in the fact that I don’t have to find anything immediately, but that doesn’t take the problem away. Maybe I should just focus on finding love in everything I do, and forget about everything else. The whole thing could solve itself.


From → Introspective

  1. haitham permalink

    Superb read. Thax.

    One can`t wait for thE “moment” to pop out to find purpose; it “also” needs searching and a lOt of effort 🙂


  2. Thanks haitham.

  3. My experience with the MD student tells me that they believe that their choices in life are limited! It is not at all, they can do lots of things other than training to be doctors! Just search for alternatives you guys!

  4. Haitham, this is true, but isn’t purpose different from a career?

  5. It all depend on how you really think about life! For me, a purpose and a career are somewhat connected.

  6. It sure depends on the way you think about life.

    But, on a somewhat related note, do you believe there a one best/empowering/relaxing way to look at life?

  7. Well again that depend on the person =)

  8. Hehe, alrighty sir!

  9. I see it everyday with my husband. His life would not be fulfilled without his career – he loves his job – knew it the day I met him (in hotel school) that it really drives him. I, on the contrary, am fulfilled today, as a full-time wife/mum. I don’t need a career. Or maybe I sacrified my career so that we could have a family. don’t know. but i don’t miss it :0
    great read – thx

  10. Babs, it’s not a sacrifice if your life is fulfilled. Wish you and your family all the best.

  11. I enjoyed reading this. I wonder all the time what my life’s purpose is…but then again, if I’m looking for it, then I’m not living it.

    Love is a strong word. I don’t think it’s easy to find a job you “love” per say but strongly like…Now, that is possible.

  12. Haitham Al-Sheeshany permalink

    It`s the ineer-outter thingy I suppose 🙂
    Goin` back to basics may be 😀


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. The meaning of it all? | Ana Naddoush
  2. Another perspective on that purpose thingy… | Ehab Thought

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