looking inwards: the journey to finding purpose

In the quest for greatness, success and purpose, most people usually do not know how to go about it. Buried in each one of us is that burning desire to leave an impact in the sands of time, to exit with a bang.

Most people feel unfulfilled and live daily with a yearning for something better and we ask ourselves “is this all there is to life?” or we wonder “why am i here?”. Most often than not the answer eludes us.

Some give up and become content with living one day to the other, others attempt to find a sense of purpose in defining their own version of success and greatness which ultimately leads to more dissastifaction and confusion. Still there are others that look to religion and forces outside of them. They search but they get it wrong because they are looking in the wrong places.

Finding purpose, living the fulfulling life, achieving greatness and making an impact all comes from within. What we need to do exploits is buried within our core. it is that yearning we feel, it’s that source of disatisfaction that makes us yearn for more.

Most of us look for the inspiration outside, we look to others and around us for guidance but we are our own inspiration, our own wellspring. Quoting from the Bible, a famous sage said “i will look up unto the hills from whence cometh my help…” and we are so quick to take this statement as absolute truth that our sucess and inspiration are from a higher power.

Recalling stories told of exploits and purposeful lives of great men it is quite apparent that these men had to look Inwards to find that inner strength that pushed them to make history. Moses at the red sea: he was in a dilemma and he cried unto God. What did God tell him? “why are you crying unto me? Tell the israelites to move forward…..stretch the rod that is in your hands…”.

In other words God said “stop wasting your breath..go do something! And Moses, what you need to overcome is right in your hands!”. The rod in Moses’ hands had become God’s mode of bringing salvation to His people, only he(Moses) had not realized it! But when he did, that rod went on to do many marvellous things in his hands.

Gideon, the great warrior in declaring war against the syrians shouted “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon” and this while holding just a pitcher and a lamp! This was after God had shown him some signs and led him into the enemies camp to show him what He has put inside of him. And when Gideon realized this, victory was inevitable. The list is endless.

Putting it all in perspective, are we saying God has no place? Not at all. But what God does is to give you a compass and a map with a location to finding that which he has put inside you that will help you. It is still you that has to take that journey inside and find what he has put there- that source of strength, the force of life and resources you will need.

Now taking that journey inward is not as easy as it sounds. The road is rough, filled with constant distractions.

First is the fear of what we will find: will it be according to what we had been thinking was our life’s mission all along? Most times what we take as life goals or as the definition of success is far from what we are meant to achieve.

Second is the fear of greatness. Somebody noted that our deepest fear is not that of inadequacy but that we are powerful beyond measure. We do not want to believe that we have greatness inside us or that we are capable of greatness. Most times we define ourselves by the events of the past or the mistakes and mess ups of the past or what people tell us or how they see us and we conclude that we are no good and that nothing great can come out of us.

Third is impatience. The journey inward is painstakingly slow and most times we do not know where and how to start. We do not know what to look for. And we are in a haste to achieve greatness and there are so many alluring shortcuts. Sadly all end in frustration.

Many today wake up everyday with no sense of direction, all that guide them are daily routines which lack meaning. Many cannot answer the question of “who am i?” and most times define themselves by their job or title or possessions. We are much more than that! We are unique, made for a purpose.

Not finding this makes life dull, boring and meaningless. It is then easy to follow people’s ideologies and develop passion about someone else’s philosophy. We become slaves in our mind and follow blindly anyone that seems to have an idea of what life is all about. Then fanaticism, sychophancy and blind zeal is born. “in the absence of vision, the people perish”. When there is no insight to who we are, no illumination about why we are created, no sense of direction as to which path to take in life, there will be destruction.

Many seek someone to tell them what to do and how to lead their lives and give them a life purpose all because they have not learnt to take that journey inward. Taking a journey inwards makes us to know who we are, our strengths and weaknesses, our talents and potentials, what drives us and what we are passionate about. It strips us of cultural impositions, family and societal expectations and demands. It breaks the hold of conforming to others’ ideals or image of who we are and helps us to stop living a lie or living to please people.

Then we will become true to ourselves and embrace our uniqueness and harness our potentials and become great and make an impact. Then life becomes a joy, zest for living returns and life becomes meaningful and fulfilling. Stop looking outward, look upward for directions and look inwards to find yourself, take that painful journey and when you do, your life will definitely be different and you will live a purposeful life.

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