Your life has more meaning than you presently know. When you’re young and just starting out, it’s hard to decide what you want to be when you grow up. I’ve met many people in their forties still asking the same question.
You will, no doubt, experience many times, weeks, or months where you wonder,
“What’s it all about? Why am I here?”
And you might be dismayed when you don’t have a good answer. Certain cards life deals you may make these questions seem all the more dire.
You might find yourself getting out of the military wondering where to go from here.
Believe me, millions of students graduate college with the same exact question. Having what appears to be a solid plan and a sure thing is no shield against these existential questions.
Perhaps you’ve been dealt a bad hand, injured in combat or car accident, fired and/or long term unemployed, or failed in business or relationships, or death of a loved one. There are a multitude of reasons, some petty, some horrible, for a fatalistic outlook. Take your pick, and they all work.
Yes, they all work. Any excuse you might come up with, trivial or grave, works equally well. They allow you to consciously “give up”. Maybe the words don’t cross your lips, but, deep in your heart, you give yourself permission to stop trying.
Look at the man-made world around you. Each and everything in it was once just a thought in someone’s head. An individual, much like yourself, saw a problem and figured out how to fix it. Sometimes it was a revolutionary thought, like electricity, cars, airplanes, radio/tv, or computers. Sometimes it was just a tweak of what others had already produced, like clothing, furniture, or food stuffs. Everything that exists made by man was a solution to a problem, and it started out in someone’s head.
When we, as humans, encounter a problem, big or small, our brain will work on solving it and it won’t stop until we give ourselves permission to do so. It may not be a perfect solution, but it can, and does lead to others helping to solve the problem you first stumbled across.
You might have ideas about products you’d like to invent. Go to any store, and the shelves are filled with millions of products that started out as merely an idea. Could your idea wind up on the shelf that millions of people buy to solve a problem in their lives?
Deliver a service on your job? You’re solving problems for the business owner of delivering that service, and the recipients were in the store to solve a problem they had.
As long as you’re alive and able to contemplate your place in the universe, you have the capacity to solve problems for others.
Sometimes its because we’ve built a company and employed dozens or hundreds of people.
Sometimes it’s just how you make other people feel, and you were there to listen.
The ripple effect on people whose lives you touched are greater than you can fathom. You touch their lives, inspire them, share ideas, and they go on to solve problems and touch the lives of others, all because of you.
If you’re still unsure of what to do with your life, put your mind to the task of solving the problem of how to utilize your unique skills, personality, and presence on the planet. The fantastic thing is… you get to define your legacy.
I’m hoping that my writing, fiction or nonfiction, manages to have an impact on others, and I take great comfort in that.
I’m still working on my own purpose in an otherwise blessed life. No one is immune to the quest.
Persistence leads to victory!