Know Thyself, Help Thyself: My Purpose In Life

Good evening Wonderful Listeners.

I had a conversation with my mother recently about what I was like as a child. Lately I’ve been interested in trying to understand myself and my place in life a bit better. It’s become important to me to be honest with myself and spend time with myself to get to know myself. So I’ve been doing a lot of that recently.

What exactly brought on this sudden interest? Well, it spawned from watching two TEDxTalks in particular; however, the drive came from a deeper place. With the realization of the change in my being recently, I couldn’t help but wonder something: If I could notice how I’ve changed in the course of a year and how it’s affected my life, then why can’t I take note of who I am outside of these recent changes?

So there then began a journey of wholly dedicated self-examination. I’m currently still figuring things out, one at a time admittedly, but progress is progress. I take what I can, note it down and reinforce it in life; I’m always checking myself to confirm if how I feel is a truthful and genuine feeling of my own.

I can’t help but accept how I feel as truth. After all, most feelings are uncensored as long as they remain in your body, where no one but you can touch them and observe them carefully. So I spend a lot of time in my own head, reflecting on my own thoughts, both the conscious and subconscious ones. I’m eager and motivated and inspired to start learning now who I am, what I want, and what I should be doing.

But let me shy away from that heaping idea for a moment; let me talk about what my mother said to me, the first TEDxTalk, and how I’ve changed recently (a summary of course.)

If you’ve read one of my recent posts, you’ll know that I have noticed a huge change in my persona. I have not tried to change it or reject it but I’ve accepted this change, as a positive for my own life. I have matured very quickly to say the least and in this maturity, I have felt the urge to stop loitering and wasting my own time. I realize that life is full of experiences waiting to be experienced, so why am I wasting time on one particular experience when I could get most of the grunt work out of the way now?

(Please let me interject; I know that I am young and should not be aware of who I am because I have only just started living. But according to this TEDxTalk I’m going to refer to, I have always been who I was and just needed to both realize it and embrace it.)

So that’s what I’m starting to do. The first particular TEDxTalk I’m referring to, called The Art of Being Yourself, is linked below. Please, I implore you to watch it. I suggest that you don’t continue reading until you’ve finished watching it.

I found this speech at 3:30 in the morning, when I was supposed to be asleep. And it hit me so deeply that I couldn’t get it out of my mind and I couldn’t fall asleep. So I stayed up thinking about it.

Now I haven’t found the exact answer to the questions she asks, but I have begun to collect evidence about what I will need to answer them. One particular quote that is staying with me is:

The two places in life where you are awesome at being yourself, you’re fantastic at being yourself, one of them is when you’re a kid. When you’re a kid you’re fantastic at being yourself because you don’t know how to disguise your different-ness […] The other place you’re fantastic at being yourself is when you’re wrinkly, because you can’t be arsed. You get to that stage in your life where you realize that there are more such behind you than there are in front of you, and everything intensifies. You become more honest. You become less compromising.

I couldn’t stop thinking about this quote. Every child seems to have a clear personality once they have the ability to make words. They have yet to really learn the ways of the society and its expectations and so they can’t help but to be themselves because that’s all they know.

Well, I’m not wrinkly yet. So the only place I could reference was my childhood. So I did. I went to my mother and sat down with her and asked: what was I like as a kid? She hesitated for a moment and then proceeded to give me this laundry list. Now, I know she was biased because she was my mother, however, she would be the best to know what I was like because she’s the one who paid the most attention to me.

She said many things that I would expect any mother to say about their children that they love: I’m blessed; I’m lucky; I wouldn’t trade you, etc. But what I pulled out from her words were the things which she said with little to no feeling—the traits which she had to be objective instead of subjective with.

She proceeded to tell me a few things as such:

  1. I was challenging. I made people stop and think. That was the first thing out of her mouth. She said that I was smart enough to write up a contract and negotiate with her, as a 4 year old, how I would eat my vegetables. I’m not sure how much of that is true but she repeated over and over again, how challenging of a person I was, both to her and to those around me.
  2. I was (over)confident. I was sure of my abilities and what I could and couldn’t do. I had no problem doing proudly the things I felt good at. However, sometimes I would be too proud and came off as pretentious (but I believe I’ve learned that lesson at this point.)
  3. I tried to be friends with everyone. I was eager to spread my joy of connecting with others. I wanted to be important to other people around me and be depended upon. I wanted to be, well, their friend. Of course, I realized that I couldn’t be friends with everyone.
  4. I had strong (academic) work ethic. While I was not necessarily a bookworm, I truly believed in my studies. I didn’t want to settle for average so I worked to be better than average. This was true even outside of school (and I should thank my parents for instilling that in me.)
  5. I was smart. She couldn’t deny how intelligent I was. I could figure out things that others couldn’t and get answers quicker than most. Although, I admit to being a know-it-all but I’ve quelled that side of me so that I’m just a well of knowledge.
  6. I was a sweetheart. For lack of better words, I was just a super nice guy. I was considerate of others and genuinely nice. I was respectful. All of those good things.
  7. I was occasionally vicious. When she told me this, I wasn’t surprised. I remember being a bit snarky and mean but only when I felt like I had to be. If being nice and happy wasn’t going to get me where I needed, then I would fight my way their, unapologetically.

So after hearing these 7 traits, I got to thinking about myself. I thought, firstly, about myself as a child. I thought I was a handful and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what other people thought too. Then after I let the information settle, I started thinking about what might have changed from those past traits?

My answer was inconclusive, because I don’t feel that much has changed according to those traits. I still feel this way (even though I don’t openly admit it to everyone.) I still feel like I am all of those things and like I always will be. That’s the part of me that is true to who I am; it’s uncontaminated so to speak.

After gaining this knowledge, I held on to it. I spent some time with it. Then I started thinking about other things, like what I am supposed to do with my life. Then I ran into another TEDxTalk, How To Know Your Life Purpose In 5 Minutes. This too is linked below. Again, please view it before continuing on.

After viewing this speech, I truly sat with myself to understand what my life purpose could be. I came up with countless statements according to his step-by-step, 8 to be precise. But then I questioned myself, asking if I could really do that everyday, if I could really be happy focusing most of my life doing that. By the time I finished, I had 2 statements and they are as follows:

  • I make art for myself to give myself freedom so that I can fully express myself as a human being.
  • I counsel the confused and emotionally burdened to give them assurance so that they can make better life decisions.

Truly, it was this simple. And then I waited. I sat in my bed at 5:45 in the morning, asking myself over and over again if these statements were true. And I felt that they were. I didn’t need to question them any longer because I felt like I had spoken with myself, without any lies and inhibitions. I found my purposes.

And how I went about checking whether they were true or not was to reflect on my life. I looked back on what I had always been doing. I’ve always been a writer and drawer and dancer and singer; I’ve always been an artist. I’ve always been a helper and advisor for those who had it hard; I’ve always been counseling since I can remember.

I knew very well that I could combine the two purposes into one but I chose not to. I felt more fulfilled knowing that there’s a purpose for myself alone and then one for the world. In this way, I could live out both fully, without sacrificing one for the other. Currently I’m fulfilling the first purpose.

In retrospect, these purposes of mine line up quite synonymously with my persona. It makes logical sense, at this point, that I would have (at least) these traits. How else could I be fit to help those and express myself and ideas? The two pieces fit nicely together to create something better, something greater.

Now, the only question that remains: how would I manifest those purposes? Well, that’s for me to decide. I know what I have to do. Now I need to figure out how to do it. Of course, I’m in no rush for the how at the moment but I do require that it make me happy most of the time. It was the what that was concerning.

I could go on an on but I believe that I’ve hit the nail on the head. I won’t overkill it. I do believe that there’s more for me to learn about myself but I am at least glad I got the foundational purposes out of the way. I know a bit about myself which is good too. So I take my spoils for the day, with a smile.

I do hope you managed to pull something useful out of this entry. It is my hope that my words would help you figure out something about yourself. If not, maybe time will tell you if my words are true or not. Maybe time will tell me too.

Well, I’m done. Thank you all for reading. Until next time, cheers!

Do you think I’m too young to know my life’s purpose? What did you think of the speeches? Do you know your life purpose, or have an idea about it? If so, tell me in the comments! What’s your opinion about my proclaimed purpose? Leave all your thoughts below!


17 thoughts on “Know Thyself, Help Thyself: My Purpose In Life

  1. I knew this woman who had a daughter and when her daughter reached the age of six her I got to know her character, and the way she did things. Then the mother got married and moved down south I didn’t see them again for over 15 years. Now once I saw them again, I knew the daughter’s personality and character. I realized that those traits developed from an early age. Those who knew how you was back then know how you are now. Especially the so called friends who exploited you…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah. Those “friends” that exploited me were quick to realize my nature and use me. I admit that. After all, it’s easier to look at another and break them down into components than it is ourselves, so it’s easier to be blind to our own tendencies.
      But I think it’s true, that those qualifies develop during childhood and hardly change, if at all, as times goes on. Thanks for reading George! Much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t think you are too young to know what your life purpose is. Kudos to you for taking the time to examine it. I find, as I have gone through life, my purpose has changed, several times. And it is in those times of inner reflection that my passion arises again. Good luck on your journey Carlos. This was such an interesting read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it Kelly 🙂 I do think it’s possible for your life purpose to change, although I currently believe that it takes a significant event to change them. After all, as I said, you can manifest WHAT you feel like you’re supposed to be doing in many different ways. At the end of the day though, you’re still hovering around one idea (or more if you’re lucky!)
      Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. How amazing!!!! Oh how I wish I had this conversation with my mom. She’s now 92 and can’t remember which daughter I am, let alone how I was as a child. This is priceless. Sorry, I read this at 5:30 this morning and couldn’t hear the TEDx videos….I cheated and read on without the benefit. It’s now later in the day and I could only listen to a few minutes of each. I can tell from how these impacted you they are excellent! Hopefully, I can listen to them in full sometime soon.
    The one book my husband and I read together to help us was called “The Purpose Driven Life.” It really helped us. It’s a 30 day devotional to read and think about as you seek Wisdom.
    I think you are on to something….I know the Lord has GREAT plans for you! I’m excited to be on this journey with you as you figure it out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, the videos are grand. I’ve never heard about “The Purpose Driven Life” but it sounds intriguing. I may have to pick it up sometimes.
      I sincerely appreciate you reading that “oddly” long post. This was something really important to me. Thank you for all the encouragement you give me Debbie. Honestly, I’m sure it was in God’s plan for us to be connected the way we are. I couldn’t ask for a better friend to ride alongside me. 🙂 I’m excited to see where life will take me!

      Liked by 1 person

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