Your Central Purpose

A friend visiting from Colorado asked an important question over lunch a couple of days ago, the answer to which finally surfaced during a quiet moment earlier today. While I didn’t ask, I imagine the question was asked as he is at an age (mid 20s) where I recall noticing the same thing in the world around me.

Some see their parents becoming cynical, others see it in family or friends farther afield. When I first saw the dark and heavy cloud that accompanies cynicism some 20 years ago, I remember feeling a mixture of horror and despair.  I asked myself “How could someone give up on life and the future like that, and so early?” I also remember thinking “I sure hope that doesn’t happen to me.”

Cynicism has nothing to do with the world around you. Yes, the world can be a horrible place and yes, the accumulation of negative life experiences can be trying, but no one can force you to take an attitude in relation to the living of life. Your attitudes are your responsibility and this responsibility should never be taken lightly.

Cynicism has everything to do with the failure to come to terms with your central purpose in life. Unfortunately no one can tell you your central purpose. It has to emerge through you from the inside-out. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and disappointment if you remember that your central purpose is revealed to you as you faithfully and generously serve others.

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11 Responses to Your Central Purpose

  1. Colin says:

    Cynicism really is horrifying; I actually had not thought of it that way before, but it’s true. I imagine that living a life of failure after failure can be trying on a person, especially if they never introspect enough to realize the cause. The cynic is definitely redeemable, but they need to see that the world is a place of possibility, and not only of preordained outcomes. They need to see that they can have an outcome on the world around them. In other words, they need to start doing the thing that will help them find their purpose, just like you said.

  2. Ricardo B. says:

    I can see that cynicism can easily happen if in your life if your desires are placed above the needs of others. The energy of life moves through people when our attention is placed outwards in seeing how we can serve the needs of the world around us. All kinds of things are more easily shared between people – things that others need that we have and visa versa. And so frustration can come in because you don’t put yourself in a position to come to realize the central theme to your life through just opening up yourself to serving other people. Attention outwards, and the flow of life gets restored to the benefit of all.

  3. Rebecca Ledet says:

    The cynic also tends to sit and watch life go by. It’s easy (yet such a cop out) to look at life and complain as if you always knew nothing would ever work out right. It’s the real man or woman that can see what’s right about every situation. Although there is tragedy and hatred in the world, we still have a choice. Are we going to give up and resign ourselves to mediocrity or are we going to let the spirit of excitement for beauty of love be what rules?

  4. Coco says:

    Knowing you are the author of your attitude is the beginning of freedom. Knowing how to control it is consummate, this is the person of extraordinary character. We are greater and more powerful than what happens to us.

  5. MMc says:

    Love your post. Serving others is the key to anyone wishing for happiness, fulfillment or abundance. It’s all contained in any life that is centered around that.

  6. RJ says:

    Without service to others, out lives become very small very quickly. Eventually, one’s only concern becomes himself and true joy and appreciation can’t survive in such an unnaturally sterile atmosphere.

    On the other hand, when we are of service to our fellow man we naturally draw to us those who feel the same way. We see the fruit of this service and the blessings it bestows can begin to lift the false veil of cynicism.

  7. Vincent says:

    Cynicism is often described as “creeping in” at a certain stage of life. It can be a little reptilian (no offense to those creatures!), inserting itself as a defense or a deflection of the necessity of facing matters of personal purpose.

    Nothing is so horrible as the specter of an empty life, a life where purpose has been lost or betrayed. As individuals and as a race we have developed various menas of coping with that creeping feeling. However, as long as we are coping, it is unlikely that the issue will really be faced, which would open the door for a creative renewal of alignment with purpose. Exposing cynicism for the defense mechanism it is constitutes a vital first step to release and renewal.

  8. Steve Ventola says:

    As you were mentioning about self loathing the other day. It is apparent that cynicism can spring from such an attitude. Self loathing can come from making a mistake and wallowing in the mistake rather than seeing it as an opportunity for refinement. Yes there is freedom in choosing our attitudes. The test of character comes when the pressure is on. As the pressure comes on it is good to just give some space in time for clarity to come as one holds steady with an urge to grow in strength and character. Here cynism is dissolved and the feeling of accomplishment and fulfillment comes. It is good to see how we can keep moving in the right direction with the universal wind of integrity at our back.

    • Gregg Hake says:

      Holding steady is an active process, not a passive state. You are doing something when remaining calm, alert and poised to make use of the openings in circumstance that come your way, not twiddling your thumbs, biting your nails or sitting on your hands.

  9. Scotty says:

    Gregg- thank you for sharing your thoughts on the matter. I think your words really cut to the heart of the situation. A person can come out of their cynical nature when they actively choose to seek their “why”.

    Thanks for your perspective. Keep them coming.

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