One question that I often hear by those with a spiritual leaning is discovering one's purpose. It seems proper for those seeking something spiritual to seek more out of life, so purpose seems to fall into play. Even those that are into self-help material or some sort of entrepreneurship seem to fall into this category, as opposed to those who attain a certificate and move through life with a typical 9am-5pm. It's, what can we do that will provide the most out of our life experience. It's asking, what is the purpose for our current existence.
Taking a look at mainstream society, I've often mentally rebelled at the economical-societal construct established, which our educational system desperately squares us into conformity. As soon as the ability to communicate and further assess information is formulated within a child, that child is then forced to spend year after year into adulthood within walls that stress societal information. Through meditation, we're taught the strengths of residing in oneself in a silent harmonious manner. However, the educational system has us constantly plugging away information into our minds, with short breaks to enjoy each others company, where exercise is minimal and spinal columns are damaged through incessant sitting. Having a well-adjusted spine has scientifically shown to raise IQ, where our lifestyles of constantly slouching while sitting has stymied intellectual prosperity. In addition, the brightest minds did not seem to fit in our societal educational system, be it Leonardo Da Vinci or Albert Einstein, these intellectuals were educated in a different route than the majority of us who have spent most of our lives memorizing. Albert Einstein is even quoted with "Never memorize what you can look up in books", where Da Vinci only studied and learned what he wanted to learn being forbidden from a formal education due to being an illegitimate child.
Much of formal education for me was a drain, though I managed to do well. Not that I wasn't interested, and there were plenty of classes that I'm glad were forced upon me, it's just that, I look back now and ask how much of it was relevant for my life experience. In addition, I'm more interested in biology and other subjects now, then back in High School, where studying such topics then was premature. When you start weeding away the time spent on irrelevant material, significant time arises that could have been spent pursuing other more enjoyable matters. As an example, history prior to college was mostly a practice on dissecting propaganda, where due to self non-curriculum studies, I quickly understood that High School history was significantly limited and designed to mold future voters. In studying numerous success stories, I've found that if the educational system was a support system to strength children's passions, we would raise geniuses instead of conformed ants for the workforce. Not only are geniuses raised, but when following passion, especially when the seeds are allowed to sprout during an individuals youthful stages, such an individual is purpose driven.
Finding purpose, or what we're on this Earth to accomplish, is a question asked in the spiritual community, and in the self-help community. Rarely have I ever found this question raised in formal education, where educator were simply satisfied upon hearing a student was college bound. Though counselors will help in sorting through information to help a student choose a route, so very little time is permitted for such discovery. I guess summer break would be the time-frame permitted, but how many students actually choose to look for self-education during the summer, after having accomplished the stressful consistent workload of the educational system. In fact, I think I narrowed down my college major through quickly doing the I-Ching in a High School comparative religious studies course.
However, in searching for my "life purpose", the reason why I've incarnated on this earthly terrestrial body, I realized that I'm a different person when I go inside and remove societal beliefs and standards. It's the asking of, "am I doing this because society wants me to do it (education, social class, marketing, etc.), am I doing this mainly to make money, am I doing this because others have told me to do it, etc.". Finding purpose is to go back into the untainted childlike state of being and figuring out what is the most exciting for an individual. When a child dives into something, it's because he/she is curious. If the child sticks with something, it's usually because of passion. Hence, a child is often not driven by capitalist endeavors where a job or social status is most likely far-placed from the child's mind. In such purity, the child is better able to discover passion, the main key in establishing purpose. As Jesus said, "... Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven". Matthew 18:3 (KJV).
As spiritual teachers have vehemently described "follow your bliss" (Joseph Campbell), "follow your highest excitement and joy" (Law of Attraction Teachers), are meant to place an individual on the highest path to fulfillment in this life. Charles Darwin followed his childhood bliss of discovering, collecting, and cataloging biological specimen, despite what his father wanted for him. Carl Jung followed his childhood intellectual curiosity of understanding consciousness, where he questioned whether or not a rock that he sat on carried consciousness. Leonardo Da Vinci followed his childhood passion of drawing, something he utilized to spend his time as he was forbidden from formal education. In following a purpose, there is a significant passion, a bliss that arises that when one is absorbed in one's work, time is lost. Such is a stark contrast from the majority, who most likely look to when they can clock out. Something I think we all first discovered early in our school system waiting to go home.
Though most in our society, including myself lately, will often spend their time looking at the clock for the next bout of freedom. Nonetheless, it is important to note that our life experiences all have a purpose in establishing ourselves, where pertinent information is obtained, skills are developed, and we have the ability to move into purpose understanding what we're not passionate about. Hence we can move into purpose at any juncture through seeking our passions. For example, obtaining a legal degree was not blissful, but writing is, where I've been provided numerous opportunities to work on my style. Take a look back throughout your life into your early childhood and rediscover your passions and proceed with the talents and knowledge that you've since obtained. Seek to combine your passions with your skills and further proceed to unite and develop the two. As the Bhagavada Gita (2:47) elaborates, one should not look towards the fruits of one's labor. Though I've contemplated that statement to mean that one should humbly serve, especially when viewed from a strict religious sense, I now understand that statement to mean that work should not necessarily be done for the rewards sake, but should be done for the sake of purpose. In other words, the work in itself should be the blessing, not the fruits of work. The only way that is to make sense, is to passionately work.
To do things that excite you, to follow one's true bliss, is to honor the curious being within that only seeks to learn and grow in the most enjoyable way possible. We have to ask ourselves, did we come onto this planet to add to the economy, where I've often heard from others that those in monasteries are driven by self-interests as they do not provide to the gross domestic product, or did we incarnate for something so much more than our man-made societal-economic structure. Through society, we've defined success through monetary value as opposed to intellectual curiosity, though financial security is strong driving force. Nonetheless, to follow one's bliss, one's passion, one's purpose, seems to be one of the biggest rebellious acts in conformed society. It's seems to be one that leads to a purpose driven life, one that geniuses have pursued to either rebel against conformity, or reach significantly high statuses in society like the Steve Jobs types.
Overall, be as children in discovering and following your passions, and enter your own kingdom of heaven by following your purpose. For to follow purpose seems to be an unraveling of one's own passions.
Overly educated and continuously exploring and revealing more behind the veil.
"It cannot be too highly emphasized that the mystic swims in the same waters in which the psychotic drowns."
-James Wasserman, The Mystery Traditions