Oso

Does Searching for Life Purpose Cause Suffering?

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I've been here and there searching for my life purpose for the past two years and have found a progressive upgrade in suffering overtime. 

The suffering is related to not having direction or purpose and usually comes up when I'm thinking/contemplating about what I want in life (purpose).

 

Is this a normal part of the process of uncovering life purpose?

 

If yes, why is there suffering? 

If no, what am I doing wrong? And what would be a better idea instead?

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It's probably that you're becoming more starkly aware that your life has no direction. If you don't focus on it you can distract yourself away from this fact and suppress the pain, which will probably bite you in the ass harder in the end. So yes it is normal.

Why not do something like Wim Hof breathing to try and manage the negative emotions? 

 

Edited by thenondualtankie

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Yes there will be suffering. Uncertainty, fear, anger, guilt, regret and all sorts of other feelings will be coming up as you embark on this journey. 

Don't look to your feelings to guide your decisions all the time. Emotional compass and your intuition can help you calibrate your choices when in doubt or when facing a difficult decision or a moral conflict. But sometimes you have to walk in the direction that seems the most terrifying to you. Usually, that's how you know you're onto something. 

The suffering of not having a purpose is a signal form your intuition that you should be doing something about it. If you put your head into the sand for the next 10 years you will never forgive yourself once you grow older, have kids, wife, get married and do all the usual stuff. Because that absence of something deeper will haunt you in your sleep and it will weaken your core. To use a video game analogy, this will be like being on a permanently negative buffer that permanently reduces all your stats. 

Because the opposite is a life of never tapping into something deeper than sheer survival and abandoning the deepest vission for your life which seems even scarier to me. 

It's not enough to contemplate, you need to pursue this thing as if your life depended on it. Take time each day to reflect and journal on this each day. Real tangible actions - write until your hand hurts - then write some more. Get Leo's LP course if you can burn some extra cash. I commented on another post in a similar way with more detail - maybe this will help you ]

 

 

Edited by Michael569

“If you find yourself acting to impress others, or avoiding action out of fear of what they might think, you have left the path.” ― Epictetus

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I can sure as hell relate. I think in the short term, it definitely does increase my suffering because it is very difficult to think about  (which is why most people don't pursue LP). I've had friends become very defensive just when I bring up stuff on LP and what their plans are... It's hard to think about and even harder to do. It makes us feel vulnerable and keenly aware of whether we are using our life or wasting it.

That said, I think you (like me) probably have underlying reasons for why LP causes you suffering. Is insecurity or doubt that you won't succeed? Is it that you are living too much in the future and forgetting to live and enjoy the present?

Idk what yours is, but mine is a voice in my head that constantly doubts my ability to actualize LP and at the same time, engage in self-sabotage (defense mechanism).

So ask yourself exactly what is causing your suffering? Is it the work on finding your LP, or LP itself, or perhaps is it something more subtle?

 

 

 

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Sounds like you might be operating from the assumption that purpose is found, and this may be what is causing your suffering in the first place.

A way to solve this dilemma is to question what purpose is. Is purpose found in objective reality in the same way that you find a grey stone or a tree in the forest? Where is purpose found?

Purpose is the reason why an action or course of action is undertaken.

Make it up!

Why am I doing the dishes? Simply, to get them clean, or to practice mindfulness, say.

Purpose is generated by you, not by external factors! This is a reason to be hopeful. It also means that you must take responsibility and face the openness necessary to create purpose for yourself out of nothing.

Expecting purpose to "arrive" by itself at some point is based on flawed presumptions. Now, people think that, since purpose is something that they make up, that it therefore isn't the "real deal". This is mistaken. Either they're creating superficially, merely in an intellectual fashion, or they're still missing the nature of purpose. Here we're looking to generate purpose intentionally, whereas before it had been done unconsciously.

In short, clarify what you want and construct a conscious purpose for your life. Ask yourself:

  1. Am I willing to commit to whatever purpose I set up for myself?
  2. What do I want to master and devote my life to?
  3. To me, What is worthwhile doing?
Edited by UnbornTao

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Suffering is cyclical. Suffering will decrease by creating some direction in your life, whether that be through creating a life purpose, daily routines or goals, or by transcending the egoic self. You should also work on various meta-techniques or values that aid towards creating direction:

  • Learn to commit to things for a set amount of time (you can always change your mind later if it doesn't work). Have faith in your commitments as long as you carry them.
  • Be consistent. Don't make compulsive exceptions to your plan; plan the exceptions!
  • Actually listen to your mind. Your mind is amazing at identifying problems in your life, but you've developed a habit of ignoring it, and you start to dislike your mind and experience it as annoying or useless instead of the brilliant tool it is. Don't let it go to waste. Write down every problem that your mind keeps reminding you about, and find a working solution for any given problem (it doesn't have to be a final solution, just one step in the right direction, and of course, commit to it!). And you'll be surprised to find that maybe your mind shuts up for once.
  • Tell the truth, or at least don't lie. Your mind needs as much transparency to itself as possible to work properly. By engaging in lies and deception, you're creating division, disruption and eventually self-deception. And the state that lying puts you in (paranoia) is inherently chaotic and cyclical. Paranoia is poison for minds that value direction.
  • Keep things ordered at all levels: your room, your notes, your files, your clothes. Clutter outside means clutter inside. Be punctual, use timers for remembering things, eat consistently, sleep consistently.

Intrinsic joy is revealed in the marriage of meaning and being.

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17 hours ago, Oso said:

I've been here and there searching for my life purpose for the past two years and have found a progressive upgrade in suffering overtime. 

The suffering is related to not having direction or purpose and usually comes up when I'm thinking/contemplating about what I want in life (purpose).

 

Is this a normal part of the process of uncovering life purpose?

 

If yes, why is there suffering? 

If no, what am I doing wrong? And what would be a better idea instead?

Yes, humans do not need a life purpose. I strongly disagree with the whole thing about finding your purpose.

Find something to do that matters to you. But it doesn't have to be something super special or meticulously designed for you. 


Being a Guru is frustrating because what can be done in a moment, people make it a lifetime.’

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7 hours ago, Javfly33 said:

Yes, humans do not need a life purpose.

That may be true, however creating one is very useful and empowering. Without a conscious life purpose, a lot of mischief can happen as pleasure and pain dictate our lives. The saying, Idle hands do the devil's work, is apt here.

Watch The Trap of The Toxic Life Purpose.

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