The idea is simple: You have a purpose so big and inspiring it transforms your entire life.*
An overnight success almost never is. Might as well plan for the journey.**
We’re told it’s possible to put a dent in the universe.
This is highly unlikely.
The only one I can think of is the collaborative dent we’re presently working on by messing up your only home.
That being said, it doesn’t mean we can’t live a meaningful life: human consciousness asks of us that we do.
We may search for meaning in ourselves but we’ll be disappointed:
An ethnographer studies others; a flâneur searches for self in others.^
meaning has to be located outside ourselves – discovered in the world rather than in our own psyches … the more we forget ourselves, by dedicating ourselves to an external cause or to people we love the more we actualise ourselves. “Self actualisation,” [Viktor Frankl] sums up, “is possible only as a side-effect of self-transcendence.”^^
So we look around –
Look with all your eyes, look.*^
and we begin to notice we are more curious and interested in some things over others, with echoes of these turning up in our values, our talents and our energies, and so we choose to begin living in these directions.
*From Ben Hardy’s Personality Isn’t Permanent;
**From Seth Godin’s blog: All at once and quite suddenly;
^From Richard Sennett’s Building and Dwelling;
^^From Anna Katharina Schaffner’s The Art of Self Improvement, quoting Viktor Frankl.
*^Jules Verne, from Georges Perec’s An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris.