As it’s a significant milestone I thought I’d choose a suitably big topic and as I’m writing this on the anniversary of the discovery of Lucy (Australopithecus) from 3.2 million years ago, (widely regarded as one of our earliest ancestors), The Purpose of Life seems about right!
Property Academy speaker Phil Hesketh touches on this subject within his excellent presentation addressing two of the three parts, but I think the third is equally important and lets start with that.
1. Be the best that you can be.
I believe that everyone would like to be the very best that they can be and when you have days of fulfilled potential the feeling is like no other. It doesn’t matter what you do, just so long as you do it to your very best. This also requires an attitude of seeking improvement, to continuously search for ways to do it better. And the “work” is where the pleasure is found, once you’ve reached the summit it can be anti-climatic. The happiest people I know are those who do what they love to do and have yet to master it completely. They are pushing their boundaries everyday, operating outside of their comfort zone but in a safe and sensible way.
2. Have loving relationships.
You can broadly adopt one of two approaches – enter into a relationship with an open heart and be fully trusting or be guarded and wary until your trust has been earned. I prefer the first option and find it increases the chances of building mutually beneficial, long term relationships – the best kind. It’s not always possible of course, some people think differently, but I’ve found that the more open and transparent I am, the more I seek the genuine interest and benefit of others, so I tend to attract more positive people into my life.
3. Make a meaningful contribution.
I think it’s important to leave the world better off in one or more ways than when you entered it. Again, it’s not about the size of your contribution more that you have done something(s) without seeking personal gain, to make a difference for others.
The first part addresses self, the second relationships and the third the wider society. My sense is that’s all there is to it, it’s quite simple really, but along the way from Lucy’s days humanity seems to have made things unnecessarily complicated – as is the case with quite a lot of things.