In this video we discuss finding purpose and meaning in life after spiritual awakening. One of the most common issues raised in individual coaching sessions is, “What is my life purpose?” While the expression of each of our life purposes is as varied as we are, some things are universal. Like the desire to be useful to others doing things we enjoy that have a positive impact on the world.
While this sounds simple enough, like most things it is easier said than done. The reality is that after awakening most of us have a meaning crisis. We awaken to a larger perception of reality, and as a result often realize we are swimming in a sea of meaninglessness. Even mainstream economists have noted the rise in “bullsh*t jobs” and meaningless work.
The economic system is not designed to maximize meaning, joy, or positive impact to the world. It is designed to maximize profit and efficiency. The monetary system and privatization of the natural world further creates a false sense of scarcity, which forces us into the economic system to meet our basic needs. As a result many people have to do things they don’t want to do, that they do not enjoy, which have a negative impact on the world, just to survive.
So if you are having a hard time finding meaningful work don’t feel bad. It is that way by design. Which means we often have to find purpose and meaning outside of the traditional economy, while meeting our basic needs with whatever work that pays.
Moreover, the ultimate purpose of life is only indirectly related to our outward activity. The ultimate purpose of every life is spiritual evolution. This is one of those universal truths that is true of everyone. If nothing else, remember that you are primarily here to awaken your heart and develop your capacity for will and faith. All outward activity and expressions is secondary.
I recommend that people do at least one thing a day that serves their life’s purpose. Even if you are confused about what the outward expression of that looks like, you can do the inner work. You can do effective spiritual practices such as meditation and journaling that help facilitate your spiritual evolution.
Your state of being is more important than the outward expression of your being. Though part of the evolutionary journey is achieving ever greater embodiment of our inner spiritual realization, transformation is an inside out process. If you don’t transform and evolve your state of being, your physical reality will not change.
Making spiritual practice and evolution your number one priority and working towards it daily will enable you to live your ultimate life purpose each day. When it comes to outward life purpose we have to tend to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
First we must meet our physiological needs and need for security. Without food, clothing, and shelter you will not be in a body long enough to do the work of spiritual evolution. So do that first. Sometimes survival requires us to do things we don’t want to do. That’s ok, do it well with as much integrity as you can muster. You can always strive for self-actualization once your basic needs are met.
Once our basic needs are met we can strive for self-actualization in our outer expression of meaning and purpose. After basic needs are met we want to strive for love and belonging. Practically speaking that means friendship, intimacy and a sense of connection. If you already have work that meets your basic needs you may start looking for work with friends and more conscious people.
Once that is achieved we start considering other metrics of personal development such as esteem (respect, self-esteem, status, recognition, strength, and freedom) and self-actualization (desire to become the most that one can be). Wherever you are at remember the outward activity is secondary to the inner activity. What you do is less important than the state of consciousness you do it with.
It may be there is not a social role that meets your basic needs and other requirements for self-actualization. If so find work that meets your basic needs with conscious people, and do what brings you joy on the side. Perhaps someday your hobby will become your dream job. For many of us our dream job doesn’t exist yet because part of our job is to make it a reality.
We are between stories. The old world is falling apart and the new one is not yet born. As awakening beings we strive to survive the death of the old, while assisting the birth of the new. Nobody said it was going to be easy, but I promise it is worthwhile.