Your Purpose Is a Mighty One!
This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.
I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.
I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no "brief candle" for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.
-George Bernard Shaw
As you can see, here Mr. Shaw promotes living as if we are being used for a purpose that we recognize as “a mighty one.” This idea of seeing ourselves as naturally purposeful speaks directly to our self-image. People who enjoy life as if their being is a force of nature are doers who are fully alive, have little patience for complainers and whiners, and generally are active every day of their lives.
In this passage, the dynamic and witty philosopher conveys his enormous enthusiasm for life and encourages us to embrace a comparable attitude toward everyone and everything. Let go of grumbling, moaning, and passivity by changing how you choose to perceive life in general, says Shaw. He asks us to rejoice in life, not for the outcomes and rewards that come our way, but purely and simply for its own sake. This advice from one of the greatest fully functioning persons is to cast off your passivity and your search for a reason to be happy. Instead, bring a joyful knowing that your life has a natural purpose to everyone you meet and everything you do. How does one accomplish this?
Here’s my strategy:
- Remove from your vocabulary statements about anything that you do not want to manifest into your life. Catch yourself when announcing your ailments, fatigue, or fears, and stay silent rather than projecting a self-fulfilling prophecy.
- Remove yourself physically as subtly as you can from those who persistently insist on burdening you with their grievances.
- Be a doer rather than a critic, complainer, or explainer. Let who you are speak for you, and get into the habit of no longer tolerating foolishness.
- Ignore criticism. My favorite quote from Albert Einstein hangs on a poster in my office. “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” You are a great spirit! Live that way. In fact, you are beautiful, God loves you and you can do it!