Haven’t we all, at times, asked the question, “What should I do with my life?” Looking for purpose in life, seeking the satisfaction and fulfillment of a sense driven life is a joint human inquiry.
As author Po Bronson discovered for himself when his writing career faced a direction change, it’s a tricky question. Bronson’s solution was to interview people who have sought the answer to this question.
What should I do with my life?
It is compelling reading. Bronson traveled the country, meeting people who quickly opened heart and soul in describing their journeys toward purpose. However, if you expect to eventually find the answer to the best way to discover meaning in life, you won’t find it in What Should I Do With My Life?
What you will find is solace. If you search for purpose, feel guilty or frustrated that it remains elusive, this book will help you feel much better about yourself. The stories describe incredible sacrifice, significant personal and family upheaval, and numerous false and costly starts as people just like you and I search for life purpose.
The nature of the question as Bronson structures it, and as many of us ask it, is part of the problem. It assumes that life is about the things we do, and if we find the right things to do, we can be happy.
We hear of people who claim to love their jobs – who can’t wait to hop out of bed in the morning and get to work. They seem to have found the things to do right for them, so we take to heart to do things that are right for us, too, and we keep looking for the perfect jobs.
But the purpose isn’t about what we do; it’s about who we are.
The purpose is about who we are being, not what we are doing
The joy, fulfillment, and pleasure of doing what we love to do not stem from what we’re doing but from who we’re being while we’re doing whatever it is we’re doing.
The things we do provide a platform for experiencing the states of being that bring us joy, fulfillment, and outright pleasure.
Asking a different question, “Who should I be in this life?” gives us a better direction. Bronson hints briefly at this conclusion early in the book but presses on continuing to deal with the “do” question.
Perhaps you can find your purpose in life more quickly than the folks in Bronson’s book by asking yourself, “Who should I be in this life?”
Thank you for reading!