In between the noisy parts of our day, a silence often sneaks in.
Sometimes, in that silence, a ghostly question rears its head inside our mind:
Why am I here?
A simple question, no doubt, but a powerful one that can shake you to your very core if you don’t have an answer to it.
We ask this question often, to ourselves mostly (in our private thoughts):
Why am I here?
Sure, we can skip this question. We can trivialize it. We can ignore its tremendous importance in our lives. But no matter how much we try to push it away, the question will continue to haunt us until the day we die (or until we find a satisfying answer to it).
We may know who we are, yes, but if we don’t know why we’re here, we can’t know where we’re going. And what’s the use of knowing who you are if you don’t know where you’re headed?
No. We need to find an answer to this fundamental question, and we need to find an answer to it now.
Why I’m Here
I remember after I graduated college, about five years ago, I was haunted by the “Why am I here?” question.
For the longest time, I didn’t have a satisfying answer to that fundamental question.
And it was torture.
Not knowing why I was here made me very unhappy, confused, angry, sad, and lost.
Very, very lost.
But, luckily, after some intense soul-searching, I finally figured out why I was here: I was here because I was meant to write this novel (the one I’ve been talking to you about over the past three years).
It’s a simple answer, I know, but still, it satisfied me. It satisfied me because it felt right to me. It felt true.
It’s okay to have a simple answer to the question: “Why am I here?”
The answer doesn’t have to be complex. What is more important is that you have an answer to that question.
Why Are You Here?
If you don’t have an answer to the question “Why am I here?” this question will continue to haunt you, like a ghost. And you’ll always find yourself floating through life wondering, always wondering:
“Is this it? Is this all? Is this what I’m supposed to do? Is this all there is to life?”
And all of these questions will just be off-shoots, detours to the fundamental question:
Why. Am. I. Here?
Why this life? Why this joy, and why this strife?
Why am I here?
Why are you here?
Why are all of us here?
The reason we are haunted by all these questions about human existence is because we were born to find the answers. No, we won’t uncover all of the answers to the most fundamental questions of human existence in our lifetime, but we may be surprised at how many answers we can find while we’re here.
You might find a satisfying answer to the question “Why am I here?” if you just started looking. In my experience, life has a way of answering most questions that you pose it, and as long as you aren’t picky with how the responses come to you, you are delivered an answer very promptly. (Or at least you are given a clue to hold you over for the time being.)
Once we can find a satisfying answer to the most fundamental question about our existence, we can finally begin the journey of fulfilling our purpose in this life.
I would strongly recommend that you find an answer to that fundamental “Why?” question before you make any more drastic plans. Because once you’ve found an answer to that fundamental question, the road ahead becomes a whole lot more clear.
[Editor’s note: this post originally featured the song “Clear” by Sean Fournier.]
Today’s Courage Exercise
Ponder the question: “Why am I here?” Find a satisfying answer to this question before you make any more drastic plans. (Remember: the answer to this question doesn’t have to be complex, it just has to feel right and true to you.)
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