I’ve spent a quite a large chunk of my life trying to find my life’s purpose..As a teenager like most in my peer group I dreamed of being a rock star but the dream wasn’t real enough to put aside trying to work towards great exam results and a ‘proper job’. Sadly the dream was enough to derail my commitment to study on many occasions and by the time I’d found the thrill of playing in bands and writing music, my ability to study started to seriously wane.
After a miserable set of A level results, I grabbed whatever academic route was open to me (there weren’t many) and for reasons which are largely unknown to me to now I ended up studying for a Higher National Diploma in Civil Engineering.
I hated every moment of that course and all the way through it I lamented that I’d made a huge mistake and made a massive mess of my life. I carried on regardless and ended up with a pretty good result. Before I had any chance to ponder further my next move I’d already accepted a position in a local consultancy firm in the Water Industry…
I was pretty good at it too and ended up as a Senior Engineer in the space of 8 years and had my own company car…was married and we were already on house no. 3, climbing the property ladder and keeping up with the Joneses.. Woohoo!
Then the chattering monkey of life choices started suggesting all kinds of world conquering options.. I decided that I didn’t want to be an engineer any more and wanted to make money being a top international salesman.
I found a new job, uprooted my family and ended up in a small village in rural Oxfordshire. I was there only a short time… before I realized I’d made a terrible mistake. My wife liked the village but I hated it…it took me 2 months in the job to realize being an ‘international salesman’ basically just meant lying through your teeth to nice people and spending your evenings and weekends in hotels and airports on your own, wondering what all the friends you’d lost along all the way were doing.
I remember one moment clearly, sat in the office one day, staring at my spreadsheet of non-existent sales figures, wondering at what point I was going to get sacked, and I looked out of the window at a guy mowing the lawn, wishing longingly that I had his job…A year later I’d uprooted my family again and was now a Director no less and part owner of a small engineering consultancy.This was great!, or so I thought…I was making heaps of money and I’d even started a side business buying and selling watches… but all the time I still had no idea what I was doing with my life.
I had the attention span of a goldfish and was more easily distracted than a 5 year old in a sweet shop.I’d started several more ventures…. All doomed to failure… Website developer, An online forum for car enthusiasts, Auto accessories online store and developing a switchable turbo boost controller for cars which actually did pretty well. I sold hundreds of them, but sadly the bubble burst when my interest did…
Then in 2008, I found music again, and just as it did back when I was a student, it started to undermine my interest in my career . Cosmograf was born and so was my inability to accept the corporate world any longer. I sold my share in my business, left the water industry and the next day set up as a watch dealer. That went well…really well. I was spending my days with watches and my evenings and weekends writing music.
I thought I’d cracked what most people dream of…a life that never feels like work. BUT I still wasn’t happy. In fact I’d convinced myself that I’d made a terrible mistake…Then the wheels really started to wobble…The watch business started to falter badly and takings dropped year on year until I found myself struggling to make ends meet. Meanwhile Cosmograf was gaining momentum, but advancing slower than an 18thcentury traction engine. It’s not got much faster either, although I’ve ploughed an awful lot of ground….
The frustrating lack of progress eats away at me daily…which makes you really question the time you continue to put in to it.Anyway if you’ve read this far…what’s the point of this incredibly long tedious post…I think it’s this…you can spend all your life trying to find your life’s calling but all 30 years of floundering around trying to find a purpose has taught me is that, there is no such thing.
Your life has NO purpose, none, no divine destiny, no ultimate calling…There’s no point or benefit in spending your days considering your place in the universe. You need to spend your time doing what feels important to you and get absorbed in the journey.I’ve learned my journey needs to be about creativity, expression, making stuff, changing stuff and above all not wasting time living someone else’s values or being a slave to their journey…even if that pays well.
I think it’s not about some ultimate achievement, it’s about finding something you resonate with, something that makes you forget what time it is while you are doing it and spending the limited amount of time you have, well.