There is a beautiful song called “How my Heart Sings” played by the legendary American Jazz pianist Bill Evans. If you listen with attention you will notice the richness of his chords, as well as the depth of his improvisation, which carries the concept of the tune at the same time he formulates outstanding melodical phrases.
Nonetheless, the tittle of the tune suggests why this is not only the first tune of the recording, but also the name of the album itself.
Finding “how our heart sings” is probably one of the most difficult questions we ponder when we realize that life is more than existing. The song of the heart is equivalent to our purpose in life is.
By “purpose in life” I am not suggesting career, job, or the like. I am suggesting finding what gives meaning and true fulfillment to your existence; you know when you find it because it will immediately resonate with the point in your heart. It will make your fibers move.
During the past semester I encountered several distressful situations that made me go back to those questions we tend to ignore. Unfortunately sometimes we must face difficult challenges in order to bring back our life together. Life without purpose is like a car without fuel: it still has the potential to move and to generate work, but it won’t do it unless there is a primordial energy.
I have a suggestion if you find yourself struggling about your purpose in life. Contrary to what you might think, I strongly believe the process of finding your purpose in life is not as hard as you think it might be. Let me explain:
Whether you are a nihilist, atheist, believer, warrior, dreamer, or a pessimist, you must agree with me that there has been (at least) one time in your life when you felt that your existence means something more than just waking up, breathing and eating. Can you can recall the last time when you looked for meaning in your life? Can you recall a time when you strived for significance or importance?
Those times hold the key to find your purpose in life.
This is my suggestion:
Sit down and start writing your purpose in life. As simple as that. Start with a simple sentence. It does not have to make sense or to be complete. Just write down the first thing that comes to your mind.
For example, you might start something like this: “My purpose in life is to accumulate as much money as I can”. Does it resonate with you? If it does, that is your purpose in life and you should feel excited about it. If not, then keep writing and modifying. Don’t stand up until you come to one that makes you weep. That should be the sign you are getting close.
You might find this process frustrating, but believe me, if you pass through the urge to stand up and keep writing, you should be surprised that you are only 30 minutes away to give yourself one of the best gifts you can possibly receive.
Finding your purpose in life is like finding a map. Do not get confused though. The map is not the road. Life unfolds in ways we might not understand, and you might find yourself doing something you never thought you were going to do. However, I am not discussing here the “how to”; I am talking about the “why”.
Once you have come to a satisfactory answer, the next step is to put it in a place where you can constantly read it. That way you will remain yourself Why you are in this world. The feeling you attain after this exercise is very powerful. If you do it you will know what I am talking about.
After several attempts, I finally crafted a small paragraph that illustrates what my purpose in life is. I want to share it with you:
Vivir creando y transformando, alineando mis deseos con los del Creador; resonar intimamente con la compasion, la justicia, y la busqueda incesante de la paz, catalizando lo abstracto en lo material, el suenno en la realidad, y el detalle en la obra final.”
The translation in English reads as follow:
“Living creating and transforming, allying my desires with the Creator; resonate intimately with compassion, justice, and peace, bridging the abstract with the material, the dream with reality, and the detail with the big picture.”
As I said, this is only a map. But this map will prove if what I am doing is true to my heart. We are not what we do, and therefore my existence does not depend on it. Nonetheless, I reflect “who I am” through my actions. And a road map is essential to define the actions. A purpose in life conclusively will allow you to listen how your heart sings. And that is the best tune you will ever hear.