by Annie 

July 15, 2020

finding purpose

Have you ever had one of those experiences where everything becomes clear for just a moment or a day? You find purpose in the crazy chaos of life. Suddenly things just make sense. 

A few days ago, I picked up my travel journal from the six-week solo trip I took in 2015. I remember writing some deep reflections about myself and life during that time of glorious solitude, but I’ve never really gone back to read it. 

In those pages, I got to relive one of those moments. What I came across showed me how that time completely solidified the kind of life I wanted to live. 

If you look at the main image on the home page, the main photo says it all, “an extraordinary life awaits”. Five years ago tomorrow, after hiking the highest mountain in the Czech Republic, I had written about exactly that. Here it is. 

I’ve only edited for grammar and punctuation. I’ve also added some headings to break things up a bit. 🙂 

A Day on the Mountain 

a path to purpose

July 16, 2015 ~

There is absolutely nothing “special” about me. I’m a completely average person, just a human like everyone else. I just decided I wanted an extraordinary life and set out to create one. 

Contrary to the “plan” for today, I found myself on the trail for the peak of Sněžka, so I decided to just go with it. There are a number of emotions tied to this and I’m not sure I have all the words for them yet. 

Early on, the trail followed the stream and I found myself coming back to the analogy Alan Watts uses about a symphony. (Here’s the video I was referencing.) The goal of a symphony isn’t to reach the final note because the best conductor would be the one who got there first. Such is life.

Clearly the goal isn’t to reach the end because we’d all just off ourselves and those who died young would be considered lucky. The opposite actually happens when a young person dies. Many feel as though this is a tragedy because they got to experience so little of life’s symphony! They only heard a handful of notes. 

What then, is the purpose? I can feel the answer to this in my heart and pumping through my veins, but words escape me. 

As these thoughts ran through my brain, I felt as though I had found a deeper well inside myself and began to cry. Not for any particular reason, just the release of old ideas and beginning of new understanding. 

To Change Your Life, You Have to Believe

reflecting on purpose

As the hike became more difficult, I started to question my abilities. I wondered if I would be able to do it. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other and kept a pace I could breathe with. 

I took a couple breaks to rest, but kept working for it. At one point I thought, “It’s a good thing I got my ass in shape! I don’t think I could have done this a year ago.”

I later realized the biggest difference was that I believed I could do it today. Just like the day I finally believed I could take control of my physical health. 

Believing in yourself is always the first step in the process and is required to conquer the fears and self-doubt. Sometimes you have to “fake it ‘til you make it”, but nothing moves until you truly believe.

Lessons from the Mountain

accomplishing goals

Achieving goals isn’t easy. I’ve had a goal to hike a mountain since I moved back to Utah. Today I did it and it was hard. All the physical work I put in before today was hard too, but difficult and challenging doesn’t mean that it sucks. It builds character and strength. If it was easy, I don’t know that the views would have seemed as beautiful and the sense of accomplishment wouldn’t have been there. 

Many times we shy away from the hard things because, by definition, it’s easier to not do them. But what growth do we find in always doing what’s easy, taking the well-worn, comfortable path?

Finding My Place in Life

finding where I belong

Random Topic Change: Back to the purpose of life. One of the things we humans want is a “purpose”. I had the realization today, as I was watching a small white butterfly near the stream, that the entirety of life is different because of me. What more purpose does a person need?!

If I weren’t alive, no one would be watching that butterfly or smelling the fresh cut logs along the path. Without me (and you) the whole universe would be changed forever! Oh what power there is in that! 

By simply existing, I alter the course of the universe. Every life I touch is changed and therefore changes others in a different way, like a ripple from a pebble tossed in a lake. 

The purpose of life is to LIVE and do the most you can with what time you have. “It’s not about the years in your life, it’s about the life in those years.” Pack them full, I say! Love hard. Relish in the natural wonders of our planet. Help others see their potential for living. Be kind. 

I don’t need more purpose than that. I’m learning to trust it. Life has led me this far. I’m just a part of the flow, so let the waves roll on.

a victory selfie

A victory selfie seemed appropriate

Looking Back From Five Years in the Future

reflecting on the lessons

When it was happening, I knew the trip was a game-changer. Looking back from where I am now, I can see that’s where I committed to creating and living the life I really wanted. After those six-weeks, I was no longer willing to settle for a mediocrity. I knew that I would do whatever was necessary to create something different for myself. 

While there has been all sorts of crazy challenges, setbacks, even failures, I would never call my life boring. I’ve pursued adventure, excitement, and inspiration, even when they were illusive and stubborn. I refuse to follow anyone else’s path. I make my own.

If you asked me on that day where I would be in five years, I probably wouldn’t have had an answer. If I had, it definitely wouldn’t have looked like where I’m sitting today writing this. I’m glad. Part of the fun is discovering the path along the way. I don’t need to know the destination. All I need is the next right step. 

If you’re ready for the next step, but not sure what it is, let’s chat. You can schedule a free session here and we’ll find you some clarity so you can move forward. <3 

Use Your Voice

Where do you find purpose in your own life? What thoughts come in quiet moments of reflection? 

Leave your thoughts in the comments. I love hearing the different perspectives. <3

About the author 

Annie

Change Maker. Bold Explorer. Big Dreamer.

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