I am an extreme thinker and by that I mean when I have an idea I follow it like a trail of breadcrumbs to its end. In a recent post, I talked about expectations (click the word expectations to read the previous post) and the limitations they put on not only your relationship with other people but the person themselves. By that I mean when we project our expectations onto others we limit them and their growth as they absorb our perceptions. Take for example your child. If you tell your son he can not play with baby dolls what limitations are you putting on him? Does playing with dolls help him prepare for fatherhood? So, the question has to be asked, what damage has the expectation of your son just done? Think about it for a second.
The limitations of purpose in relevance to expectations
I am just like every other person when it comes to living with a purpose. I feel purpose is a psychological building block or cornerstone. Without it, what is the point? Evolution as a species requires us to always be running towards something; to become stronger, faster, smarter etc. it is a biological, evolutionary, and physiological imperative to the survival of our species. But, living in the twenty-first century we have the luxury of relaxing just a bit as not all of us live in a hunter-gather society.
Let me define purpose. It is the driving force that keeps us walking forward whether it be college, self-improvement or service to others. Without movement, people have a tendency towards boredom or depression; which can lead to a train of thought that their life has no meaning. The problem with purpose is that most of us are nearsighted. We focus on what we can see, what is in front of us, or a single goal. We limit everything with this attitude. If an individual’s main purpose in life is to advance in their career and they are passed over for a promotion, then what is left? Such nearsighted and restrictive thinking is like putting all your eggs in one basket.
I proposed to myself this question, what if we lived without purpose? Well, that is scary and has the potential to be disastrous! So then I asked myself, what if I followed my purpose without exception? Huh, that interested me a little. If I expand on the thought of the limitations expectation has on other people than I can apply that to the limitation to the expectations of purpose.
For example, I am taking a medical billing and coding class. I have a time frame that it MUST be done in, or livelihood depends on it. But, I am struggling with medical terminology; not that I don’t understand it it is just so damn boring! My purpose or goal is to achieve my certification, my expectations of myself add stress. So, how do I proceed? The answer to that is with grace. I allow myself to breathe. What happens if I do not finish the course and get my certification? Nothing really, I just get a lower paying job or two! So I have to make a choice, to finish my CPC or work two jobs. Neither choice scares me, but I would like to raise my children and two jobs would not allow for that.
The damage of restrictive thinking
I am going to dive right into this with an example. I have not been on a religious crusade lately, it’s just the concept of religion has so many good examples to explain my thought process.
When I ask you to think of Jesus Christ, what pops into your head first? Now, everyone is different but the majority of people will get a visual image of a middle eastern man with a beard smiling down on them from a throne in the clouds. This is very, very restrictive thinking and puts limitations on God which breeds disappointment when our expectations are not met.
Restrive thinking always ends up dominoeing. Such as with the example above if a preacher was to preach on the restricted God in the sky concept followed with a warning of hellfire and brimstone how many hearts does he think he will convert? Most atheists will say screw that (an actual conversation I had with a friend who is an atheist!). It also breeds limitations in our children’s worldvieww as they are so pliable when young.
We are allowed to believe what we believe, that is not up for debate. But, we can never stop thinking and asking questions; and that is exactly what happens when we limit ourselves with a closed mind. Picture yourself in a field of beautiful flowers, there is a million different plants to see and smell but when you are only focused on the tulips you miss the simplicity of the daisy.
My running with these concepts has blown all the doors right off their hinges. I have found an abundant amount of peace and freedom following my train of thought and putting it all into practice. I am no longer shackled by things that once had me so depressed I could barely get out of bed in the mornings. I have been able to let go of the control freak that bread obsessive-compulsive tendencies, my anxiety is almost non existent (and I am clinically diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder!) the kicker is I am on zoloft which is for my depression and anxiety but I have been out of my medication for a week waiting on a new script to be mailed and refilled. I am in no way recommending anyone go off medication, I am just pointing out the power of the human mind and the effect our thinking has on our mental state. These concepts will forever change my life and I am beyond grateful my ears were open and my heart willing. By typing all this up I am hoping it serves others well. I want my joy to be so big and so abundant that I have enough to share; and it is, I have plenty of joy.