September 09, 2004

Another attempt at being driven

What drives you?

Chapter three of Purpose Driven Life explains this very well and hit me right at the center. It says there are five things that usually drive people, that seem to be their life's purpose, that become the bases of important decisions. It may be the choice of a career, the choice of a school, the choice of a job, the choice of rejecting and accepting people into our lives. Most of the time, what motivates us shouldn't be what it is.

1. Guilt

Many people are so concerned about a previous mistake that they want to spend the rest of their lives making up for that significant error. Well, it is easy to say that the past is the past. There's nothing we can do about it so we can only learn and move on. However, it is not so easy.

My life's example is the death of my Dad. There are so many things that I could have done to show him how much I love him and how grateful I am for the things that he had done for me. After he died, there are a lot of decisions that I have done and probably will do because I am sure he'd be happy if I do this certain thing. However, my life's purpose is not about pleasing a dead person, no matter how significant this person is in my life.

2. Anger

This is my current struggle. I am so bitter about something that most of my decisions have been based on proving to these people what I am worth. I want to show them how wrong they are in treating my family that way after all the years of being a 'family' to each other. I want to be successful and rich just to surpass them. I want to be happy so that I'd be happier than them.

And I realize it is all nonsense. I'm destroying myself with anger and letting them take away my happiness. They may have moved on and never may have realized the wrong they have done but here I am wallowing.

3. Fear

Fear also dictates our decisions to a certain extent. I am sure some of us refused to try something out of the fear of failure. As simple as class recitation, sometimes we just choose to keep quiet because we think we won't say anything good.

4. Material Things

This is also common. We sometimes equate happiness with riches, with the thought of being able to buy anything and living in comfort. At times, it seems to be 'noble' - by doing things so that our parents will live comfortable lives.

Yes, we ought to honor, respect and give them all the best yet this is not our purpose. This is not what we are living for.

5. Approval

Some people live for the approval of their parents. Sometimes we think there is something expected of us and we strive to reach that expectation. It is not all bad; however, this is still not the reason why we are given the chance to wake up everyday.

Some people only think of the approval of their husbands or boyfriends or worse, relationship prospects. Some people live their lives just so they get famous or just so their friends will think highly of them and respect them.

We were not given lives to please people. We were created by God for a purpose, and this purpose is greater, much greater than just pleasing our parents, our boy or girlfriends, or anyone else for that matter.

The Bible says God is our Creator and we have been in his care even before we were born. We were created not only for this lifetime but for eternity. Eternity is incomprehensible. It is like comparing a little ant against the big, big universe. God plans great things for us. And that 'ant' or the short time that we will live on earth is just like a moment's blink of an eye. Thus, it is a pity when we lose sight of this great purpose by being myopic only on things that are actually so fleeting.

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