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I’ve long contended that the best stuff begins under false pretenses, but I’m only beginning to appreciate how close this is to a universal law. I might restate it as ‘all pretenses prove false,’ though that statement feels altogether too radical. It’s probably true, though.

Many have written, some even eloquently, about the importance of purpose. I saw a report on a recent study which suggested that people with clear purposes might live longer than those without them. And I’ve fussed plenty in my life, trying to identify The Purpose behind whatever I was intending to pursue. Of course, even in those rare instances where I could distill my aspiration into a single motivating meme, I’d stumble across better or multiple better along the way. Crossing the finish line, I would find that I’d satisfied a purpose I could not possibly have seen or appreciated before departing.

Further, I find, looking back on my fragmented relationship with purpose, that my frantic searches to specify purpose reduced both my motivation and my mobility to actually achieve anything. I firmly believe in purposeful pursuits, but the notion that I could know that purpose beforehand seems utterly absurd. The idea that I should know that purpose beforehand seems downright self-destructive.

This is not to say that I am not always trolling for some purpose, higher or lower, to attach myself to. I should not let any temporary absence of clarity inhibit my progress, a sin I’ve committed innumerable times. Should I somehow manage to achieve something without once finding clarity of purpose, I will have still achieved something. The many times I’ve frozen failing to satisfy the strict sequence I imagined purposing to require, I achieved nothing but confusion, and not the most satisfying kind.

Scanning for purpose might fully satisfy the intent I used to believe was the sole property of found purpose. I can move forward, hopeful of finding a pony in there somewhere without once believing I could see that pony that could not possibly be seen yet. Whatever purpose I might declare The Purpose, will very likely prove false, and if the universe keeps working the way it’s been working so far, I’ll stumble upon something better if I’m not blinded by my unwarranted certainty or frozen, waiting for its concomitant confidence.

©2014 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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