If you have the great fortune of being able to consider the question, “What is my purpose in life,” then you are in the top 0.1% of people in the world.
Most people struggle daily to provide for themselves and their family the basics of life: food, water, housing, clothing, education and a little comfort. They don’t have the luxury of considering what the purpose of their life is.
And for those who do have the basics of life securely in grasp, the question of life purpose naturally begins to emerge. Thinking about it constantly, or letting this question delay real action in the world, however, represents a missed opportunity and could lead to self-obsession.
Marshall Vian Summers teaches that this self-obsession can lead to mental illness.
So self-obsession is at the heart of all mental illness. Escaping it, then, in a positive and constructive way is like finding your way out of a jungle that seems to have no possible exit, a dilemma with no resolution, a pursuit with no real and permanent fulfillment. And yet the world prods us, encourages us, to enter into this self-obsession. And the more we have, the more we want and the deeper embedded we can become; the wealthier we are, the more trapped we are. It is like a jungle with no escape, no path leading outward. – Freedom from Self-Obsession
And what relief this is – to give up self-obsession. Instead of constantly thinking of how to be better entertained, how to look better, how to be more popular or how to acquire more possessions, we just look at the world around us and ask: “How can I make it a better place right now? Who needs a helping hand, or even just a smile?” The greatest acts of selfless service in the world often go unnoticed.
This, in my view, is the start of the journey out of the jungle, away from mental illness and towards our life purpose.