Life has its Lighthouse, in each fleeting stage,
In youth, in manhood, and in hoary age…
In age illum’d with philosophic flame,
From Reason’s Lighthouse still we steer the same;
Calm and serene our vessels onward glide,
And share the comforts of a middle tide;
Till, the last squall by fate’s own edict blown,
Death wrecks our vessels on a coast unknown.
~John William Smith~
A lighthouse. A tower. Always placed up high. In an important or dangerous place. Always equipped with a light that shines brightly. Its main purpose. Navigational assistance. The lighthouse is the traffic sign of the sea.
In life, when we get lost it’s not the lack of knowledge of where we are that presents the challenge but a loss of sight of where one was going and ultimately one’s loss of their sense of purpose, that opens the door for despair. For when we always have sight of our purpose, we know our current situation is only temporary.
As much as we try, and superficially succeed, to cast blame upon our circumstances, our decisions have gotten as to where we are or don’t want to be. Driving every action is a decision powered by an acknowledged or unacknowledged purpose.
Your purpose is your traffic sign on the high seas of life. Your ‘why’ guiding you forward. When you get lost, find yourself off track, your purpose brings you home. Your purpose is what allows you to say, I AM NOT LOST.
The Lighthouse Keeper
“Never judge a man’s actions until you know his motives.” ~Unknown
Your purpose is your lighthouse. You are the lighthouse keeper. You are the person responsible for tending and caring for your lighthouse.
You are the person responsible for ensuring that your lighthouse can propel you past exhaustion. Inspire you from the depths of despair. Give you a reason that keeps doubt a spectator and not an active participant.
You are the person responsible, for when your sea of dreams start to multiple and conflict, to provide signage that will give you clarity and guide you to the dream you must focus on now and the one that you must allow to wait or kick to the curb.
You are the person who must craft a lighthouse that keeps you focused on great and not distracted or settled by good.
You are the person that must ensure that your lighthouse keeps your feet firmly planted in the present while your mind grinds away on creating your future. Whose lighthouse must allow for the organization of thought around that which is unknown with the sole aim of making it no longer so.
When you delegate the responsibility of tending and caring for your lighthouse. You get lost more often than you should and stay lost longer than is beneficial. You lose momentum and flow. You end up at destinations that will always be unrecognizable. That bring you zero comfort.
How You Find Your Lighthouse
“He who has a why can endure any how.” ~Frederick Nietzsche
Mark Manson, NYTimes bestselling author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck offers this advice.
“Discovering what you’re passionate about in life and what matters to you is a full-contact sport, a trial-and-error process. None of us know exactly how we feel about an activity until we actually do the activity.
So ask yourself, if someone put a gun to your head and forced you to leave your house every day for everything except for sleep, how would you choose to occupy yourself? And no, you can’t just go sit in a coffee shop and browse Facebook. You probably already do that. Let’s pretend there are no useless websites, no video games, no TV. You have to be outside of the house all day every day until it’s time to go to bed — where would you go and what would you do?”
Others may be counting on you but even more important. You are counting on YOU. When you’re powered by a clear purpose, there is little you cannot do. When you’re powered by a clear purpose, you can ignore the sea.
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