I believe that the world revolves around a certain form of duality which sometimes has the semblance of a similarity but lie on a whole contrary plane altogether. Black is a colour that represents the opposite of white, truth the opposite to deception, clear to obscure, happy to sad, north pole to south pole, negative to positive, night to day and the list of this sort of dichotomy can only go on. Perhaps to many people pursuit and purpose sound almost the same, but I will unravel the bright and beautiful differences that can probably make a change in the way our minds will think about this two common words that we pass by oh so frequently in our daily lives. And I hope from there on referring these two separate notions into an understandable duality.
I have strongly established that pursuit and purpose behave with inverse discrepancy, philosophically. To take this deeper, after all what is life if we can’t go deeper than deep. Pursuit is the act of doing, following or to catch someone, something or a plan, the attempt to achieve something, an activity you spend time and energy doing.
I would clearly illustrate in few simple words what pursuit mean to me— chase, ad libitum (at one’s pleasure). Surely you can be my guest to add more to this that I have already thought of. Now turning our attention to purpose, the common definition for it would be the reason of why you do something, why something exists, the determination or feeling of having a reason for what you do, an intention or aim for doing something or allowing it to happen, an intended result or use. For some good feeling, I sense a warmth around purpose in comparison to pursuit. Anyhow, if I could then draw out clearly in two words what purpose mean to me, it would be — reason, mindful. I believe that pondering on these two words I have used all my life from a new perspective allows to me see things differently which potentially affect my lifestyle and its choices.
We, the human race are immensely attracted to the idea of a pursuit. We find more adrenaline and dopamine in the suggestion of pursuit itself. We could liken it to a car race. The chase, the action, the anxiety, the stress. That is what pursuit entails— stress and anxiety. If only we understood our human anatomy in relation to the mental action we take we will be more mindful of how we operate our bodies. We do not have all eternity to be frivolous with our human abode, the body that houses us and our “pursuits”. This interconnection between stress and our body can only bring harm in the long-run. You and I, by now know this is no longer rocket science. Pursuit leads us down that rabbit hole of chase and continuous action, the need to be always in “doing mode”. And because our bodies permit, we act at one`s pleasure (ad libitum). What happens then when our body fails us? We can no longer pursue those pursuits since the inability for action now exists. We do not only need the presence of dopamine in our system and neither do we need any extra cortisol. We need to make way for the other happy hormones to run in our bloodstream.
Funny but true, how our body functions eventually is congruent to our choices.
The beauty of purpose is endless. When we give a why to what we do, we add purpose to it. And creating that purpose in our lives and how we perform our choices can only add holistic quality to our beings. Research confirms that when we create a purpose to our life the human body functions better cognitively, in the general well-being, and in one`s mental health compared to those who lack that sense of purpose. When we incorporate purpose and eliminate the need for pursuit, we become more mindful of the choices we generate. The human mind has predominantly an extra element in counterpart to our fellow creatures, the animalia, known as the mesencephalic tegmentum— bearing a heavy role in vital faculties such as arousal, sleep-wake cycles, certain coordination of movements, cardiovascular control and the most important of all, consciousness. The mesencephalic tegmentum is just right underneath the pineal gland which was touted by the notable Descartes to be the hub of why we humans give reason to
all our doings, the seat to rational thought. Descartes was a strong believer that reason is a native gift of humans and authentic knowledge cannot be acquired through books but through the methodical application of reason. Redirecting us gently back to purpose.
For us to reach a 24-carat state of mind and being, we need to first mindfully erase the presence of pursuit, it easier for us to resort to pursuit for its gains are much more desirable and attractive. Beware that you do not fall into the trap of a deceiving aura that pursuit radiates, making it seem like it is purpose. Pursuit comes with chase and anxiety, while purpose serves you with rest and reason—which is more worthwhile an achievement coming to think of it through an extended period of time. It is noted to be true that people who have created a sturdy purpose to hold on to in the blue zones (regions around the world who have people living above the average life expectancy and extending into centenarians) achieve a healthy longevity in their lives. It is not necessary to have a great purpose, one better than our neighbour, but just to have a conscious purpose, well adapted to our being. And being watchful that it is not a pursuit hidden in the robe of purpose, can bring goodness to us in tremendous scale. If you think you would have to find your purpose, I would say that is flabby. Purpose cannot be found, it must be created. Take time to consciously create your purpose in everything you do. And If you are lost of how to create a purpose then let me leave you with a thought-provoking quote by the revolutionary thinker himself, Carl Jung— “The sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being”.