Category: Purpose

At the core of internal strength is an internal desire that outweighs external pressures. A pursuit has to be coupled with purpose, and I’m suggesting that a purpose that’s bigger than yourself is a far superior motivator.

September 28, 2017 Oliver Briny 1 comment

life of meaning

Most worldviews agree that the time we have on this Earth is precious. Many go as far as to say that time is your most valuable asset. An asset is defined by being useful or valuable. So if time is the most valuable asset, what do you use it for to get that value out of it? Well now I just have to ask, what can be uniformly defined as value? What does a life of meaning actually look like?
 
Lots of questions this week, but they stem from a sincere curiosity. From my perspective, it seems that most people - I dare say - struggle with finding meaning in life. We live in an age of subjective moral reasoning, which means that everyone individually defines for themselves what is good and bad, what is right and wrong. So with more freedom available to us than ever before, wouldn’t you think we’d be more satisfied?
 
"If you’re living a sensually driven life right now, you’re moving towards total emptiness.”¹
 
Is there a uniform right and wrong when it comes to living a life of meaning? It seems that we’ve found some pieces of that truth. No one wants to live a life void of true meaning. Even people with a naturalistic, scientific worldview, want meaning in some form. Paradoxically, it seems that our satisfaction in life positively correlates with having goals that have to do with putting others before us. It’s interesting; it's as if when we lose our lives, we find it.
 
I believe one form of meaning is found within genuine encounters with people. You can’t have intimate relationships without genuineness. A necessary ingredient when it comes to relationships is having the grace to allow one another the freedom of genuine expression. The difficulty lies in that sometimes we need the maturity to listen when it’s something we don’t want to hear.
 
There’s a really powerful video circulating online, where Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski talks about love². He describes the way we currently love as selfish. We often fail to genuinely love the other person; we just love the feeling the person gives us. When the person fails to meet our needs, we feel wronged and violated. Sadly, this means that we focus on our needs before anyone else’s. That’s not love for the other. That’s love for oneself. We constantly try to find our own sensual fulfilment - maybe that’s why we’re so empty.
 
It is selfishness that kills intimacy and meaning. Its rise has given birth to more still-born relationships than ever before in human history. It disperses the safety of expression necessary within an intimate relationship. What if it’s suffocation of expression itself, that breeds shallow living?
 
Selfishness is usually a manifestation of long-lasting pain. In a way, we need grace with ourselves before we can have it with anyone else. When a person learns to truly love who they are, their being is not phased by other people’s expression. This is because without an intimate, graceful disposition towards ourselves, it’s enormously difficult to be intimate and graceful towards other people.
 
So have a think. Do you allow yourself to express yourself genuinely? Are you able to allow others to express themselves? This is so important, because it’s a huge factor in unlocking the door to a life of meaning where you can truly connect with others. You are irrevocably unique. Opinions are many, but know that I, and many others, think that it would be such a shame if you hid your personality from the world. You are valuable - there’s a world of meaning out there.
 
"Meaninglessness does not come from being weary of pain, meaninglessness ultimately comes from being weary of pleasure."
-G. K. Chesterton
 
 

1. Zacharias, Ravi, Dr. “Questions of a Man in Agony, Part 2”. RZIM. August 8, 2017. http://rzim.org/just-thinking-broadcasts/questions-of-a-man-in-agony-part-2-of-4/.
2. Twerski, Abraham, Dr. “Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski On Love.” Speech. https://www.jinsider.com
December 17, 2016 Oliver Briny No comments exist

Find the root of your flow - it'll keep you going when the ride gets hard.

I have a friend who wanted to become a lawyer for as long as he could remember. He moved countries to pursue a degree in law and went through many ordeals including a culture shock, establishing a good living environment and leaving his relatives - all in order to pursue his dream.
 
When he finally got accepted in law school and began his studies, he found himself in a struggle. The environment he was in was demotivating: he had difficulties with navigating the culture and finding community. The figurative cost of his dream seemed too grave. But there was also a deeper issue. The weight of everything external and the difficulty of staying disciplined was outweighing the internal desire to accomplish the goals he’d set.
 
The majority of success is established through a healthy, efficient focus point; a focus on self and personal gain can only get you so far. When we start thinking beyond the small bubbles we habitually create around ourselves, we start to be on the right track. This is why it is necessary to have an internal desire - a fueling factor - that keeps you moving regardless of the external pressures of life.
 
At the core of internal strength is an internal desire that outweighs external pressures. A pursuit has to be coupled with purpose, and I’m suggesting that a purpose that’s bigger than yourself is by far the most superior motivator.
 
What is the root of your flow? Is it to help the needy, to give freedom to people who are captive or to feed the hungry? To make this concept more approachable, we have to understand that not everyone has to have an innate desire that’s targeted towards the extremities of life, such as people in depravity or victims of crime, and that’s completely alright!
The root of your flow can just as well be a desire to teach people dynamically with a fresh approach in a field you’re passionate about, raising and equipping the new generation through parenting, or exploring the complex beauty of the world through studying different scientific fields.
 
In the end, my advice to my friend was the same I’d like to offer you and though it’s simple, there’s a difference between simplicity and difficulty. Whatever it is you want to do practically, find your deeper focus point - the purpose behind what you’re doing. What is it that makes you passionate about your pursuit - what is the purpose of it? Then, connect that deeper purpose to any outworking you choose to embark on. Keep reminding yourself daily, consistently deciding to come back to your purpose, and you’ll be well on your way to tapping into the strength that’s at the root of your flow. 
 
What do you want to accomplish and why? The idea is simple, yet the answers can be difficult to find. Don’t run away from these questions though, as they are at the core of finding the root of your flow - the power that keeps you on track when the ride gets tough.
 
Answer these questions, and you'll be on your way towards a life full of meaning and purpose.
October 14, 2016 Oliver Briny No comments exist

Be sure to find what fuels you. Quality fuel equals function on a higher level!

When operating a well functioning car with a clear direction in mind, one of the first action steps is to make sure the car has enough fuel to reach its destination. In order to keep your car going, you have to know exactly what fuels it! In the same way we have many wants that we - sometimes desperately - want, but aren’t quite sure why we want them. The truth is that without a meaningful reason behind our wants, we lack the substance that fuels us.
 
What we want is the direction we’ve decided upon and why we want it is the fuel, or in other words, what keeps us going. Sadly, we’ll never be able to reach our destination without quality fuel. This is the reason we often keep hearing about the ‘why behind the what’: the ‘why’ is essentially what powers the ‘what’. The ‘why’ behind our doing is the fueling factor: without it, the engines are not moving!
 
By nature, we want to be associated with success. It’s an innate desire for us to feel celebrated and we go to great lengths to attain other people’s admiration. This poses a problem as our lives and goals soon start revolving around comparison which, in turn, causes all kinds of negative emotions that slow us down. 
 
When you realize that your gifting is valuable to the world - beyond just your own self - your purpose becomes external and outward. It doesn’t just extend within the borders of your life, but it goes far beyond! This realization then shifts the focus away from you, and frees you from the comparison game you used to play in order to measure your worth. You’re no longer fueled by selfish gain, but want to build something greater than yourself. 
 
The security of your identity, then, draws its power from what fuels you, because what fuels you has to do with your purpose. Purpose is basically what you would call the reason for your existence.
 
Purposes are many - what is the purpose that fuels you?