'Ironically enough, when you make peace with the fact that the purpose of life is not happiness, but rather experience and growth, happiness comes as a natural byproduct. When you are not seeking it as the objective, it will find its way to you'
I can't find the original source of this quote that Tom Goodwin put up on Instagram but I keep coming back to it. It seems to reflect something quite fundamental – the paradoxical truth that we often achieve the really important objectives in life in quite oblique ways. It's part of the reason why I have such little patience for the view that we all have one self-evident purpose in life and it is simply a matter of being brave enough to follow it. Whilst some may have the benefit of such clarity, that's not been my experience and I don't think I'm alone. I've found my way to where I am by trying stuff out, exploring adjacencies and pushing myself in new directions, which hasn't always been comfortable but then real learning rarely is.
First on the list of the top five regrets of the dying is: 'I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me'.
As Colyn Ahart said of her experience: 'You don't even know the jobs exist that you end up doing'.
I have two daughters. If I can instil in them a desire for lifelong learning and a willingness to experiment with life then I believe that I will be giving them the best chance of happiness. Life is about experience and experimentation.