This posting is part of a series on my book Sifting. If you have not read the previous postings, please visit the menu above (click on Sifting) for a chronological listing of any previous chapters. Thanks!
Chapter 9: The Call to Adventure
Bob felt good about his conversation with Sift. However, he decided it was time to pay more attention to choosing his questions carefully and focusing on the big issues in life. He didn’t want to wake up from this dream and lose his connection with Sift. Or was this a dream? It sure felt real. He wasn’t ready to ask about that yet. If this was just a dream, that question might end it.
He wondered what he should ask next. A sudden flash of insight produced a series of questions. Bob sat back in his comfortable chair, closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and relaxed.
Bob: Sift, are you there?
Bob: Do you answer questions for other people too?
Sift: Yes, I am available to assist anyone who wants to explore ideas they are curious about. Different people perceive me in different ways, if they notice me at all. However, I hear all their questions whether they realize I exist or not.
Bob: Do you keep up with how many people ask the same questions?
Sift: No, I do not “keep up with it,” as you say; but I am capable of knowing that information if it is necessary.
Bob: Okay, what question do people ask most often?
Sift: That would be: “What is the purpose of my life?” It is asked in many different ways; however, that is the essence of the question that is asked most often. For example, some people ask the question in other forms, such as: “What is the meaning of my life?” or “What should I be, or do, when I grow up?”
Bob: When they grow up? So, you get most questions from children?
Sift: Yes, I do. Because of the way most adults develop emotionally and intellectually, many humans tend to ask fewer and more superficial questions as they mature. Children, in general, are more curious and much better at asking questions in terms of both quantity and quality. However, I receive the question about “What should I be when I grow up?” from people of all ages. The frequency of this question is highest among people in their younger years and during their mid-life years.
Bob: Okay, here’s my next question: What is my life purpose?
Sift: Your ongoing purpose on Earth is to discover and pursue your unique call to adventure in this present moment. Having said that, I know you have additional questions about that statement. Which question do you want to address first?
Bob: You’re right, I have questions. What exactly do you mean by “adventure”?
Sift: An adventure, in this sense, is any experience that leads to personal growth. Personal growth is another process you are hardwired to pursue. You experience the most joyful aspects of life when you are participating in an adventure that is uniquely designed to utilize your unique strengths and promote your personal growth.
When I use the term adventure, I am actually referring to both the ongoing adventure that gives structure to the overall arc of your life and the sub-adventures that support and move you in the direction of your unique calling. Specific, or sub-adventures, can be long, short, physical, mental, spiritual, financial, educational, or any other form that you have the ability to perceive. As I mentioned, your entire time on Earth is an adventure. Your career, your education, each year, day, and moment of your life is a subset of that adventure. Your marriage is an adventure. Parenting is an adventure. Reading a book is an adventure. Asking me questions is an adventure. An adventure is any undertaking that involves some element of challenge and personal growth that is in alignment with your unique calling.
Bob: Let’s talk more about that. Are you saying everyone on Earth is called to pursue a unique adventure?
Sift: Yes, everyone has an overall adventure that is unique to them and serves to coordinate or organize all their sub-adventures. Your call to adventure can, and likely does, change at various points in your life. For example, the purpose of one adventure might be to prepare you for another higher-level adventure.
Bob: So your sub-adventures in life are designed to support your calling?
Sift: Yes, that’s the way things should work. However, that is not the way things do work with most people.
Bob: What do you mean?
Sift: Some people discover their true calling early in life. When this happens, they usually do a pretty good job of aligning their choices with their calling. For example, they choose friends, associates, life partners, educational opportunities, books, careers, and experiences that are in alignment with and support their calling. Others live more by default and choose somewhat random experiences that may or may not be in alignment with their calling. The beauty of this design process is that it gives you two paths to discovering your true calling in life.
Bob: What are the two paths?
Sift: One path involves experiencing an epiphany, or aha moment. For whatever reason, you just know it. That’s not the way most people discover their calling in life, but it can happen. Many people get quite frustrated when they can’t discover their calling in this manner. They see other people who clearly understand their purpose in life and wonder why they can’t somehow do the same. Ironically, in this mental state, when you are trying to force the issue, you are least likely to discover your unique calling. It is like trying to get a butterfly to land on your finger. You can’t force such a thing. You have to be still and attract the butterfly.
Bob: What’s the other path?
Sift: The other path – the more common path – is similar to putting together a puzzle, or opening a combination lock. When you put enough pieces of a puzzle together, at some point, you can pretty well determine what the finished puzzle will look like. And if you keep trying combinations of lock numbers long enough, the tumblers inside the lock eventually fall into place and the lock opens. So you pay attention to all your sub-adventures and treat them like pieces of a puzzle, especially in terms of the emotions they generate for you and whether or not they energize or drain you.
Bob: Why is that?
Sift: Joyful emotions that nurture your body, mind, and soul usually indicate you are on the right path in life. When sadness, anger, and fear are associated with your actions or inactions, it is usually an indication that you are deviating from your unique path in life. Likewise, you need to pay close attention to whether or not your choices are energizing or draining you. It’s really a fairly simple process.
Bob: So, if I haven’t had this grand epiphany about my unique calling in life, I need to focus on the emotional and energizing or draining consequences of my day-to-day choices. If I do that, I’ll eventually attract knowledge of my unique calling?
Sift: Yes, that is how it works.
Bob: So I don’t need to spend time thinking about what to do with the rest to my life as much as I need to spend time choosing what to do today and tomorrow and paying attention to the consequences of my choices?
Sift: It is fine to reflect on what to do with the rest of your life. It is actually a good idea to do so. However, it is probably more important to focus on your current choices. Your current choices create your life. They determine your life path, direction, and how the rest of your life will unfold. Every choice you make is like a piece of the puzzle or the combination lock we talked about earlier. Put enough choices in place and the tumblers will likely fall into place.
Bob: And then I will have an epiphany, or aha moment.
Sift: Yes, in those circumstances, it is highly likely that the tumblers will eventually fall in place for you.
Bob: This is pretty interesting. I’ve got a lot of questions about this, but I am not sure what to ask first.
Sift: Just relax, Bob. Take your time and think about it.
End Chapter 9
Main takeaway: Everyone on Earth is called to pursue a unique adventure. This adventure can change as your life unfolds.
- Why do you think young people and those at mid-life most often think about the purpose of life?
- What life adventures have contributed the most to your personal growth?
- Do you believe you are called to pursue a unique adventure while on Earth?
- What are some current puzzle pieces that might be clues to your next significant adventure in life?
- Where are your current choices taking you in life?
- Consider reading The Purpose of Your Life, Finding Your Place in the World Using Synchronicity, Intuition, and Uncommon Sense by Carol Adrienne
The entire book will eventually be posted on this blog. However, if you want a copy for yourself, or as a gift for a friend, you can find it at this link: Sifting