As far as some people are concerned, the purpose of life is to be happy; whereas for others, it is to live a meaningful life. When it comes to the former, it is going to be all about feeling good.
Pleasure or Pain
So, when someone has this outlook, they may believe that the alternative is to feel bad. As a result of this, it is going to be normal for them to do everything they can to feel good.
What is then generally going to define whether or not they do something is how it will make them feel. One way of looking at this would be to say that this is going to be a very shallow existence.
A Deeper Experience
When it comes to the latter, one may believe that the alternative would be for them to live a life that is meaningless. Consequently, it is going to be the norm for them to do what they can to make sure this doesn’t happen.
And what will generally define whether or not they do something will depend on if it is in alignment with their purpose. Through being this way, they are likely to live a life of great depth.
A Closer Look
In order for this to take place, one will need to listen to their needs and to do what they can to fulfil them. This will relate to their so-called lower needs, and to their so-called higher needs.
What this means is that they will need to take care of themselves and they will need to do what they can to fulfil their need to make a difference in the world. And, as surprising as this may sound, the only way that one will be able to truly make a difference in the world is if they look after themselves.
Through making sure that they eat right, exercise, take the time to rest, and have fulfilling personal relationships, for instance, it will give them the energy to extend themselves to others. If they don’t look after themselves, they are going to end up running on empty; said another way, they will be there for others but they won’t be there for themselves.
Being able to be there for others is one thing, but is another thing altogether to do this without neglecting oneself. In order for one to be able to be there for themselves, they will need to value themselves and to be comfortable with their own needs.
It doesn’t end there, though, as one will need to feel as though it is safe enough for them to fulfil their needs and to express themselves. There are likely to be moments when it would be easier for them to say yes than it would be for them to say no, and for them to simply go along with what others are doing.
This is when one will need to stand their ground and to do something that won’t necessarily please others. But even though there will be moments when something like this happens, it is not going to cause them to change their behaviour.
Part of Life
One could be aware of the fact that they are an individual, which is why it is not possible for them to always go along with what someone else wants them to do. If they were simply an extension of others, it would be different.
When one experiences life in this way, they could believe that this is how everyone experiences life. However, if they were able to put their reality to one side, they might soon find out that this is not the case.
A Different Reality
One is going to behave as though they don’t have their own needs and feelings, and this is going to make it difficult for them to life a fulfilling life. Whether they say yes or no, is typically going to depend on what is taking place externally.
Doing what they can to please others is going to be their priority, meaning that their needs will be of secondary importance. And while this will allow them to please others from time to time, what it won’t do is allow them to please themselves.
Part of them is going to have the need to do what they can to please others and another part of them is going to want to fulfil their own needs. Ultimately, having the desire to please others is not natural.
The reason for this is that one is not working with themselves, they are working against themselves. Still, this is not something that has just happened; it is likely to show that there was a time in their life when it wasn’t safe for them to listen to their own needs and to go about fulfilling them.
If one was to take a step back and to think about what took place when they were growing up, they may find that this was a time when they were abused and/or neglected. Therefore, it wouldn’t have been safe for them to assert themselves.
Being treated in this way would have caused them to experience trauma and to develop limiting beliefs. Time has then passed, but due to the effect that this time in their life had on them, it hasn’t been possible for them to move forward.
If one can relate to this, and they want to change their life, it might be a good idea for them to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided by a therapist or a healer.
Changing what they believe and healing the trauma that is within them will be two things that need to occur.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.