Why do you do what you do? That is not the most important question but is the question I’d like to start off this inquiry with. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself this question? Let’s look at one aspect of your life: your profession or your career. What do you do for a living? Why do you do it? Is it because it is the career your parents chose for you? Is it because it was easy to get into? Is it because you wanted to guarantee that you’d find a job and a steady income? Is it because you’re afraid to try something else?
If you were to survey the majority of people, you would find that about 80% hate their jobs. They are only doing them because they have to financially support themselves and their families. You can easily recognize these people. They are usually unhappy, anxious, irritable, may not get along with their colleagues and are always looking forward to Friday. Do you notice how the majority of people dread Mondays because they have to drag themselves back to jobs that they despise and feel stuck in? But is this really true? Do you have to do what you hate doing? You may think you do because it brings you a steady income and helps support your family but the truth is that you are living a life of quiet desperation if you stay with what does not inspire you.
I’m not suggesting that you quit your job but I am suggesting that you undertake a deep inquiry into why you are here? Have you ever asked yourself that question? I can tell you one thing. You’re not here to go to university, get married, have children, buy a house, go on the occasional vacation and stay in a job or profession that you dislike. There is nothing wrong with these things but if they are done as a substitute for discovering why you are here then they are simply a distraction.
Everyone has a unique life mission and the sad thing is that the majority of people never discover it. There is a distinction between your life mission and your life purpose. Everyone’s life purpose is to awaken to their true nature. How that purpose is expressed in your time on earth is through your unique life’s mission. So this brings us to the most important question that you can ask yourself. That question is:
What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
Would you continue to do what you are doing now? Would you try something new? Would you learn new skills, meet different people who could support you in your true calling and finally step out of your comfort zone? So how does one begin to answer this most important question?
You can start by going back to your childhood and remembering your dreams and ambitions. You can start to take an inventory of your unique skills and strengths. You can look at who you admire, whether they are famous or not, for their talents and skills. You can also look at what you currently do that seems timeless, meaning that you can engage in it and not notice the time passing by.
The important thing to remember is that you do not have to change your current situation to start asking these questions. You do not have to quit your job, leave your spouse or move to another country. You do, however, have to realize that you only have this one life to fulfill your highest potential. Even if you believe in reincarnation or the afterlife, why would you not make the most of the life that you have right now? You can do this by simply spending five minutes a day asking yourself and journaling on the most important question:
What would I do if I knew I could not fail?
The truth is that the fear of failure is simply an illusion as there is no such thing as failure. It is simply your ego trying to keep you from stepping outside your comfort zone because it’s only concern is your survival. Failure is simply the universe’s way of course correcting your current path to ensure that you fulfill your ultimate destiny. This means that you cannot fail. So the only question you should be asking yourself is what fills me with passion and purpose and why am I not doing it right now? Stop right now and ponder this question even if you don’t have an immediate answer. It could be the most important question you ask yourself and could change the course of your life.
Nauman Naeem MD FCCP FRCPC