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January 1, 2021

Blog by David, a Dude trying to find his way

As we march on swiftly into 2021, I suspect most of us are keeping our fingers crossed for a much more positive, healthier, more active and productive year.

A New Year makes most people consider their lives and take on new resolutions to improve themselves, or to redirect their ambitions and apply themselves in new ways. 

It’s certainly a good time of the year to take a good hard look at yourself and find new ways to take better care of yourself. I’ve personally struggled with depression and anxieties for a long time - probably longer than I’ve even realised or admitted to myself. For five years it’s been at a significant and disruptive level and I’ve been tackling it head-on.

January at Dudes & Dogs is all about Purpose and I think that is both apt and something I can personally relate to: the importance to focus on it, and the challenges of getting it right.

The one thing I know personally is that losing sight of your purpose in life can make it incredibly difficult to stay positive. What is going to get you out of bed every day; what keeps you focused on your work; what is it that makes you happy because you feel fulfilled; or what stops the world around you falling in on itself?

Defining a purpose isn’t a case of reading a book about purpose or being told by a guru what it is, but for me it’s about looking for what delivers those things.

I don’t think a purpose is simply a career, but I’d say that choosing the right career can serve your purpose. I have friends who have not only found their purpose through their careers, but followed it for many years, and it’s brought them a level of happiness that I’m embarrassed to say I envy. By having a good grip on their purpose, it’s led to rewarding, fulfilling personal lives, friendships as well as careers.

Suffering depression you can easily lose sight of your purpose and I do find times when I feel it’s futile to look for one.

I’m not writing this to tell you how to tell you how to find your purpose. We have to work it out for ourselves. A misaligned purpose was ultimately what drove me to stop what I was doing (my job of 20 years) 4.5 years ago and go part-time, freelance. The freelance gig wasn’t the plan…the only plan was to get away from a life that I knew was not my purpose.

I guess I was good at my job but I knew from the beginning and throughout it was never me, it certainly wasn’t my purpose. It wasn’t what I’d want to see in an obit!

Anyway, the continued search for purpose feels important to me. It may not to everyone. That could be because you’ve already found it: with your family, your friends, your life. But to me it’s like shopping at the supermarket and realising I’ve forgotten something important, but I just can’t remember what it is! I just hope that in 2021 I can be optimistic and creative enough to keep digging, keep searching, keep trying new things.

I do know that it helps being open with friends and others who are willing to listen - and Dudes & Dogs is an excellent Community for this. I’d love to hear others’ experiences of trying to find a purpose, or if you’re tackling similar internal struggles. Come to the Facebook page or Community and share your thoughts.

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