In my 40th post, I began to read Richard Paul Evans’ The Four Doors. I recommend starting there for an introduction to this post.
The First Door
If you’re like me, you may be inclined to believe that you exist by chance.
I tend to lean towards the belief that just about everything exists due to some series of incredible happenstance.
The only reason I exist is because over the course of the past 14 billion years or so, a series of explosions and collisions, catastrophes and victories, chance meetings and the passing on of precious DNA led to my eventual birth.
I’m one of billions of human beings alive this very moment. One of an unfathomable amount of diverse living beings on just one of an inconceivable number of planets in a seemingly infinitely large universe.
And I am certain that I will eventually die.
So do I serve some greater purpose in this universe of infinitely expanding space and unending time?
Evans seems to believe so.
The first door to pass through is this: Believe there is a reason you were born.
Consider this: Why is it that some figures in history stand out so much?
Why have some human beings, members of our own species, been able to accomplish so much that they change the course of history?
Why do the majority seem to pass through life quietly, barely making a ripple?
This question, posed by Evans, is really profound for me. I would like very much to be more than an imperceptible ripple in history.
At the very least, I’d like to have some lasting impact somewhere in the universe. I think many of us would. It’s why so many of us aspire to be famous.
We look up to stars, heroes, and great leaders, especially when we’re young. We aspire to be like them, or to be better than they are.
Sadly, most of us won’t come close.
But back to that original question: Why are those famous figures so impactful?
Evans hypothesizes that nearly every great human who ever lived truly believed that they had a purpose – a mission. Something to share with the world.
So where did that sense of purpose come from?
For many, seemingly they were just born with it. For others, perhaps it came to them supernaturally.
But I don’t think that’s usually the case. It seems more likely to me that most had a seed planted in them from outside of themselves, something to inspire them.
One example Evans offers is a seed from a mentor.
He tells the story of his grandfather, who blessed him as a young boy and told him that one day he was destined to walk alongside royalty.
Later in life, when this still hadn’t come true, the grandfather repeated the blessing, this time adding that he would soon embark on a mission that would touch lives.
Later in his career, Evans had published many bestselling books and was a speaker at a conference hosted by the Bush political family and attended by the British Prime Minister when he realized his grandfather was right.
So did the grandfather some supernatural entity that could predict the future? I doubt it.
Rather, he offered encouragement. He planted the seed of inspiration that eventually led to greatness. And Evans believed.
So you may still be wondering: What is my purpose?
Well, the point of entering this first door should be clear, now. You have to believe that you have a purpose before you can find one.
Evans recommends starting with your passion. You likely have more than one. Whatever you’re most interested in pursuing, pursue it.
Along the way, you’ll receive inspiration from mentors, have rich experiences, and meet new people that will push you in new directions.
Some experiences will be very difficult, and you may not always know which way to go. But if you listen to what Evans refers to as your “inner voice,” you will figure it out naturally.
I’m actually pretty intrigued by the thought behind the inner voice, as it seems to be referenced by many great thinkers. The book cites Gandhi and Emerson as examples. I may do a post on the concept very soon.
At the end of the day, the first door tells that we are not a mistake.
All it takes to enter the door is to believe that there is a reason we were born, and a mission for us to carry out.
Find your mission, and understand who you really are.
And I like that thought. If you’ve been with me since the beginning of this blog, you might remember the very first question I asked: Who do I think I am?
And I haven’t quite decided yet.
Writing daily, piecing through each day for bits of inspiration and guidance, is hopefully helping me down that path.
I still do not believe that I exist on purpose. My conscious existence, as I said in the beginning, seems altogether random.
Beautiful and mysterious, but random.
What I do believe, however, is that I don’t have to exist on purpose to have purpose.
I can choose very easily to ignore my inner voice, to glide through life accomplishing nothing, changing nothing, making imperceptible ripples.
Or, I can choose to pursue my passions, to face hardships, and to seek out the purpose that I think we all so desperately crave.
So I think I’ll do the latter.
And I think I’m ready to pass through the first door.
To be continued…