Letters

Why do we do what we do on a daily basis?

January 9, 2020   ·   0 Comments

by Mark Pavilons

Why?

Now there’s the question for all of human existence.

But really, this is a question most of us should ask ourselves on a daily basis.

Why do we get up in the morning and go to work? Why do we worry and stress over things? Why are we here, and what are we hoping to achieve and leave behind?

Good questions, all, but not many of us are willing to have such a conversation with that person looking back at us in the mirror. Such a debate would require time, and perhaps a couple of snorts.

I truly believe that everyone who we meet is put in our path for a reason. Everything that we do has a ripple effect, and I’m a strong believer in fate. There are no accidents. If we’re up to the challenge, we can all be teachers, if we’re willing to listen and paying attention to all those lessons we’ve learned in life.

We also have to trust our own instincts, and not be afraid to take risks or wait for some miracle to come knocking at our door.

Marla Gibbs once said that once she finishes one task, there’s always something else she wants to accomplish. Good for her.

We all need goals and we need to be passionate about something. We need to feel useful. We need a purpose.

Now, finding that purpose may take a very long time, a lifetime even. Some people never do and for them, hopefully a purpose is revealed to them in the great beyond.

Michael J. Fox said one’s purpose is something we’re solely responsible for; it’s not “divinely assigned.”

Most of us are not prophets, or “chosen ones,” but it would be really cool if we were.

Some, like Bryant H. McGill, believe a sense of purpose is directly linked to a sense of self.

And Pope John XXIII urged us to forget the past failures and concentrate on what’s still possible to do.

There are, without a doubt, thousands of inspirational quotes on purpose and motivation. Some may even be hanging on your office or kitchen walls. You know the ones, and I’m not talking about the cats who are just “hanging in there.” I’ve come across thousands in my career, and I’ve even penned a few myself.

As cliche and corny as they may be, there’s a lot of truth to those little nuggets. We all have tidbits of wisdom to share from our personal experiences and I believe each and every one of us has something valuable to impart.

Sir Richard Branson shares a lot on his social media posts and he even looks to famous people and their inspirational quotes to guide him.

He’s fond of Zig Ziglar’s assertion that success is doing the best with what we have, and it’s in the trying, not the triumph.

Inexperience can be an asset because it provides a lot to learn. We tend to set our own limits, and succumb to our own fears.

Regardless, we should heed Branson’s recommendation that we should all “live life better.”

Who doesn’t want to be a better version of themselves?

I’m in the process of reworking this old framework, a contraption I’ve gotten quite used to over the decades. But like anything – a car, house or furniture – I need an upgrade and some repairs. I’ve fallen into a bit of disrepair and in order to keep my vows and become a better husband and father, I need to focus, set and achieve some concrete goals.

I’m trying, with baby steps, but I hope to pick up the pace in the coming weeks.

The other day a friend of mine provided his personal list of three things that motivate him.

His first “rule” in making each day a success is whether he loved. I imagine that can mean a lot of things, but loving friends, family and others is pretty neat. And loving oneself is also necessary. I’ve been told I need to do more of that in conjunction with my outpouring of affection.

“Doing something that matters” is another reason to get out of bed in the morning.

That doesn’t mean we have to accomplish a monumental task, or earth-shattering achievement. Doing just one little thing that matters – that makes a difference in someone’s life or daily routine – is an accomplishment.

His final modus operandi is to “do something useful.” Most of us have some very useful and productive days, and others, not so much. But if we are somewhat productive each and every day, it will make a difference in the long run. We know where we’ve excelled and where we need improvement.

The beauty of being a human being is that we are all capable of self-diagnostics and we’re all “upgradable.” We attend to our smart phones and computers, installing the latest software and updates. We need to do the same with ourselves.

Nothing improves like trial and error. In it’s the trying, as I mentioned earlier. It’s in taking on something that may be daunting or challenging. Our ancestors were fond of telling their youngins that nothing teaches like failure and a few well earned cuts and bruises. Falling down is as easy as it looks. It’s all a matter of getting up, brushing ourselves off and doing it again and again.

The world is judgy and harsh at times. There’s no sense in trying to please society.

We have to be better examples of ourselves, in order to set better examples for others. Believe it or not, good behaviour and kindness tend to be contagious, especially this time of year. Try it, you’ll like it, and you’ll find others warming up to it as well.

With some regular fine-tuning, we all just might be able to tackle that ominous question of “why?”

If not, at least we will learn a lot about ourselves along the way. And that’s always a good thing.



         

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