The following is a direct excerpt from the excellent book “Mastery” by Robert Greene (pg 28). I will eventually expand on this with a series of posts on this theme, as I reflect on the lessons from this book that resonate most powerfully with me.
What we lack most in the modern world is a sense of a larger purpose to our lives.
In the past, it was organized religion that often supplied this. But most of us now live in a secularized world. We human animals are unique – we must build our own world. We do not simply react to events out of biological scripting. But without a sense of direction provided to us, we tend to flounder. We don’t know how to fill up and structure our time. There seems to be no defining purpose to our lives. We are perhaps not conscious of this emptiness, but it infects us in all kinds of ways.
Feeling that was are called to accomplish something is the most positive way for us to supply this sense of purpose and direction. It is a religious-like quest for each of us. This quest should not be seen as selfish or antisocial. It is in fact connecting to something much larger than our individual lives. Our evolution as a species has depended on the creation of a tremendous diversity of skills and ways of thinking. We thrive by the collective activity of people supplying their individual talents. Without such diversity, a culture dies.
Your uniqueness at birth is a marker of this necessary diversity. To the degree that you cultivate and express it you are fulfilling a vital role.