In Service Of What?

What questions are you asking yourself? I want to know.

Because the questions we ask ourselves are incredibly powerful in shaping our future. In our society, we often acclimate more to determined answers and finality. Better to know and understand than dwell in the realm of not knowing and inquiry. For those of us dedicated to personal growth and spiritual evolution, these questions we ask are the catalyst to new explorations that will ultimately unfold new layers of our experience.

The question I had been asking myself for the past two years is, “What do I want to be the best at?” What do I want to give myself to so fully that it’s 2pm and I’ve forgotten to eat because I’m so engrossed in what I’m doing? Having demonstrated time and time again that I am capable of anything I put my mind to, what is it that lights me up, that I find totally riveting, and that I am willing to put in the 10,000 hours to develop true mastery? What do I want to master?

At 31, I am happy to share I do not know the answer to this question. And proud to have been asking it. I refuse to settle for not knowing this answer. I refuse to look at my comfortable life and say that it’s good enough to not find this answer. When it is known, I greatly look forward to the new cascade of questions that will lead to deeper understanding. Being a lifelong learner is peeling off the layers of an onion that keeps regenerating from the inside. We’re never done unraveling!

Questions have the ability to be North Stars, aligning actions over decades, careers, and lives. When a question is held in mind, the incredible processing power of our brains begins to churn over reality sifting through the enormous data inputs and our memory bank to organize around the question. Depending on the question sometimes the answer flashes brightly like a sign on the Vegas strip. Other times it is much like tracking an animal in the wild. A track in the mud, a snapped twig, and a pattern in the grass suggest we alter course Southwest. This is momentum. And in this process it’s difficult to tell how close or far we are from arriving at our destination, the answer to our inquiry. Yet we are being pulled toward something. It beckons. The answer wants to be known.

A new question has emerged which eclipses my old question in importance. In Service Of What? Very simply this question calls forward to the purpose of my life. What is my mission? On behalf of what am I willing to dedicate my precious time and life energy to? This question calls on something greater than my life, comfort, earnings, etc… This question taps into macro movements that would come through me, assembling my life effort’s in a mosaic of humans beyond simple comprehension. In what lineage of thought and practice am I to take up the mantle in? What frontier is begging me to fulfill its purpose in being known? What reverberates loudly like a giant monastery bell, it’s gong resonating so deeply as to shake every cell of my being and declare, “THIS!”? Beyond simply setting my mind to accomplish something, this question begs the passion of my soul to set alight the fires of true inspiration, alignment, and authenticity.

This question is now begging to be answered. When I first came across this question, I heard it as “In Service To What?”. I’ve pondered, is it TO or OF? Words matter. Even the tiniest of prepositions can change the meaning of the inquiry and the subsequent outcome. The definition of TO is “expressing motion in the direction of (a particular location).” The definition of OF is “expressing the relationship between a part and a whole.” TO is giving to the one being served. Good but not like OF which is me serving on behalf of a larger whole.

The journey to wholeness can be perilous and it probably always has been amidst the daily requirements of “making it” in a society. Ultimately, this inquiry is about discovering what’s true for me at the level of my soul beyond career aspirations, normative expectations, and superficial appeasements. I will not stop until I answer this question or my life’s momentum in realizing this answer brings a new question into focus.

This is MY question. What is yours?

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash