Finding a new purpose in life.

in Reflections3 months ago (edited)

Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.
-Abraham Lincoln

I've been sharpening my axe since the beginning of the last quarter. You'd have to call me a hypocrite if I'd say I've lived my entire life with the same mentality. Action has always prevailed over anything. I have an unshakeable faith in doing over thinking. Only recently I've navigated moments where my faith underwent scrutiny and confronted intellectual scepticism, informed by self-moderated contemplative introspection and personal encounters.

I feel like I've always had a clear purpose in life, mostly fuelled by cultural "contracts", personal aspirations, and passion.

Any self-made individual knows what I mean. As neat and beautiful as the words I used are, they are synonymous with an excruciating struggle that a huge part of the population is unaware of.

But 647 days ago, all of that went on to mean nothing. Absolutely nothing. Nada. Niets.

Life? Changed.
Home? Gone.
Self-worth? Demolished.
Accomplishments? Meaningless.
Purpose? Lost.


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Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.
-Bobby Unser

About 3 years ago, I got stuck in the Emirates when visiting my family. The plan was to simply visit the family, open up a branch of my Kharkiv consultancy in Dubai and get back to Ukraine and specialise. Then the pandemic started and I had to rush to get my medical license to work as a doctor on the frontlines.

I still remember the day I got my license from MOH UAE. I thought to myself that this is it - my purpose is being fulfilled. Doing what I love the most- treating patients. I had a clear vision in mind; I'd go back home to Ukraine, get my license and work to specialise, and business would be back once the lockdowns and restrictions were over. In short, keep fulfilling my purpose in life.

I found my decisions were fully aligned with my goals. I was crowned a "hero" along with other doctors during the pandemic. I'd go back to Ukraine, obtain my license, and begin my specialisation, and business was running even if it took a major hit. Nevertheless, everything according to plan.

But contrary to expectations, the plan's viability did not hold up in real-world conditions.

Today, I'm just a refugee.


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Plans are useless but planning is indispensable.
-Dwight D. Eisenhower

I know the one thing written in stone is that playing to your strengths is a foolproof cornerstone of life.

Yes, today I'm not working as a doctor anymore, and neither do I have much going on for me. But I'm still trying to find and do things that I love and know can make a difference while still playing to my strengths.

This picture above is from a small meeting I hold with other Ukrainian refugees who are now part of my team. Yes, my own team. It took me some time to gather a team of driven individuals who also believe in doing as much as possible for Ukrainian refugees and Ukraine. I'm still trying to stay away from "corporations" and find ways to empower the Ukrainian community in the city intrinsically instead of relying on external organisations. It is a challenging task, but I do it, with noticeable success.

Since becoming a "refugee", I've faced so many speedbumps. So damn many. It's hard to keep count. The stigma surrounding this word has held me back from reaching my full potential. Even if people are too woke to say anything to the face, many speak just as loud through their actions. I now know the challenges "refugees" face from firsthand experience. I know how it is to be one.

Working for the Ukrainian community is my fight against the stigma surrounding this dreadful word.

I started my humanitarian work with the mentality of "Thrive, not survive". I started it off all alone. Completely alone. While fighting my inner demons that came on to me due to this situation. In my head, I knew everyone around me was also fighting demons, and maybe, just maybe, if I played to my strengths, I could help them fight an even battle.

It proved to be right.


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The harder I practice, the luckier I get.
-Gary Player

I know jack about golf, but Gary is factually correct. I'm a huge believer in luck, but not in its general sense of meaning. I believe luck is something that can be constructed. And in Gary's words, it takes a lot of hard work.

Sometimes, when I'm "sharpening my axe", I wonder if this is now the purpose of my life. In the same train of thought, I find myself incredibly lucky to be in a position to do all of this. To make a real change in others' lives and feel rewarded for it without asking for anything in return. I have genuinely tried to do a lot and make a difference.

On the other hand, I can't help but get over the years I've spent paving the road and achieving personal and career milestones. Do you see the constant battle in my head?

In a way, becoming representative of Ukrainians in the city, doing research, brainstorming ideas, creating community events, productivity exercises, and even becoming an ambassador of an up-and-coming app for refugees is honestly not something shy of being proud of, nor short of deserving the title of "purpose in life".

I know what I want to do. It's a waiting game. I'll obtain my 3rd medical license and work here as a doctor if and when I obtain the language proficiency certificate. Till then, working for the people is my purpose in life.

Right?



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Every struggle, obstacle, bounce back, and feeling of being forced to start from ashes (especially when life cut off my wings, so there was none to very small chance I might rise up again like a phoenix) were always for one purpose only!
It took me years, decades, in fact, to figure out what that one and only (always the same) purpose of those bad happenings is!

In the meantime, in an attempt to recover, fix things (sometimes unfixable) out, find new ways, purposes, approaches, different solutions, you name it - I just lost an enormous amount of time, energy, health (physical, psychical, or even both).

Another issue on the way was materialism. I'll explain. - Although we are way more (or maybe even whole) heart and soul than a body, we live and act entirely the opposite. Lots of the time, if not most of it, we are just serving our body (from the simplest things like food and sleep up to more complex desires), entirely forgetting or being unaware that we are actually hearts and souls "trapped" in that materialistic bodies.
I mean, it's OK or even our duty to take care of our bodies as a shelter of our heart and soul, but we should take care and pay close attention not to cross that fine invisible line when we become enslaved by our bodies and their crazy desires.

Then comes this earthly world where everything is measured with money, power, recognition, success, and similar. It is an almost unavoidable trap that doesn't do anything else but feed our ego. Or better to say, EGO - the main assassin of our heart and soul!

Complex world! Complex life! Easy to get lost!

However, looking back at my life and finding some patterns (although, at first glance, seemingly in entirely different life occasions) I realized that after every big down there was always a big up following.
WOW! I started to be happy (crazy but true!) when some shit was coming my way, just because I knew there would be something way better after that would clean and compensate for all of it.

The problem was when those shitty periods lasted way too long. I got entirely exhausted on the way, not rarely lost almost all my energy, and felt entirely powerless (mentally and physically), purposeless, pointless, you name it.
I was still doing something wrong! - Being happy while it is raining, just because the sun will shine after, might seem pointless if the rain lasts for ages, and you still don't know how to remove the clouds.

Then, it hit me! The main question! - What should I LEARN from this bad situation, from this struggle, to BECOME A BETTER PERSON?

The moment I started asking myself this question, things started to change almost miraculously, even before I passed that lesson.
And with greater humility and gratitude, I would try to learn and pass that lesson; that long-awaited sunshine day would approach my way faster, bringing along opportunities I've never dreamed of, even materialistic things like money, car, house, or people (I would normally never meet) that would for no reason open some doors for me.

I don't know if this might be your "KEY" also, but what you may lose if you ask yourself that question and truly seek its answer?!

Till some next time, I'm sending you a BIG HUG! 🤗

I have yet a lot to learn from observations and experiences like yours, and of course as time passes I'll develop new ways of thinking too. We both agree that everything happens for a reason, we spoke briefly about this in Amsterdam. I somehow can relate to the feeling. Deep inside me I know there is a bigger picture that I still can't see.
I'm still stuck in the phase of running between feeling fine where I am and trying to fix, or find solutions ,new ways, or purpose...the part that is draining. Very draining. Both physically and mentally, like you said. I've to come to being okay with it as part of the process, but not make it my reality.
"Complex world! Complex life! Easy to get lost!"
This hit me like a truck. Well, all of it did. I have found some solace and escape from this complexity and ego by realising and actualisation of not only my problems, but the problems others in my shoes are facing. It somehow helped me find a way...like you said, even if it is does not appear clearly, and let go of that complexity to words towards something more meaningful and rewarding to my soul.
"after every big down there was always a big up following."
I too have been in this shitty period for so long that I have forgotten this. And this is very important. Indeed, after the rain comes sunshine. I used to be very happy when the rains used to come. Another challenge! Another chance to become better and grow. Another reason to become more flexible and stronger. In this long run of shittiness, I completely forgot about this mentality. Thank you for bringing it back to me. I need to get back to enjoying the rain, not because I love being wet, but because it feels even better drying in the sun.
To be fully transparent, this is the key. Looking at the brighter side of things, and more importantly, learning from it. Come rain or sunshine, it is happening for a reason and it is an opportunity to grow.

My grandma told me once that one of the greatest (and most often) mistakes we as humans make is always focusing on what we missed, what could be if this or that happened or didn't happen, what we lost or what we want and still don't have, and above all what some others have, already accomplished, reached, etc., while we are still struggling and craving to access that point, and therefore we entirely FORGET TO TURN BACK and see all those many others who are still dreaming of being in our position, as only then we can realize how lucky and happy we already are and be grateful for that!

"You have to learn to balance those two," she told me, "and that's why God gave you two eyes. One is to keep focusing on your high goals, and the other is to see those who are far behind and don't have a tiny bit of all the things that already are at your disposal, as things could always end up worse for you than they actually did. So, if you are going to be smart enough to use both your eyes wisely, you will realize that the road toward your goals is paved more with your helping-hand actions towards those behind than with anything else."

Right. I know you will succeed. Good luck!

Thank you @hallmann for always being one of my best supporters and giving me motivation.

Regardless of the demons, it looks like your head is exactly where it should be. Hang in there mate, I have no doubt the world is full with people with fingers cross, hoping for brighter days. Stay strong and keep building! !BEER

Thank you mate @pardinus. Sometimes the demons get the best of me, but it's always more fun when there's a challenge, right? Here's to hoping for brighter days for everyone going through less and more.

For sure; sometimes demons and angels are needed in similar quantities! ;)

A few hours needed to let this sink in. There's a lot of power in this post, coming from someone who's road has never been easy in life. It shows you have a lot of experience in dealing with difficult situations and no matter how many obstacles life hands out for you, you alway find the necessary balance to get through them. This is called mastering life.

Thinking back to those days when you hit rock bottom, you've come a really long way, even though most likely sometimes it's hard to see the progress, but the progress is there. 600 something days ago I told you some things that seemed like empty words back then due to the desperate situation you were in, but life has proven me right, you're doing exactly what I talked about back then.

It's been a rough path for you since you left Ukraine but you already see the light at the end of the tunnel, which is the most important thing at the moment. Once the map is drawn out, the director is clear. Even if it's a long road full of obstacles, there's always a way. Finding the strength to overcome difficulties is the hardest thing in life, but you you're not a beginner in this game either.

I'm grateful for this post, it came in the right time, to give me the necessary strength to go on. Help comes in different ways and lucky are those who car recognize it. I guess today I'm the lucky one. Thank you!

Everything you said is very important and has helped me immensely. I don't know if I'm anywhere close to mastering life but the fight continues. The mental fight is always harder. The difficulties can feel like an overburden. But continuous momentum does help. It is true that I do not see any progress, even if a 1000 people tell me, and that is just because of where my head is at and what I consider progress. Thanks for the kind words.

Right?

Right.

Eventually one day you will find more solidity in your sense of purpose. You are not the type to ever go without it or give it up, I can tell.

Solidity. Well said. That's what I'm missing, I guess. I don't know if I'm strong like you think I am, but I continue going forward.

We never know how strong we are until we get enough time/perspective to look back on it, I think. Otherwise we'd all just be overconfident cocky bastards, a bunch of hot air.

The twists in your journey, from being a doctor to a refugee, and now building a team to support Ukrainian refugees, is truly inspiring. The battle in your head is real, but the impact you're making and the change you're bringing are testaments to your strength.

I'd like to think so. Thanks for visiting the post.

You will always have a purpose in life. Can't live without purpose

That is a factually correct statement, to say the least.

Life in general is a rollercoaster but the twists met on the way differ in numbers and difficulty for each one of us. Even though everything happens for a reason but it's hard to see it that way when you fight with so much struggle, a thing to be confident about is that everything makes you stronger, and no doubt you will become invincible and obtain everything you want in life from now on.

You're right to say everyone rides the rollercoaste. And for sure everyone has their ups and down. No ones troubles are smaller than the others'.


Hey @blind-spot, here is a little bit of BEER from @pardinus for you. Enjoy it!

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