Which Lens Are You Using for Life? – Insights from the Wilderness #163

Which Lens Are You Using for Life?Most people use one of these lenses to look at life; the “shiny objects” lens, the “career” lens, or the “life purpose” lens. Our happiness and success in life will depend on the lens we choose to use.

The Shiny Objects Lens

The “shiny objects” lens is the lens most often used by our unconscious primitive ego. This is the lens that is often referred to as the “what ever is in front of me” lens. Because our primitive ego unconsciously resists change so-as-to protect the status quo, it’s content to use the “shiny objects” lens. It uses this lens to scan the world and bounce like a rubber ball from shiny object to shiny object all day, then watch a little television, and eventually go to bed at night having unconsciously avoided any real change in our life. When we are unconsciously using the “shiny objects” lens we are essentially choosing to live an unawakened life; sleep walking from day to day; year to year. There tends to be a significant lack of intention, motivation, and meaning in our lives.

The Career Lens

The “career” lens is often our first attempt to awaken and live life more intentionally. We scan the world until we find a career that we think would make an interesting life. We invest in education and training but it’s not uncommon for us to end up working for advancement and success in a job outside of our career field simply because it offered a higher starting salary.

Our life is often defined by work, watching some television, and going to bed so we can repeat the process until the weekend arrives. We are “career” focused, but life’s shiny objects still distract us, and our primitive ego unconsciously works to maintain the status quo and avoid any real change that would threaten our self-identity. We are more financially “successful”, but life still feels like a day-to-day treadmill. It’s not uncommon for us to feel depressed and trapped by the circumstances of our life, and hunger for the deeper meaning that remains illusive and unfulfilled. Despite the fact we are living an unawakened life, we know that something important is missing from our lives.

The Life Purpose Lens

The last lens is the lens of  “life purpose”. Unlike the two previous telescopic lenses that only look out at the world, the “life purpose” lens is a microscopic lens that looks inward into the “self”. This lens is highly intentional, is focused on awakening and growth in self-awareness, and is concerned with only a few important spiritual questions. Why are we here? What did we come here to do? What has not yet existed that we are uniquely capable of creating in the world? What were we born to do? Who were we meant to “be”? When we use this lens there will be no rest until we have intentionally awakened our consciousness and answered these questions.

When we have found our life purpose; the reason we are here, and can write it down on paper using two simple sentences, life suddenly becomes more joyful, feels more successful, and has significantly deeper meaning. When we look at the world through the lens called “life purpose”, we begin to see the entire world through the eyes of our authentic self; the only part of us that accepts full and total responsibility for the life we are called to create for ourselves.

Most importantly, our authentic self is the only part of us capable of looking around the edges of our primitive ego and seeing the world as it really is. When we awaken to our life purpose we find ourselves intentionally embracing the evolutionary impulse to “become”. We discover that our “life” is the meaning that we have been searching for. We feel a sense of urgency that comes from the knowledge that the universe is waiting for us to manifest the reason we were born.


Our culture, and our primitive ego, will unconsciously encourage us to use the “shiny objects” lens. When we become dissatisfied with the limitations of that lens, our culture and our primitive ego will unconsciously encourage us to use the “career” lens. Like the “shiny object” lens, the “career” lens can capture our attention for many years, but neither of those lenses will feed the hunger for deeper meaning. We can be a disciplined and hard worker, but those traits, as important as they are, will not create the life we were meant to live until we awaken to our life purpose.

Only when we have intentionally discovered our life purpose, will we begin to experience the deeper meaning our essential self has yearned for since the day we were born. Only the “life purpose” lens will allow the light of our observing consciousness to illuminate the spiritual path from an unconscious primitive ego to that of a more evolved and spiritually awakened adult consciousness.

We all have the ability to choose which of those three lenses we are going to look at life through. It’s our choice. It’s our life. And it’s never too late to choose. The evolutionary impulse to “become” has been waiting for 13.7 billion years to see what we create with this gift of life that we’ve been given.

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