Robert Louis Stevenson
Featured Positive Inspirational Story
The real purpose of your life
In a small town there lived a very wise man who was the head of the local administration. Everyone respected him and his views and opinions were well regarded and many people came to him seeking advice.
His teenage son, however, was very lazy and wasted his time sleeping and spending time with his friends. No amount of advice from the wise man made any difference to him, he wouldn’t change at all. The years passed and as the wise man grew older, he began to worry about his son’s future and recognized the need to give something to him so that he could take care of himself and his family to be.
One day, he called his son to his room and said ‘My son, you are a young man now and you must learn to take responsibilities and understand life.’
'I want you to find the real purpose of your life and when you find it remember it always and it will lead you to a life full of happiness and joy.’
Then he handed his son a bag which contained 4 sets of clothes and pairs of shoes, one for each season as well as some fresh and dry food, a little money and a map. His father continued . . .’I want you to go and find a treasure, and I have drawn a map of the place where the treasure is hidden.’
The son loved this idea and the next day, he eagerly set out on a journey to find the treasure. He had to travel very far across forests, plateaus, mountains and borders. The days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months. Along the way, he met a lot of people and he was helped by some with food and shelter. He also came across robbers who tried to rob him. Slowly the seasons changed and so did the landscapes along with it. When the weather was unpleasant, he halted for the day and continued his journey when the weather cleared.
Finally, after a long year, he reached his destination. It was a cliff and the map showed the treasure being placed below the cliff close to a large tree. Upon spotting the tree, he began to dig the surrounding ground, but found nothing. He spent the next two days looking and digging for the treasure. By the third day, he was so exhausted that he decided to leave.
Disappointed over his father’s lie, he headed back to his home. On his way back, he experienced the same changing landscapes and seasons. This time, however, he halted to enjoy the blooming flowers in spring the wild life and beauty of country side.
The supplies he carried were all gone, so he learned to hunt for food. He also learned how to sew his clothes and shelter himself. He was now able to determine the hour of the day by the position of the sun and plan his journey accordingly. He also learned how to protect himself from wild animals. On his way back home, he met the same people who had helped him earlier in his trip. This time he stayed with them and helped them in some way to repay them for their kindness. He had realized how kind they were to an ordinary passer-by who had nothing to offer to them in return.
When he reached his home, two years has passed and he greeted his father with warmth. The father immediately jumped to his feet and hugged his son.
‘So how was your journey my son, did you find the treasure’. he asked.
‘The journey was fascinating father, but forgive me for I wasn’t able to find the treasure, so maybe somebody took it before I reached where it was hidden.’ he said.
He surprised himself by what he had just said and also that he wasn’t angry at his father for sending on such a long trip without finding the treasure.
‘There wasn’t any treasure in the very first place my son’ . . . his father answered smiling.
‘But why did you send me to find it’ . . . he asked.
‘I will tell you why, but first can you tell me how was your journey to and from the place and did you enjoy it?’ replied his father.
‘Of course, not father! I was worried someone else would find the treasure before I did. I was in a hurry to reach the cliff, but I did enjoy the journey on my way back home. I made many friends and I learned so many different skills as well as the art of survival. There was so much I learnt that it made me forget the pain of not finding the treasure.’
His father said to him . . . ‘Exactly my son. I wanted you to lead your life with a goal. But if you remain too focused on the goal, then you would miss out the real treasures of life. The truth is, life is not all about a goal it is more experiencing and growing with it every single day.
It is when we set out in life without trying to associate any meaning or greater purpose to it that we find the treasure of true joy in each moment’.