The Fall Of Sisyphus and Purpose
Sisyphus was destined to push a rock up a hill for eternity. I believe the story was that he tried to trick the gods, and so they were furious with him. They sentenced him to an eternity of pushing a rock up the hill. He would push a rock up the hill, struggle, grunt, and groan.
When he would get to the top of the hill, it would roll back down and run him over and break his bones, and just destroy him. And then magically, he’d be healed again to push the rock up the hill. He’d start pushing the rock up the hill again and the gods really felt like they’d punished him.
But he learned over time to approach it differently. He took on a perspective that, “You know what? If I can just push the rock up the hill and know it’s going to roll back down, but find joy in pushing it up the hill, then I will really pull one over on the gods. I’ll get back at them by really enjoying this process.”
He began to approach life as if his life purpose was to push a rock up a hill and be an example of someone who was happy with their lot in life. Once he adopted this new perspective, he felt he was really fulfilling his life purpose and come alive.
The villagers came out to watch him and instead of feeling sorry for him when it rolled back over and crushed him, they became friends with him. He talked to them about life’s purpose and how to enjoy life and life in the moment.
Our life’s purpose doesn’t have to be something grand like saving millions with a medical breakthrough or building a giant cathedral. Maybe it’s mopping a floor that people walk on and make dirty again within a few minutes.
Maybe it is pushing paperwork around or crunching numbers that all change the next day. Your purpose can feel like pushing a rock up a hill. It rolls back down over and over, but as long as you accept it, don’t resist it, then maybe you’ll find the peace that’s possible in the daily ‘grind.’ Then you’re living your life’s purpose and you’ll have a chance to find happiness.
-Author’s note: Sisyphus was not nice most of his life, but perhaps found redemption in this version of his story.