It has been said that each persons life has a single theme at the heart of it, and you can discover that from reflection. It is not the same for every person, but it comes from a thread that permeated their whole life, even childhood. It arises from temperament as well as other factors. It might be to fully engage life. It might be to fully actualize self. It might be to challenge themselves and others. If you find this theme, your true potential can actualize.
In my case, ‘be myself’ was the theme. I have very strong instincts, and a nature that has been described as strange. All my life due to my disability as well as other factors, I have had to ignore “guidance” or “common sense”, because it could not or would not account for my unusual strengths and limitations. So by accepting my “strange” nature, I can come into my full potential.
In Taoism they call this concept Te, symbolized by the uncarved block. The belief is that anything done in ignorance of the inherent virtue of a person, place or thing will never have its full impact or benefit, because it ignores the natural system that was already there.
How do people find their te or reason for being? You don’t find it by any artifice. You discover it by reflecting on those moments when your guard was down. When your “discipline” lapsed. When you were by yourself long enough to really realize what it was like to be with you, and discovered what you really want.
You don’t really define it. It is more just knowing the character of your life experienced as a whole. Self knowledge can be argued to be the most vital. Your life force itself has a code, not unlike DNA. It would manifest in traits. It is experiential.
It isn’t something you can “know”, not by any process of thinking. It is the trend of experience without cognitive overlay.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.