“The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive,
but in finding something to live for.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky
What comes to mind when you are asked to define your purpose in life?
A characteristic of positive mental well-being is understanding that there is a purpose for your life. Each individual is unique and has the potential to offer valuable contributions to the world that we live in. However, many individuals get caught up in the day to day grind, ambling throughout life with a passive existence.
Finding your purpose can become muddled when we have to carry out seemingly menial tasks on a daily basis. Sometimes it can become quite difficult to not lose sight of our overarching goals, especially when we are not where we want to be—career wise, relationship wise, or with our educational endeavors. Keep in mind, every struggle that you encounter has the ability to define what your purpose in life may be. From struggles come clarity and realizations that you are able to persevere despite the odds.
Purpose can be found by overcoming weaknesses.
Purpose is so powerful that research has shown that people who have a sense of purpose actually live longer. Creating life goals creates purpose and gives us something to strive for. Purpose provides direction, giving us a sense of meaning in our lives, even when we believe that we are not where we want to be at that given moment.
Think about it. Have you ever had to work at a job that you did not like because you hadn’t finished your degree or obtained a particular license/certification that you needed to work at your ‘dream job’? When you have a sense of purpose it is easier to see the light through the trees so to speak.
Purpose drives us as human beings to improve and reach the goals that we have set for ourselves.
“The purpose of life is a life of purpose.”
― Robert Bryne
What is the driving force behind your daily decisions?
Purpose provides a sense of meaning in that a person is able to appreciate the hard work that goes into creating a life that you want to live. Why would doctors slave through medical school in order to become physicians? Why would a military service member risk it all to fight for our freedom or complete the rigorous training programs that are required of them?
A sense of purpose. Understanding that the end goal is more important than the immediate existence. Having a sense of purpose creates an understanding that achieving major goals does not happen overnight. Realizing that important and sacred achievements require hard work and getting through the trials of everyday existence.
Ask anyone that has achieved a difficult goal and they will tell you that they had to make sacrifices in order to get where they wanted to be. Whether it was changing eating habits to lose weight, obtaining a degree while raising a family, or saving every penny in order to purchase a home—never losing sight of your goals in life will have heavy implications for how you live. Achieving those goals will contribute to your purpose in life.
What do you love? What are you passionate about?
Develop and articulate what it is in life that really causes you to feel happy and impassioned. Through our differences in passion and interests, we as a society are able to create meaningful lives that are developed upon our own specific interests. What one person specializes in is completely different from the next, yet they each bring a value that is unique to them.
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born
and the day you find out why.”
A lack of purpose in life can induce depression and anxiety. A person may begin to feel worthless, or as if they are not meaningful in the world.
Everyone is here for a reason.
Finding out what you were brought here on earth to do is one of the most freeing and exhilarating feelings—keeping that in mind can be the challenge, especially when you’re stressed and feel as if you are not making a difference the way that you want to be.
Always keep in mind the end goal that you are working to achieve.
If you’re struggling to understand the why of your existence, experiment with trying new activities. Whether it’s volunteering at an animal shelter, taking an art class, or joining a fitness club to discover your likes and dislikes—the beauty of the world that we live in is that there is an outlet for everyone to plug into.
Lean on your Higher Power for direction. Spirituality and religion have been found to increase life satisfaction, coping skills, and hope. So even after finding your purpose in life, leaning on your religious and spiritual beliefs can aid you when and if you feel discouraged.
Tying it all together…
Purpose in life helps to define who we are. Having an end goal(s) creates a life where we seek to provide meaningful contributions. As we age, our purposes will become different. As we achieve our goals, purposes will change. Seek to always set new goals and strive towards achieving the things that you want out of life.
Realize that patience and kindness to yourself go a long way. Patience in the pursuit of achieving your goals and kindness in realizing that you are trying your best. Remind yourself of your purpose daily and take the steps—no matter how big or small—to make it happen.
You are not here merely to make a living. You are here to enable the world to live
more amply, with greater vision, and with a finer spirit of hope and achievement.
You are here to enrich the world. You impoverish yourself if you forget this errand.
Wishing you a purpose filled life today and everyday,