You wake up. Breakfast. Wash, dress, walk, work, and go home. Lunch. Watch TV and go to sleep. Wake up. Repeat. What does it all mean? Is there a reason behind it? Does it help you realize your purpose in life?
Life can be difficult at times. Where do you draw your energy from and how do you overcome them? At times you may feel like you could be a part of something bigger. Something attracts you, but you can’t identify it; it eludes you, which is frustrating. This is because you are unsure of your purpose in life.
Goals, Purpose in life, and meaning in life. What’s the difference?
Goals: What we do (or want to do). Goals are precise, measurable results we hope to achieve. Goals can be personal or professional, short-term or long-term, but they all have one thing in common: They are what we work for (or strive for). We set goals for relationships, career growth, quarterly income, nutrition and exercise, and more. In Western society, goals, objectives, and meaning are given much less attention than they should be, which, as we will discuss below, can be problematic.
Meaning in Life.
Meaning: Why we do it. Meaning is the emotional meaning we give to what we do and the meaning we give to it. It drives everything we do. Meaning is what we create and experience; it is not something that exists by itself. Meaning and motivation are closely related.
Purpose in life.
Purpose: the impact we want to have. Purpose is the cumulative effect of meaningful goals. Purpose is less tangible. We describe purpose as a long-term goal or guiding concept based on meaning. It is the impact we hope to have on the world.
Exercise 1: The 9 Spheres of Life Purpose
This exercise is taken from Richard Nelson Bolles’ book What Color Is Your Parachute?
The Meaning of Life.
When your time on Earth is over, what kind of footprint do you want to leave behind? The goal is to determine your personal moral compass, spiritual principles or overarching aspirations. You will be on your way to defining your Purpose in life and mission when you understand it.
Example: I want to use my teaching to make a difference in people’s lives. I want everyone I have worked or lived with to be more educated, kind, and forgiving because I have taught them.
Nine spheres, relating to the many aspects of our nature, make up the purpose of Life. Which one do you like best when you consider them in the diagram on this page? It’s time to think critically. Would you consider this diagram carefully? Spend some time thinking about it. Consider circling the components that matter most to you.
The Sphere of Senses
Do you want to be more beautiful when you finish your life on Earth? What kinds of beauty do you admire, if any? Is it something else-art, music, flowers, photographs, paintings, productions, crafts, clothing, or art? Write a paragraph about it if that is your main goal in life.
Do you want more wholeness, fitness or health in the world, more wounds on people’s bodies to be healed, more food for the hungry and clothing for the needy because you lived here? Write a paragraph about that if that is your main goal in life.
The scope of our possessions.
Is loving material things in our world your primary concern? Do you desire a better stewardship of our resources, as individuals, as a community, as a country, in a world when your Life on Earth will end as a result of your presence?
Do you prefer the terms “more, more” instead of “just, qualitatively (rather than quantitatively), and more emphasis on the phrase “enough”? If so, in what specific areas of human life? Write a paragraph about that, if that is your main goal, your purpose in life.
Sphere of will or conscience.
Do you want the world to be a better place after your earthly life is over because you were here, with respect to morality, justice, righteousness, and honesty? In what specific areas of human life or history? Can you write a paragraph about this if this is your main goal in life?
Sphere of the Heart.
Do you want the world to be a better place because you were here when your life on earth ended? Whose love or compassion is it? What else is it for? If this is your purpose in life, describe it in one paragraph.
Do you want more people to have their burdens lessened, their perspectives broadened, and their problems forgotten for a while after your earthly life ends? Do you want the world to be filled with more laughter and joy because of your presence? If so, what specific form of entertainment do you hope to provide the world? If this is your goal in life, describe it in one paragraph.
Is the planet we live on your top priority? Do you want to explore the Earth or the universe more – explore, not exploit – and work more with its problems and energies? Do you want more protection for this planet? If so, what issues or challenges particularly capture your attention and heart? Write a paragraph about that if that is your main goal, your purpose in life.
Do you want the world to be a better place because of your presence on Earth with regard to spirituality, faith, compassion, forgiveness, and love for higher powers and the human family in all its diversity? If so, with what groups of people, ages or stages of life? If this applies to you, your sense of purpose in life guides you into the spiritual realm. Write a paragraph describing it.
Sphere of Mind
Do you want the world to be a better place because of what you learned while you were here, when your time on Earth is over? Clarity, knowledge, or knowing about what exactly? Write a paragraph describing your main purpose in life, if so.
Finally, remember that each of these is a desirable goal, necessary in this world. Which one appeals to you the most is the question. Which one do you want to help the most with your intellect, energy, talents, abilities, and Life while you are still on this planet? Once completed, enter a short paragraph or essay about your chosen goal or mission. You may choose one or more.
Exercise 2: Your Life Philosophy
You may encounter two difficulties when completing the first exercise:
Despite your best efforts, you simply will not be able to complete this activity of finding your Purpose in life. If you’re looking for an answer, put this question to the back of your mind; someday insight will surface-today, next week, next month, or next year. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
Then you can create a statement detailing your philosophy of life, including questions such as “Why are we here, why are you here,” etc., rather than a statement of purpose or mission for your life. This is often called your philosophy of life. You are uninterested or uncomfortable with this approach.
Aim for your philosophy of life to take up no more than two pages. It should cover any of the following topics that you consider most important. You don’t need to write about every one of them. Often you will only need two or three phrases for each thing you want to comment on.
Purpose in life purpose in life
- Beauty: what beauty drives you? What role does beauty play in the world?
- Behavior: what behavior do you think is appropriate in this society?
- Beliefs: your strongest beliefs
- Celebration: how do you like to play or celebrate?
- Choice: what is it and how important is it to you?
- Community: your idea of belonging to each other and what you consider our duty to each other is what you call community.
- Compassion: How do you show compassion for others and for yourself?
- Confusion: How do you cope and overcome confusion?
- Death: what you think about death and what you think happens afterwards
- Events: what you think makes things happen; how you justify why they happen
- Free will: whether we have free will or not, our lives are predetermined.
- Happiness: what is the purest form of human happiness? Who are your personal heroes and heroines and why?
- Humanity: what you believe is necessary to be human, and what you believe is our goal
- Love: what you think about the nature and meaning of love and all the words that go with it: Sensitivity, compassion, and mercy
- Moral issues: which moral issues do you think require the most of our attention, discussion, and involvement to solve?
- Paradox: how do you respond to its existence in life
- Purpose: why we are here and what is the meaning of life: our purpose
- Reality: its nature and components are what you imagine them to be.
- Autonomy: whether your physical self is the limit of your being; what it means to rely on yourself
- Spirituality: its role in life and how we should relate to it
- Stewardship: managing the resources entrusted to us is known as stewardship.
- Truth: what you believe; which truths are most important
- Uniqueness: what makes each of us different, in your opinion?
- Universe: your idea of what binds the universe together, such as a higher being or other force.
- Values: How you view humanity and the world, ordered according to what is most important (to you)
Exercise 3: How to Know Your Purpose in Life, Express Version
5 questions to ask yourself, by Adam Leipzig
- Who are you (name)?
- What do you love to do? What can you teach others?
- Who are you doing this for?
- What do these people want or need?
- How are they changed or transformed as a result?
Purpose in life is not something we look for or find, but something we create and develop
How do we find purpose in life? We don’t find, we create purpose when we invest in something and feel connected to it. Find a skill that you have and then spend countless hours perfecting it through persistence, dedication and sacrifice. As a result, you will become enthusiastic about anything. We become emotionally invested in a concept when we devote our time and effort to it, and that concept becomes emotionally significant. This emotional energy stimulates additional investment and development of purpose.
Each person must search for the meaning of life within himself. It is not something discovered: it is something molded.
If we pay attention to our emotions, we can sense purpose
Emotions reveal our ideals, just as emotional power determines long-term commitment. They provide clues about what really matters. At its core, emotions help us focus on a threat or opportunity. It makes me sad or angry. Why? It must pose a serious threat to everything.
Feelings have their own logic. What message is this feeling communicating, think about it? What might it be trying to tell you? The search for purpose in life is still going on, but it is more a process of experience than of discovery. Not outside of you, but within you. Ask yourself what you are willing to sacrifice if you are still struggling to interpret your emotions and find your purpose.
Answering these questions will help you learn about your interests and the areas in which you would like to develop your purpose.
Focus on long-term goals and relationships
Unlike concepts such as goals and objectives, purpose in life is long-term in nature. It is a goal that goes beyond just your life. Thinking 50 or even 100 years ahead can help you determine what is most important. The goal is to be connected to yourself as well as to others. Only when the goal is connected to your core beliefs, to who you are, and to the impact you hope to have on the world will it be sustainable.
A lot of people in their teens ask these big questions-what is the meaning of life, what are we doing here-and then, in their 20s or so, they say, “I’m just going to get married. I’m just going to have kids. I’ll come back to that later.” But they never do. For me, it kept simmering.
Conclusion Purpose in life.
Finding your purpose in life is not just a platitude or an unattainable goal. In fact, it is a resource for leading a better, happier and healthier life that too few people try to tap into. Don’t let limiting beliefs stifle your aspirations.
Finding your purpose in life is a lifelong process, but once you find it, you will find that your life begins to open up in ways you never imagined. Your eyes will be opened to all the possibilities around you, and you will encounter new pinnacles of possibility. Turning to and immersing yourself in your thoughts is the key to discovering your mission.
The meaning of life.
You may also find that your purpose changes over time. Undoubtedly, you can serve more than one purpose. Remember that your mission does not always require you to change what you do. You may want to take your mind off of what you are doing sometimes to consider whether your route is taking you in the direction you want to go. If it isn’t, you can change your direction. Sometimes the path to your mission is dotted with turns, forks and stop signs. David Gusse.
Let’s end the “Purpose in Life” post with a short fable.
Each student received a balloon from the teacher, which he told them to inflate, write their name on it, and throw it into the hallway.
The balloons were then thoroughly mixed by the professor. The students then had five minutes to find their own balloon. A frantic search did not lead to the discovery of their balloon.
The teacher then told the class to take the first balloon they could find and give it to the person whose name was written on it. Each person got their own balloon in just five minutes.
The professor informed the students: These balloons represent happiness. If everyone looks for their own, we will never find it. But if we care about the joy of others, we will find our own.