Just about everyone contemplates his or her purpose in life at some point. Some discover their purpose. Others struggle with searching for their purpose, never really satisfied they found it. Then there are those who go through life never giving much thought to what their purpose is.
Some of the questions people ask themselves are: Who am I? Why am I here? What should I be doing? Where do I want to go? How do I get there? It’s the answers to these questions that can lead one to their purpose.
Having a purpose and knowing what it is may be nice, but isn’t essential for a meaningful life. It is possible to get so caught up seeking a purpose that you become distracted from maintaining a daily appreciation of what you have. You can be happy without knowing your purpose.
You are unique. Whatever your purpose is, it’s unique to you. Your purpose emanates from who you are, combined with what you like. Your purpose can’t be based on someone else’s purpose. Discovering your purpose requires a lot of introspection. It’s possible your purpose may take you in a completely different direction from your current path.
Rarely is someone’s sense of purpose consistent over time. As you grow older, your perspective changes with experience and knowledge. Therefore, it’s to be expected your purpose may shift as well. Don’t allow this phenomenon to stress you. Go with your gut feel as to what works for you now.
Your purpose doesn’t have to be astounding to be meaningful. Many seemingly mundane purposes have much more of an impact than would be expected. Ordinary endeavors have far reaching effects.
Everything you do to help others is significant. No action is too small. You never know how far your influence will ripple. Touching other lives is a noble purpose. Regardless of what work you are engaged in, it is more important than you realize.
From the sanitation worker, to the salesperson, to the teacher, to the doctor, to the parent, all are assisting others in one form or another. In spite of the varying amounts of education required, each person is providing a vital service. Whether or not any of the above believe they are living their life’s purpose, each is essential to society. Every person makes a difference.
A purpose can be short term or long term. A short-term purpose motivates you for a finite period of time, until a particular goal is reached. For example, a student has graduation as a short-term purpose. While they are in school, getting the diploma is their motivation. Upon commencement, the student’s purpose changes to something else.
A long-term purpose drives you for a lifetime. It is always there guiding you. It’s the main current of your existence. Any deviation from your long-term purpose causes significant frustration. A long-term purpose is what you were born to do.
To discover your purpose, think of what it is you would be doing if you didn’t need to get paid. How would you spend your time if money did not matter? Don’t limit your thoughts with concerns about reality. This is just an exercise to identify what really motivates you.
Identifying your purpose enables you to use it as a guide. You don’t have to turn your life upside down. When you are facing choices, knowing your purpose can help you decide which direction to go.
It’s great if you understand your purpose. If you can’t come up with a purpose, it’s OK. A purpose is not a prerequisite for living a happy, satisfying life. Even if you don’t have a purpose today, something may reveal itself in the future.
NOW AVAILABLE: “Dare to Live Without Limits,” the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at email@example.com or write him c/o this paper. © 2023 Bryan Golden