Finding Our Purpose

Our purpose is what gives our life meaning.  How do we want to contribute to this world.  Purpose can be your job or career but for many, this is not where we find our purpose in life.  Some people find their purpose in spirituality, but it is deeper than that too.  

“It’s not enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something.”

Winston S. Churchill

Finding your purpose is important because some studies show that having a purpose can lengthen your life.  How many times have you heard of a person retiring after years of working, only to die shortly after.  This happened to my father.  He finally retired at the age of 72 and was gone months later.

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Having a purpose is also beneficial for your health, especially as we age.  Having purpose has been connected to lessening the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s Disease.  It has also been connected to helping people have fewer strokes and heart attacks, and even get better sleep.

Generally people who have a purpose are happier people.  They have a reason to get up in the morning which helps relieve anxiety and stress over living a life with no direction.  These people tend to feel engrossed, energetic, and contented with life. 

“True happiness… is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”

Helen Keller

How can you find your purpose in life?  You need to start with what interests you.  What are you curious about?  When you answer this question about what makes you curious, you will find your interests. Knowing your interests will lead you to discover what you are passionate about. 

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When you discover your passion, you need to think of a problem that needs to be solved.  This is connected to your values.  What do you find important? By finding this, you will discover your purpose in life.  What solution can you provide for your community, country, or the world?

Take some quiet time and think of the answers to these questions.  Be patient with yourself, this will take some time. Be present with your thoughts as you progress through your day.  Pay attention to your attitude regarding the tasks you are working on.  Try and identify what makes you feel invigorated, and what makes you frustrated or bored.  This will help you move closer to identifying your true purpose in life.

“People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.”

Dalai Lama

Remember that finding your purpose is a life-long quest.  This is not a “one and done” situation.  Your purpose may change as you advance through your life. This is not an unusual situation.  Many people grow and find that what interested them in their youth, no longer interest them in their senior years.  The important thing is to determine your passion for where you are now and work toward developing it into the purpose for your life.  Most importantly have fun on the journey!

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