Why is it important to find your purpose in life? Your purpose helps to give your life meaning. It helps to guide and direct your life and ultimately leads you to experience true fulfilment.
Many books have been written on the subject of finding your life purpose. There are so many theories and ideas around the concept of life purpose that it can get very confusing.
So, why is it important to find your purpose in life anyway?
Far too many people go through life unhappy, unfulfilled, and depressed. Could the answer to a happy and more fulfilled life lie in discovering your life purpose?
People tend to misunderstand the idea of their life purpose completely. It is easy to look at someone who is doing some sort of art and see that what they are doing is their purpose.
We tend to think that our purpose in life lies in what we do for a living. It could be but most of the time it is not.
Your purpose in life lies not in what you do to pay your bills.
Your purpose in life is that which makes you feel alive. It is that which you feel compelled to do. It is that which you “have to” do.
Does finding your purpose and pursuing it guarantee that you will be “successful” or even be able to “make a living” doing it?
Absolutely not. But, it won’t matter. If you are truly following your purpose then the outside accomplishments and accolades really does not matter.
If you do what your soul calls you to do then you do it for the purpose of fulfillment and not some egoistic desire.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.– Joseph Campbell
Your purpose in life is not really your job or what you do to pay your bills.
Your purpose usually aligns with what you do for a living but as long as you are blinded by the idea that you have to find your purpose in order to find out what you should be doing with your career then you will probably never find your purpose.
Your purpose is more about what you ARE and you bring to that which you do on a daily basis. It is what comes naturally to you and that which consumes your enthusiasm and makes you feel alive.
Self Actualization and Abraham Maslow
Dr. Abraham Maslow is most famous for his hierarchy of human needs. He refers to people who live at the highest levels of consciousness as self-actualizers.
Self actualizers are people who feel that they MUST be what they CAN be. Deep down we all have a sense of our true possibilities.
At times we all connect with this in our lives. Whenever you connect with this field of pure potential within yourself you know it. It makes you come alive. It gives you joy (not pleasure) and you can do it for hours and not get bored or distracted.
Musicians must make music, artists must paint, poets must write if they are ultimately to be at peace with themselves. What humans can be, they must be.– Abraham Maslow
Self actualizing people are the ones who pursue this at all costs. Van Gogh never made a cent from his paintings in his lifetime. Did that stop him?
Having the mindset that you must be what you can be, your entire life shifts into a different gear. When you connect with your purpose your life has meaning. Your life has direction and you feel truly alive.
The reason why Maslow has self actualization at the peak of his famous pyramid is that you need to transcend all the needs of the ego to get to this stage of self actualization.
While finding your purpose will not instantly give you self actualization, it will certainly set you the path towards it.
The Inconvenient Truth About Living Your Purpose
While it is important to find your purpose in life if you want a happier and more fulfilled life, that should never be the ideal.
Happiness, fulfillment, and a deep inner sense of joy come from living your life on purpose but the inconvenient truth is that your purpose is always to be found in serving others.
This is arguably the greatest paradox in life. It is in giving that we receive.
Giving of your Self, your talents and your life energy is always at the heart of connecting with your purpose.
What you get in return is the sense of fulfillment and inner joy. Sharing, giving, and helping others is hard-coded into us as human beings.
There’s an old story about a man that was shown heaven and hell.
As he walked into hell, people were gathered around a big pot of soup but everyone looked sick and was starving. It was an ugly scene and most people were left with burns as they tried to scoop up something to eat.
A closer look revealed that there were spoons but they were so long that it could not be used to eat the soup with and that was the main reason why everyone was starving.
The man was surprised when he arrived in heaven. It was almost exactly the same scene but everybody looked happy, radiant and healthy.
The only difference between heaven and hell was the fact that in heaven people used these long spoons to feed each other.
If you are seeking your purpose for the sake of getting anything from it then you are going about it the wrong way. What you get from it is usually just a side effect which is the joy and sense of fulfillment.
You need to have your entire focus and mission be on serving and giving without expecting or demanding a return.
Only with that mindset and a sincere heart can you truly experience the joy of living your purpose.
Why Is It Important to Find Your Life Purpose?
Do you feel like there is more to life than the life you are living? Do you have a deep inner sense that there is more for you?
Your higher self is always calling you towards your purpose. You can drown out this still small voice but it will never go away.
Most people suppress it sufficiently to make it through life but that will only lead to the ultimate horror.
For as this appalling ocean surrounds the verdant land, so in the soul of man there lies one insular Tahiti, full of peace and joy, but encompassed by all the horrors of the half-known life. God keep thee! Push not off from that isle, thou canst never return!– Herman Melville (Moby Dick)
What if you make it to your last day and you have the ultimate regret that your life was only half lived?
Here are some of the key ideas about why it is important to connect with your purpose.
We Are Better Together
As human beings, we are better together.
We see this often in times of crises where communities get a wake-up call and they can quickly spring into action and start working together to help each other.
One big reason why it is important to find your purpose in life is that you will serve humanity in a positive and powerful way when you do.
If enough people live their purpose we have a society and even a world where people are not obsessed by their own pursuits but strive to serve each other.
Eliminate Competition and Greed
Greed comes from the belief that there is not enough. You feel like you are always in competition with others because your focus is on getting.
When you live your life on purpose, your focus is always on giving, sharing and serving.
This will eliminate much of the (illusion of) scarcities that you may experience in your life.
When you realize that there is an endless well within you, you understand that you are indeed abundant.
Eliminating greed and competition from your life will not only open you up to more abundance but it will give you a greater sense of inner peace.
Happiness and Fulfillment
True happiness and fulfillment does not come from external sources. Tony Robbins has a famous saying that “Success without fulfillment is failure”.
That is why we see so many super successful people in rehab or with broken lives. They pleased everyone except themselves.
Only when you please your Self can you truly live a happy and fulfilled life.
Stop Living Someone Else’s Life
Are you truly living your life or are you living a life that you think you should? A recent survey found that 93% of all people who go to law school only do it because they think it is a safe path.
Your purpose is rarely to be found in a traditional career path. Most of the time this is all about living someone else’s life.
When you connect with your purpose you may still be a lawyer but your entire life will have a different focus.
The central theme of your life will be related to your purpose and you will live a life that is uniquely yours.
This is when you experience true happiness and fulfillment. This is why it is important to find your purpose in life and live it.
I am no expert on depression but one thing I know for a fact is that it is impossible to live your purpose and still be depressed (there are of course medical exceptions to my assumption).
If you have a reason and a purpose to live your life you are excited. You have a vision for your life and you are driven by something much bigger than just your own needs.
The heart of human excellence often begins to beat when you discover a pursuit that absorbs you, frees you, challenges you, or gives you a sense of meaning, joy, or passion.– Terry Orlick
The rate at which people consume antidepressants are alarming. I believe that one of the main reasons for this is the fact that people never learn to connect with their purpose.
We get caught up in how we think we should live our lives.
As long as you are not connected to your higher self you will always be chasing some illusion. You will never truly be at peace.
Living your life on purpose comes with a greater sense of inner peace.
Knowing why you are here and what your mission in life truly brings with it inner peace.
As long as you are not connected to your purpose your soul will keep ‘nagging’ you; promoting you and urging you.
This often leads to restlessness and a feeling that something is missing.
If enough people have inner peace then we will end up with a much more peaceful society.
The Importance Of Finding Your Purpose In Life – Conclusion
Is it important to find your purpose in life? Yes, but only if it is important enough for you to live your purpose. Everybody has times in their life where they question their own existence.
Some call it a mid-life crisis. They buy a Harley Davidson and then get on with it. Others turn within and connect with their higher self to discover why they are really here and then pursue a life that fulfills them at the highest level.
The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.– Fyodor Dostoyevsky
I love Maslow’s idea that self actualizers “must be what they can be”. What a great philosophy to live by!
If it is important for you to discover your life purpose then there are many strategies and ideas that can guide you. I love Dr.Michael Beckwith’s approach.
His Life Visioning process is simple to follow and really helps you to go deep. Building a vision for your life that is not about trying to achieve goals but aligning with who you truly are and what will bring you the most joy and the greatest fulfillment.
If you feel stuck or trapped by your current circumstances or if you feel paralyzed by depression or anxiety, here’s a great exercise to help you snap out of it:
Think of something you are good at. It can be anything. Maybe you can bake great muffins or maybe you are great at math or maybe you are just great at talking to others.
Come up with 5 ways you can use this to make someone else’s life better.
Take your calendar and pen these 5 ideas to five different dates and DO it.
It will transform your life. It will also allow you to start connecting with your purpose.