In order to find meaning in life, we need purpose to propel us toward that meaning. Research shows that people with purpose live longer and have better health than those who lack purpose.
In order to uncover the much sort after meaning in our lives we need to find purpose, and embrace and incorporate it into our lives.
A life full of purpose means a life with passion, a life where we wake and leap into our day with enthusiasm and clarity; a life where we live in the moment, awake and alert to the opportunities that present themselves. These signs that show us the way forward - this IS living. Individuals who seek meaning through purpose are individuals that LIVE life.
However most people live without real purpose and simply do what is in front of them. They bump from one event to another, usually blaming others for the mishaps and upheavals that life seems to drop upon them. These people are the victims and martyrs of life - it always someone else's fault. They haven’t yet learned that each of us creates our own reality and we can only change things by changing ourselves. These people drag themselves into their day and do their best to deal with whatever pops up along the way.
These individuals lack clarity and have little enthusiasm for life. They look to engage in activities that help them avoid such questions as who am I, where am I going, what is the purpose of my life.
These beings simply just exist.
A few blessed individuals are born knowing what the must do in their life. The child born knowing that he/she must study music or art will, if this is a deep desire, become accomplished in their field. Tom, who as a boy played in the dirt with trucks and excavators, now runs a large company doing just what his vision was as that young boy. He drives the same machinery he played with as a child and loves it just as much.
Purpose does not always need to be a lofty endeavour. It may just be to work to provide a comfortable life for family. While living in Asia, I noticed that many peoples purpose was simply to feed their families, often doing backbreaking work to achieve this.
So how do we discover our purpose if we haven’t been born knowing it?
Here are 12 pointers to help you find your way to purpose and meaning:
1. Own where you are, do what is front of you now, do it with passion and gratitude.
2. Do what you do from the moment, for all your power lies in the present.
3. Set goals for your future. The Universe needs a blueprint. It needs to know that you have some idea where you are going otherwise you will wander aimlessly.
4. Pray: ask for help to be led to know what your purpose is.
5. Realise that in order to get where you long to go, the path will consist of stepping-stones.
6. Be grateful for the baby steps that present to you, accept and embrace them.
7. Have faith that you WILL find your way.
8. Don’t place your own limitations on a Universe that has none.
9. Know help is always with you, and that it can come in the most unusual ways.
10. Know your sense of purpose can and will change, and that you will at times feel becalmed; these are the spaces between purposes. Be patient, and hold your belief that all is well.
11. Know that you deserve all that you long for.
12. Know that living your purpose does move you to an understanding of life’s meaning.