FINDING YOUR LIFE PURPOSE
Updated: Apr 11
“The soul which has no fixed purpose in life is lost; to be everywhere, is to be nowhere.” – Michel de Montaigne
It has been estimated that only one-fourth of Americans - and I'm sure this holds true for Canadians as well - have a clear sense of purpose in their lives. Lacking purpose is akin to a ship that is sailing in the ocean without a crew. Aimlessly, it is tossed about by the prevailing winds, drifting ashore to an unknown destination. “When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right
wind.” — Seneca.
A life without purpose
amounts to following the path of least resistance. There is a sense of being on autopilot, trapped in an endless cycle of days flowing into each other with no feeling of accomplishment or meaning.
It doesn't have to be this way!
Having a clear life purpose has a number of powerful benefits:
A sense of purpose provides a strong foundation to help you withstand difficult circumstances
A clear sense of purpose helps you build resilience - the ability to recover from life's many challenges
Having a purpose gives your life meaning and fulfillment
It gives you a reason to get up each morning
It helps you be more motivated
It gives you a feeling of optimism and hope
It helps you feel more happy and joyful
It gives you a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction
It helps you set the right priorities, determining what is important in life and what is not.
Philosophers have long struggled with existential questions relating to the meaning of life. This blog post is not so much concerned with the philosophical implications, but rather, "How can I find the purpose for MY life?" You are the only person who can answer this question. Your purpose is as unique as your fingerprint.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help you discover the purpose of your life:
What did I dream of doing or becoming when I was a child?
When have I been happiest?
What have I been doing when I suddenly realize that time has flown by and I have been completely lost or absorbed in what I was doing? This is called the "zone" or being in "flow".
When have I been most proud of myself?
What do I most regret not doing in my life so far?
Whom do I admire and look up to? What are the qualities I would like to emulate?
What are my unique strengths? You can take a free online survey that helps you answer this question https://www.viacharacter.org/survey/account/Register
What do others say I am good at doing?
What do I want to be remembered for? What legacy do I want to leave behind after I am gone? What do I want to be said about me in my eulogy or on my gravestone? This last question is probably the most significant and sobering of all.
Tomorrow doesn't have to be just another day. Start pondering these questions and embark on your journey to discover what your life purpose is. Start enjoying the benefits that come with having a clear sense of purpose.
“True happiness… is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.” – Helen Keller