We all live our lives as best we can, going through the motions of our day with as much intention and awareness as we can muster.
But how much do we really know about what our life is all about? How conscious are we about our purpose in life?
Let’s be honest: not everyone believes they have a purpose in life. For many people, it’s enough to simply be and continue and do as best they can, without looking for any grander meaning or higher calling.
How unfulfilling and un-motivating is that? Instead of just living life, why not take it by the balls and do something that makes you feel like you’re more than just a tiny cog in a great machine, but someone who does something important or special?
There are so many reasons that our lives are better off when they are driven by some form of purpose; here are just a few:
You Have Clarity of Mind
Without a purpose, you may feel like you’re drifting from one day to the next, merely going through the motions because there’s really nothing else expected of you. But when you have a purpose, when you’re working toward accomplishing or building something, you have a much clearer idea of what you need to do day after day. That clarity of mind is incredibly valuable, and it’s crucial for moving your life forward in an intentional direction.
You Have a Reason to Do
Why do you get out of bed in the morning, get to work, go to the gym, or do anything? What is your reason for not just being, but doing all the things you do?
Without a purpose in life, you may have a hard time understanding the “why” of your life. But knowing the reason you’re doing what you’re doing—not just the mundane everyday tasks, but the grander, greater actions, too—will fortify your resolve and keep you going even when the challenges in life arise.
It Infuses Your Life with Passion
Let’s be honest: passion makes everything not only easier, but better. When you are passionate about something, it excites you, drives you, moves you to do more than just the bare minimum. You want to invest more of your time, money, and effort into whatever your passion is because you’re thrilled by the prospect of seeing some sort of result down the road.
Having a purpose in life keeps that spark of passion alive inside you. It nurtures the flame and keeps you moving forward with fervor and vigor.
It Improves Your Mental and Physical Health
Did you know that having a purpose in life is amazing for your health? There’s a pretty lengthy list of benefits it can provide, including:
Higher tendency toward regular physical activity
Better cardiovascular health
Better cognitive function
More optimism and resiliency
Lower depression and anxiety risk
Greater feelings of satisfaction and joy
Greater feelings of belonging
The benefits to your mind and body are very real, and very tangible!
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It Gives You a Clear Definition of “Success”
We all have our own ideas about what “success” looks like to us. For some, it might mean hitting a financial goal, while for others, it could mean achieving some important professional objective.
Whatever that target, it’s important that it’s clear in your mind what exactly it is, so you can work toward it. And, as you saw above, when you have a clear definition of success, a purpose in your life to strive for, you are more passionate about it and more likely to strive even when things are difficult because you have your reason “why”.
Yes, I know, finding a purpose in life is always easier said than done. It takes very little effort to just drift along through life aimlessly, but it can be exhausting and mentally taxing to try and figure out what your purpose in life really is.
Thankfully, there are a few steps you can take that will set you down the path toward finding your purpose in life:
Think about the things you love to do—not only your hobbies, but the work you enjoy, the activities that excite you, and the dreams that you may be too afraid to really believe can come true. Whatever makes you passionate, that could very well be a good purpose in life. The more passionate you are, the less likely you are to give up when the going inevitably gets difficult.
When you picture yourself in a place of “success” and “happiness”, what do you look like? What qualities are you expressing? What environment are you in? What skills do you have and use regularly?
Consider who you want to be, who your “best version of you” ultimately is, and that can give you a very clear understanding of what you need to do to work toward that goal.
Look back over your life and think about all the times when you were happiest. What made you so happy? Was it a chance at travel and experiencing something new? Meeting new people, or feeling connected to friends or family? Trying new foods or showing off a new skill?
When you consider your happiest moments in life, that may very well tell you what brings you the greatest joy, which will in turn inform what you believe your purpose in life might ultimately be.
Right now, you’re just engaging in a mental exercise, thinking about what you most want or hope for. There’s no place for fear or anxiety in this exercise, so set it aside. Don’t let yourself think about all the challenges or obstacles that you’ll face along the way, which will prevent you from reaching your goal. You’ll always find plenty of reasons not to do or be or become something. Just for the moment, while you’re trying to figure out your purpose in life, think about what you can become without being afraid of all the ways you might fail or the possibilities of never reaching success.
You are the only one who can decide what you should or shouldn’t do, who you should or shouldn’t be. No outside force has that kind of control over your life. Only you have the ability to decide what you actually want, what your purpose in life really could be.
So make that decision. Remember that you are the owner of your life and accept both the freedom and the responsibility it brings. You have the freedom to make whatever choices you want, and the responsibility to do and be what makes you happy. You’re in control of your life, and you are fully empowered to choose its purpose.
It’s never an easy process, finding your purpose in life, but as you saw above, it’s well worth it! By knowing where you want to go and who you want to become, you find a sense of peace and comfort in yourself, which will lead to better mental and physical health and an overall happier life because you are being who you believe you were meant to be. Now that’s a goal worth striving toward!
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