Why is Life Purpose so important?
“Nothing is more creative... nor destructive... than a brilliant mind with a purpose.”
― Dan Brown, Inferno
To have purpose means that you are totally connected. Connected to yourself, others and the Universe. It is living in ‘The Flow’, when time and space no longer exists as you are doing something fully in the moment. This is connection and shows that you are in harmony with your purpose. It is a wonderful feeling. If you have ever flown a kite and become completely lost in the act of getting the kite up and flying – you understand flow. It can be anything you are doing when you suddenly look up and think ‘Wow, where did those couple of hours go?’ It is a space where time does not exist and you feel confident and fulfilled.
Having a clear purpose makes you feel alive, honoured and authentic, happy and fulfilled. Thus, emotionally and psychologically healthy.
It protects you against obstacles that come your way. It anchors you against the unexpected and unwanted events that can disrupt your wellbeing. Having a purpose gives you resilience and allows you to feel satisfied with your life, even though it may be quite tough. It allows you to face more adversity and obstacles.
In this state it is very difficult for depression or anxiety to take hold.
Purpose gives you less worry and greater happiness over time. It keeps you in balance, and balanced people are joyful and resilient.
There are two traits which are shared by happy, balanced people:
- The first is to have found and work at the thing in life that they love. By living one's mission in life - be it driving cars or vegetarianism - one is happy. The right track is the one which which brings one happiness.
- The second quality is to be ourselves. Our natural personality, our higher self.
By being yourself and following your path you are secured a happy and fulfilling life.
And a physically healthy life:
Studies have shown that those who live a life of purpose havea reduced rate of cardiovascular disease; have less chance of getting Alzheimer's disease; are able to handle more pain; and have less mobility disabilities and ultimately live longer. A study of people over 100 years old, found that they all share a strong sense of purpose.
As purpose is not about ourselves but of others it improves relationships. A 2009 study found that those who live with purpose spend more time with their family and their community. This is because it is generally an outward act. Giving and doing something for others. Working to better the lives of others.
And you always get back when you give, so you improve your relationships and the sensation of having good, satisfying and rich relationships come back to you.
Giving of yourself is the secret of an amazing life. Giving is living!
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
So where does Purpose come from and how can you find it?
For some people their purpose is their gift from God. It is that which is their raison d’etre for being on this planet. It is that which aligns you to that which is above you.
When we know what our lives are for we are truly Blessed.
Finding our life purpose and living it gives our life more depth and value. If selling ice skates feels right to you, your life has more meaning then trying to do something that has no meaning for you, like building a house – if that feels wrong to you.
The feeling – Does it feel right or does it feel wrong are more important then the activity itself. Our life has to fit us. If it doesn’t we never quite feel right and our life is never really our own. So your purpose does not need to be grand or lofty - it just has to feel right to us.
Our challenge not only when we have found what we need to do, is to not allow others to judge it, and to prevent us from following our path.
I am totally of the belief that those who do not follow their path and spend their lives doing something that someone else wanted for them (...my mom always wanted me to be a doctor, ...my dad was a lawyer and had a job for me in his practice since before I was born), will one day wake up and feel that their life has been wasted.
If it feels right for you, then it is right for you.
If we follow this feeling with conviction our life will be fulfilled.
The reason that this feeling of ‘rightness’ is so important is that it gives us a reason to act. A reason of being.
And it gives our lives value. If playing the piano feels right, it needs no further analysis. If it feels right, there is no question. It has intrinsic value. Doing something with intrinsic value at once becomes the source for all kinds of positive actions and decisions.
If it doesn’t feel right, it has no value for us and does not provide a source for us. It does not give us freedom. Doing something right gives us the freedom to be in the flow, in the zone.
Finding that things that feels right is tapping into your higher self. Living your life on the highest level. Your higher self knows what you need, it fundamentally knows what your mission on this world is, your task is to reveal it.
This is the challenging and tricky part as more often than not our ‘earthly’ being has no idea what its mission is.
Thus seeking and finding our purpose in life is a spiritual act. And thus it is not easy to be revealed. We may have to spend a life time in seeking and developing and understanding the world before we find it, or it may arrive to us one second in inspiration, seeing an autumn leaf fall, watching a nurse care for the sick, listening to a note of music.
The finding and living of one’s purpose is the true meaning of freedom. One is in tune with what you are meant to be doing. It is easy, and requires no effort. Life flows, and one has a reason to act. Your passion drives you and you do not need to be pushed.
Once we have a clear idea of where our life’s path is we have a chance to lead a fulfilled and meaningful life. It is the key to find happiness and purpose, growth and joy.
“Your work is to discover your work, and then with all your heart to give yourself to it." - Buddha
Finding your purpose
So think back to what used to make you very happy when you were a child. Did you love to sing or dance. Were you always in the garden digging in the mud, we you making Barbie doll dresses, or always in the water. When we are very young we are very much in align with our higher self. We have not learnt the ways of the world or social norms and judgements. This is a good place to start.
What makes you happy? What makes your heart sing? I just heard the sound of 21stCentury Fox music and my heart literally sang – movies my passion when I was younger.
What are you good at? We went to a local museum at half term with a 14 year old girl. There was a room where one could get dressed up in Victorian clothes. This young woman was so happy and so in the zone with all these clothes on – an acting future is in the cards for here – sharing her love and bringing entertainment for us.
What do you do that makes time fly? Horse riding? Surfing? Reading? These are all clues to finding your purpose.
Ask your friends – sometimes they can see things that we cannot.
Why did you get up this morning? What motivated you to jump out of bed?
Do you want to create?
Are you inspired to learn?
To fight for?
Do you feel injustice that you want to fight against?
Are you driven to protect animals or children?
Do you want to teach?
Is music in your soul?
Are you good at organising and love sorting out others?
Do you want to heal?
Are you wise and want to share that wisdom?
What about encouraging others?
Or even listening?
What about drawing or painting?
Does building rock your boat?
Or is boating your rock?
Do flowers make your heart soar?
Or bringing goods to people?
Do you like arranging hair?
Or fascinated about flight?
Are you concerned about climate change?
Or worried about homelessness.
There is no end to things that may feel right to you. It is a deeply personal thing and you may not be able to justify it if someone asks – you just knowthat this is the thing to do.
Seek your purpose.
― Friedrich Nietzsche