Have You Found the Purpose of Your Life?
Knowing your reason of existence can make your life more meaningful and fulfilling.
How would your life change if you found its purpose and if every minute of it was full of meaning? All dissatisfaction would disappear, all depressive feelings and all fatigue would vanish and fear would be replaced with courage and determination. In other words, finding one’s purpose is tantamount to finding one’s personal holy grail.
Many people I know who yearn to find their purpose are fond of the idea that something or someone out there has allocated them their personal purpose and that they simply have not found it yet. So, in a never-ending effort to find this elusive purpose these people wander from project to project, change their homes frequently and find it hard to make commitments anywhere in their lives. The more people desperately try to find a more meaningful life, the stronger this dynamic seems.
However, from a Buddhist point of view it does not work that way. Instead of finding our purpose out there, it is our own responsibility to give purpose to our life, no matter whether our life is difficult or easy at the moment. Trying to ‘find our purpose out there’ does not work because in some subtle way we are giving away our power to some mysterious force that is meant to supply us with what we yearn for. But it is the very act of giving away our power that prevents us from leading a more meaningful life.
Purpose arises from owning our life and taking responsibility for even the tiniest circumstances. It is only in this self-empowered state that we can find a sense of meaning even in the midst of frustration and drama.
So, the first step in finding our life’s purpose is to let go of the idea that someone or something out there has given us some purpose and that we simply have not found it yet. Then we can start to experience more purpose right here and now in our life as it is at the moment.
Think about the times when you felt most purposeful. If you are like most people, these were times when you felt you made a positive contribution to someone else or it was a time when you had a learning experience that helped you to understand the world more deeply. In other words, most of us find the deepest sense of purpose through developing love and wisdom.
The good news is that developing love and wisdom can be done anytime and anywhere. We do not need to have that special project, recognition or fame to find a sense of purpose. Instead, we can simply focus on questions like, ‘what can I learn from this situation?’ and ’how can I be more loving in this situation?’