How do you find your purpose of life? It’s a deep question, indeed. Finding your purpose in life is definitely not something that can be done in an instant. And there’s quite the reason for that.
It’s your driving force.
It’s what gets you out of bed and through harsh times.
Just so we’re all on the same page here, I’m going to define what exactly a purpose is. Better yet, then I’m going to list some of the best ways to find your purpose that have worked for me.
What is Purpose?
Essentially, a purpose can be defined with professional wording as a central motivating aim(s) in one’s life. Simply put, it’s what directs you through your life and gives you meaning. Without it, you might feel pointless and as if the world essentially does not need you.
Of course how you view purpose might be a little different from how I defined it, but the core concepts are likely similar.
The thing about purpose is that it is what differentiates people and makes them unique — along with personality and character.
Personally, I like to think of purpose this way:
If I were to die right now, what would I have accomplished or made different? What did I put my effort into and how far did I go?
By recognizing that life has only one shot and by being acquainted with death [rather than fearing it], you begin to realize that you’ve got to make the most of your time. This leads many to the idea of finding their reason.
You’d also want to not have any regrets when you’re on your deathbed reflecting about your life. Once you start trying to live your life without major, purposeful regrets, you start pursuing your purpose in life.
Most people often describe purpose as something that gives their life meaning, making them feel alive.
Feeling alive is probably one of the best feelings in life, and so it would only make sense to want to do whatever it takes to feel alive. Although some people resort to unhealthy practices in order to feel alive [drugs, murder, and other illicit acts], one of the best and healthiest ways to do so is to find your purpose(s) and start putting in the work.
Why Should You Have a Purpose?
You’re probably thinking or have thought at some point that all this purpose stuff seems complicated and too much work. So why should any effort be made then?
I know I’ve thought like that before.
However, having a sense of purpose has plenty of benefits. Here’s just a few:
- A reason to keep going – There is no doubt that at some point in everyone’s life, there will be major hardships. Having a purpose allows one to get through them in a healthy manner and not be dependent on anything else [inluding unhealthy alternatives].
- Great Mental Health – If you were to question people suffering from depression or anxiety, a large number of them would likely report that they feel no purpose in their life or do not know how to find it. Having this sense of purpose makes you feel as though you are contributing in some way to the world you live in.
- Achieve Unachievable Goals – Having a purpose and striving for it will push you to make a plan in order to reach your goal. By feeling this sense and desiring it, you are prompted to think a lot, sometimes even outside the box, allowing you to achieve great goals in your life.
- Build Confidence and Self Esteem – If you’ve got a purpose to live for, and you are putting effort into it, you will feel almost unstoppable. This makes you feel confident in yourself and reflects into other parts of your life.
- Mental and Emotional Strength – Because of the confidence you’ve built and you’re desire to achieve your purpose(s), other things that might have bothered you would likely not phase you. You’ll begin to feel like you just don’t need to care because you’ve got this amazing purpose you’re working towards.
A blog post titled “Struggling for Better Purpose in Life”, explained everything from what purpose is to why it should be pursued, no matter the struggle. One key point that I wanted to highlight from it was that there can definitely be multiple purposes throughout one’s life.
I think I referred to them as sub-purposes earlier. Who knows, I started writing this post a day ago.
Regardless, you can probably see why having a purpose is so important. Many people who understand this end up developing more sub-purposes, all connected to the main purpose.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s still your responsibility to find your own purpose and build your life to your satisfaction, despite what you’ve already been given to start with.
Keep in mind, you can’t just find purpose like it’s a game of hide-and-seek. You’ve got to create a purpose of your own. Either way, you need certain things in order to create this purpose.
While I cannot give any of you reading a definitive purpose, I can explain how to effectively find your purpose of life.
In other words, here’s how to find your purpose of life and the steps that worked for me.
How to Find Your Purpose of Life
1. Stop Caring So Much
No, I don’t mean stop caring whatsoever about finding your purpose.
I mean stop caring about what people will think if you choose to completely pursue your purpose. Moreover, stop caring about how hard it might be along the way.
The fact about how people think about purpose is that many of them turn it into a huge deal. They begin to question if they should really be living if they don’t have a purpose.
The obvious answer to that is yes because as long as you’re living, there’s an opportunity for multiple achievements and purposes. A large number of young people raise this question a lot. Furthermore, they struggle to realize that it’s normal for young people to not know what to do with their life and rather it’s encouraged to make efforts to find out during that time.
Thinking about your purpose this much and caring too much about everything to do with it is a form of overthinking. Avoid it at all costs. Personally, I’ve struggled with overthinking a lot in the past and I can definitely tell you that it uses unnecessary energy that could be allocated towards your purpose or goals.
So what if people laugh at you, think you’re weird, or stop supporting you?
To be honest, yes it’s going to suck at first when you see people unleash their opinions or when your family does not believe in you.
However, the one thing that counters all of that is believing in yourself. Countering all those seemingly scary opinions with confidence reduces these hindrances to dust and makes you come out on top.
If you believe you’re going to achieve something, you’re that much closer to getting it done.
2. Start Pursuing Useful Knowledge
“Knowledge? That sounds boring.”
Yes, unnecessary knowledge is definitely boring. That’s why I’m saying to go after the knowledge that will help you in your life.
The street smarts.
Pursuing this type of knowledge is a form of exploration that will help you find what you like and what you might want to do with your life.
For example, start by learning how to better manage finance and grow wealth. Almost everyone needs money, to some extent. Besides that, who doesn’t want to succeed with money?
So why not start learning that, regardless of if it will become your purpose or not? It will still enlighten you and/or narrow down what your purpose is.
If you’re interested in space and the cosmos, try learning about it through books or videos.
If you’ve started going to the gym or playing a sport of some sort, learn how to properly play or exercise.
This same point carries on to everything. The important point here is that you gather all of this knowledge and put it to work in your life.
From there, you’re bound to come across something [a potential purpose] that sparks your mind.
3. Where Do You Want to Be in 20 Years?
Although this one’s pretty straightforward, so many people overlook this step and often underestimate it.
The question here is what exactly [and in detail] do you what your life to look like in roughly 10-20 years?
More precisely, this means everything.
This includes what car you want to drive, what house you want to live in, where you want to live, what job you want to work, how much money you want to have, the types of people you want to have in your life, and more importantly, how happy you are.
Once you formulate an idea of what your ideal life is, no matter how broad, you apply every bit of that to your search for a purpose.
4. What Change Do You Want to See Happen?
Look around you in the world you live in.
There’s plenty of problems all over the world just like there’s plenty of achievements. Because these different parts of the world are of the same world you live in, chances are you might feel a sense of urgency for change.
If so, then great. Cherish that feeling and think of ways you might be able to contribute to this change. From there, formulate a plan [no matter how hard it may seem to achieve].
This change you might want to see is not just limited to the world. It includes you, your life, your family, etc.
If you want to change yourself for the better or work towards a better relationship, that formulates sub-purposes [mini goals] or even full-fledged purposes [depending on how large the goal is].
Regardless, if you find a change that you want to see happen, become a part of it.
5. Stay Around a Positive Environment
“Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”Dan Pena
To be honest, this has to be one of the most used quotes on Earth. Even so, people continue to avoid practicing it.
Just because someone is cool to hang around does not give enough reasoning for you to be with them, especially if they have other negative qualities.
The people closest to you should be people that you would be comfortable becoming like. More so, they should encourage you and at least accept you and what you strive to do.
Anyone that seriously discourages you and scoffs at your dreams is not your friend.
At the same time, there’s also something else to consider, and this one was even harder for me to apply.
Regardless of how your ‘friends’ may treat you, what they choose to do matters big time. If you hang around other people who could care less about their future and engage in irresponsible things, chances are you will have a hard time finding your purpose. Even more, you’ll probably be less likely to succeed in your life.
How do you expect to find your purpose if you hang around bums?
No matter how it might look at first glance, who you’re with is who you’ll become over time.
6. Explore [Almost] Everything
Have you ever heard of the phrase you won’t know until you try?
Funny enough, this is an example of that. If you don’t know what to do with your life or don’t know your purpose, diversify everything you’re doing and looking into. Delve into all sectors.
Try learning math that you might be interested in [although that’s rare], learning to build a computer, to control your emotions, to write things, to draw or paint, to play an instrument, to skate, to build wealth, to play a sport, etc.
Although I just listed things I’m interested in, you can add anything you want to that list of exploration [as long as it doesn’t harm others, is responsible and legal].
If and when you find something that sticks out to you, apply that to your life and goals.
7. Don’t Limit Your Goals
“There’s no way I could do that, it’s impossible.”
Sorry, that was probably too rough. Regardless, I had to convey the message.
Pretty self-explanatory, right?
8. Do Something For Someone Else
Now, this doesn’t have to be a huge part of your journey to finding a purpose, even though it can.
Simply helping someone in some way every once in a while gives you a sense of purpose. You might be saying that this sense of purpose isn’t that big and isn’t your own personal purpose fueled by passion.
You’re right, it likely isn’t.
However, what it does do is it paves the way for a bigger purpose that you’ll create and make a part of your life.
By helping others [whether that’s helping someone do their homework or donating money to a cause], you enlighten your brain to think even more outside the box. With that, you might see something you did not see before.
9. [Bonus] Be Religious
I am fully aware that I can’t tell people what to believe or to be religious, and that’s why I made this step a bonus step. Even though I highly encourage it, I can’t force it.
What I say here is purely what has worked for me and what I believe. Feel free to disagree.
Nonetheless, being seriously religious and following the religion dearly [rather than excluding parts of it] gives a person that sense of faith and sense of backup [from God].
Think about it. If you already have a purpose to worship God and do as He has commanded, whether that’s to make the environment you live in a better place or to enact justice, that paves the way for other purposes in your life, similar to helping other people.
Having this sense of faith and ability to pray for something not only allows for it to be answered by God, but it instills the idea that you’ve begun the process already just by making that prayer.
Doing that is incredible for your mental health and self-confidence.
Even with these benefits, I still can’t force people to believe and therefore, this step is a bonus.
Alright, What’s Next?
Assuming that you do follow all of these steps [including or excluding the bonus], you still shouldn’t expect your purpose to appear in front of you like a summoned genie.
Rather, this is a process that develops over time. In other words, you’re building your purpose and adding to it. You are not summoning it.
If you’re young, even better. Don’t panic. As I’ve already mentioned, it’s normal for most people to not know their purpose at all during this age. With that in mind, take advantage of your youth as more time to build your purpose.
Regardless of age, following these steps on how to find your purpose in life will help you progress towards this construction of a reason.
Now the question here is:
What’s your purpose?
You’ve reached the end of this post, hopefully you got something from it!
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About the Author
M. Thaaer Alrajab, who is a high school senior, is the founder of Truthful Society and the host of the Truthful Society podcast. He uses his passion for writing and content creation within his website and podcast.
In 2019, he started his first website, The Political Times. After he finally began to grow, he realized that his audience wanted a different type of content. This led to the creation of Truthful Society.
What is life purpose? Taking Charge of Your Health & Wellbeing. (n.d.). https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/what-life-purpose.
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How to find your purpose in life. SoulSalt. (2021, May 21). https://soulsalt.com/how-to-find-your-purpose/.
Brown, L. (2021, May 18). Psychology says finding meaning in life comes down to 4 basic pillars. Ideapod. https://ideapod.com/psychology-says-finding-meaning-life-comes-4-basic-pillars/.
blogger, R. S. A. lifestyle. (2021, July 21). Struggling for a better purpose in life! Richa Soni:The beautiful & lovely journey of my ✍️ ‼️. https://richu1893.wordpress.com/2021/07/21/struggling-for-a-better-purpose-in-life/.