If you struggle to understand your purpose or why you are here, you’re in good company. This article was composed to help you answer, ‘what is the purpose of my life?’
Jaxxy, my keyword research software tells me that over 7,900 people ask Google every single month, ‘What is the purpose of life’, while over 12,000 people search, ‘What is the meaning of life?’. Every month. These numbers show just how much despondency flourishes in today’s world; and due to our ways of life, it’s understandable. Emotional illnesses like depression and anxiety are in pandemic proportion.
The environmental desperation we see, materialism, and extremes between the rich 1% and the working poor, leave all of us wondering, “Will my children and grandchildren live fulfilling lives? will they even have a world to grow up in? Will they grow up feeling as despondent as I am feeling right now?” These are the questions that haunt people.
Hopefully this article reminds us to do what we can do, appreciate what we have, go for what we want, and simply get the most out of life.
Being the best at…
People dream about being #1. We idolize the best singers, the best athletes, the richest business owners, and the most beautiful actors.
The ‘hard-knocks’ background stories of competitors in ‘Got Talent’ competitions remind the world that normal people can be champions, it’s about hope. We wish the best for someone, being the one in millions, congratulate them for winning the lottery. We strive to try to cheer these people on… to find these people inspiring; to live vicariously, wishing we were them, because they won, even though we didn’t.
The problem with putting hopes in the lottery is that it seems to be a literal admission and reminder that we aren’t happy with life as it stands. We pray to get what we want without work; and because we are depressed, we don’t bother working for it. We’ve given up trying; except to buy that lottery ticket.
Optimism vs. Pessimism.
I don’t buy lottery tickets. Not because I don’t believe i have as much chance as anyone else, but because the thought of a sudden huge windfall that I did not earn, simply doesn’t motivate me, or even appeal to me for that matter.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to have the money to buy a house of my own, a car, to complete and win in a singing competition, to not worry about being hungry.
At the far left of the spectrum, unbalanced pessimists believe you have no chance so why have hope for anything you wish for? At the far right of the spectrum, unbalanced optimists set themselves up for humiliation, because they try too hard to win at long shots, and often fail.
Allow me to share my views on this: I see beauty in the bitter-sweetness of life; the losses and the triumphs, the lows and the highs. Don’t get me wrong, I’d enjoy wealth, but if I didn’t earn it, I would worry more about losing it. I would also have not earned respect from my network. There is reason for my journey. So I will continue working hard on increasing knowledge of not only wealth but health and how to make more of a difference in the lives of other people, reminding myself that money is not the meaning of life. Achieving financial freedom will not end of my journey, or even be the highlight of my life. Money is no more than a tool. Making it the reason for my journey will result in me losing my motivation, because it’s simply not worth living for.
This is my kind of realism.
Nothing is permanent.
What comes, passes. The nature of our collective reality on this earth is that all things pass and are lost to time. Riches come and go, fame comes and goes, health comes and goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. High achievers are not necessarily destined for happiness.
If you rely on reaching that peak for your happiness, you will be hit hard afterward. When you reach that metaphorical peak, the view is grand… but where do you go from there? The only way is down. Do you want to survive another valley? What if you were to lose everything you worked for?
Material wealth amplifies what we are. If we are already happy before we become rich, money increases our happiness. If we are miserable before money, more money will make us more miserable. Think about it… if we distrust people before we become rich, imagine if you do become rich… you will be constantly suspicious not knowing who your real friends are… there is always another valley to face.
We must try to learn from the past, but not dwell there. Plan for the future, but don’t dwell there either. Wherever you go, there you are.
Don’t worry about what bad may come, because it will pass. Don’t exalt in what good comes, because you are bound to lose it. Appreciate what you have, take care of it, and teach others to take care as well.
What lifts you?
True happiness can be taught, to those who care to listen. It is something we do. It has nothing to do with money.
Money is not security. Money can not bring someone you love back from death, or cure a terminal illness. The best security for a family is spiritual wealth. To provide spiritual wealth for one’s family means to equip them to survive, even thrive, in spite of any loss.
The ability to deal with change, the thirst for knowledge, a strong work ethic, resiliency, willingness to give help, willingness to accept help, network building skills… these are good examples of spiritual wealth.
I think the point of life is to learn how to be happy with your life in despite your level of accumulation of have material wealth.
But this post was about purpose! What is my purpose?
The previous parts of this article discuss the necessary background to better understand our purpose.
Straightly put, I believe the purpose of anyone’s life is learning to spend spiritual wealth well.
To earn and to increase:
- A heart full of love for yourself and others.
- Your appreciation of life through the eyes of others.
- Evidence that you shared and used your knowledge.
- The collective wealth of the world around you.
- A network of appreciative hearts with fond memories of you.
The world is better for having you in it. If you do these things, your life has purpose.
The love you share with others, the knowledge of whether you left the world better or worse than you found it; these things you carry with you after you die, the same you leave behind.
Hope this helps,
“We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths;
In feelings, not in figures on a dial.
We should count time by heart-throbs. He most lives
Who thinks most—feels the noblest—acts the best.”
~ Philip James Bailey, Festus, 1839
“When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.” ~ Cherokee proverb
Powerfully inspiring books by a man driven to teach genius and personal mastery: Robin Sharma.
- The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams & Reaching Your Destiny
- The Leader Who Had No Title: A Modern Fable on Real Success in Business and in Life
Access his podcasts and online courses here.
Another recommended book:
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What is worth living for?