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Last Updated on December 10, 2019

What Is the Purpose of Life and What Should You Live For?

What Is the Purpose of Life and What Should You Live For?

What is the purpose of life?

I want to answer the question by sharing a story about my friend, John.

My best friend John suddenly passed away a few weeks ago. John was a person who lived a purposeful life that was centred on his commitment and love for his family and serving others.

John did not seek out his purpose in life. He didn’t read personal development books on how to find your life purpose and he never asked the question “what should I live for?” He just knew what gave him joy and that was to serve his family and the people who were in his life.

John was that person that Ralph Emerson was referring to in his quote:

“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.”

John was a man who showed compassion and kindness and who lived a full life with purpose and commitment. He was not a famous man who had achieved world recognition for his amazing feats. He was my long-time friend, a truly great man who to me lived his life purpose to the fullest.

Not all of us are like John who just knew what his purpose in life was and then just did it. Some of us need guidance as to how we can start this journey.

In society today, knowing your purpose of life and what you should live for has become the major criteria for measuring how happy your life is. There is a lot of pressure to know your purpose in life, becuase if you don’t know, then the chances of you living a fulfiling and happy life are nil. This is absolute rubbish.

Ralph Emerson’s states in his quote that our purpose in life has nothing to do with happiness but more to do with how well we lived our lives. That is the secret recipe to living a happy and fulfilling life.

So, how to attain purpose in life? Here are 3 very simple steps that if you follow, will help you to attain purpose and fulfilment in life.

1. Disconnect from Social Media

With social media, we are relentlessly exposed to thousands of people who present a life where they seem to be living incredibly fulfilled and successful lives with purpose.

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It seems to be for many people that figuring out your life purpose today is complicated and a drawn out process that can take forever. This is in fact not true at all.

On social media, you only see the fabulous and fun parts of peoples lives, you do not see their true life that can be as challenging and as complicated as yours. No one escapes the realities of life – those life curveballs that come from nowhere.

If you are comparing your quality of life and your happiness with those people on social media, then you need to stop. You need to find your own measures of success as to what a fulfilled happy life means to you.

Social Media will not give you what you are seeking when it comes to finding what it is that will bring joy to your life.

When you are consistently experiencing joy in your life, you are living a purposeful life. You know what the kind of life you want to live that is important to you. Using other peoples experiences of joy on social media is not best way for you to determine your life purpose.

2. Ask These 3 Key Questions to Define Your Life Purpose

To start your journey to figuring out your purpose in life ask yourself these 3 key questions:

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  • What is the legacy that I want to leave behind?
  • What will people say about me when I have gone?
  • What difference have I made to other peoples lives?

The answers to these 3 questions will help you determine your purpose in life.

Once you have defined these answers, the next step is for you is to take action and consistently demonstrate those qualities you believe are important for you to attain living a life with purpose and joy.

3. Focus on the Specific Actions That Bring You Joy

“You do not write your life with words. . . You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do” — Patrick Ness

Discovering your purpose in life and what you should live for is the same for everyone in the world – rich or poor. Everyone has the opportunity to live life to the fullest. It is not complex, difficult or out of your reach.

Finding your life purpose is very achievable. All you have to do is decide what it is that living a fulfilled happy life means to you and then you go do it. Go and be kind to others and live your life the best way you can every day.

Acts of kindness, generosity, gratitude and love are the core actions of living a life with purpose. If you focus on these actions on a daily basis, you will be living your life with purpose. It is at this point that the feelings of happiness fill your life.

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The more you do for others, the more happy you will be.

A Word of Warning

When you are living your life with purpose, it does not mean that you will transform into living the life of an angel.

Remember your reality – you will still have your faults, make huge mistakes, fail and have to navigate your way through the challenges that life throws at you.

However, living a life with purpose and commitment builds your resilience and enables you to deal with life challenges from a place of strength and certainty.

Your power of choice is the only thing that you have that enables you to live a life with purpose and joy. My friend John knew how to use his power of choice to the fullest. He chose to live a life with purpose and he knew what he had to do to bring joy into his life and to those people he loved – a very simple recipe to living life to the fullest.

The journey to knowing your life purpose and living your life purpose is within your reach. You are the only person who can do it and you have control over how you want to live your life.

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Remember that nobody else does – it is all down to you. I suggest that you go do it now!

More About Finding Your True Purpose

Featured photo credit: Timothy Paul Smith via unsplash.com

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Kathryn Sandford

Career Resilience Coach passionate about supporting others to grow and thrive in a complex world.

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Last Updated on April 7, 2020

How to Use the Law of Attraction to Make Your Dreams Happen

How to Use the Law of Attraction to Make Your Dreams Happen

People seem to believe that they can simply think their way straight to success. They mistakenly believe that if they just think about their dreams often enough and vividly enough that–poof!–They’ll just seem to come true.

But life is not a magic trick.

If you told a starving child in Africa who had not had a single meal in five days to use the Law of Attraction to manifest a meal for themselves, how well do you think it would work out for them?

Clearly, there’s more to it than envisioning what you want.

If you want to know what it really takes to achieve your greatest goals and ambitions, then here’s a list of steps that will outline how to use the Law of Attraction the proper way.

1. Focus Your Thoughts in the Direction of Your Dreams

If you were to take a pebble and toss it into a pond, what happens?

As soon as the pebble strikes the surface of the water, you get a series of ripples or waves, which spread outwards in a circular direction, until they get to the shoreline and seem to stop.

The larger the pebble, the larger the ripples. The larger the pebble, the higher the waves.

Two stones of different sizes and weights tossed in at the same time, at different places but in close proximity, will both create a series of ripples, which will eventually merge with one another…

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When the two sets of ripples converge, there seems to be a bit of a struggle as to which one overcomes or passes the other.

As far as the human eye can see, if the ripples are the same size, both seem to stop or merge when they collide.

But if one set of ripples is larger than the other, the larger set sweeps over the smaller set and creates waves in the wake of the smaller ripples.

Let’s consider this analogy in relation to our own thought-patterns and mental impulses…

Imagine you’ve got two stones in each hand.

  • The stone in your left hand is labeled, “failure”
  • The stone in your right hand is labeled, “success”

The weight of each stone is in direct proportion to the amount of *thought* you give its label.

So… How heavy are your stones?

If your “failure” stone is heavier, then its ripples will simply stop or take over the ripples created by your stone labeled “success.”

But if your “success” stone is heavier, then that will be the one that takes over.

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It’s important to keep this in mind as you put the Law of Attraction to use towards making your dreams happen: ensure that you focus your thoughts on successfully achieving those dreams more often than you focus on the fear of failure that you might experience if you don’t.

2. Get Specific

What do you want? What do your dreams look like, specifically?

The other day, my three-year-old daughter lost one of her toys. It was a little brown tiger with a red sweater. When she couldn’t find it, she freaked out. She loved that little tiger with a red sweater.

Of course, being a loving dad, I tried helping her find it – but to no avail. We looked all over the place, and it was nowhere to be found.

Eventually, I stumbled upon a little tiger. Yes!

I ran over to my daughter, Nora, and enthusiastically said, “I found it! I found it!”

She popped her head up from looking under the couch and joyfully ran over to me with her hands extended…

But then, as she got closer, the glimmer in her eyes disappeared. “That’s not it, Dada!” she whined.

Then she took the tiger and held it up for me, “This tiger is wearing a pink sweater, it’s a girl-tiger, and her fur is light brown. My favorite tiger is lost and it wears a red sweater, it’s a boy-tiger, and he’s dark brown!”

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So, we searched and searched, and searched some more.

And eventually, we found that tiger.

Nora found exactly what she was looking for, because she refused to settle for anything less.

And even though this can be annoying sometimes, even though it doesn’t always make sense to be so exacting about what you want, I can’t help but respect the hustle.

The key take-away from the story is this: if you want to make the Law of Attraction work for you, you have got to get specific. What is it, exactly that you want? Figure it out down to every specific detail and write it down.

Once you’ve done that, it’s time to start taking action towards making it happen.

3. Put Some Actions Where Your Thoughts Are

Many people make the mistake of looking at the Law of Attraction as if it were a stand-alone solution to making their dreams a reality. They believe that they can make a vision board and use positive thinking to achieve success.

But these folks need a wake-up call, because positive thinking is not enough. It will never be enough.

If we THINK positive, but we still FEEL negative, then how will we ACT?

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Your thoughts, actions and feelings are like a three-legged stool. Positive thinking is powerful, but only when we think of it as one of the three necessary legs that reinforces the stool we’re sitting on.

If we don’t want the stool to wobble or break, we’ve got to make sure we give each leg the care it needs to keep us from falling down and getting hurt.

The key here, with making the Law of Attraction work for you, is to focus on being as congruent as possible between your thoughts, feelings, and actions.

What’s the best way to do that?

First, remember that the way you THINK has got to be in line with the way you ACT. Because the way you act is going to have an impact on the way you FEEL.

And the way you feel is going to help reinforce the way you think, or it’s going to help you re-examine the way you think. Which is going to circle right back around into helping you decide the way you choose to act in any given situation.

See the feedback loop these three end up creating?

The Bottom Line

It’s not the Law of Attraction or positive thinking alone that drives our success in life — it’s about being in positive congruence between the way we think, act, and feel that drives our success in life… And at the very least, keeps us from falling off the stool.

If we want to make big things happen, we’ve got to take action.

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Featured photo credit: Nathan McBride via unsplash.com

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