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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

How to Effectively Find Your Life’s Purpose

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How to Effectively Find Your Life’s Purpose

We’re all stuck in a vicious cycle of living life without ever focusing on our life’s purpose. We’re always in search of ways to improve the quality of the few decades that we have to live in this world.

What if I told you that you’ve been looking in the wrong place this entire time?

There’s more to life than the daily grind. Yet, we’re so involved in the mainstream route of living that we forget to ever look past it.

It’s usually when people have lived their first 3 decades of life and fulfilled the usual “requirements” of their society that they begin to feel the emptiness. Well, you’ve had your education, built a career, got married, started a family, but now what? What’s the purpose of it all?

If the dilemma has hit you hard, you’ve come to the right place. Grab a glass of water, take a deep breath, and read through this article with attention.

Understanding Life’s Purpose

To understand YOUR life’s purpose, you need to first understand what life’s purpose is.

Be very clear on one thing:

Life’s purpose isn’t a clear cut given instruction manual that you’re going to find in a treasure hunt. It isn’t a universal truth that applies to everyone.

Everybody’s life has a different meaning. In fact, even one human’s life purpose evolves with time. Maybe when you’ve reached one stepping stone, it will lead you to another, and this way your goal setting and aim keeps changing with time.

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So, if you’re expecting to find a long explanation of what exactly you should be doing in life, you need to shift your mindset. You have to let your unconscious mind take the lead. Let it give you a push in the right direction so that you can then make conscious efforts to fulfill your purpose.

With that being said, you shouldn’t shy away from making all possible efforts to figure out why you were born into this world. It’s never too late to understand the meaning of life.

What’s even better is that you don’t have to go far to get your answers. You don’t need to read through a hundred inspirational books or listen to spiritual lectures (unless you want to).

The answer is within you.

All you have to do is answer some simple questions about yourself. Pay attention to what your mind, heart, and body are trying to communicate. This simple effort can help you find the purpose that you’re looking for.

What Makes You Look for a Life Purpose?

You didn’t just click on this post aimlessly. You were intrigued. Your interest has kept you reading this far. So you can’t say it was a coincidence or a meaningless read.

You could’ve been living your normal life reading or listening to something else. But what made you want to know more about your life’s purpose? What triggered your mind to pay attention to this issue?

On the surface, the click on this post was a random act. But that’s not actually how your mind works. Sit down and think about the trail that led you to this point.

Go through all the events, occasions, talks, thoughts, and occurrences that made you think about the meaning of life, even for a split second. You’ll have to think hard, of course, but once a trail starts developing in your head, you’ll find the connection yourself.

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Even if you think this was the first time you thought about this issue, maybe it is your mental state that encouraged you to find out more.

When you start pushing your brain to think in this direction, not only will you be able to find the required links, but you’ll also gradually start to make meaning out of these connections. This is going to serve as the biggest anchor point for you to find the final answer.

What Are You Most Passionate About?

Everybody is passionate about something in life. Find out what this thing is for you.

This isn’t hard to do at all. You just have to notice the things that you always look forward to. For example, if you’re always excited about the annual family trip, your passion can be traveling or your relationship with your family.

Pay attention to figure out why you’re passionate about these things.

What Do You Want to be Most Passionate About?

You may or may not have a passion in life already. Regardless, there is always something that you wish you could spend more time doing.

Think about what things you want to be more eager about. Your life’s purpose is hidden somewhere in these things[1].

What Drains You?

It’s time to focus on some negatives now. What you need to focus on here are the things that exhaust you physically or mentally. They don’t necessarily have to be chores or tasks that you dislike. You may enjoy them, but, as a result, you feel drained. Due to this final feeling of an extreme low, the small amount of happiness you felt doing the task is overridden.

These low-lows are not just any lows. Everyone goes through ups and downs. Either of these feelings fades with time. However, the low-lows seem to take away all your energy and motivation.

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This category can include work tasks, house chores, certain people, and pretty much anything else. Once you can put your finger on such draining parts of your life, it’s time to move far away from them. This sense of tiredness that you feel is a sign from your body, mind, and heart that this isn’t the right thing for you.

What Does Your Heart Agree to Do?

You’re not looking for the opposite of low-lows here. This question connects to your beliefs, values, and morals.

We’ve all been brought up with certain values that stick with us for life. Despite being deeply rooted in our lives, some of them just feel wrong.

First of all, keep in mind that it’s okay if you’ve been doing something “wrong” your entire life. What matters is that you fix it when you learn the mistake.

So, start keeping track of all the things that your heart disagrees with. Alongside that, take notice of the things that you feel are right. You can even create a list in the long run. Do some points seem to be shifting categories? Are their certain points that you feel very strongly about?

Once again, these are signs from your heart and mind that you’ll have to find the meaning of.

What Are the Things You Think About the Most?

Things that are always on your mind definitely have a purpose. Make it a habit to note down your concerns and thoughts every day so that you can look back on them to find a pattern.

If you can’t seem to put your finger on what exactly has been going through your mind, there’s a simple trick to help you here.

Open your Twitter or any other social media that you use the most. Look through what you’ve posted[2].

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Try to recall what was going through your head that made you post everything that you have. Where did you get the inspiration to write the caption that you chose? Look through the comments to remember what and how you felt regarding the response that you received.

Throwback Time

When you’re finding answers to all the aforementioned questions, don’t forget to look back on the life that you’ve lived. You’ll always find a hidden connection between your passions, low-lows, and everything else with your past.

Involve your parents and other family members to hear stories of your past to learn more about yourself. Weigh your existing feelings with your past to find out how you’ve grown emotionally.

How to Utilize This Information to Find Your Life’s Purpose

Once you’ve gathered all the information from the answers to these questions, it will all start to make sense.

Of course, the things that you’re passionate about, that your heart agrees with, and that you find a recurring pattern of are related to your life’s purpose. Similarly, the opposites are what drive you away from the path that you’re meant to be on.

You may not find crystal clear answers, and that’s completely okay. As long as your brain is triggered to think in a certain direction, an explicit answer isn’t necessary.

Just make sure to collect all the information for however many weeks or months it requires. In the end, you’ll be able to put two and two together yourself.

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, nobody in this world can tell you what the purpose of your life is. You should never let anyone define it for you either.

Yes, it’s time-consuming and will definitely take some deep thinking. But in the end, when you feel complete and at peace with the right answers by your side, it will all be worth it!

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More Tips on Finding Your Life’s Purpose

Featured photo credit: Sam Headland via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on September 16, 2021

Feel That Life Is Meaningless? Here’s How to Find Meaning

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Feel That Life Is Meaningless? Here’s How to Find Meaning

Have you ever felt like you’re unable to feel anything? You know exactly what this feeling is if you’ve been through it. The feeling of a meaningless life is unexplainable.

A meaningless life may not look bad. In fact, there’s likely nothing obviously wrong. You may be living in your dream house with the love of your life. Your well-paid job in the company that you dreamt of is doing great, too. However, you feel like a part of your heart and soul are missing.

If you feel like nothing is right, you may be living a meaningless life. But don’t you worry, because you’re in the right place to find the perfect solution for you and your unique life.

What Is a Meaningless Life?

Let’s start by helping you put a finger on your issue. Is it actually a meaningless life or just a rough slump?

Be clear on one thing: no human’s life is ever truly meaningless. Basically, your life can never lose its meaning and purpose. If you’re living in this world, there is some reason deep down. The only issue is that you have lost the vision to identify it. Your perspective is too blurred to figure out what you are in this world for.

A meaningless life may mean you’re going through an existential crisis. You could be borderline depressed. The feeling of emptiness may prevail all other emotions. However, you can be sure that, despite all of this, there’s still meaning to your existence.

All you have to do is push through to find it.

If you feel that you’re living a meaningless life, negativity will surround you like wildfire. However, you’ve got to keep your head high so that you can look ahead and find an answer. You have to strive to find your life’s meaning to continue to live a life of high motivation.

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Before you move on with the rest of the process, make sure to first imprint this in your mind. Only then will you be able to guide your thought process in the right direction.

Is There Any Meaning to Life?

Life, in its literal term, means to exist and reproduce. The reproduction not only includes the creation of humans like yourself, but also of thoughts, ideologies, and philosophies.

A person who is living a meaningless life has a very different view of what life is supposed to be. That is where the issue arises. To understand the meaning of life without any misconceptions, one should look at the philosophy behind this concept.

Like most branches of research, philosophy has numerous diverging answers to answer what the meaning of life is[1]. Here’s a quick summary of what I consider the most suitable understanding.

It all starts from a human’s expectations and, ultimately, reactions. Every individual expects something from the world and, in return, has to react to the expectations of others. Generally, this idea is surrounded by wanting goodness. To achieve that, a person has to do good deeds as well.

This cycle continues. But, of course, it is very complex. A lot of factors contribute to this cycle, such as selfishness, a different point of view of what’s good, emotions, likes and dislikes, etc.

The point of this entire concept in philosophy is that, ultimately, the process of growth and reproduction comes to an end for every human. There’s no escaping that. Therefore, the goal is to live life in a way that, when the individual’s growth comes to an end, something good is still left behind for the cycle to continue.

Where Does the Good Come From?

This is the point where the differences come in. People with different beliefs opt for varying methods to reach the same goal.

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There are four main schools of thought in philosophy in this regard, and they all offer different advice on how to move past living a meaningless life[2].

1. God

One school believes that God is the center of everything we do. Hence, goodness is anything that goes in line with the religion that you believe in.

2. The Soul

The other school of thought centers their actions on the soul. For them, anything that satisfies and calms your inner self is the path you should follow, regardless of what the rest of the world thinks.

3. Objectivists

The objectivists say that everything in the world is defined; the good and bad are certain, so no one should go beyond the set boundaries.

4. Subjectivists

The subjectivists, on the other hand, believe that since every individual’s cognition varies, the meaning of every single thing in the world is different. No two individuals can have a similar thought process.

All in all, life comes down to one thing only: goodness. That is what life should be, and that is what you should leave behind. How you achieve it depends on which school of thought you agree with. Whatever you believe in is ultimately what the meaning of your life is.

How to Stop Living a Meaningless Life

Now you know that there is a meaning to your life, without question. You also have an idea of what this meaning is. You’ve got to figure out what you consider “good” and build your life around it.

Regardless of which school of thought you agree with or what you have decided your life’s meaning to be, the process to implement will be a bit hard. To make it easier, here are some universal tips.

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1. Unlearn What You’ve Been Told All Your Life

Do not be distracted by what you’ve learned in your life until now. The truth is, you could have been told something for 30 years of your life only to find out that it was all baseless.

The only thing in life that is definite is that there are no rules. We didn’t come into this world with a rule book or defined meaning. Every individual was given the ability to make choices in their life. So, take hold of yours, learn your right and wrong from scratch, and make sure nothing is detracting you from the real meaning of your life. Don’t be afraid if you learn something that goes against your lifelong motto if it gets you away from living a meaningless life.

2. Know That You Matter

This has been said a couple of times by now but, honestly, the more you emphasize this fact, the easier it will be for you.

The fact that you’re alive, living in this world, and taking another breath to take means that you matter. Your life purpose is yet to be fulfilled, so you’ve still got to make some impact in this world.

You are the one person that has to change the world, even if it is something as small as changing the life of one tiny creature. Keep this in mind at all times.

3. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

If your life’s meaning was somewhere inside the circle that you stay in, you would’ve found it by now. Isn’t it obvious that what you’re looking for is out of your comfort zone? Then, what’s keeping you from stepping out?

Don’t hesitate to step out. The short-term discomfort will help you find the long-term purpose of life, which will give you a lifetime of relaxation and a constant way out of a meaningless life.

4. Follow Your Heart

Whether you’re choosing which school of thought to follow or opting between what good to go after, never ignore your heart. Your intuition is your heart’s way of guiding you. Don’t let it take over, but also don’t forget to take it into consideration.

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5. Do Not Let Go of Your Passion

You know that one thing in life that you just cannot give up no matter hard you try? Stop trying to get rid of it. You’re passionate about something for a reason. It is a step for you to reach your life’s meaning.

6. Be More Mindful

The big things in life tend to take over the tiny details. These little things are signs to help you decode and find answers. Meditate if you have a hard time focusing, but always try your best to pay attention to the little experiences that you usually don’t notice.

Conclusion

If you’re a person who is going through the dilemma of living a meaningless life, try to use these tips to help you seek out your unique meaning. Although your life seems meaningless, rest assured that it’s not.

The ball is now in your court. You’re the one who has to do the rest of the work. Use the tips to help you find the true meaning of your life, and then stick to it. Get on with step 1 from today without losing any motivation at all.

All the work that you’ll put in the process now will help you achieve a life of happiness and peace worth living.

More Tips on Living With Meaning

Featured photo credit: Frida Aguilar Estrada via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Philosophy Now: What is Life?
[2] Philosophy Now: What is The Meaning Of Life?

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