Advertising

Last Updated on April 19, 2021

How to Find Purpose in Life and Make Yourself a Better Person

Advertising
How to Find Purpose in Life and Make Yourself a Better Person

Some mornings, you may feel that there’s something deeper you could be a part of. You feel the pull towards something, but you can’t exactly pin it down—it eludes you and frustrates you. You’re not really sure how to find purpose in life.

You might have heard stories from writers or musicians who have felt their calling their entire lives; the Mozarts of the world who have pursued their passions from the moment they were out of the womb. Deep down you wish you had this “knowing” to pull you forward.

Frankly, you do: all it takes is a little digging to uncover the truth when you start asking how to find my purpose.

Think of uncovering your passion like the work of a master sculptor, slowly chipping away the stone to reveal the masterpiece underneath. Your life’s purpose is this masterpiece, simply lurking beneath the surface, waiting to be released.

Successful people know that the fastest way to learn how to find your purpose is through the art of introspection: diving into the deeper essence of who you are to pull out the pieces to assemble the purpose puzzle.

Think of your life’s purpose as a golden thread; for some, that thread comes in the form of a certain career or profession, while for others it looks like a way of being or expression.

Here are some of the simple steps you’ll need to take if you want to learn how to find purpose in life.

Why Do You Want This?

Ultimately, you’re trying to improve your life and live with meaning by finding your purpose. You want more zest, more flavor, more fullness. In the strictest sense, you want to become a better person. You want to wake up in the morning excited, jumping out of bed with a thirst for life that you haven’t felt since you were a child.

Advertising

Your purpose can be the driving force behind this. If you feel lost, your sense of purpose can be your connection to something larger, something that will allow you to truly make a difference[1].

Finding Purpose – Student Health & Counseling Center

    Still, your “why” might be different. Before we even leave solid ground, you need this as your anchor, just in case things get a little foggy. To find it, just answer this question:

    Why do you want to find your purpose in life?

    Write down or remember whatever comes up. It might be some of the above reasons, or it might be something entirely different. Whatever it is, hold it close.

    What You’ll Need to Find Your Purpose

    Before any great quest (physical or mental), you want to make sure your tools and supplies are in working order. For this quest the tools are simple: You’ll need a pen and piece of paper, a working memory, and the drive to uncover what you set out to find.

    Before we go, there are a few things you’ll need to embrace beforehand. Think of these items as the underlying code of conduct for your quest.

    1. I welcome the hard work and tiresome effort it will take to unearth my life’s great work.
    2. I know my purpose might not be directly obvious, but I will put in the time to find it.
    3. I believe finding my purpose is entirely possible.
    4. I know that finding my life’s purpose may lead to some big (positive) changes.
    5. I know that finding my life’s purpose will leave me with the power to shape my own destiny.

    Once you’ve let the above affirmations settle, you’re ready to set sail. Your tools are sharpened, and your mind is prepped as you’re thinking how to find my purpose.

    Advertising

    If you’re someone who procrastinates, just getting started may be difficult. If that’s the case, check out Lifehack’s free guide: End Distraction And Find Your Focus. It will help you focus your attention on the next steps, which will ultimately lead you to your purpose.

    1. Facing Your Inner Dialogue

    When you first begin to dive into your thoughts and desires, there will be an initial resistance, a pervading fear of the unknown[2].

    The first inner dragon you might face will likely be your internal beliefs. They might try to stop you in your tracks or tell you you’re crazy for trying to find your purpose in the first place. They might say harsh things, like “You don’t deserve to have a purpose” or “You’ll never find what you’re looking for.”

    To combat your inner dialogue, you have to first realize it’s happening. When you start to actually pay attention to the thoughts as they’re spiraling, they lose their power. They get their power by operating below the surface, so when you shine a spotlight of awareness upon them, they lose their control over you.

    Once you’re familiar with these inner dragons, it will be easier to slay them.

    Next, you’ll have to take action to correct your inner dialogue if you really want to learn how to find purpose in life.

    Try this on for size: When you’ve come across a belief that is threatening to stop your journey, take a breath, look it square in the eye, and then act anyway.

    This will teach you to develop your courage muscle, and this heart-centered courage will give you something to lean on throughout your uncertain quest. This will ultimately improve your mental health overall.

    Advertising

    2. Questions for the Great Dig

    Now that you know why you’re doing this and how to overcome any hurdle, you’re ready for the challenges you’ll inevitably face. Your preparation is done, so now it’s time to look at what your soul is trying to tell you.

    You can check out this TED Talk by Noeline Kirabo to learn about some questions that will help you discover your passion and purpose:

    Now, get ready to dive deep. Keep in mind that we’re going to analyze common threads in your life and the deep desires you currently have to give you a one-two punch when learning how to find purpose in life.

    Step 1: The Soul-Baring Questions

    • If you had all the money in the world, how would you spend your time?
    • What would your perfect day look like? Describe every detail.
    • What activities set your soul on fire?

    Don’t be afraid to dive deep with these questions, and write down whatever comes to mind.

    Make sure you create some space to ponder these questions. Nothing is too outlandish, so do your best to turn off your mental filter. The best answers will come when you can turn off your self-judgement.

    Once you have these answers in hand, we’re going to take a little stroll back into your memory to dig up some more answers and learn how to find purpose in life.

    When you’re a child, your life experience is more freeing, playful, and alive. Your whims direct your life, and you’re more plugged in to a deeper current. At this stage in your life, the outside world hasn’t shaped your dreams yet, and you have direct access to your passions and purpose.

    We all had things we loved to do as kids but ended up giving them up for the sake of practicality. What we’re going to do here is take a stroll through your memory banks and try to gain some glimpses of this childhood wisdom.

    Advertising

    Step 2: Connect With Your Inner Child

    • What brought you immense joy as a kid?
    • What were you doing when you lost track of time?
    • What did your parents have to drag you away from?
    • What did you love deep down before the world told you to get practical?

    Once again, keep your mind in an open place when finding your purpose. If you’re having trouble, it may help to look at a picture of yourself when you were younger, or grab an old stuffed animal or other item that sends you back into the memory banks.

    3. Weaving Your Golden Thread

    Now that you’ve pulled yourself away from social media long enough to brave the depths of your thoughts, you’re ready to do the hard work of learning how to find purpose in life and defining yours. The last stretch of the journey is to string all the bits of randomness together and find the common themes.

    Your job now is to take a hard look at all your answers and see if you can pull out any common ideas that are in both lists.

    Maybe you’ve wanted to be a writer since you were a child, and committing words to a page every day really sets your soul on fire. There’s a good chance that writing may be involved in your life’s purpose.

    Maybe you’ve always been fascinated by the stars and the cosmos, and you’ve always had a deep connection to spending time outdoors. You could combine this into an excursion where you lead groups of people into the wild to stargaze and contemplate their place in the universe.

    Let your creativity reign as you’re working on finding your purpose, and don’t fret if you can’t make a connection right away. Sometimes, it helps to sleep on it and let your subconscious work on the solution for you. Learning the proper way to set goals also helps tremendously.

    You can also check out this Lifehack Fast Track Class for a little extra push as you work on learning how to find your purpose:

    If you’ve done the work, then you’re on your way to finding your life’s purpose. When it’s there, you’ll feel it deep down in your bones.

    Advertising

    The Bottom Line

    Learning how to find purpose in life is a lifelong journey, but once your purpose has been discovered, you’ll find that your life opens itself up in ways you never thought possible. You will experience new depths of opportunity, and your eyes will be opened to all the possibilities around you. First, you must simply turn toward your thoughts and jump in.

    More on How to Find Your Purpose

    Featured photo credit: Katerina Kerdi via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Western Oregon University: Finding Purpose
    [2] Journal of Anxiety Disorders: Fear of the unknown: One fear to rule them all?

    More by this author

    Kevin Wood

    Kevin Wood is a passionate writer who shares mental and spiritual advice on Lifehack.

    How to Find Purpose in Life and Make Yourself a Better Person 7 Ways To Open Your Heart to The World 5 Simple Tips to Meditate Like a Monk The Minimalist Guide to Creativity Think Like A Genius: How Cleverness Can Save Your Life

    Trending in Meaning of Life

    1 Feel That Life Is Meaningless? Here’s How to Find Meaning 2 20 Invaluable Things Money Can’t Buy 3 Understanding Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: 5 Levels Explained 4 How to Find Purpose in Life and Make Yourself a Better Person 5 The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on September 16, 2021

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

    Advertising
    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.

    Advertising

    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.

    Advertising

    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.

    Advertising

    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.

    Advertising

    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?

    Read Next