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Discovering Your Purpose In Life - What is Purpose?

Updated on July 27, 2011

What is Purpose?

According to the Word Web dictionary a definition of purpose is 'an anticipated outcome that is intended or that guides your planned actions'. Another describes it as 'what something is used for'. My personal definition is purpose is summed up in one word, 'WHY?' Why do I do the things that I do? Why do I get up in the morning? Why do I go to work? Why am I working where I'm working at the moment? Why am I alive? Unfortunately for many of us we don't know the answers to some or all of these questions and the many others whys that life presents to us.

Some of us are too busy to think about having a specific purpose in life so they never press the pause button just to reflect on where their life is heading to. They drive through life changing directions when they see fit. They react and sometimes take initiatives. Sometimes they just stick to what they know and sometimes they take risks but overall they are rarely guided by a purpose and therefore do not have that focus which brings a cutting edge to life. They might have some ambitions like getting a promotion at work or owning a house, but the underlying question of 'WHY' is never really answered.

Some embrace their personal philosophy of just 'going with the flow'. That’s great but there is one major flaw with this method of living and that is you're never in control, life's currents are. Therefore you end up wherever the water flows, even if it flows in twenty directions within your lifetime. Besides, the captain of the ship doesn't remove the anchor at the dockland, and when setting off on his journey decides that he'll just allow the boat to follow the currents of the seas, and wherever he ends up, he will call that his destination. It's most likely that this sailor will never see land, but will be going round in circles tossed to and fro by the fierce storms and crashing waves.

Some have dreams and fantasies that they can only imagine to be real. Most common dreams is to become rich because they have equated that their happiness is tied to possessing a vast amount of money. This money will allow them to buy what they want, when they want and feel in control with of life. To drive expensive cars, live in mansions, own yachts and travel first class around the world, these are their dreams. After all money is power right? The most common master plan to attain great success is to purchase lottery tickets. They faithfully play the lotto week in week out hoping one day that they will be the one in fifty million to win the jackpot this time round. This reminds me of my dad. He normally says "Son, when (or if - depending on his mood) I win the lottery, I'm going to buy you a big house and a top of the range BMW". In which I reply along the lines of "Great hopes dad but the odds are massively against you and you’re not getting any younger". Sometimes he has great excitement when he matches three numbers and wins few bucks for it. He is convinced that he has been rewarded but I then ask him how much money in your life time have you spent playing the lottery. There's rarely a reply then. I'm not a dream killer, I'm the opposite in fact, I just cannot bear the thought of giving life over to chance and trusting in some woman called 'lady luck'. Anyways, ninety nine per cent of the time he just takes his winnings and goes and gets a ticket for the next draw. His winnings just became a free coupon for another go on an arcade machine.

Why did I write this piece? The purpose was just to get you thinking about purpose itself and its relation to you. To catch your mind and move it to begin to reflect on your own life so you can question yourself with the word 'WHY'. Apply the question to as many areas of your daily living as possible and find out if you are truly satisfied deep within and find fulfilment in the things you are occupied with. What are your thoughts towards purpose and the ‘WHYS?’

I'll be writing follow ups in a series on the subject of purpose. Relative things I will be addressing are the understanding of: The Importance of Purpose, The Power of Purpose, Joys and Fulfilment of Purpose, Ways to Discover Your Purpose, Creating a Purpose Driven Life plus many more. This was my first published hub so I wanted to see the response, if any to it, so please be nice :-)


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    • kingdomatic profile image

      Daniel Williamson 6 years ago

      Thanks for the comment. I know your not a stalker haha. I love the idea of putting a "why" sign up on the desk. Thanks for the encouragement

    • LoosingIt profile image

      LoosingIt 6 years ago

      Wonderful article. I'm going to be following you. Oh my, that sounds a bit stalker like.No, not that way. These are subjects that make you stop and think.I'm putting a "Why" sign up at my desk. Thanks. I know you will be a success here.

    • kingdomatic profile image

      Daniel Williamson 6 years ago

      Hey Debra. Thanks for the welcome I'll feel apart of the Hubpages family already :-) I recently decided that I wanted to write online, so when I saw Hublages I thought it was really cool place to learn. I understand your frustration and I'm hoping that by the end of the series you'll be in a better shape of mind so you can a get greater return for all your efforts. I look forward to writing more and having fun. Yay!

    • Debra Charney profile image

      Debra Charney 6 years ago from United States

      First, I'd like to say welcome to HubPages. I'm fairly new here myself. And I am honored to be the first one to post a comment to your page! I have been asking myself, lately, "WHY for someone who works as hard as I do, do I still end up at the bottom of the totem pole?" I will be looking forward to reading more of your articles. Enjoy, and have fun! There are a lot of good people here, who are very supportive.