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What is my purpose in life?

Updated on September 17, 2012

Finding purpose in your life is the most important thing you can be doing. Living out your purpose is one of the most joyful experiences you will ever have. To have a purpose means to have a reason or intent for being here on Earth. For some people it's really obvious what their purpose is, others may have to do some digging. Lets start by reassuring you that you can and do have a purpose...

Photo by Joshua PIne
Photo by Joshua PIne

What if there is no purpose?

The concept of a “Purpose” needs a being that has a purpose and a purpose to have. Many religions look at your purpose in life as being given to you by God. This makes sense if you believe in God but if you are an atheist this whole subject is easy to dismiss. So from an atheists point of view lets look at purpose as coming from you and not externally. You have now discovered that you can create your own purpose and it doesn't have to come from outside of you (Non-atheists may also realize that because God is inside you your purpose is still directed from God). Now if you're still really stubborn you can choose to not have a purpose. If you're really really pessimistic you can even say collectively “we have no purpose” but now you're just projecting your lack of purpose onto the rest of us... stop it please. Regardless of where you find your purpose (externally, man-made, etc.) you can choose to have/find/create/see/live your purpose or not.

In a greater sense we do have a purpose outside of the specific ones we create/find for ourselves. This purpose can only be seen from a re-contextualization of your function as a being on a planet in a universe. This purpose comes from “consciousness” the noun. Consciousness is a field of awareness that is ever expanding. Consciousness uses human experience as a vehicle for expansion. As we live, we add to the growing field of consciousness. This is necessarily and logically true even though it can be hard to understand and may seem pointless to mention. I mention it because it may raise the question... what do I wish to be aware of? You can choose to be aware of destruction, violence and greed or you can focus your energy on love, harmony and joy. Your purpose can contain any of these elements or usually a combination of them.

Photo by Rebecca Stebner
Photo by Rebecca Stebner

Have you discovered your purpose in life?

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Finding your purpose

Once you have accepted that you can or do have a purpose, the next step is to find it. I don't believe that this happens overnight but for some people it does occur as an epiphany. I see it more as an ongoing process, refining and refocusing your purpose as your awareness increases. You may start out with a general understanding of what you're here to do and through success and failure hone in more clearly on your purpose. You do this using your emotions as your guide. When something feels good it's an indicator that you are closer to your purpose. When you feel bad that means you're not where you want to be. This may seem obvious because it is. The goal is to become increasingly aware of what you should be doing meanwhile avoiding things that don't help you get there.

You can also look to your past for clues to your purpose. Was there ever a time where you were completely happy? What were you doing? It may help to replace the word “purpose” with “meaning”. Think of activities which are meaningful. If you hate your job chances are you're not in alignment with your ultimate purpose. However if you love building furniture in your free time then you probably can guess your purpose. Discovering your purpose can be shocking and uncomfortable if it is nowhere even close to what you ordinarily do every day. If this is the case than at least be happy you figured it out now and not twenty years later with compounded regrets.

Photo by Rebecca Stebner
Photo by Rebecca Stebner

Living your purpose

Once you are aware of your purpose to some degree it is time to start incorporating it into your everyday life. If you're one of those people that's been fighting happiness all your life this process won't be easy but when you reach your destination you will have an added advantage. You will definitively know deep down in your heart what is right for you. Sometimes knowing what's right for you only comes after living what's not right for many years. So rest assured that once you really start living your purpose you will be that much more appreciative and certain.

The trick to moving towards your purpose is simple but usually difficult. You need to break your old habits because they don't serve you well. The key is focus. You must focus on what you want and NOT on what you don't want. What you focus on you give power to. What you give energy to you strengthen. You focus on the idea that you will never be happy and live out your purpose you will get exactly those results... that's how powerful your thoughts are. You must refocus your thoughts on what you do want.



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    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I think that even thinking about a purpose in life can change a person's thoughts and subsequent actions, hopefully for the betterment of the person and even mankind in general. For we do not exist in a void and having a purpose, by definition, necessitates some kind of movement. Up and interesting votes.

    • MurciélagoHeart profile image


      6 years ago from San Francisco

      It's time to start imagining the life you'd like to be living.

    • Sonya L Morley profile image

      Sonya L Morley 

      6 years ago from Edinburgh

      I think you are right about this, it can be hard to focus on what we know is right after years of not living it. Better to start sooner rather than later! Great hub.

    • NayNay2124 profile image


      6 years ago

      I totally agree with your hub. I too believe that everyone has a purpose in life and you have to find out what that purpose is. I think happiness in your life only comes once you find your purpose for being here. Good hub. Voted up and interesting.


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