PURPOSE IN LIFE – part one – finding purpose

So you want to know what your purpose in life is? And you really have no clue what it could be? Really no idea?

And now that you ask yourself these questions, you start to feel a bit anxious about adding some awareness to this. Maybe you hear a voice in your mind that says that this whole purpose discussion is not important and that we all die anyway and life is too short and meaningless to waste time on such a philosophical matter. Or maybe you just now conclude that god knows and guides you and that it is not in your hands what to make of your life. Or, you simply define roles,  moral standards or goals as your purpose: “being a good father”; “being a reliable housewife”; “leading a humble simple life”; “not harming others”, “building a house” and if you are Chinese or have lived too long in Hong Kong maybe “becoming rich” seems like a fantastic purpose to surf on.

So why is purpose important? Fulfilling your purpose in life holds the power to create genuine happiness. This as a source of energy which helps us living our lives with more confidence and less fear. The clarity about your own individual purpose is the antidote for your anger, anxiety, and depression. Living your live more purposefully will reduce your levels of stress and increase sustainable well-being.

Let’s uncover this thing in two steps:

First we want to know what we actually mean by FINDING PURPOSE in life.

Second we want to ACCESS AND MAINTAIN PURPOSE in our lives.

FINDING PURPOSE

Purpose in life seems to have something to do with MISSION, CALLING, VALUES, STRENGTHS, TALENT and PASSION amongst others. We keep it inside of us – often hidden somewhere

My preferred way of understanding purpose is to make it explicit as a mission statement. Something you commit to through your speech and behaviour ongoingly, but what you will never accomplish or tick off, but rather constantly aspire and pay into – similar to contributions to the account for your godchild. In this sense it is very similar to values.

For example I value being outdoors and close with nature; life-long learning, humour and friendship. Therefore I love hiking, sailing, camping, reading, writing, teaching, training, comedy, making others laugh and keeping in touch regularly with my three friends I know since Kindergarten (currently living in Panama, Zurich and Munich).

But purpose does not superpose values. Here examples of purpose as mission statements: “I create meaning in my life and the lives of others by reducing suffering and dissatisfaction. In my way of doing this I focus on meaningful conversations and awareness of myself.”

The next blog entry to this text  will contain 10 essential questions to ask yourself or someone with purpose around you. Stay tuned!