Can you ever really know your purpose?

24 replies
A lot of self-help books focus on "knowing your purpose".

That concept has haunted me for years, because every time I thought I found
my purpose, I would then doubt it and fall into severe depression.

But since I've stopped "looking" for my purpose, things seem to flow more naturally.
I think you'll never be able to truly "know" your purpose until you've actually achieved it.
And once you did, you'll probably move on to another "purpose".

I think the only true purpose of life is to experience it to the fullest... What do you guys think?
#purpose
  • Profile picture of the author leopi
    To live is to fight. Living needs both sweet and bitter things. If not, u will find life boring. Rite?
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    • Profile picture of the author PLR Basket
      Originally Posted by leopi View Post

      To live is to fight. Living needs both sweet and bitter things. If not, u will find life boring. Rite?
      Yes. I think we all have a need for excitement.

      I actually think that's why we create enemies into our lives... But that's another
      discussion...

      However, I don't think life needs to be hard to be enjoyable...
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  • Profile picture of the author leopi
    Challenging yourself is good, too. Let's break our daily routine n try something new. How come? Maybe purposes come to u expectedly!
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      It's the interpretation of the "purpose of my life" that leads to frustration and disappointment.

      We look for high-flying goals to reach, for areas where we will stand above the rest and affect the lives of others. I've never talked to anyone concerned about "my purpose in life" who did not interpret the purpose to be of a high and important nature.

      Who says our purpose must be so mighty? Maybe my purpose is to be one of the crowd. Maybe my purpose is to lead...maybe to follow. "Purpose" doesn't necessarily mean good or outstanding or important things to do. It can be doing no harm or being the best you can be of who you are.

      Yet we seem to interpret a "purpose in life" always to be more than we are, to be something we haven't yet found...and it leads to disappointment in ourselves.

      We are bombarded with messages telling us to "make a difference", "be more than you can be", "find your purpose in life". We can also choose to not focus on what we aren't but make the best of who we are. We can choose to enjoy this day instead of trying always to be more tomorrow.

      kay
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      • Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

        It's the interpretation of the "purpose of my life" that leads to frustration and disappointment.

        We look for high-flying goals to reach, for areas where we will stand above the rest and affect the lives of others. I've never talked to anyone concerned about "my purpose in life" who did not interpret the purpose to be of a high and important nature.

        Who says our purpose must be so mighty? Maybe my purpose is to be one of the crowd. Maybe my purpose is to lead...maybe to follow. "Purpose" doesn't necessarily mean good or outstanding or important things to do. It can be doing no harm or being the best you can be of who you are.

        Yet we seem to interpret a "purpose in life" always to be more than we are, to be something we haven't yet found...and it leads to disappointment in ourselves.

        We are bombarded with messages telling us to "make a difference", "be more than you can be", "find your purpose in life". We can also choose to not focus on what we aren't but make the best of who we are. We can choose to enjoy this day instead of trying always to be more tomorrow.

        kay

        Very interesting perspective, Kay. Love it! It's awesome! You can always choose what you want and who you want to be for the rest of your entire life.
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        • Profile picture of the author Ben Armstrong
          The problem I had when trying to figure this one out was that my mind inadvertently kept coming at it from the wrong context.

          Every time I came up with something I thought... "What would someone else thing of this? Would they approve?", "Does it sound meaningful?"

          You need to go to your very core to find your purpose, be selfish, ask yourself what's truly important to you in life.

          Here's a practical exercise to get you started:

          Write down a list of as many things you can think of relating to your purpose in life. Do it quickly and without over thinking. Even if it's only 1 or 2 words. Try to write down at least 50 lines.

          Once you've done that, read back through the list and eliminate anything that does give you an emotional response of some sort when you think about it.

          Once you've whittled down the list, read over it again and highlight the ones that make you feel positive, eliminate the ones that don't.

          You should have only a handful of lines left and somewhere within there will be your purpose. You'll need to elaborate on some of them but keep doing it and don't stop until you find something big. Something that will contribute to everything you do. Something that will guide you when you're not sure what direction to head in life.

          I think it's only when you really figure out your true purpose in life that you realise it's value. For me it's something that guides me in everything that I do now. I no longer need to ponder about what to do with my life and my time. Now it's just a matter of how to get it all done.
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      • Profile picture of the author PLR Basket
        Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

        We are bombarded with messages telling us to "make a difference", "be more than you can be", "find your purpose in life". We can also choose to not focus on what we aren't but make the best of who we are. We can choose to enjoy this day instead of trying always to be more tomorrow.

        kay
        Exactly. I'm glad to see that there are other people on the same page as me...
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  • Profile picture of the author chrismarcans
    I will recommend purpose driven life by rick warren. The best book I've ever read.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dahlia Valentine
      What an interesting question Chris.

      I feel like my purpose changes day by day, sometimes hour to hour.

      Maybe it was my purpose to give that career day speech at my daughters school. Maybe it was my job to inspire just one kid in that audience. Maybe that one kid will go on to be bigger than Bill Gates, all because she was inspired by my piddly career day presentation.

      Maybe it was my purpose to raise a daughter the way I did, so that she could later (much later!) in turn raise a son who goes on to become president of the United States.

      Perhaps it was my purpose to anonymously return the checkbook I found in the library book to restore one mans faith in the honesty of humanity.

      Though it might've also been my purpose to break up with that guy in the way that I did so he could take anger management classes, where he meets the true love of his life.

      Who knows?

      I always think back to the time when I was around 4 and I almost took the blow dryer and put it in a sink filled with water, so I could make bubbles.

      My aunt came into the bathroom at the last possible second and saved my life. I didn't realize how lucky I was until I got a little older and remembered that situation.

      Was it her purpose to save my life that day? And if so, for what reason?

      Purpose is a dynamic, changing thing that touches people in ways I'm sure we can never imagine.

      Ultimately though, I think it's just us, being who we are.
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  • Profile picture of the author JasonTai
    I like to think of it something along these likes


    The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
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    • Profile picture of the author ljparkerjr
      One of the tragic events is going through life and now knowing your purpose. What is on doing if they're not currently fulfilling or at least seeking purpose? The Purpose Driven Life would be an excellent resource for you.....It'll help lead you, in the right direction at least, towards finding your purpose....
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      • Profile picture of the author PLR Basket
        Originally Posted by ljparkerjr View Post

        One of the tragic events is going through life and now knowing your purpose. What is on doing if they're not currently fulfilling or at least seeking purpose? The Purpose Driven Life would be an excellent resource for you.....It'll help lead you, in the right direction at least, towards finding your purpose....
        Since I have found out that my purpose in life is to live one day at a time and appreciate every single moment of it, I've become more productive and happier...

        I think the tragedy lies in trying to make your purpose outlandish when it's really simple...
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    • Profile picture of the author PLR Basket
      Originally Posted by JasonTai View Post

      The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful,to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.

      Ralph Waldo Emerson
      But why would you do all these things if it wasn't to get happiness at the end?
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  • Profile picture of the author rcritchett
    This is such a great topic! In many cases, when you find your purpose, you think it's going to be your purpose forever. Sometimes, other things peak your interest and you follow what makes you feel good.

    I don't think there is a solid definitive answer on this, just get stimulated, stay happy, consistently upgrade your mind and your skills and always be moving toward something.

    Most people spend all of their time in idle, so they never get going on much of anything. Pick a purpose for the next 3 months, don't wait for the battle plan to be complete (it never will be) just jump into the war my friend! Hope that is useful to your mind.

    RC
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  • Profile picture of the author Demond Jackson
    I don't think anyone really "knows". What we experience is just a strong feeling of belief that one thing is perfectly suited for us above anything else.

    Donald Trump would probably say real estate development.
    Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup For the Soul) would probably say motivation.
    Sylvester Stallone, Brad Pitt, Richard Pryor, etc. would probably say entertainment.
    President Obama, Joe Biden and Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords would probably say politics.

    When you are engaged in a career or profession that just 'feels right' for you, who's to say that's not your purpose? And who's to say you're wrong for feeling that way?

    Just my thoughts.
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  • Profile picture of the author donhx
    Originally Posted by Chris Moore View Post

    A lot of self-help books focus on "knowing your purpose".

    That concept has haunted me for years, because every time I thought I found
    my purpose, I would then doubt it and fall into severe depression.

    But since I've stopped "looking" for my purpose, things seem to flow more naturally.
    I think you'll never be able to truly "know" your purpose until you've actually achieved it.
    And once you did, you'll probably move on to another "purpose".

    I think the only true purpose of life is to experience it to the fullest... What do you guys think?
    I think people can know their purpose. It is confirmed before their eyes like a huge neon sign in the last moments before death. It is only then that you know you have fulfilled that purpose.

    In the meantime, you can only live your life as you understand it. Sometimes people fulfill their purpose without even knowing it. Too often we think of "purpose" as accomplishing some great goal, when in reality it may be something simple like touching another life in a positive way.

    It is best not to dwell too much on the purpose of your life. You probably won't see it coming, but you will see it in your rear view mirror.
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Shook
      I like what it says on the back jacket cover of "The Power". you are meant to have an amazing life. That sounds like a pretty good purpose to me.

      A lot of folks struggle with finding their purpose, and in my opinion, they often are looking outside of themselves for something that is already in their hearts.

      When I was a kid, I like the little story of the boy who is walking down the street searching through the gutter. A man stops him and asks, "What are you doing?" The boy answers, "I am looking for a dollar I dropped on 8th Street."

      The man looks at the boy, shakes his head and says, "But this is 9th Street"

      "Yes, I know, replies the boy, "but the light is better here."

      Sometimes I think people are searching outside themselves for something that is already inside because it is so much easier that way.
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  • Profile picture of the author alysemackie
    Everyone of us has a purpose, it gives you enlightenment what to do and don't. You must know your purpose to make your life meaningful.
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    • Profile picture of the author PLR Basket
      Originally Posted by alysemackie View Post

      Everyone of us has a purpose, it gives you enlightenment what to do and don't. You must know your purpose to make your life meaningful.
      I think life is meaningful in and of itself... But that's just my opinion...
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      • Profile picture of the author kaanb1
        Robert Byrne said: "The purpose of life is a life of purpose".

        That pretty much sums it up for me.

        And what if I DON'T have a purpose in life... ( I don't get it, why is it that everyone must have a purpose...and not only that - they have to discover it for themselves)

        Do other animals have a purpose in life? And what would that be then?(except from being a source of food to other animals)

        Or is it just us, the superior mind-full privileged human beings that we are blessed with a purpose...

        just a thought...


        Kaan
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  • Profile picture of the author Scott Bandicoot
    Yeah dude, you gotta know your purpose, your Aim.
    I'm talking Kingdom Hearts style Destiny here. You gotta know that kind of destiny.
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  • Profile picture of the author Salesforce
    I really think no.
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