If you have ever wondered, “do I have a purpose?”, then you are in the right place.
Everyone has a purpose, and while some people know their purpose right away, others take some time to figure it out. Also, while we tend to think of important people with significant purposes, our purpose might be negligible to the world but meaningful to us. While your purpose might not be apparent at this moment, you will figure it out ultimately.
Finding purpose in your life might feel like a daunting task, but everyone has a purpose, and it often comes down to perspective.
Keep reading if you want to learn more about how we all have a purposeful role to play in this world.
Do We All Have a Purpose in Life?
Yes, everyone has a purpose in their life, and while sometimes it might not seem like what we do matters, it does. Before I had a kid, a lot of what I did didn’t seem to matter; now, I have to worry about living in a good community with good schools and everything else that comes with having a kid. While you might not have a kid, you might see what I’m getting at here.
Sometimes our purpose is to help or guide the people around us.
Often we associate purpose and meaning with our work, and while our jobs might matter to our companies, we might not always agree. In a practical sense, anytime a company hires someone, they need something done, so they hire somebody to serve that purpose. Even if you don’t work or are going to school, that serves as a purpose, as education equips us for our futures.
If you aren’t going to school or working at a job or raising a family, there is still purpose in the things you are doing every day.
Even something as simple as making a meal serves a vital purpose cause you need to eat to survive. Again, being practical, we always do things for a reason; if you are tired, you go to sleep; if you are hungry, you eat. While these simple tasks may seem meaningless, they are critically important to our continued existence and survival.
In a previous article, I talked about living a meaningful and purposeful life, and the main lesson was that if we are working towards a goal, we are working with purpose. No matter what you are doing during the day, it serves some goal, so it has a purpose.
Doing things for reasons that we believe in makes a difference and makes those actions meaningful.
Purposeless Vs Directionless
When we think about our lives and feel lost, we often suffer from a lack of direction rather than a lack of purpose. As I mentioned before, everything we do is done for a reason, so it is purposeful. This purpose isn’t always significant, but it does matter to the people around us and ourselves.
At the same time, we might be going through our lives feeling like we aren’t doing anything for any particular reason. In this case, we might be lacking direction, which is often something that takes time to figure out and hone in on.
As mentioned earlier, there have been times when I had no idea what to do with my life, but with some contemplation and effort, I was always able to get myself back on track.
Part of the problem is that we aren’t taught how to think about these big questions, which is a problem.
The other side of this is that we don’t always write out or plan our objectives, even if we have generalized goals. So without a clear destination, it is challenging to work towards things that matter, like our goals.
So while you might not have been taught how to think about your purpose and what to do about it, it is something that you can learn to do and work on. Often when we aren’t working towards anything, we can feel like we live a purposeless life, but that isn’t always the case. We might be the missing direction.
Rather than assuming you live without purpose, learn to realize that everyone has a purpose in life, including you.
Once you’ve accepted that, start to think about what you want to do or how you can make the world a better place. Often it is as simple as picking a target and working towards it.
If You Don’t Have a Purpose Try Asking Why
I have a friend, he read a book about asking ‘why’ and decided that it should be his mantra. During meetings at work, he would often ask, why are we doing this? Or why does this matter? He found that the question seemed to bother some of the people on his team, but it also got them thinking about what they were doing, which resulted in a big difference.
It might not make sense for you to ask other people why they are doing what they are doing, but asking yourself occasionally might help.
If you are doing something you hate, ask yourself why you are doing it. It might turn out that you have no choice, but it could also be that you’ve stopped thinking about it and have just given in to it as a routine.
Once you’ve gotten into asking yourself why and trying to make sense of your choices and reasons for doing things, you might be able to dig deeper into your own personal why. Why do you get up and go to work every day? Is it because you need the money, or is it because you believe in what you are doing?
Maybe it is a combination of the two, regardless having a sense will help you motivate yourself to think more about it and do better.
Often when we have hobbies that we love, we are willing to put in the time we wouldn’t have for other things.
While we might not exactly be able to explain why we do it, there is going to be enjoyment or purpose that we find in it that keeps us motivated. But if we try to make sense of that drive and desire, we might use it to make other changes in our lives.
Do We Need Purpose in Our Lives?
We all need to have a purpose in our lives, and while I said everything that we do is done for a reason, thus has a purpose that isn’t necessarily going to give you a lot of satisfaction. However, figuring out a goal, working out how to get there and following through with it will always provide you with pride and make your life feel purposeful.
While we can’t always be doing meaningful or purposeful things, it is crucial to have something to work towards, as that is often where joy can be found.
We need purpose in our lives because it makes the things that we are doing matter to us. And usually, simply believing that something matters is enough to keep you motivated and attached to it as a goal.
The truth is that everything we do matters to someone or something, but that doesn’t mean we will get satisfaction from it. Instead, it is essential to figure out your why and use it to work out your purpose.
Everyone has a purpose, big or small, but often the only difference between those who believe and those who doubt it are those who haven’t taken the time to work it out for themselves.
Everyone has skills or abilities to contribute to society and the world around them; the hard part is figuring out how and putting in the effort where it can make a difference.
If you feel lost or don’t know your purpose, check out my article on ikigai, which is a Japanese concept that can help you figure out what to do with your life.