Your Purpose in Life is Simpler Than You Think
A few years ago I spent quite a bit of time wondering about life purpose and "the meaning of life", if there is such a thing. What is the purpose of our lives on this planet? Why does it matter if we are here? I also came to another realization: The world as a whole wouldn't blink if I disappeared.
This thought led me to wonder how we can go about making our lives matter. How can we feel significant enough in our own lives that we aren't scared when our final day comes? I felt that the reason for our existence must be more than simply working, hanging out on the weekends, and then finally dying.
It also must be about more than trying to become wealthy, living on a beach, and drinking cocktails everyday. While that idea is tempting at first, one month into that lifestyle and anyone would be bored out of their minds. So what is our purpose then?
After reading about dozens of successful people who also happen to be extremely happy and satisfied with their lives, I found my answer. We do have a reason for being here, and each of us does have a mission to accomplish during our time here. In fact, finding this mission isn't nearly as complicated as we make it out to be. Our purpose in life, from our perspective as human beings, is significance.
1. the quality of being worthy of attention; importance.
This type of importance goes hand in hand with giving and service. Don't mistake the "quality of being worthy of attention" to mean that you will find purpose and significance in simply becoming famous. Joining Jersey Shore and gathering popularity points by acting like a depraved loon isn't going to get you to purpose and happiness.
I don't have all the answers. I don't know why exactly we were "put" here on Earth, whether that comes from a religious, spiritual, or biological perspective. What I do know is that each of us has something important that we are meant to learn and then share with the rest of our fellow humans. I can't tell you exactly what your message is- that is something you must discover for yourself.
How Do We Find Significance For Our Lives?
We find significance and meaning in so many ways. We find significance in helping, in teaching, in loving, in giving, in creating, and in sharing. Why do you think that people often find their calling after going through a hardship in their lives?
They do because they have learned tough lessons through that hardship that shook them to their core, and they have a deep desire to help others who are in the same situation.
So what is your calling? Where is your path to significance? Remember that you may very well have more than one.
When you think back on your life, what challenges have you overcome? What kind of advice do friends and family seek from you? In what area do you feel passionately about helping others?
Let me give you some examples.
Tony Robbins- Tony is one of the worlds most incredible motivational speakers. He speaks about personal development, growth, money, business, and more. Tony didn't have an exemplary childhood. His father left their family when Tony was in elementary school.
His mother went through a series of boyfriends and husbands after that, and suffered from multiple forms of substance abuse. Tony's life up until age 17 was full of abuse and emotional chaos. He never attended college. Learning from everything he had experienced in his early years, Tony eventually became a self help coach, an author, businessman, philanthropist, and speaker.
His books and audio recordings help millions of people every year, and he has been hired as an advisor to many influential people, including former president Bill Clinton and talk show icon Oprah Winfrey.
Dave Ramsey- In his early twenties, Dave Ramsey was a highly successful real estate broker with a net worth of over 4 million dollars. Just a few years later, The Tax Reform Act of 1986 took effect and the bank called over a million dollars worth of his notes in a single 90 day period.
Dave and his wife were forced to file bankruptcy, pay back hundreds of thousands of dollars in a short period of time, and start their life again from rock bottom. Having learned many lessons from this scary part of his life, Dave now teaches tens of thousands of struggling families across the country how to manage their money, get out of debt, and live a life of financial freedom. He is considered one of the most significant financial coaches in the United States.
Oprah Winfrey- Oprah's childhood was not an easy one. She was born to a teenage single mom in rural Mississippi, living in desperate poverty in bad neighborhoods. She faced sexual assault when she was only nine years old, and had her first baby at 14.
Her child then passed away tragically in his infancy. Hearing her story, it seems that it would have been easy for Oprah to continue the legacy that had been set before her. Instead, she did everything in her power to become a TV reporter, even being fired from her first job for being "unfit for TV".
Oprah Winfrey now has one of the most popular and influential television shows in the country, where she hosts and speaks about life and adversity. She has won multiple awards, become the world's only black billionaire, and has been one of the world's most influential people in history.
Question: How have you found significance in your life? What adversities have you overcome and how could you use those experiences to find meaning and give to others?
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