The purpose of life? “To become the best version of ourselves” – Matthew Kelly
Recently, I wrote about what a Life Purpose is not…and that “what is my life purpose?” is the most frequent question I get asked.
So, if we have an idea of what it isn’t, what is a life purpose and why should you even care?
Why is finding your life purpose important?
Quite simply because of the nature of what a life purpose is.
Finding your purpose is a bit like focusing in on the strongest homing signal back to your true authentic self that you can find like.
It is like working with the Rolls-Royce of sat-navs, having your own personal map and compass through life and your own Northstar to navigate by.
In short it is the blueprint to your best life and best self.
However, like any blueprint, it is a map of the journey through life and that is all. The map is not the terrain, and in the journey, Life happens. Things get in the way, bad stuff can go down and shift happens.
Your purpose is that in-built homing signal, calling you home to your authentic self. It makes making the right decisions about your life just that little bit easier as you have greater understanding of yourself.
However, it is up to you whether you choose to listen to it or not.
What if I don’t know my purpose?
Not knowing what your purpose is ia really like stumbling in the dark through your life, tripping over things.
It is not knowing why things happen in life (not that knowing your purpose is the catch all reason for everything, but it can give you perspective). It is a bit like walking through life with a blindfold on, its really unpleasant.
So, for me finding your purpose is a cornerstone to living a really authentic and happy life.
Something that gets in the way of us really discovering our life purpose is often that we don’t believe we have one. We often think we are just here stumbling through life and that things just happen to us, as if we are merely victims of some outside force.
So one of the first things we can do is actually begin to engage with the notion of what am I here to do and start to look at those questions. when we do that we start to come back on track.
So, what is a purpose?
The dictionary has 2 definitions.
1. An intended or desired result: end; aim; goal.
So here we are talking about an end goal and objective. What are you here for? What are you here to do? In other words, the WHAT and WHERE?
This is the place of vision in your life. We are looking at where are you heading on the journey through life.
For me however this is about the direction of travel rather than specific destination. We tend to get hooked on destinations or goals. However, we have to grow and expand in order to reach them so we are not the same person we were when we set the goal. The net result is that when we get there it’s just not that satisfying.
In my experience purpose grows and expands with you so we’re really looking at what direction you are heading in life.
2. The reason for which something exists or is done, used, made etc.
This for me is actually the more important component and it is looking at the WHY.
It’s the reason for being or the reason something exists…in this case YOU!
We don’t often engage with the question of why but, when we do, we start to make sense of everything.
Life just starts to make more sense for us and we can start to understand why certain things happen. We start to understand why we’re the way we are and why some things work for us and while other things don’t.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is called Perspective. When you have a sense not only of what you are here to do, but also why, you start to look at things from a larger perspective than day to day life. That can certainly help in getting past obstacles or putting them into context, rather than being knocked off course.
Don’t we all have the same purpose?
Broadly speaking, I agree with Matthew Kelly i.e. it is about becoming the best version of ourselves. Indeed, there are many different views on what purpose is, whether we all have the same universal purpose or whether we are simply free to choose a purpose.
However, when it comes to our individual lives, I feel that we all have our own unique purpose. I very much subscribe to James Hillman’s Acorn Theory which states that we are born with all our potential within us, much as an acorn has all the DNA to grow into a mighty oak. However, fulfilling that potential is contingent on the environment, your experiences and choices, and much like us, every mighty oak is different.
Therefore, you have your own flavour of what “becoming the best version of you” means…and that means that your purpose was built into you when you arrived on this planet.
Your gift to yourself and the World
I would go further and say though the world needs all our own unique purposes and roles to play out. That to me is the key to transforming our collective future.
I believe your life purpose is your quickest, fastest path to your own authentic form of joy.
It also happens to be your biggest gift to the world.
Surely, that has got to be worthy of your attention and care.
[reminder]Do you know what your purpose is? What steps have you taken to discover your life purpose?[/reminder]
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