Updated: Aug 24, 2020
What is purpose?
A purpose gives meaning and a point. It is the reason behind something. To do something on purpose is to do it consciously. We can make a conscious decision to find our purpose.
When we are wondering what we are doing, why we are running round and round in circles, or why we are sitting there feeling that life is pointless we may be having a philosophical moment and wonder what our purpose is.
If we have found our purpose then we have found or made a meaning from our existence. Because then there is a point and a focus. As humans we like to have meaning and we create meaning - purpose is one such meaning.
Do we need to find our purpose?
Some people believe there is a point and a meaning behind our existence and we must fulfil that in order to maybe justify our existence. On this basis then, if we haven't found the reason behind our existence and fulfilled it, we have failed. These, or versions of these, may be our belief.
The premise is that if we find the meaning then our life becomes more valuable and that this will lead to fulfilment. If we don't give our life meaning we may feel we don't have value and so cannot have fulfilment.
The question becomes do we all have a purpose. An individual unique purpose. And is it our job to find this purpose. If this purpose hasn't happened then do we need to search for it and therefore our life isn't whole until we have.
If we believe this, then we latch on to the idea that we need to find our purpose so that all is well.
How do we find our purpose?
How much time should be spent looking for our purpose and then how do we know when we have found it. Working out our purpose and passion is a process. This can take time. This generally means that we need to know ourselves well. A life coach can help you with this and take you through the process.
Some people believe we are born with a purpose and some know what it is. For total happiness it would need to also be our passion - our heart is in it - as we would not want our purpose to be a burden on us. When coupled with passion it is pure enjoyment.
When we have found our purpose?
What happens when we have found our purpose? We then need to decide how central it is to our life. Do we need to fulfil it each day? Is it something that we are aiming towards or is it something we achieve or something that we live by. Does our purpose always bring us happiness? Part of finding our purpose then must also be finding its place in our life.
If we can't find our purpose...
If we can't discover our purpose then we may feel we have failed and that we can't be happy.
Have we, however, lost the idea that we can just be. That we can actually have happiness just by our very existence. We are putting pressure on our selves to find our one big thing. This takes away our chance to experience other things and enjoy the journey.
We often believe nowadays that our passion and purpose will be wrapped up in our job. In days gone by people had a career. A career chosen as a youngster and stayed in for life. Many found that it wasn't their passion, but it was to go against the social norm to change mid career. This means we are left stuck and not able to follow our passion and purpose. Currently we are not expected to choose a career for life. So change of direction is welcomed.
As it is a prerequisite to know our selves, what's important to us and what lights our fire, then it may be that purpose comes later in life. It may also be something that develops. It may not be lifelong - in that we don't get to it until later in life (maybe life experiences lead us on the road to our purpose). We must not hurry this process. We must not believe the urgency. By creating the urgency we create a state of not enjoying the journey which as already mentioned may be a crucial part of getting there.
What is passion?
Passion is pure enjoyment and happiness from the heart. We know that when we are doing something we are passionate about we feel immense joy and freedom. Is our purpose only our true purpose if it is our passion also?
Where passion and purpose overlap
When passion and purpose overlap we have found the ideal. This may not happen for everyone. We must not therefore place the importance of our existence on finding them. To do so is to deny our value of existence until this day. We can also deny ourselves the happiness we are after if we may feel that unless we find passion and purpose we cannot be happy.
If we aren't happy we may decide that its because we haven't not found our purpose. We need to consider if finding our passion and purpose necessarily lead us to happiness.
We may feel the need to find our passion and purpose. We may create a timeline for this which creates a pressure. However our passion and purpose may come from our journey and experiences and may come later in life. So by pressurising ourselves to speed up the process we may be denying the very thing we seek.