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How to Find Your Purpose in Life

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_to_find_your_purpose_in_life

greatergood.berkeley.edu

How to Find Your Purpose in Life
Do you have a sense of purpose? For decades, psychologists have studied how long-term, meaningful goals develop over the span of our lives. The goals that foster a sense of purpose are ones that can potentially change the lives of other people, like launching an organization, researching disease, or teaching kids to read.

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Finding your purpose

Many seem to think that purpose comes from your unique gifts and sets you apart from other people. That is only partly true.

Meaningful goals that foster a sense of purpose are ones that can potentially change the lives of other people. It is why a crisis of meaning is often a symptom of isolation.

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Reading connects us to people across time and space.

  • Research shows that those who read the Bible more tended to have a stronger sense of purpose.
  • Reading fiction also seems to make a difference. By seeing purpose in the lives of other people, we are more likely to see it in our own.

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Find purpose in suffering

Finding purpose is not just an intellectual pursuit, it is something we need to feel. That's why purpose can grow out of suffering.

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Cultivate awe, gratitude, and altruism

Feeling like we're part of something big makes us feel connected. But we also need to feel driven to make a positive impact in the world.

Those who are able to count their blessings are more likely to contribute to the world. People that express behaviors like volunteering or donating have a greater sense of purpose.

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What other people appreciate about you

Appreciation from others fuels our work. Although no research directly explores how being thanked might increase a sense of purpose, we do know that gratitude strengthens relationships, and they are often the source of our purpose.

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Find and build community

Find and build community

We can often find our sense of purpose in the people around us.

If you're having trouble remembering your purpose, take a look at the people around you. Do they have a common goal that can have a positive impact on the world? Can you join with them in making that impact?

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Tell your story

Purpose can arise from curiosity about your own life. When we make a narrative out of our own lives, it gives us clarity on how to understand ourselves and provides a framework to help us make sense of our experiences.

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Self-Compassion

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