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How to Find Your Purpose in Life

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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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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

How to Find Your Purpose in Life

How to Find Your Purpose in Life

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

greatergood.berkeley.edu

7

Key Ideas

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.

Read

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Finding meaning

A recent survey found that the average worker would give up $21,000 a year in exchange for a workplace role that always offered them meaning.

Employees who derive meaning from their work are mor...

How to find meaningful work

Define what meaningful work means to you.

Find your own personal satisfaction and connection to your work. It could be the people you work with or a project you are passionate about.

Personal engagement

There’s always some level of personal investment in your work.

If what you're doing has a positive impact, it adds up and makes you feel proud of what you’re working on.

Purpose Is Essential

Purpose Is Essential

Purpose in life leads to greater well-being, hope and provides a sense of meaning in life.

The positive or negative experiences we have as children play an important role in our sense of pur...

Experiencing Adversity

Individuals who experience adversity at an early age have a decreased sense of purpose according to research.

For some, it works in the reverse, with adversity providing them with the 'kick' they need to pursue a particular calling in life.

Experiencing Conflict

Relationship issues with parents lead to a decreased sense of purpose as the young person grows older.

Frequently fighting or arguing with parents drains the child's energy and enthusiasm.

2 more ideas

Identity and Work

  • Work, even if we find it unpleasant, provides us with meaning, purpose and structure in our lives. This is because we get a sense of identity from our work.
  • Advances in technology and ...

Finding Meaning 

To live a significant, worthwhile life, one has to do something beyond oneself. The two ways to transcend oneself outside of work are:

  1. Pursuing Mastery.
  2. Performing acts of kindness.

    Emily Esfahani Smith

    Emily Esfahani Smith

    "When people say that their lives have meaning, they evaluate their lives as significant and worthwhile, as part of something bigger."

    7 more ideas