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How to Find Your Purpose in Life

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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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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.

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Experiencing Adversity

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

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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.

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Reflective journaling as a daily practice helps us improve our emotional stamina.

Writing down our experiences leads to new insights and a deeper understanding of our behaviour and actions. Writing down your failures and successes also helps us self-analyze our life in an objective, detached way. One can choose a pen and paper or digital format to write and make it a point to write when one experiences highs and lows in life.

Self-Compassion

We have to take care not to damage our self-esteem and our sense of self-worth by being judgemental about ourselves.

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

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    Identify issues

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    These are the non-negotiable values you want to be known and remembered for.

    Once you have identified your values, look at your personality, skills and interests to make sure that they align with your current occupation.

    Ask the big questions

    These are questions like “What do I really want?” or “Should I change careers?

    The more grounded you are with the answers to these important questions, the better able you are to reach your true goals.

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