If you take time to reflect on the article’s title and answer honestly, this question might not sound trite and you may find that it points directly at your life purpose and might give you a glimpse of the direction you are searching for.
We all need a purpose in life, why we feel the need to survive, what for. Some people find a way to express their purpose in their jobs. Others look for creative mediums to express their personality and purpose. We all seek or feel the need to seek our life purpose to feel alive, clear, and authentic.
You may also experience moments when you truly connect to something, like you were performing a task you were made for and you get in a state of total absorption in which time seems to disappear and you feel content and fulfilled.
Why is Life Purpose Important?
In addition to the emotional and psychological benefits, having a strong sense of purpose can also help you:
Benefits on Physical Health
- Live longer
- Protect against heart disease
- Prevent Alzheimer’s disease
- Life purpose can also positively affect pain management
Benefits on Relationships
A 2009 study assessing the purpose of over 1,000 adults found that those with a high sense of meaning in their lives spent more time and attention on their loved ones and communities.
People with purpose tend to be more engaged with their families, colleagues, and neighbors, enjoying more satisfying relationships as a result.
How to Live a Purposeful Life
In his essay “A Year of Living Purposefully,” Richard Leider suggests two core practices: contemplation and activation.
Contemplation is seeking answers to questions about who you are, how you should live, and where you belong.
Below mentioned practices will enable you to relax the mind and focus on the present moment, letting go of preconceived notions of who you think you are and instead becoming open and curious about what will arise.
- Reflection. Review the day’s events each evening for five or ten minutes and ask yourself–which experiences were life-giving and which were life-draining?
- Meditation. Try to make a regular practice of sitting for 10-20 minutes a day with no agenda, just noticing what arises and letting it go.
- Journaling. Keep a journal where you can express yourself honestly. Allow yourself to write freely, without stopping to edit or worry about spelling and grammar.
- Life Story. Reflect upon where you have been, the events that have shaped who you are today, and the future you imagine for yourself.
- Dreams. Keep a notepad by your bed to record your dreams. Dreams are a way for the unconscious mind to work on issues that people may or may not yet consciously acknowledge.
Activation is living your truth. By acting upon what you realize about yourself, you are consciously creating an authentic life for yourself. Think of this process as gently syncing your outer life to match your inner life. When you learn to align your everyday life with moments that fulfill you and utilize your gifts, you are better able to create an authentic, purposeful life —and the more benefits you will see.
To explore your life purpose:
1 Question yourself regularly about purpose
2 Use the answers to find your unique way to contribute
3 Don’t ignore your spirituality–it can be a source of purpose
4 Take the next step–move to action