Having A Purpose In Life

Dr. Purushothaman
November 28, 2013


Imagine waking up in the morning and thinking, "What am I supposed to do today? Is there anything I need to accomplish before the day ends?" but realize that you have nothing - as in nothing to do or even look forward to?

Even when we were kids, we always had a purpose - to study, get good grades, audition and get the lead role in a play, and graduate. After we accomplish all of these, we searched for another purpose - perhaps to get the attention of that cute classmate, or to be popular in the social scene. And as soon as we accomplish these old purposes, then we seek out new ones. Or so we thought.

It is not uncommon for people to feel a lost sense of purpose at one point of their lives. This usually happens after accomplishing something daunting, and then realizing that there seems to be no more new things to work for. In our heart forms a huge gaping hole. Until we go into deep introspection will we realize that a purpose is essential in finding meaning in life.

Why is a purpose so important? What do purpose-less people feel and do?

A PURPOSE SERVES AS THE FOUNDATION FOR DECISIONS AND ACTIONS. A life without purpose is like a journey without a map or an itinerary. You wouldn't know where to go, what to wear, what to bring, what to eat. Yes, even the most basic instincts like hunger are guided by a purpose. It is a direction, or a list of things to do that must be accomplished to get to the end. For example, you want to get rich, and that is your purpose. So you think of all the ways to achieve it.

You get education, which is essential in acquiring knowledge on how to get rich. You take baby steps - apply at a job, work, save, then open your own business. You make your customers happy, you make a lot of sales, then discover that you are now rich. The purpose becomes your driving force through your life. All the decisions you made (like saving and working) were all directed towards your purpose. It was the foundation of your achievements.

A PURPOSE GIVES YOU FOCUS AND CLARITY IN LIFE. All actions become useless if you don't have something to work towards. There will be numerous temptations and distractions in your quest, but that purpose encourages you to focus. It may take forever to achieve it, but still, taking long to get to the end is still better than not having anything to look forward to. At least, you don't experience that "empty hole" period in life.

A PURPOSE ENABLES YOU TO DE-CLUTTER YOUR THINKING, AND TO SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE. When you have a purpose, you know who and what to eliminate from your life. Anything that will not help you to get to your purpose may be banished from your routine. People who bring you down and tell you that you will never be successful can be dropped from your life. Material things that distract you can be eliminated or minimized. You life becomes simpler and less stressful - yet enriching.

A purpose is critical to live a full and rewarding life. But that purpose is personal. It is a product of your own wants and needs. You can never ask someone else what they think is your purpose in life. Only you alone can feel it in your heart and mind.

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