"Expansion of happiness is the purpose of life."
-- Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
"Who am I, why am I here?" That basic question has been asked by every thinking person since the dawn of time. It is interesting to note that every philosopher and famous person who has ever uttered their opinion on the purpose of life all seem to reach the same conclusion: The true purpose of life is to be happy.
While that concept may form the basis of everyone's purpose in life, the real issue for each of us is: "What is MY purpose in life?" Happiness may be the ultimate destination, but what path does each of us walk in order to reach that destination?
The first step to discovering your life's purpose is to believe that you have one. If you are burdened by the belief that your life doesn't matter, and you're not meant to accomplish anything particularly noteworthy, then you'll end up being right and your live will have been lived in vain.
Once you are willing to believe that there is some reason for you to be alive, you're well on the way to discovering what that reason is.
The chances are good that buried deep in your subconscious mind lies the answer to your question. The subconscious knows more about us then we realize, and most people ignore the subconscious when it starts screaming for attention.
I don't want to get all voodoo on you, but simple meditation is a great way to beginning the journey towards discovering self purpose. You don't have become truly enlightened like the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who I quoted at the top of this article. All you have to do is find a quiet place where you can sit comfortably and clear your mind of all distractions.
Take a pad of paper and a pen or pencil with you. Once you are relaxed and in a reflective mood, start recalling the things in life that you have done, or have experienced, which have truly made you happy. These things don't have to be work related because your job might not be a reflection of your true purpose. It just might be what you do so you can afford to do the thing that really makes you happy.
For example; I know a man who runs a consulting business. He works with executives to help them develop their public relations skills. He enjoys his works and it makes him happy. However, in his off-duty hours he volunteers for an organization that helps people who have been affected by emergencies and disasters. He volunteers hundreds of hours of his life each year helping feed, shelter and clothe families who have been displaced. The act of helping those less fortunate than he is brings him immeasurable happiness. It is his purpose in life.
As things and events come to mind that make you happy, write them down. Don't worry about whether they are as profound as donating hundreds of hours to help others, or as simple as teaching your child how to throw a ball. If it makes you smile, or brings you satisfaction, it belongs on the list.
When you finally write down the one that brings tears to your eyes, or at least causes a strong emotional jolt - you've found your purpose in life!