Everyone question’s their existence and reason for being here. We all need to find and live our life’s purpose if getting up every morning is to mean anything.
Our life’s purpose tends to concern our career, our family life and our place in society. It can be different for everyone, though, and can encompass several of these factors. It can also change during life’s journey. We do not stay static as human beings. Life moulds and changes us, and hopefully for the better.
Dynamic Inner Questioning
People tend to come to a fork in the road of life before they reflect on their life’s purpose. Perhaps some trauma or sickness helps raise the necessary and associated questions, too.
In any event, we all come to ask:
• What is life about?
• How do I find meaning in my life?
• What should I do with my life?
• How can I find self-fulfilment?
Though normal, asking these kinds of questions also concerns a sense of belonging. We all want to fit in while seeking true and lasting meaning to our lives. We all want a tribe to belong to, a place where we are safe and can grow.
Task Orientation Distracts Our Search for Life’s Purpose
Asking if what we do in life is important or not could miss the mark and affect our mental health. This centring on what we should or should not be doing can confuse and depress us.
This is a task-orientated approach which means it’s all too easy to perceive one’s life purpose through that lens.
It’s healthier firstly to be in a good relationship with who we are as individuals. And it is better to have this relationship in the here and now. Let’s not dwell on the past or worry about the future. This only distracts and worries us.
We find a deeper and lasting meaning to our lives when we are at peace with ourselves as individuals. This is more important than what we do for a living or how we relate to others. These only have real meaning when we operate from a healthy self-relationship.
So it follows that these initial questions are better for our mental health and wellbeing:
• How do I relate to myself?
• Do I love myself?
• What gifts do I have?
• What passions in life do I have?
In this way, we discover true meaning comes from our self-relationship. Then what interests and helps us grow as human beings can be used to help and serve others.
Research shows that when we consistently help others our own mental and physical wellbeing improves. And so, our purpose is connected to meaningful and satisfying work and relationships. In other words, we can’t discover and live out our purpose in isolation.
Protecting Mental Health and Wellbeing
Bypassing our self-relationship to consider what our vocation is can adversely affect our mental wellbeing. We can end up going round in circles and exhausting ourselves.
Also, placing too much value on what we do and how much money we earn isn’t helpful. If we don’t have a well-grounded inner relationship we will still be asking the same life questions years later. We’ll be left unsatisfied and wanting more money, more material belongings.
An unhealthy relationship with ourselves results in being unrealistic, egotistical and self-seeking. And so, we are more liable to allow our wounded or immature state to run the show.
It is not a good idea to let this happen. We don’t want this blinding us to our true life’s purpose of service – whether it is part of our career or helping out a neighbour or friend.
Living Life’s Purpose Each Day Satisfies Our Mental Health
Concerning what we do and how we behave, it is living a daily routine which is the essence of our life’s purpose.
No matter if it’s brushing our teeth, making the bed, preparing and eating meals – we can do this with purpose. It helps us realise our self-worth and respect our human dignity. This is the contribution we make to relate well to ourselves. It is the starting point from which we can then consider our contribution to society.
If we relate well to ourselves we will relate well to others. And so, as social beings, we can recognise our gifts and contribute to the world.
It’s the simple things which are often the most meaningful:
- Helping out friends
- Having a smile ready for a passing stranger
- Calling in on an elderly neighbour or relative
- Taking the dog for a walk
These kinds of activity further our sense of purpose every day. They can protect our mental wellbeing from depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.
The True Inner Freedom of Living Our Life’s Purpose
We all wonder about the meaning of life and what our life’s purpose is. But it is unhealthy for us to be selfish, chasing money or wanting only what we want from our job or relationships.
We can only find happiness in relating healthily to ourselves and how we daily live out our lives. This is the springboard from which we meaningfully contribute to society. Doing this helps us find meaning and purpose in our lives.
This happiness is long-lasting since it started with relating to ourselves aright. And it leaves us free to relate to our family, friends and colleagues aright since we find purpose and meaning in serving them.