7 tips to find purpose and meaning in life
There’s a reason you are reading this blog. You want more from life. Just finishing your study or a getting a good job is not enough for you.
It’s very likely that you might have some preconceived ideas about the purpose of life. These ideas about life often come from our family and the communities we grow up in.
But these types of achievements often don’t bring the kind of fulfillment that comes with finding your personal sense of purpose.
Even when you have setbacks and the world turns upside down, purpose gives you stability and a sense of direction. That’s why finding purpose is essential for living a happy, healthy life.
1. Develop a growth mindset
Having a growth mindset is linked to having a sense of purpose. Constantly growing and becoming a better version of yourself helps you identify your purpose and commit to pursuing it. A growth mindset also allows you to: Embrace challenges as opportunities.
2. Search inward
The questions “What is my purpose in life?” and “How can I be happy?” are actually the same – and they have the same answer. You can never truly understand how to find your purpose by listening to others’ opinions and seeking outside approval.
Everything you need is within yourself. The only thing holding you back is your own limiting beliefs. With each limiting belief you identify and replace with an empowering belief, you develop greater self-awareness. And when you’re in control of your emotions, you’re in control of your life.
3. Create a personal vision statement
A personal vision statement serves as a roadmap that will guide you toward your purpose by identifying your core values and establishing what’s important to you.
A purpose statement makes it easier for you to make decisions aligned to your values and helps you stay motivated as you work toward your personal goals.
4. Give back
Giving back can enhance your sense of meaning and purpose in life. This means that when you help others, you also help yourself.
Look for ways to be of service. You might want to volunteer in your local community or donate your money or skills to a cause that resonates with you. Or try spreading a little happiness by performing random acts of kindness.
5. Practice gratitude
Finding gratitude in your challenges gives you permission to accept things the way they are or have become. It allows you to take responsibility for your own actions (or inactions) regardless of the catalyst.
Another study revealed that gratitude activates the same reward responses in the brain as prosocial behavior.
Practicing gratitude can feel a bit awkward at first. We get so used to our negative thoughts that switching them for positive ones can feel unnatural.
To get started, try writing three to five things you feel grateful for first thing in the morning or at night before you go to sleep.
6. Spend time with people who inspire you
Motivational speaker Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
If you spend time with people who are positive and purpose-driven, they are likely to inspire you to have the same mindset. You may even discover your purpose through them.
Look beyond your colleagues and family members and ask yourself who you choose to spend your time with. Evaluate those relationships and make sure you are surrounding yourself with aspirational, positive people who lift you up.
7. Take time for self-care
Self-care comes in many forms, and your version of self-care is unique to you. Perhaps you like walking in the forest, practicing some deep breathing, or journaling out your difficult emotions.
But why is self-care important? Because when our brains are relaxed, they are at their most creative. You cannot achieve or serve others when you are battling against yourself.
Have you ever noticed that some of your best ideas come when you’re in the shower? That’s because our minds are more open and receptive to the flow of ideas than they are when we try to force ourselves to think.
Creative thinking comes naturally when our minds are in a state of relaxation. And it can lead you closer to finding your purpose.
Behind every successful person is clarity of purpose. And unless you find yours, you’ll continue to cruise through life on autopilot. You may find yourself knocked off-course and lost, uncertain how to move forward or which direction is forward. Or, life may be smooth but one day you may look back and wish you had used your time differently.
Identifying, acknowledging, and honoring your purpose is the foundation of a well-rounded life. It requires some courage because it opens up questions and ideas that might not be comfortable. Yet it's worth it. Purpose provides you with an inner compass that guides every decision and leads you to the experiences that will light up your soul.