A lot of people go into therapy because they are struggling with finding some meaning in their lives. This situation is commonly referred to as existential angst. Such situation has led people asking the following questions:
- What is my life’s purpose?
- Why am I living in this world?
- What should I do now?
These questions are oftentimes asked by people who are undergoing various life transitions from lifestyle changes associated with their change in job status, health issues, loss, aging, and economics to their children moving on such as their children going off to college or their children starting kindergarten. Usually, there is a change in the direction of the life of a person that has led them to ask the question of what they should be doing with their lives now.
For a long time, the ultimate dream is to pursue a career, raise a family, and be financially independent. In the present times, this predictable and very comfortable pattern is no longer attainable. A lot of people these days go into thinking that they are not capable anymore of existing and persisting in these current times.
Different religions have provided people some ways to know what their purpose in life is. For the Buddhists, their purpose in life is to help people lessen their suffering. According to their beliefs, being happy is their purpose in life. For the Christians, they teach their people that their purpose in life is to love God and other people. For the Islam, they promote obedience to God’s will, submission, and peace. Judaism teaches its followers to focus on serving God, interactions between people, and life on earth and to prepare for the world to come. On the other hand, the postmodernism belief tells people that they exist to create interconnected structures for self-understanding and joy.
Another meaning of purpose is the reason for which something exists or the reason for which something is created or done.
With this particular meaning of purpose, you can say that life’s purpose is not about what one should do but how one should want to do what they must do. Life’s purpose is all about the quality of life you are living now. It encompasses all the tings that you do, how you approach your activities, how you treat yourself, and how you are with other people. Your purpose all depends on how you choose to live your life.
In order for you to discover your purpose in life, you need to take the time to do some reflecting. You begin by asking yourself about the things or people who are important to you. You then determine how and who you want to be as you face various facets of your life. Here are some things that you can do as you do some self-reflection.
- Connect with yourself by being part of solitary retreats or silent meditations.
- Reflect on your life right now, what you value in your life, and what qualities you appreciate in yourself and others. Be honest about them.
- Think about the times where you felt the most energized, excited, authentic, and empowered. Determine what qualities you had during those times.
- Write in a journal the qualities that you need and some ways that you can live your life with purpose.