The Importance of Having Purpose in Life

There are times when all of us struggle with a lack of direction in our lives. We lose our mojo, we drift aimlessly and life can lack real meaning for us. Mostly, we can arrest these feelings by re-focusing on new goals and creating new opportunities for self-fulfillment. But when these feelings persist long-term we can become depressed, often with feelings of isolation and a lack of self-worth. The importance of having a real purpose in our lives cannot be understated.

Purpose in life (PIL) is about having real and achievable goals which provide us with a sense of direction. We can have elaborate but achievable goals, but equally, we can have simple goals which enhance our own lives and the lives of others. What is important, however, is that we see our lives as having a purpose.

Purpose in life is associated with healthy living and with positive, healthy outcomes. Purpose in life enhances our quality of life, builds our resilience, and generally promotes feelings of well-being. Research shows that there is a link between mental well-being and life satisfaction. Purpose in life is associated with better health, enhanced positivity, fewer chronic diseases and less disability. All of us need to find and maintain a life that has both purpose and meaning.

Authentic purpose comes from knowing oneself. Too often, however, our self-image is laced with feelings of inadequacy or feelings of inferiority. We need to stop our minds from defaulting to thinking negatively by re-focusing on our talents, abilities and blessings. It can be hard to discover them and we may need help in doing so. Certainly, we all have genuine talents but we may not all have the skills to discover them. Purpose comes from self-knowledge and is also associated with goal-driven activities.

There is a new term called “purpose anxiety” which refers to the negative emotions that can arise as we search for purpose in life and cannot find it. This can arise from feelings of failure or from an inability to acknowledge what we have achieved in our lives. Many of us also compare ourselves unfavourably with others – certainly a futile activity. Or we cannot really identify or acknowledge our accomplishments.

Physical functionality, psychological well-being, and the absence of illness are what we all aspire to, and they have particular importance for successful aging. We need to show our resilience by adapting to change and coping with life’s challenges. When we have purpose in life (PIL) we are better able to have quality in life (QIL) because we are better orientated towards successful living.

When we have a balanced self-appraisal approach to self-awareness we will focus on what gives added value to our lives. When we take a positive approach to self-discovery we are more likely to discover our true worth. When we focus on what gives worth to our lives we can focus on achieving goals that enhance us and our quality of life. They can make us more confident, capable, and inspired.   Such goals are integral to life’s purpose. They can inspire us to achieve more and exploit our full potential. They give purpose and meaning to our lives.    You were put on this earth to achieve your greatest self, to live out your purpose, and to do it courageously – Steve Maraboli, author.



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