THE BLOG

4 Ways to Living a Purposeful Life

spirituality Apr 10, 2023
 

We can choose to live life in one of two ways. With purpose or without it. Or, better yet, we can choose to live in such a way that we’re seeking to fulfill our purpose. Or not. Common twenty-first century thinking in America is that everyone has a purpose. We simply choose to accept and fulfill that purpose, or we don’t.

It’s great news that everyone has a purpose. But it can be so hard to figure out what it is. And then it can be scary to try and live in that purpose!

The good news is that all of us can live a purposeful life. To do that, we have to understand what purpose means and why it’s so important. Then, all we need to do is follow four simple steps towards living a life of purpose.

And that’s what this blog post is here to help you do!

When we talk about living a purposeful life, we’re really saying we want to know the primary objective of our lives and actually live it. In spiritual circles, we refer to this as our calling. It’s our raison d’etre. Our reason for being. It’s why we were born. It’s the impact that we’re to uniquely make on this world. It’s the service we’re to provide to the world – in essence, making it a better place!

Look at the above paragraph and the various ways of describing ‘purpose’. What stands out to you? And what makes that significant to you?

What Makes Purpose Important

 

Living a purposeful life causes us to look outside of ourselves and towards others. I sought knowing and understanding my purpose for years! I read a lot of books. I listened to a ton of podcasts and sermons. I did a LOT of praying.

And after all of that, one primary thing that I learned was that my purpose was not for me. It was for the people who would benefit from my purpose. Purpose is important because it helps us to look outside of ourselves. And, in turn, this helps us to grow as human beings.

Knowing our purpose is important because even though its focus is outward, we can find our greatest fulfillment and satisfaction in life when we live with purpose. Think about it. When you know that your life, who you are, and what you do counts, there’s great satisfaction in that. This desire to have a life that counts, to be a person that has purpose, is ingrained in our DNA.

Typically, when we’re living outside of our purpose, we experience a great restlessness. This is really evident when we’re young and we don’t know enough to live with purpose. When we’re in our teens and twenties, we have a hunger and a yearning. It makes us restless because we can’t figure out how to fulfill that hunger and yearning. We don’t know it at the time, but we’re seeking to know and live out our purpose. And, until we figure it out, the restlessness doesn’t go away (although it might be masked by many behaviors).

"Purpose helps us to shift from living with restlessness to living with intention."

We might live lives that are filled with lots of movement, change, and variety. But this is not the same as restlessness. Restlessness causes us to have movement, change, and variety that is aimless. Purpose changes all of that to intention with a target. When we have something we’re aiming for, we are motivated to keep going in spite of obstacles.

Purpose is important because it keeps us going throughout all of life’s ups and downs. We’re motivated to keep going when we know we’re living in purpose because we want to fulfill that purpose. There’s an internal desire that keeps pushing us forward. Yes, we get stalled and stuck at times. But purpose is what helps you to get unstuck so that you can continue to build the life you want.

Living a purposeful life takes us beyond the trappings of money and material things. Living out our purpose can be done regardless of our socio-economic status, our gender, our ethnicity, and our race. Living out our purpose extends beyond our educational level, our family history, and work experiences.

All of this is important because it allows us to grow as humans, to still that restlessness, to remain motivated, and to rise above our life circumstances to a life of fulfillment and satisfaction.

How to Live a Purposeful Life

There are a few ways of living a purposeful life.

 Be Authentic to Who You Are

A foundation to living a purposeful life is to be authentic to who you are as a person. We can’t live someone else’s purpose. We can’t live our purpose if we’re being our authentic selves. It just won’t work. In reality we are the embodiment of our purpose. You can read more about being authentic in my Courage to be Authentically You post. If you don’t believe you’re being your authentic self, I encourage you to start here as your foundation.

 Figure Out Your Purpose

We also simply need to know our purpose! That can be seem hard to figure out. But what I’ve realized is that it’s hard figuring out your purpose when you’re trying to live a purpose that’s not yours. So get down to the basics!

What excites you? What do you take delight in doing? The answer doesn’t have to make sense. Just let it be. Key in to the signals of your body and soul. Do you find yourself emotionally moved, thrilled, and deeply satisfied in some activities? What is it that you do that makes you hunger for it more? When we start to live our purpose, we’ll recognize a deep satisfaction in our souls while doing it.

Looking back over your life will help you determine your purpose. It tends to show up often and in various ways. I saw that historically, people have always talked with me about deep, personal, matters. And, often about things I knew nothing about! While in those situations I had no idea what to say or do, so I listened and asked questions. Every time, people ended the conversation saying how much I helped them. And I was flabbergasted! Finally, I came to understand that one way I can live out my purpose is by being a coach. Although my purpose is not limited to being a coach. My purpose can show up in various ways.

Think Holistically

Speaking of showing up in various ways, we need to think holistically about how we can live out our purpose. We are our purpose wherever we are and whatever we’re doing.

For example, if your purpose is to help people heal, you can do that regardless of a title. Perhaps you help people heal by being present with them during a difficult time. Or, maybe you help people heal by cooking wonderful soups and nutritious foods to serve those who are sick. Or, your purpose of healing might show up as a doctor or nurse!

When we know our purpose, we can seek to live it in whatever job we have and in the various seasons of our lives. Be open to the many sources and ways where we can find meaning and mission (i.e., purpose).

 Be Intentional

It takes intentionality to live a purposeful life. I guarantee that there are many distractions from living your purpose. But you can do it with intention. Intentionality is what keeps us moving forward even when we’re afraid. Intentionality motivates us to continue living in our purpose even when others try to discourage us (or we discourage ourselves).

Here is a great blog post that gives 18 Ways to Be More Intentional in Your Life.

 It’s Time to Live With Purpose

Your purpose is who you are! Seek to understand the meaning of purpose and its importance to your life. Seek to live out your purpose. Be your authentic self. Learn your purpose and think holistically about it. And live it with intentionality. The world needs you, and it needs you to show up in your purpose!

Happy living.

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