HOW DO WE DISCOVER MEANING & PURPOSE?
After reviewing our past, we might want to consider our future path or role. What should the purpose of our life really be? Let's now consider this.
Our lives can seem to lack real purpose! Will we just wander aimlessly without searching for our deep inner purpose? Sometimes there seems to be no compelling reason for our existence! How do we discover this meaning and purpose in our life?
OUR INNER DRIVES WILL GIVE US A CLUE.
It can feel like we’re trapped in the material world. We are surrounded by temptations & distractions. Life can become all about competing & winning. It can even seem like the ‘survival of the fittest’! Maybe it's time to consider a deeper purpose, and try a new role?
Our life purpose will be closely aligned to our deep inner needs & desires. These are powerful inner drives that will give us a clue to our purpose. We will now take this enquiry a little further.
…What hints are your inner needs offering about your life purpose?
CONTEMPLATE YOUR TRUE PASSION IN LIFE!
Seeking our true passion is part of our personal development. It is an important part of any inner journey. We previously laid the foundation for this through a discussion of our inner needs & desires. These are closely related to our passions and our purpose in life.
Our inner needs & drives help power the expression of our life purpose. Below is another quiet contemplation exercise. This exercise is an opportunity for you to continue this inner process of self-discovery. Find a quiet spot, relax your body and quieten your mind in the usual way.
UNCOVER YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE.
What gives your life meaning & purpose? The true answer can only come from deep within ourselves. Begin your contemplation as you read the discussion below. Then continue this exercise during your daily quiet time.
Allow a deeper realization of the answer to slowly build and surface. This will present itself in due course but can take considerable time. It can take longer if we are just starting our practice of quiet contemplation. So be very patient and kind to yourself in this process of self-discovery. Any pressure or self-judgment will negate or delay the process.
…Can you be patient and kind to yourself while you wait for insight?
WHAT ARE YOU REALLY MEANT TO DO IN LIFE?
Remember, we are not looking for a clever or intellectual answer. The challenge here is to solve one of the biggest questions: “What am I really meant to do with my life?”
We are looking for a realization or an ‘aha moment’. This can also be felt as a gentle intuitive knowing that is heart-felt! That’s how we know that insight is right for us. The correct answer will feel so right! We will be spontaneously and naturally drawn to that path. We will naturally want to live that way. It will deeply satisfy us and give us inner peace. That will confirm that we were right! Good luck in discovering your life purpose or life quest.
LET GO OF WHATEVER DOES NOT FULFILL US.
Sometimes the realization of an answer will not come easily. But we can also tackle this big question by considering its opposite! This may help trigger the answer. We ask ourselves what are we doing that does NOT deeply satisfy us? Consider what current activities or roles in life do NOT bring you lasting happiness or inner peace? Give this approach a try too! Then the right path can become more obvious.
Which of your life's goals have been pretending to be important? What objectives have we wrongly taken on? Which goals will never bring inner peace & contentment? These are often activities that our culture or society has taught us to value or to aspire to. What are these materialistic aspirations in your life? Is there something much deeper that you also aspire towards?
OVERCOME YOUR CONDITIONING TO BREAK FREE.
Our social conditioning can suppress our real dreams and our life purpose. Our education & training can de-personalize & de-value us. Through this conditioning process we have been under pressure to ‘prove ourselves’. This can diminish our self-esteem further. We have become detached from our true inner nature. Reconnecting to this provides a permanent sense of self-worth! So, it’s important to re-establish an inner connection.
…Are you starting to let go of unhelpful social conditioning?
WE LINK SELF-ESTEEM TO MATERIAL SUCCESS.
What is life really all about? Is it just getting a good education and a high paying job? Is it building a career or business to support yourself and your family? This materialistic cycle has been promoted, from one generation to the next! Does true fulfillment come from just acquiring or consuming more?
Some people strive for fame & fortune. Or they aim for a high reputation & special achievement in some field. But why do we need to earn our place in this world? Is this to justify our internalized lack of self-worth?
A materialistic ambition is a false drive! It's not our true inner drive or our real passion. That's not our true purpose in life. But often we push ourselves so hard to achieve these material goals. Is this really worth it? Remember, there is also a substantial cost to our well-being! Plus we don't feel satisfied or fulfilled. We don't reach our full potential.
RELATIONSHIPS CAN’T REPLACE SELF-GROWTH.
We may try to ‘find ourselves’ by ‘settling down’ perhaps in a committed relationship. Maybe having children and a family life will provide the answer? We may try all this and find that it does not fully satisfy? We still feel an inner emptiness or lack. Even with a busy professional & family life, we can still lack contentment and inner peace.
So many people around us appear to be in a similar situation. But just because others are suffering, that doesn’t make suffering inevitable or right!
…Can you see how external relationships don’t replace an inner relationship?
MANY SEEK ESCAPE FROM THE DRUDGERY OF LIFE.
Many escape the drudgery of their life through constant distraction. This can include socialization, especially through social media. Some over-indulge in their work. Others keep themselves constantly busy and preoccupied with their hobbies.
Many focus on the temporary pleasure gained from things that money can buy. They can become shop-a-holics or overspend on luxury products, holidays or high-tech gadgets. Or they become dependent on some other unhealthy behavior or pursuit.
…Do you distract yourself with social media, work or buying things?
WE RISK OVER-INDULGING & ADDICTION.
Personal addictions become a source of temporary pleasure in our daily lives. We use these to help cope with our inner suffering. We can over-use any daily activity in an attempt to extract more temporary pleasure.
We try to gratify our inner needs, our inner hunger, with these pleasurable physical sensations. For example, we over-indulge by consuming sweet & fatty foods. We consume far more than is required for optimal health or wellbeing.
But often this is not enough! We often supplement this with ‘socially acceptable’ chemicals. We might start with caffeine in tea, coffee or cola, and then alcohol or nicotine. But even these external aids may not be enough. Our inner dissatisfaction is growing and requires a response!
WE CAN RESORT TO RISKY BEHAVIOUR.
We may turn to behaviors that are even more risky. We may try extreme partying and drugs to ease the pressure & the monotony. We might become addicted to sexual promiscuity, gambling or illicit drugs.
Superficially, it might look like we are coping with our suffering. But internally we feel unhappy and alone. Inwardly, we feel dissatisfied, empty and unfulfilled!
WILL OUR CHRONIC DISSATISFACTION EVER STOP?
We usually don’t understand what else to do! But inwardly we still yearn for inner peace, contentment and fulfillment in our lives. If we don’t address this, the unease slowly builds.
We hope that our next work promotion or achievement will bring some relief. We hope the situation will improve with our new home, car or relationship. But these are just all material pleasures that quickly fade.
…Do you keep hoping that the next achievement will bring happiness?
ARE WE LIVING OUR TRUE PURPOSE IN LIFE?
Using temporary coping strategies indicates we are not living our life's purpose. Consider which temporary coping strategies you are employing. Think about your daily life. Is this really how you should be living? Facing this reality is very important. The use of compensatory behaviors must be acknowledged. Then we can break free from them!
Living our passion and true purpose will give us deep satisfaction. Performing our unique role gives us meaning. Without such meaning and purpose in life, we will never be fully satisfied. In particular, we miss out on the joy of discovering our unique talents & abilities.
CONTEMPLATE AN ALTERNATIVE WAY.
A personal transformation can begin with small changes. What small steps could you take first? What direction in life would open more joy & contentment for you? Maybe that path is your true purpose? Or maybe it’s just a first step in the right direction.
Remember to continue contemplating your life purpose. Try this during your quiet contemplation and time-out.