Handbook on the Meaning of Life
Without purpose, why do we live? Whatever answer we give to that question is our purpose in life. The better the answers we can develop for why we are living, the happier the life we can live. If nothing else, we can believe that we are destined to live an interesting life. “Everyone is necessarily the hero of his own life story.”<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> Whatever the reason is for your life, you can have faith that you are here for a good reason. Once you find those reasons, you can begin to live a life of purpose and meaning. If you have no purpose, you can never life a happy and satisfying life. What could be more important than defining a purpose that not only gives us pleasure but adds to the nobility of mankind?
Trust in God that He is preparing you for something great.
Most people don't have a purpose and therefore suffer from a lack of meaning. Most people are just too busy scratching their itches to search for the meaning behind life. After people their basic obligations and needs, they rarely question whether there is something more. What keeps us from finding meaning is laziness and a lack of caring about others.
Purpose defines for each of us both our direction (means) and a destination (ends) in life. Once we define our purpose, we know instinctive where we are going and what we must do to get there. Once we have a purpose, the purpose we select for ourselves give us our life mission and put meaning into our life. One’s life only has meaning if they have a purpose. Without a purpose, we are just drifting whimsically through life, frittering here and there, as the mood strikes us. When we ask ourselves, “What’s it all about?”, most people cannot give themselves a good answer.
A purpose gives our life meaning.
C. W. Sooter
We are commissioned by God to radically impact our world with our life and truth.
Alex & Brett Harris, Do Hard Things by
A hierarchy of progressively more important purposes best defines my purpose. Start with any defined purpose and ask yourself, “What is this purpose important?” The answer to that question defines a higher order purpose. At the lowest level, my purpose is to do good and to avoid evil, as defined by my value system. As espoused by the Buddha, “Do good things and don't do bad things.”
Whenever, I successfully act out my values, I create a virtuous act that impacts my world. I have the most impact on the world when I apply by god-given strengths for the benefit of others. The creation of virtue and positively impacting my world are the good works that I leave behind as my legacy/contribution from my life. My purpose hierarchy is shown in the diagram below.
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Sample Purpose Hierarchy
In short, the sample purpose is to 1) live a good life for as long as I can and 2) die a good death when I must.
<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> John Barth
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Website last updated on 9/4/16
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