Warning… this post is intended to be a bit of a ‘pattern interrupt’ for you, because sometimes we as humans fall into the trap of existing ‘in habit’ and sadly wait until some major event to wake us from our daily routines.
Whether you’re reading this at work or at home, the reality is each of us has so much more power and control over what we think, feel and do on every day of our lives, and yet, we don’t use that control or power to fully appreciate what it means to live a happy, flourishing and prosperous life.
One of my favourite blog newsletters that I receive is Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings.
In her most recent update there was this wonderful quote from the iconic psychologist Carl Jung who said “the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.”
This got me thinking about what some of history’s deep thinkers have to say about the purpose of life. Now, this is not a complete list and I’m sure you’ll wonder why I haven’t included someone you think I ought to have included, but for now… take an intentional mindful moment and feast on the wisdom.
What Is The Purpose Of Life
“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The purpose of life is to contribute in some way to making things better.”
Robert F. Kennedy
“The purpose of life is a life of purpose.”
“I believe that the purpose of life is to be happy. Therefore, it is important to discover what will bring about the greatest degree of happiness.”
Tenzin Gyatso; The Fourteenth Dalai Lama
“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”
“What ever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it they will want to come back and see you do it again and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do”
“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfil it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.”
You already know that I am convinced the purpose of life is to discover and take intentional action to live a happy, flourishing and prosperous life. As you reflect on the thoughts of those above, I wonder if you’ll take a moment to consider answering these two questions:
1. What do you believe is the purpose of your life? and
2. To what extent are you taking intentional action to achieve that purpose on a daily basis?
We really do have more power and control over each and every moment we live than we often take the time to draw on to fulfil our life purpose.
A simple exercise for you as I conclude this post.
Tomorrow, set your alarm on your mobile phone to play every hour on the hour. When it sounds, stop and remind yourself of what you believe the purpose of life is. And a little tip, to help me, I have an A4 poster next to my computer screen that is a constant reminder to me of what I believe a happy, flourishing and prosperous life is… and this is what it says:
A happy, flourishing and prosperous life for me is…
- Being intentionally grateful for the past and what it’s taught me.
- Being intentionally grateful for the present and what it’s teaching me.
- Being intentionally open to the future and pursuing personally meaningful lifestyle experiences that enhance my health, mind, relationships, creative spirit, sense of self, and overall well-being.