What’s the purpose of life? Or to be more specific, what is it that adds meaning and satisfaction to life? What is it that gives us a sense of purpose? It’s the essential question that has challenged mankind throughout the ages. Living a purpose driven life is one of the most commonly held goals throughout all the layers of the population. Finding an answer to this profound question isn’t easy. Many people struggle to find purpose and satisfaction in life. It doesn’t have to be this way. Perhaps, taking the necessary steps to live a meaningful life might not be as difficult as it seems at first sight. All it takes is a set of effective strategies and the unquenchable willingness to affect positive change in one’s life. Here’s what you can do to start living a purpose driven life full of meaning, happiness and satisfaction.
It’s relatively easy to be distracted by the ups and downs of life. Some even rush through life without ever wondering about its meaning. The vast majority, however, continuously wonders what on earth they are doing here.
Even more importantly, they do not only seek for the meaning of life, but they also wonder if what they’re doing matters.
As humans we strive for something that gives us a sense of meaning and purpose. It’s only natural that we continuously seek to add meaning to our life.
Inspiration is the greatest gift because it opens your life to many new possibilities. Each day becomes more meaningful, and your life is enhanced when your actions are guided by what inspires you.
Why is so important to have a sense of purpose? Feeling that you’re making a difference, that what you’re doing has a meaning, can have a great impact on your life. Having a sense of purpose can make all the difference in your life! It can help you to get up each morning, feeling excited about the upcoming day. Even more so, it can help you to confront difficulties and overcome even the biggest obstacles that lie in your path. Having a purpose will motivate you to do whatever necessary to accomplish your dreams.
But what can you do to live a purpose driven life? How can you cultivate a more purposeful life? The following 11 steps will help you to add more meaning to your life.
How to Live a Purpose Driven Life
There’s not a single instruction on what you can do to develop a sense of purpose. Research, however, has clearly indicated that there are various potent factors that can help you to find meaning in life.
The science behind the powerful benefits of having a purpose
Living a purpose driven life may help you to live longer, as research suggests. The scientists found that those individuals who have a purpose in life had a reduced mortality risk. In short, finding meaning in one’s life promotes positive aging. Many studies confirm that purpose is an important predictor of overall life satisfaction. One of these studies found that the more purposeful one’s life seems, the better ones well-being.
Not only this, but purpose in life is also linked with a reduced incidence of sleep disturbances. In 2013, scientists also found that having a purpose in life is significantly associated with a reduced incidence of strokes. Further research has shown that greater purpose in life can substantially reduce the risk of Alzheimer disease.
11 Effective Tips to Living a Purpose Driven Life
1. Pursue your passion
Following your passion makes a life worth living. It will give you a sense of purpose and will add meaning to your life. Whenever you spend time on accomplishing something that you’re passionate about, it will add joy and a sense of fulfillment to your life.
Pursuing your passion will keep your motivation at a constant high level. If you’re passionate about what you’re doing, you’ll be able to accomplish better results. Also, there’s nothing more draining than having to complete tasks that you neither like nor care about. There’s a huge difference between being forced to fulfill unpleasant tasks and finding solutions to the challenging problems that stand in-between you and your goals. Perhaps, doing what you’re passionate about every once in a while will greatly help you to find a profession that you actually enjoy.
Even more so, if you truly like what you do it will be much easier for you to find innovative solutions to demanding problems. When you’re passionate about what you do, there’s not much that can stop you from achieving success. Passion ignites the fire within and helps you to accelerate to new heights. Furthermore, reaching out for the stars and the ability to affect positive change in the world around you will truly fulfill you.
2. Define what’s important for you
So many people wander through life without knowing what’s important. Each and every one may believe to know what is important to them. But there lies a great difference between attributing importance to something that is irrelevant/entertaining and that which is actually important.
To them, watching TV, eating fast food and having lots of money is important. But I ask you, is it really fulfilling to watch TV and pursue riches? If your level of happiness depends on the numbers in your bank account, it’ll be greatly dependent on an external factor. Similarly, most people neglect to find out what’s truly important in life. These people may attribute importance to superficial things, but purpose and meaning might not always be drawn from these activities. As a result, those who don’t define what’s really important for them struggle to set the right priorities. Instead of doing what is meaningful, they mindlessly waste their time.
Try to discover what is important for you. Find the activities that fulfill you and add meaning to your life. If something does not give you a sense of purpose in life, it might not always be worthwhile to pursue it.
3. Help others
It shouldn’t be too much of a secret that helping others makes you feel good. Not only is it an amazing feeling to know that you have helped someone to live a better life, but it also adds meaning and purpose to your life. Seeing that you can make someone’s life a little bit easier is one of the most fulfilling things you can experience in life.
You don’t necessarily need money to help others. If you have no money to donate, you can also lend a helping hand, donate your time or simply help someone overcome times of great difficulty. Whatever you do, you will quickly see that giving to others can have a powerful impact on your own life. To be more specific, being of service to others will provide a sense of purpose for your life.
4. Focus on one thing at a time
Modern life comes with a great number of difficulties for the human brain. We are flooded with streams of information that all seek our attention. The information overload has changed the attention span of a great number of people. As a result of this attention deficit many are no longer capable to focus their entire attention on one task only.
Our answer to the challenges that technical developments pose upon our attention is multitasking. Most of us are very fond of it, even though multitasking has been shown to increase your error rate and decrease your productivity time and time again.
Instead of trying to switch back and forth from one task to another, try to focus on one task at a time. Give your very best to accomplish the best work possible before you work on another objective. By focusing on one thing at a time, you’ll be able to spend all your time on that which is really important to you. You will greatly benefit from this not only in your business life, but in all areas of life.
Focusing on what is really important to you will help you to live a more meaningful life.
5. Ignore your inner critic
Sometimes your inner critic can stand in-between you and a purpose driven life. It’s the inner voice that tries to keep you safe. And in certain situations it can be quite helpful to listen to that voice. But when it comes to living a purpose driven life, the critical inner voice could prevent you from doing things that give your life a purpose. Instead of encouraging you to explore new and potentially meaningful ideas, the inner voice will keep you on the old and familiar path. More often than not, its purpose is to reinforce stability by persuading you to keep a defensive approach to life.
After all, living a purpose driven life could resemble a risk that parts of you would rather try to avoid. Even if that means to live a life without meaning and purpose.
Whenever these critical inner thoughts start to arise, do not allow them to proceed any further. Interrupt these negative thought patterns immediately. Don’t let them drag you into any arguments with yourself. Living a purpose driven life takes courage and the mental stability to maintain the pursuit of your dreams even when difficulties start to arise.
6. Encourage creativity
What’s the very thing that leads us to pursuing a life without meaning? In many cases, it’s our tendency to be outcome-oriented. Instead of spending our time with something that adds meaning and purpose to our life, we opt for the alternative that is financially the most promising. Even if this means that we have to do things that prevent us from living a purpose driven life.
By encouraging creativity, and by allowing things to take their natural course, we will quickly discover the things that truly fulfill us.
This, however, does not mean that you will have to quit your job. But it means that you endeavor to explore new opportunities and seek out those activities that add a sense of purpose to your life. There are many people who are living a purpose driven life by having chosen the right leisure time activities that provide meaning and satisfaction.
7. Have the courage to express yourself
Living a purposeful life is closely connected to authenticity.
Many people struggle to find a purpose in life because they do not allow themselves to be who they truly are. Instead of expressing themselves, they try to adapt to other people’s definition of life. And that’s the very problem. They do not allow themselves to be who they truly are because they fear to be rejected or criticized by others. As a result, many people are not living the life they had dreamed of.
Living a life that the family, friends or society approve of might not always add satisfaction to your life. It makes everyone around you happy, but not yourself.
But when it comes to living a purpose driven life full of meaning and satisfaction, the freedom to express yourself and to live your authentic self is crucial.
8. Prioritize family and friends
Connecting with others will contribute a greater sense of meaning to your life. When you’re close to your family and friends, you’ll enhance your life’s meaning. Furthermore, scientific research has shown that family relationships are an important source of perceived meaning in life.
The results of the study highlight the importance of spending time with your loved ones.
It is, however, important to note that this does not mean that you have to live in a perfectly harmonious family. Instead, most researchers point out that the process of overcoming conflict and challenges is quite important as well. Not only will it help to deepen the relationship to your loved ones, but it will also help in increasing your life’s meaning.
Even if your relationships to your family and friends aren’t perfect, you can add a deeper sense of purpose to your life by maintaining and cherishing these bonds.
9. Be courageous
Sometimes it takes quite a lot of courage to live a meaningful life. There are many obstacles to be encountered on the path to a purpose driven life. In some situations we simply feel much too comfortable within the boundaries of our comfort zone. In other situations negative habits have kept us from making any progress.
For this very reason, it is so important and worthwhile to be courageous enough to reach out to new and fresh experiences.
Most people that are leading a purposeful life have had the courage to continuously put themselves out there and to seek new opportunities. They were willing to try out new things and to challenge their habits. Instead of confining themselves to the boundaries of their comfort zones, they had the courage to overcome these limitations.
10. Know that purpose and happiness are not always interlinked
Many people mistakenly assume that living a purposeful life will automatically make them happy. And while it is certainly true that finding meaning in life can make you happy, the two are not always interlinked.
There are certain differences between a happy life and a meaningful life. They may go hand-in-hand, but this is not always the case. The sense of living a meaningful life is not dependent upon your happiness.
The satisfaction of your desires and wants may make you happy, but it is absolutely irrelevant to living a purpose driven life. Also, the endeavor to live a purposeful life may come with several challenges and obstacles. There might be pain, bruises and challenges along the way. But at the same time, being challenged by difficulty that is beyond yourself, a sense of purpose and meaning is promoted.
11. Simplify your life
We are so caught up in pursuing countless activities, tasks and obligations that we have completely lost track of that which actually provides meaning to our life. By decluttering and simplifying your life, you’ll be able to spend more time on meaningful activities.
Even more so, it can greatly help you to reduce stress and open up yourself for you and exciting opportunities.
It’s not always by adding more to your life that helps you to find purpose. Quite the contrary is the case.
I hope you enjoy this article on how to live a purpose driven life.