How do you discover your purpose in life? The philosophical question regarding the meaning of life has occupied humanity ever since. I will show you in the following a concept of the meaning of life that will help you to discover the purpose of your life.
The purpose of life can unfortunately not be summarized to one general topic or be answered with one sentence, as this is completely impossible when putting emphasis on the fact that every one of us lives in his very own subjective reality, a different social environment and maybe even in a completely different culture.
Stages of Consciousness
1. Existence & Awareness
The first level of consciousness in life is that you are aware of yourself, your existence and the environment that surrounds you. This is the stage every one of us is born into and we start to develop ourselves from this point on. The “existence and awareness” stage is also the level many people are stuck in, without knowing their true purpose in life.
The “consciousness” level is by far more advanced than the first level. It is the point where you start to consciously discover the value of your life and esteem your life with all its facets.
People that have reached this stage of consciousness know their true purpose in life and are committed to it. There are so many different purposes people have discovered for their lives, from religious/spiritual purposes (“serving one’s god”), social commitments (“helping others”) towards family oriented purposes (“enabling one’s children to live a better life”) and hardheaded purposes (“I want to amass riches”). Everyone has to discover for himself his very own purpose in life and it is therefore not my intention to question any of the above named purposes, as long as the purpose does not lead to other people’s harm.
4. Achievement of ultimate reality & oneness
The achievement of ultimate reality denotes the state of enlightenment, knowing the foundation of reality and one’s existence. It is the ultimate state without fear, anxiety and hate.
How to Discover the Purpose of Life
The ambition to discover one’s purpose in life is nearly as old as mankind; however it takes some time, effort and life experience to discover your true purpose in life and the mission of your life. Here is how to discover the true purpose of your life:
Erase the clutter
Well, first off it is important to erase all different kinds of ideas, thoughts that might distract you from discovering the true purpose of your life. Secondly, you should also try to erase all kinds of short- and long-term goals you have set yourself for your life as they might also irritate you and lead the process of finding your life’s purpose into a wrong direction. Last but not least the most important point: set yourself free from inherited goals and false purposes that society, friends, your partner or your parents have imposed on you. This is the most important preparatory step as it helps you to discover the purpose of your life in an independent way, without being influenced by your environment.
In the following you can find two different approaches that shall help you to discover your purpose in life:
Technique #1 – The Mind-Mapping Approach
- All you need is a piece of paper – preferably a mind-map
- Write down your question into the middle of your mind-map, such as
“What is the true meaning of my life?” or
“What is the true purpose in my life?”
- Start writing down spontaneously whatever pops into your mind
- Evolve your thoughts and formulate topics for related thoughts
- Develop the topics more precisely
- Start formulating purposes for every generic term
At this point your whole mind-map should contain a lot of generic terms (topics), whose relevant thoughts have evolved into individual purposes. Whenever you finished the process of formulating an individual purpose for a topic you start asking yourself the basic question again and again (repeat steps 3-6). Depending on many aspects of your personality you will start struggling to find new thoughts and topics within a couple of minutes or after more than an half an hour or so, which is exactly the point this exercise shall lead you to. Your mind needs to be empty of ideas, experiences, memories, stereotypic goals and social conditioned mindsets until the purpose of your life can be discovered within the deepest depth of your heart.
The following picture shows you how a small fraction of your mind-map could look like, however it should not be considered as a contentual help:
The difficulty in this exercise is that you need to be persistent once you run out of ideas and thoughts to write down. This is the most crucial point, but you might also notice that the formulated purposes start to evolve and become more in depth the longer you continue with this exercise.
This exercise can have two possible outcomes (unless you give up): either you will automatically start to discover the purpose of your life after performing this exercise for hours or you will have written down dozens or hundreds of purposes that, as soon as they were separated into true and false purposes, become a summarized main purpose; the true purpose in your life.
When I did this exercise I came to the following purpose:
“My purpose in life is to enjoy every second of my life with gratefulness and without anger. I want to help others and make this world a better place living in; for my family, friends and every person living on this planet.”
Technique #2 – The “What would you do if,…” Approach
See, I know that the above named technique (#1) is very time consumptive and requires a lot of willpower to be completed, which is why I’m going to present you another technique, in case you are facing problems with #1. This is a more simplistic approach; however it might confront you with some of your anxieties:
Imagine you were suffering from a disease and had only one year to live. What would you do within this year?
- Take a piece of paper
- Write on top of it, “What would I do if I only had one year to live?”
- Write down your very first thoughts
- Evolve your thoughts and summarize them to topics
- Formulate purposes out of your different topics
The “What would you do if,…” exercise is so great as it will erase the foundation of most excuses, false and inherited purposes right from the beginning.
Technique #3 – Answer these Important Questions
The following questions shall help you to find out more about yourself and your purpose:
- What is my passion?
- What are my desires?
- What inspires me?
- What am I most curious about in life?
- What do I enjoy doing most in life?
- What am I respected/well-known for?
- What task in my current job do I like most?
- What did I do when I lost track of time?
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