The question ‘what is the purpose of life?’ persists in being unanswerable. From ancient Greek philosophers to modern-day shrinks, experts of the mind have always struggled to reach a conclusion. Today, people rarely feel satisfied after a hard day’s work. “I have everything I could ever need, a house, a car, a stable job – and yet I want more.”
“There’s just something missing”, they wonder. “Why am I here? What is my purpose on Earth?”
Do you find yourself asking the same questions? You do? If so, then you are not alone. A recent UK study found that 9 in 10 young Brits believe that their life “lacks purpose”. How come? Why do so many people nowadays feel lost and unhappy? And who can answer their burning questions about existence?
There may never be a definitive answer. But getting closer to what purpose means to you could be easier than you think. Here are 7 easy ways to discover your life’s purpose — and find out what’s missing once and for all…
1. Don’t Overthink It
Discovering your life’s purpose is an exciting quest. But it doesn’t have to be a quest outwards, such as booking a retreat in a tropical resort for 3-4 weeks. True, meditation retreats have become en vogue… for travelers with cheque books.
Ask yourself. Why spend all your hard-earned savings to seek out exotic gurus? What if the answer to your Big Question has been inside you all this time?
Dr. Laura King, Professor of Psychological Sciences at the University of Missouri, says that the meaning of life is common and “easily attainable”:
“Putting people in a good mood increases their sense that their lives are meaningful. Manipulating mood – and we have all kinds of ways to do that. By giving someone a Valentine, or some candy.
“There is a causal link between being in a good mood and meaning in life.”
There is no alchemical formula to discover your life’s purpose. Simply do your best to put yourself — and others — in a good mood. That’s it. It’s the ability to let go, and enjoy the small things in life. You can’t do wonders if you overthink the “magic trick”.
Life is called a ‘miracle’ for a reason!
One way to free your mind from overthinking is via Ego Death. Something special happens when you trip out on magic mushrooms and truffles with a positive mindset. You lose your sense of self completely… and feel connected to the hidden universe within you. This experience is known to have long lasting positive effects.
2. There Is No Endgame
Here’s a little secret for ya. The prize is the rainbow, not at the end of it. Wanna know why? Coz the pot of gold doesn’t exist. It’s the pursuit of happiness, the journey itself that counts. There is no winning or losing in the game of life. Former U.S. First Lady and activist Eleanor Roosevelt said it best:
“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.”
Most of us are searching for that Aha moment, which will reveal their purpose in life. Why were you born? What is your reason for being? For some people, this soul-searching can take up a lifetime. Racking up riches. Climbin’ up the ladder of success. Finding the perfect partner. Marriage, kids, a cosy home in the suburbs.
What if the world’s greatest philosophers were right? That there’s no “single thing” which defines our purpose. Could it be that life is not a race to win or lose, but a journey of self-discovery..?
3. Stay Centred
Think about the things which bring you a sense of pure joy and happiness. Can you make a list of those things? If you’re struggling to do so, then perhaps you need to define your centre in life. For some, it’s spending quality time with family. For others, it’s the heady rush of a job well done at work.
Whatever it is, make sure it gives you a sense of satisfaction before you go to sleep at night. You want to avoid feeling like “something’s missing” in your life, right? Then stick to good habits — simple ones, which can add value to your goals and aspirations. Deeds you can be proud of doing every single day.
4. Enjoy An Old Hobby
What if you already defined your centre in life, but you still feel stressed all the time? Then perhaps it’s time to look back on the least stressful time in your life — your childhood.
Can you remember your dream job as a kid? Was there something that you loved doing no matter what… such as drawing, dancing, or a game of catch with your Dad? For best-selling children’s author Judy Blume, it was daydreaming:
“Yes, I was a great daydreamer. You know what I worry about? I worry that kids today don’t have enough time to just sit and daydream. I was a great pretender, always making up stories inside my head. Stories and stories and stories, but I never told anyone.” (From an interview with Scholastic)
It’s not just kids today who barely have time to sit and daydream. Adults now have this problem as well. The wonders of the Internet — like Twitter and Instagram, for example — have virtually erased the concept of “true daydreaming”.
Were you good at telling stories? Or telling jokes? Did you love to explore your backyard? Climb trees with your friends? Making monsters from clay? Perhaps you loved helping Mom water the roses in the garden. Chances are, you’d already found your life’s purpose… and forgotten all about it.
If you feel stressed or overwhelmed, take some time to enjoy an old hobby from your childhood. Or build new ones! Like baking your own bread, or growing your own magic mushrooms at home. The main thing is to find something easy, let go, and have fun.
5. Open Up To New Ideas
Maybe you feel stuck in the present situation. Like this is as far as you’re gonna get. Then it’s time to ask yourself: “Have I used up all my skills and abilities? What if there’s more? Am I willing to try new things, just to see..?”
Why not open yourself up to new ideas? Exploring new areas of study — even when you’ve left school for years now — can help you more than you think. Research has shown that lifelong learning has a host of benefits for adults, such as: good health, better job prospects, and a higher self-esteem. All of these factors can help you see the meaning in life.
6. Work On Your Legacy
“Here lies Mr. X, who died after working 48 hours straight without sleeping or eating. May he rest in peace.”
If you were gone tomorrow, what do you want to be remembered for? It’s a question that haunts us more often as we grow older. Sadly, we can’t be all Nobel-prize winning inventors, or movie stars, or famous athletes. They’re all bound to be famous long after they’re gone… But don’t you worry! That’s not what legacy is all about.
A legacy is one’s lasting impact on the people they left behind. It could be material, such as a hard-earned home for your kids. It could be donating to charity frequently, or a useful project for the community. Perhaps it can also be spiritual, being kind — making people smile — feel good about themselves.
Whatever it is, only you can create your legacy. So why not ponder it? It’s the best way to figure out what matters to you most.
Volunteer For A Worthy Cause
A practical way to put your legacy to the test is by volunteering. Is there a special cause that’s close to your heart, such as animal rescue, or hunger relief? Why not seek out and join a local volunteer group? Researchers did find a link between helping out others regularly, and a sense of purpose and usefulness in life. I mean — it figures right?
Volunteering also makes you feel like you belong. Too shy to join a volunteer group? Not to worry! Studies have shown that psychedelics can boost prosocial behaviour. Microdosing truffles can also help ease symptoms of social anxiety… making group interactions a breeze.
7. The Purpose of Life
“What is my life’s purpose?”
This question has been around for eternity. Some people have discovered the answer that works for them, but a lot of us are still searching. There are many ways to discover your purpose in life — and they don’t have to be complex! Simple things, such as taking time to be with family and friends, good habits, enjoying a long-lost hobby, or volunteering for a cause.
There may be no pot of gold at the end of it, but that doesn’t make the rainbow any less sweeter. The prize is the journey… in the lasting impact we leave upon those we meet. There is no wizard hiding behind the curtain, no sage with all the answers. The real magic is within you — life itself. And what a gift to be alive!