The Bright Side Blog

Finding Your Purpose in Life

Finding Your Purpose in Life

Having a strong motivational purpose will not only allow you to feel better as you navigate through life, but can also improve your physical health.

A recent study reveals having meaning in life is more powerful in curtailing mortality than ignoring alcohol or even quitting smoking!

Think It Through

According to personality psychology expert Brian Little’s “Personal Projects Analysis” activity, writing a list of current personal projects and reflecting on them can be instrumental in finding your life’s purpose. Entries can range from being a better parent to losing weight or learning French. It’s up to you, but most people list about 15 projects.

Little advises us to pare down the list by focusing on projects we can realistically achieve, speak directly to what we care about most deeply, and are most likely to make us happy.

Driven by projects of our choosing that bring us joy and satisfaction can help give our existence true purpose.

Stay Connected

Friends, family, and routines may provide meaning that you weren’t even aware of. University of Missouri psychologist Laura King, who studies the science of meaning, says that your life could already have more purpose than you realize.

Meeting with friends, taking care of family, and volunteering often create worth. Positive routines can also serve as daily motivators. Consider that delicious first-thing cup of coffee, the nudge of a timer to prompt you to take the first step on a project or a good luck ritual such as a pre-game warmup or quick prayer. These can all do wonders for acting purposefully.

Greater than Ourselves

Psychiatrist, Holocaust survivor, and author of Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl is another thought leader who views purpose as the successful byproduct of pursuing significant goals. He insists that it is most important to support “a cause greater than oneself.”

Frankl says meaning comes by genuinely interacting with others, owning your creativity and self-expression, and adjusting our attitude when up against a situation we don’t control.

Wise words to follow, but like most goals worth attaining, our meaning must come from our lives and what satisfies us.

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