Where to start? If you’re religious, you might say the meaning of life is to serve a greater cause, a higher power. If you leave any God or Deity out of the argument, I’d agree with you. I’m not interested in going down the path of talking about how we ended up here, I think science has done a pretty good job of explaining that. What I want to talk about is our purpose.
Regardless of how we got here, where you come from or what you do, we all search for our purpose. It would seem that those who find it are the most fulfilled. I would argue that the meaning of life is not to figure out what you do, or how you do it, but why you do what you do. Put simply, to find a meaning. When you have a purpose and truly believe in it, you have the power to change the world.
‘The meaning of life is not to figure out what you do, or how you do it, but why you do what you do. Put simply, the meaning of life is to find a meaning.’
I know that sounds like a pretty bold statement. Well, there’s a catch. In order to be truly happy, our purpose must be directed towards helping others.
Our biology dictates that we must work together, to serve others in order to survive, to thrive. We’re constantly rewarded for doing good things for others. Think about the last time you did something good for another human, without being asked. How good did it feel? Did you get a rush of the warm and fuzzies deep down inside you? Well, why not do more?
A good friend of mine, Pete Shepherd (the Shep), recently wrote a blog post challenging his readers to undertake a random act of kindness (an RAOK). To embrace our biology and randomly help out a friend or stranger. To make them smile, to make their day better, to make their week better. So why not take this one step further? Make it your life’s purpose to serve others and make their life better, all the while making your own life better.
I recently challenged myself to define my purpose. It took a lot of reflection and a strong commitment to stay a consistent course, but it’s already paying rewards. So, what have I defined as my ‘why’?
Well, here goes:
To have a positive impact on those around me, so that they will be inspired to have an impact on those around them
Again, I know it’s kinda bold. I mean, how can I honestly expect to inspire people to inspire others solely through my own actions? The thing is, whether I do or don’t isn’t the point. The point is, it’s possible to inspire others through your own actions, so is it that unreasonable to expect they might go on and have an impact on others?
I guess what I’m trying to say is that humans work better when we work together. I think Tolstoy put it best when he said ‘Joy can only be real if people look upon their life as a service and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness.’
So, get out there, find your purpose and live it!