The purpose of YOUR life. Living from your heart.
Updated: Apr 27, 2021
Following up on my previous post, which provided a generalised outlook on the whole ‘purpose-of-life-thing’, in this post I’m taking an individualised perspective. At the end I´m also providing you with some practical questions to help you find purpose and meaning in your life.
I have also created a meditation on this topic!
When you are about to die, and you look back at your life – what will your final assessment be? Will you look back with regret or with a sense of ‘yeah this was a good life, a meaningful life, I made the best of it’.
What is it that gives your life a sense of purpose? What´s your why – the underlying reason behind your decisions and actions?
Every now and then I catch myself wondering even judging about how I go about my daily life.
Sometimes when lying in bed, I look back at my day thinking ‘what a waste of time, I didn’t do anything meaningful today. I´ve wasted time watching some stupid stuff on YouTube, I´ve spent too much time on my phone scrolling through Instagram.’
I feel that I have extremely high standards/expectations for myself (my life) that I should spend every minute of every day with something meaningful. (Does this sound true for you as well?) These high expectations cause me to get overwhelmed, overwhelmed by the endless amount of possibilities/opportunities that society wants me to believe are bringing meaning.
I want my life to be meaningful, but often I have no idea what that means to me. Sometimes living meaningful even seems like a burden, my mind starts to race, judging which of my actions are purpose-driven and which ones are a waste of time. At the end of the day, when the mind assesses that there was more wasted time than purpose-driven action, I look down on myself.
We get caught up in daily routines, doing things that we feel we need to do. Fulfilling other´s expectations (or expectations we have burdened ourselves with). We often look outwards for meaning and purpose. We believe that once we achieve a certain job, earn a certain amount of money, get a certain award/certificate/degree, we will be happy, we will feel fulfilled.
But this is a misperception, an illusion: Once we achieve that certain thing that we were working for, there will be a sense of fulfilment and happiness, yes – but this won´t last for very long. Shortly after we will feel that same need again for something else, looking again for the next thing that promises meaning, purpose and happiness – that gives us a direction, a reason to act and move forward.
It´s a never-ending race for the next better thing.
So how can we change this? How do we find true long-lasting joy and happiness?
We need a different approach: Instead of looking outwards and trying to find purpose and happiness in the achievement of external things, we need a change of perspective, we need to look inwards. We do this by switching from letting our minds guide us to being guided by our hearts.
Finding your ‘why’ is a journey inwards, a very personal one of asking yourself again and again what it is that brings YOU joy and happiness. Interpreting again and again what comes up but using the heart to do this not the mind. Shifting from letting the mind decide what should be done to FEELING what is right.
Finding your ‘why’ and your purpose is about living in accordance with what feels good and right to YOU – not to someone else. If you feel that you have to disguise yourself, that you have to be someone that you are not – this is a clear sign that this something is not in line with your purpose.
Dare living from your heart. Begin listening to your heart.
Use your heart to answer the following questions (not your mind):
1. Which of my actions are feeling good and right to me?
2. In which situations do I feel that I am being 100% myself?
3. Which of my actions are bringing me a childlike joy?
4. In which situations do I just have to smile?
5. Which of my actions are based on outer expectations? On other people´s/society´s standards? (here you can let your objectively evaluating mind answer 😉)
Do more of the first four and less of the last one!
I feel that we forget sometimes that we will die one day – at least it looks to me like that seeing so many people (myself included) that go about ‘wasting’ their lifes. As if we had unlimited time on earth, as if there would always be a tomorrow to make the change in our life that it would need to steer it into a new direction (a more meaningful direction).
If you would know that your last day on this earth was right around the corner, ask yourself: What would I change TODAY? How do I want to spend my last few days?
Listen to your heart. Your answers will provide you with deep purpose and meaning.
I would like to hear from you:
What gives your life purpose?
What are your ways of finding meaning in your life?