Living a life of purpose can motivate you to get up in the morning and put your full energy into your day. Having purpose in your life can help you feel as though your routines and habits are meaningful and important to you, and to those around you. You can live a life of purpose by following your passions and by setting goals. You may also find purpose in life by giving back to others and by living a more balanced life, where you appreciate what you have and savor every moment of your day.
- Following Your Passions and Setting Goals
- Giving Back to Others
- Finding Balance in Your Life
Identify your passions. A big part of living a life of purpose is having passions and living them. Start by thinking about you are passionate about. Write down your passions, being as descriptive as possible. Ask yourself, What do I love to do? What makes me happy? Identifying your passions will help you realize what is important to you in life.
- For example, you may be passionate about providing for your family, being an architect, and owning a home of your own. Or you may be passionate about finding a romantic partner, about travelling to Asia, and about learning how to draw.
Integrate your passions into your everyday life. Take your passions and put them into action. Try to integrate them into your everyday life, even if it is just in small ways. Put more of your passion into bonding with your family, as you realize you are passionate about having strong connections to your family members. Or set aside more time to do hobbies you are passionate about, such as painting, singing, or writing.
- You could have a major realization that you are actually passionate about a different career or job. Perhaps you realize you are actually passionate about community service and decide to focus your career on serving your community. Living by this passion may be more fulfilling for you, even if you do not make as much money if you were doing something else.
Set goals and work to achieve them. Having goals in your life can also help you feel you are living a purposeful life. Set clear goals and work to achieve them so you can feel you are accomplishing what you want in life. Write down your goals and post them somewhere you can see them. Refer to them often and check them off as you achieve them. This can help you feel you are living with purpose and motivate you to embrace every day as another way to achieve your goals.
- For example, you may write down immediate goals like “learn how to bake a pie from scratch” or “watch more documentaries on politics this year.” You may also write down long-term goals like “take an online course on economics” or “improve my GPA this year and apply for college.”
- Create a list of goals and work to achieve them one by one. Use rewards to motivate yourself to achieve these goals, such as a meal out or a night out with a friend if you achieve certain goals.
- Use daily affirmations and reminders that you are working towards goals that are important to you. Tell yourself affirmations every morning like, “I will achieve my goals” or “I will get what I want” out loud or write them down in your journal.
Live according to your values. Having passions goes hand in hand with having values. Your values are how you intend to live your life and inform how you dictate your decisions. Living according to your values will help you feel your life is purposeful and meaningful to you. If your values are positive and deep, you will also be more open and generous to those around you. This can also help to enrich your life and make you feel you are living more fully day to day.
- For example, you may have values like honesty, compassion, and community. You can then put these values into action by being honest with a friend, volunteering in your community, and supporting a relative going through a hard time.
Volunteer your time. Giving back to others can often help you feel as though you are living a more full life. Volunteer your time in some way on a daily or weekly basis. This could be volunteering for a few hours at your local homeless shelter once a week. Or perhaps you volunteer your time by helping a sibling study for a class one day a week.
- Try to volunteer even a small amount of your time on a daily or weekly basis to feel as though your day to day life has purpose. Even helping a neighbor shovel their walkway or assisting a stranger by holding the door for them can be seen as giving back to others.
Support a worthy cause. You can also give back in more obvious ways by supporting a worthy cause in your neighborhood or area. You may support a cause by donating money to an organization or by volunteering your time for the organization. You can also promote the cause on social media and tell others about the cause as a show of support.
- For example, perhaps you are passionate about women’s rights and want to support a local organization that focuses on providing educational opportunities for young women. You could donate money to the organization or volunteer at their local offices.
Be there for friends and family. The people you surround yourself with can act as a support network and help motivate you to embrace any challenges life throws at you. You can also feel your life has more meaning by being there for your loved ones and by letting others depend on you. Offer your time, energy, and support to your loved ones on a continual basis.
- For example, you may try inviting your family over for dinners once a week so you can all stay connected with each other. Or you may spend more time with close friends and nurture your relationships with them by being a good listener when they have issues or problems they need to talk about.
Show empathy towards others. Empathy can be a powerful way to connect with others and feel your life has purpose. Showing empathy towards others means you try to put yourself in the position of someone else and connect to them on a person to person level. You can show empathy to lose closest to you, such as family and friends, as well as strangers on the street or people you have just met. Having empathy for others can help you feel more connected to others and allow you to give back to others in a meaningful way.
- For example, you may show empathy for a classmate by simply asking them about their day. You may also ask them how they are feeling, especially if you know they are struggling with issues at home or at school.
- You can also show empathy for others by actively working against harmful things like hate speech and racism in your day to day life. If you see someone acting harmful to others, online or in person, say something. Speak up and use your empathy to help connect to anyone who is being discriminated against, bullied, or put down.
Simplify your daily routine. Another way you can live a life of purpose is to work on having a more simplified approach to your day to day habits. Simplify your daily routine so you are less distracted or stressed on a daily basis. This may mean only checking social media one to two times a day instead of ten. Or this may mean letting go of a few commitments in your day so you can put your energies into things you are passionate about.
- You can start by removing one distracting thing from your day. For example, perhaps you only check your social media in the late morning instead of first thing in bed. Or perhaps you cancel a work meeting because it ends up taking up too much of your productive time at work.
- Remove more and more distracting things from your daily routine over time. Eventually, you should have a more simplified daily routine, which will help you feel you are living with purpose and not just going through the motions.
Maintain a good work life balance. You can also have a more balanced life by devoting equal time to your work and to your life outside of work. Try not to have an imbalance, where you work long hours and neglect your personal relationships or connections with others. Doing this can lead to stress, anxiety, and a feeling of being purposeless or empty. Instead, work on having a healthy balance so you can more fulfilled.
- For example, you may try splitting your time equally on your career or your schooling and on your relationships. Commit quality time to your romantic relationships or your relationships with your family so you do not feel imbalanced or isolated from others.
Live in the moment. It can be tempting to try to think too far into the future or to stress about the unknown. Avoid doing this and try to enjoy the moment at hand. Focus on savoring what you are doing in the now so you can enjoy it and remember it later. This can give your life more purpose, especially on a day to day basis.
- A big part of living in the moment is appreciating the things you already have. Though you may wish you had more money or more success, acknowledge all that you have accomplished thus far and be grateful for all that you have done. This can help you feel your life has purpose right now, and that this purpose will only grow as you take on more challenges or goals.
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