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The Importance and Power of Having Purpose In Your Life

By: Brian Kim - April 19, 2007

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The idea of just how important and powerful having purpose in our lives doesn’t really hit us until it is taken from or lost upon us.

As kids, we never really gave it a second thought. By default, purpose was given to us by those around us. Go to school, get good grades, hang out with your friends, watch movies, have fun, rinse and repeat.

Upon graduation from school, that purpose “expired” and a void was left in its place to be filled.

But the problem is that many people don’t know what to fill that void with because it’s been filled by others around them their entire life so it’s no wonder why they have so much difficulty with it in the first place.

Three scenarios come into play at this point in time.

Scenario #1. They attempt to fill that void with something once again, outside themselves. Parents, friends and family give them purpose – do this, do that. Society gives them purpose as well – get a nice comfy job, get rich, get a house in the suburbs, drive nice cars, raise a family, retire. Government gives purpose too – join the army. Be all that you can be. Serve your country.

For the majority of people, having purpose given to them by those around them comes as a major relief as they have something to hold onto now after having their “boat” taken from them in the sea of life.

But the majority of these people will soon realize later on down the road that having purpose handed to them from the outside was like a band aid covering a gaping hole in their chest as they come to the sad conclusion and realize that the purpose their life was built on, did not create the life that they truly wanted deep down inside.

Scenario #2. They go on a journey to find their purpose to fill that void, but soon give up because they cannot find it. At this point, they go back to the first scenario or worse yet, just drift aimlessly through life.

This is probably one of the worst feelings in the world and people suffer through it with quiet desperation. When you’re drifting, there’s no sense of control, no sense of direction, nothing to shoot for. Life pushes you in every which way and it’s hard to get a footing on it. A feeling of hopelessness and helplessness envelopes you and you begin to wonder if any other people feel the same way. The truth is, a lot of people feel the exact same way, but few will openly acknowledge it out of fear of losing face to those around them. Rather, they put up a façade that life is great, and just go through the motions, spinning their wheels in the process.

Scenario #3. They realize that the void must be filled, so they go on a journey to find their purpose and never give up until they do, for they know it will be the death of them if they don’t.

How is life like with purpose?

It is one of the greatest feelings in the world, perhaps best felt the moment one discovers and commits to it. No longer are you grasping for straws in the mud and being thrown here and there, but now have strong footing and deep roots which enable you to withstand the winds and storms of life.

It is such an empowering feeling to have purpose in your life.

You truly feel “alive” in every sense of the word. Your days become much brighter. A radiant glow emanates from your body. Worries seem to become so trivial and a thing of the past. Things become relative as you put them in their proper perspective in accordance to your purpose. You become satisfied with the decisions you make in your life since you have something that helps correctly guide them in the first place. All your actions and thoughts begin to revolve around your purpose and life as you know it begins to “shape” and “mold” itself according to it.

It is truly one of man’s greatest blessings to be able to have the consciousness and ability to choose what their purpose is in life, rather than live the life that animals lead. It is also indeed a double edged sword, with one side having the potential to unlock within a person, powers that he never knew he had before and the other, potential to forever scatter those same exact powers.

The million dollar question then arises. What is your purpose?

You know just as well as I do that I cannot give you that answer.

I apologize if that’s what you were expecting, but having somebody else tell you your purpose is counter intuitive to a certain degree. Sure you can give them suggestions as to what their purpose can or should be, but until they acknowledge that the purpose that was suggested is their purpose, in other words, they make it their own, they cannot garner the full benefits from it.

YOU must find your purpose and justify it to yourself because by doing so, you make it your own and once you make it your own, you activate an inner drive within you that’s immune to the thoughts and opinions of people outside of you. That nagging feeling of “what will other people think?” goes away. Approval from others doesn’t become so important.

If you haven’t found your purpose, make it your purpose to find it.

Take the journey. Some say meditate. Some say ask other people who've found their purpose. Some say engage in deep introspection. Take all that. Utilize it. See where it takes you. See where it leads you.

Purpose will be different for many of us simply because we were raised in different circumstances, different cultures, have different beliefs, etc.

But I guarantee you that once you do find your purpose (and you will) an incredible feeling that words cannot describe will wash over you and you’ll know in that moment, that you’ve found it.

I cannot emphasize how important it is that you make sure that your purpose is of your own volition and ONLY your own because once you do that, it can never be taken from you. It becomes something real, something tangible, something you can hold onto for the rest of your life.

Be ready to justify to yourself that the purpose you have chosen is indeed your own choice and that you consciously made the decision to pursue it. Defend it to yourself. Not to other people, but to yourself, because that is all you need. If you can do that, then that is truly your purpose.

One thing I want to point out is that we can never judge another person for the purpose they choose to follow. Some people may choose money. Some fame. Some charity. Some, a life of solitude. That’s fine. That’s their purpose and their purpose alone. Not yours.

When you find your purpose and make it your own, it’s as if your internal battery gets “jump started” and you really get moving and make traction to take confident steps in harmony with your purpose.

Once you have purpose, you begin to see exactly what you’re made of because purpose activates within you your natural success mechanism. Life also helps by giving you all the things you need to help you with your purpose after seeing that you’ve finally made that decision.

You’ll definitely find yourself spending time pursuing it, finding and interacting with people of the same purpose, and encouraging one another to go for it. The people you hang around with, your choice of books and entertainment, your diet, your lifestyle, all of it will start to revolve around your purpose, feeding it and helping you pursue it.

One last thing I want to point out is to make sure that you differentiate between purpose and goals and here is the simple difference between the two:

Goals are there to serve your purpose, not to be your purpose.

Purpose is the driving force behind you setting the goals you want to achieve. Goals are merely a reflection and minor subset of your overall purpose.

Read the lives of men and women who you considered to have lead successful lives from the beginning of history and you will always find, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that having purpose in their lives played a central role in their success.

You’ll discover that the one common factor they all had within them is that their purpose was something much something greater than themselves and that they genuinely loved pursuing it.

Whatever your purpose is, when you find it, own it - make it your own, and watch as your life slowly sculpts around it, delivering the necessary resources to aid in your pursuit of it.

In closing, I just want to say that a lot of people may fear, avoid, or even detest the path of finding purpose in their lives because it seems like such an overwhelming task and they fear that they will fail if they undertake it, but by taking on that task and persevering no matter how hard or how long it takes, and going through the journey to find your purpose, that will truly make all the difference, not just in your life, but in the world.

YOU must find out what your purpose is. YOU must go on a journey to figure it out because when you undertake the journey to find it (and you eventually will find it), that journey will ready you to successfully pursue it.

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3 Responses to “The Importance and Power of Having Purpose In Your Life”

  1. Tony Says:

    Hey, Brian,

    It’s my honor to congratulate you on writing this entry and be the first person that posts a comment. Thanks, it’s such a great read.

    What an amazing article… truly magnificent, the words you used and the way how you explained, clarified that specific ‘incredible feeling’ that washes over us once we find our very own purpose is definitely truth. That feeling absolutely resonates with our hearth/soul, it is a feeling of well-being that generates our motivating thoughts out of our inner voice, sort of: “let’s go! achieve your goals!” Ultimately, pursing our highest purpose will lead not only to a wealthy and extraordinary life but also piece of mind. Topics like these are unfortunately underrated in the lives of average people, it’s sad how many people live their whole life purposelessly, doing the same things on a daily basis, everything being monotone; often end up having a job that they truly detest but they are living from month to month, paying bills and eating– thus they won’t risk changing jobs and end up their whole life living doing nothing else than fighting towards the hazards and barely doing anything for themselves. That wasn’t how life is meant to be lived…

    All of us has his/her very own purpose. It might take hours, days, month or years to find it out, but we first need to find out what is it. A tip would be writing 20-20 words in two separate columns; in the first column writing the things, activities, events that we love and like, whilst in the second writing the ones that we truly hate! 20-20, eh? Sounds easy? Force yourself and brainstorm those 40 ideas out of you, then analyze both columns, compare them. You will have a slightest idea about what your purpose might be related already. Now, all you need to do is DREAM. Imagine that there are no barriers, no limits and that everything is possible (it is, by the way). Visualize a time-line and flow in the future, say ten years, and notice what you are doing there. Try it out different combinations of ‘activities’ and notice how doing those FEELS like? As Brian Kim said, you WILL feel a strong wave of emotion that basically washes through your body like a lightning, you WILL feel mixed emotions of happiness, well-being but also you will feel a weird need to cry. That’s because you will find out how that one certain PURPOSE is close to your persona, hearth, soul and your unique talents and needs. You will regret that you haven’t found out earlier but on the same time knowing your purpose is excellent. Once we find it out, then we need to motivate ourselves on a daily basis, set goals and have that ‘burning desire’ that continuously programs our mind and ultimately develops the belief that we are able to do that. “If you don’t know where you’re going, chances are you will end up somewhere else.” It does makes sense, right? You must know your very OWN purpose, have a desired vision of your future, think long-term enough to know what do you want out of your life and have a well-planned strategy that backs up your plans, split into tons of smaller and greater goals. Having and taking action towards your ‘highest purpose’ basically alters your reality, you will notice coincidences happen everywhere and you will think back ‘connecting the dots’ and realize how mysteriously weird life indeed is, but nonetheless it is the beautifulness of it. This is the one and only tested, tried and proved technique that leads to absolute success, period.

    Keep up the great work! You are indeed making changes in hundreds of readers’ lives and your purpose is clear enough, your style of writing, the subjects that you write about completely resonates with us (read as readers) and basically deepens those magnificent and genuine ideas in us. Thanks for reading my comment. All the best.

    Best,
    Tony

  2. Brian Kim Says:

    Hi Tony,

    Thank you very much for the kind words. I really appreciate it!

    And thank you for taking the time to leave such an insightful and helpful comment. I’ve got to say, out of the hundreds and hundreds of comments left since the beginning of this blog, yours has got to be the best one in terms of adding to the article (it seems to be like an extension of my writing ;) ) and giving helpful advice. I truly thank you for that.

    It’s evident from what you wrote that you have found your purpose and know the experiences I write of, in other words, you know what it’s like to be on the other side and I’m very happy to hear that.

    Thank you again for your comment. I really appreciate it.

    All the best,

    Brian

  3. Reader Success Story: If You Met Her 10 Years Ago, You Would’ve Thought She Was On a Sad and Painful Path of Despair » The Definitive Self Improvement Blog - BrianKim.net Says:

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