How to Find Your Meaning and Purpose in Life

In order to be happy, it is essential that you learn how to find your meaning and purpose in life. It helps to think of your meaning and purpose in life as your “Ultimate Goal”. Think of your meaning and purpose as the one and only goal you absolutely must achieve in your life. In this post I share a way to find your “Ultimate Goal” in 5 minutes or less!

Man is not born to solve the problems of the universe, but to find out what he has to do… within the limits of his comprehension. – Johann Wofgang von Goethe

If you knew your “Ultimate Goal”, wouldn’t that give you such a great sense of direction? Wouldn’t knowing help guide your every step in life? I know it would, because I’ve struggled with the same thing most of my life until I finally nailed what my “Ultimate Goal” was last week!

By looking at meaning and purpose as an “Ultimate Goal” it becomes so much easier to figure out. When I realized my meaning and purpose I experienced a life epiphany that cleared so much fuzz and gave me a great sense of direction. I think it is essential that you find yours, because simply knowing mine skyrocketed my daily happiness.

Moving mountains by knowing your meaning and purpose.
Image copyright Blmiers2 – Flickr.com

How-to Find Your Meaning and Purpose in Life

1. Brainstorm a List – Jot down a list of everything you would really like to see happen in your lifetime. Or depending on your current struggle, write down those things that you think would make you a lot happier in life.

For me I was struggling with finding a job so my list included a lot of things in that regard. However, depending on the current struggle you are going through your list may look different. My mindset at the time was career oriented so I listed a number of job ideas. Your thought process may be focused on relationships, family issues, or a number of other things that will shape the direction of your list.

Since you are human, this list will look different depending on what is currently going on during your life at the time you write it. Does that mean your life meaning and purpose will change?

Maybe!

However don’t let that discourage you, as change is the only constant and what you find will make you happy today and give you direction for your tomorrow!

Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing it is not fish they are after. – Henry David Thoreau

For an example I’m including the exact list I wrote:

-Teach (would require luck in this economy)

-Be a USPS worker

-Own a junk removal/moving/landscaping business

-Be a Mr. Mom (which would require babies)

-Professional Blogger (you have to dream big right?)

2. Be a Toddler – Ask why? why? why? for each item. Simply write why you think each item in your list will make your life happier.

Here’s mine:

Teach - WHY? I could work a good job I love, save investment money, and enjoy my free time during the summer.

Be a USPS worker - WHY? I could bust my butt for 5 – 10 years while living frugally and invest the 200,000 dollars or so I save in real estate. Then I could live off the rental income from 4 cheap properties I buy. I’d have to continue to live frugally but I would have my own source of revenue and free up a lot of time to spend with friends and family, which is most valuable to me.

Own a junk removal/moving/landscaping business - I could be in charge of my own revenue. The money I make and having job security would be up to me, I would feel pride and a sense of ownership.

Be a Mr. Mom  - I could spend time with my family, raise my own child, and have time to work on my own little business such as a blog.

Professional Blogger – I could be in charge of my own revenue (however small) while having a flexible schedule.

how to find your meaning and purpose
Image copyright Blmiers2 – Flickr.com

3. Look for Similarities – Now go through your WHYS and underline the common similarities you find in each item. The similarities for mine were obvious:

I valued my time – which shows in each listing. I value ownership of my own stream of revenue – which also shows in each item. Lastly, time with friends and family is valued as well as personal entrepreneurship.

4. Make it Clear – Combine the similarities into a one or two sentence statement that is easy to comprehend. When looking at the similarities finding my “Ultimate Goal” in life was simple. And honestly it feels great to write it out here:

Ultimate Goal: To create a system that provides me a stream of income to live modestly. This system will also give me flexible time to spend with my family and friends. – TJ

Now will this ever happen? I would like to think so. But at least now I know what it is that I ultimately want out of life (at this moment). Today I feel like if I ever reached my “Ultimate Goal”, I would die knowing my life had great meaning and purpose. This gives me (and will give you) a serge of motivation and enthusiasm towards everyday life.

My “Ultimate Goal” really connects with me. However, I realize it might leave you scratching your head. Guess what? That’s okay! If your “Ultimate Goal” lights a fire deep in you but no one else gets it, who cares! This is about your meaning and purpose, not anyone else’s.

When you found yours I want to hear it! Please share in the comments below.

Here are some other post I think you’ll enjoy:

Happiness through Faith or Goal-setting?

How Do I Find My Passion? 5-Step Guide

How-to Not Take Life Too Seriously

*Did you enjoy this post? I find it very motivating to know someone has read and liked my work. If you are one of them please share some love by interacting with my site in any way, otherwise I will go on thinking that no one likes my work! – A simple like or quick comment means more to me than you realize! Thank you

About TJ Chasteen

Hi! I'm TJ the creator of How-toBeHappy.com. I believe that nothing is more important than living a life full of daily happiness. That is my mission - I help my followers (and myself) design a life that easily produces happy moments everyday.

Comments

  1. Talian says:

    So I did the excercise, following the steps individually, and it showed me quite a few interesting things about who I am and what I want out of life. Thank you :)

    • TJ says:

      Hi Talian,

      I hope it helped get you one step closer to creating a life that easily produces happy moments!

      Best,
      TJ

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