How does one find his life’s purpose?
Here is a story by Jim Stovall that puts “purpose” in perspective:
There once lived two warring tribes on a treacherous mountain. One tribe lived at the foot (plains) of the mountain and the other one at the top.
The highlanders or people living in the mountains were well-versed with mountaineering, a skill that the lowlanders did not know. One day, they invaded the tribe living on the plains and took away a sleeping infant.
When the victims realized that a baby was missing, they tried getting the baby back but soon realized that they can’t get up the mountains. They did not know any trails, how to track the highlanders, or where to look for the baby. The best men of the tribe formed a team and set out in search of the baby.
They tried to climb the mountain and get on top in various ways over a few days – with no luck whatsoever. They were about to give up and return home when they saw the baby’s mother walking down from the mountain towards them with the baby strapped to her back.
Astonished, they asked her “Sister, we are the strongest and the most agile of the tribe but are still unable to climb this mountain. How could you manage this feat?’
She simply replied, “It wasn’t your baby.”
A person can be motivated to work passionately only if it leads to something he or she is desperately seeking. Otherwise, the person will keep drifting like deadwood in water throughout their life where nothing really inspires them.
Your life can be meaningful and be filled with a purpose only if you care about something deeply and work towards it passionately. In achieving it you become gripped, excited, interested, and engaged. This can be building a business, saving for your kids’ education, or trying to help those in need. Whatever makes you get out of bed in the morning and stay up late voluntarily is worth pursuing.
The only thing to bear in mind is that if you choose a person, your family or children as your life’s goal, you will feel very empty once they move on. So, accept the fact that when the person separates from you it will cause you pain. This doesn’t mean you should not care about your family or kids. Instead, just accept the fact that they have their own lives that they can choose to live the way they want. They have their own purpose to identify and fulfill. Though, an example of a goal is improving relationships (children, friends, spouse, etc.). It makes it worth our while to invest our time and energy in something that goes beyond an individual.
If you do not feel any passion for anything at all, then it is difficult to find a purpose in life. A good way of finding something you are interested in is backtracking all the way to your childhood. What made you excited then? What were your dreams? Was there something that ruined your, let’s say, love for reading, or science, or computers? Is there something you’ve done that makes you forget to eat or sleep? Or if you were to die in a year, what would you do to get the most out of every hour of your remaining life?