It not easy finding a sense of purpose. Even if we have everything going for us, like a good career, a loving spouse, good kids, a home, a car… You get the picture – having a picture-perfect life doesn’t guarantee that we will have a sense of purpose. Feeling lost is normal and is pretty much part and parcel of modern life.
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However, finding it doesn’t necessarily require spending six months in a monastery, or going on a backpacking trip to South America. Sometimes meaning can be found in the mundane, or in things that are outside of us and our possessions.
Now, people with a strong sense of purpose are not only happier, but they also live longer. Research also shows that they have better sleep habits, and are just healthier all around. It makes sense too – you will definitely get a better night’s sleep if you’re not consumed by nihilism and ennui before bedtime.
So, the utility of having a sense of purpose is pretty self-evident. The article below deals with some ways you can find meaning in your life. Of course, if you have someone to talk to, like a therapist, a religious figure, or simply a dear friend, you should take the opportunity and do so.
Surround yourself with (honest) positive people
There are many benefits of being surrounded by good, positive people. Being inside an environment of positivity, of people with goals and ambitions will definitely rub off on you. You can also figure out your purpose in life by simple exposure. Having honest people near you can help point you in the right direction, and teach you how to understand yourself more.
Give back to the community
One of the best ways you can feel some purpose in your life is by giving back. Try to become a greater part of your community. One way of doing this is to donate money, to invest in something that matters to the people around you. Every donation to a worthy cause is sorely appreciated, but perhaps you will get more meaning from donating to something tangible. Buying uniforms for the local school’s rugby teams, or building a new library wing, will work wonders.
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You can get even more in the mud by donating your time. Do some volunteer work, become part of a soup kitchen, become part of a youth group, or just help the people in your area in whatever ways you can.
Taking care of a pet
One of the things you can also try is taking care of your pet. First of all, you will get a companion that gives you unconditional love and acceptance at all times. You will always have a warm, furry friend waiting for you at home to greet you.
Furthermore, what will give you purpose here is actually taking care of it. You will get the opportunity to take your mind off of things and nurture a living creature. Just the work involved can give you some focus in life. Going to a good, professional vet, reading good dog advice websites, like Totally Goldens, for example, speaking to other pet owners, doing the right amount of research, this will all keep you occupied.
What you can also try is simply experiment. Try out as many hobbies and activities as you can. Boxing, aikido, running, cycling, dance, writing, whatever sounds interesting. And even if things don’t sound interesting, try stuff out anyway. A hike in the woods, camping, maybe challenging yourself with new literature, these things can get you out of your funk. Who knows where you can find your passion.
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Now, don’t torture yourself here, but also be honest. If you do take up any of these activities, try to stick with them for 30 days. There is little point in giving up when things get difficult, it’s perfectly normal that you will not have an easy go at things. At the same time, forcing yourself to do things that seem like they have no point will only make you feel worse.
Sometimes what we really need is rest and relaxation to understand ourselves better. Being swamped with work, being emotionally and physically occupied can simply steal away any time we need to self-reflect. Maybe you’re suffering from burnout, or you’re just too busy to let your mind relax.
It’s easy to forget who we are and what we want out of life when all we are thinking about is getting through the day and going to bed. So, if you can, we advise you to go on vacation, actually think things through. If that’s not possible, try to carve out as much free time as you can. Hire a maid to clean up your house, eat out a bit more, or maybe switch to part-time work, temporarily of course.
Sometimes all we need to find our sense of purpose is rest, both physical and emotional. Other times experimenting with a variety of passions and activities can serve as the jolt we need to get our head straight.
Or, maybe purpose can be found through our communities, giving back through volunteer work, or taking care of a pet. Surrounding oneself with positive and honest people can also help.
The point here is to not give up hope. It will require some effort, but it will definitely be worth it.
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