Finding a Sense of Purpose
By Prince A. Sanders, Managing Director at Park Lane Hotel New York
We spend much of our life in pursuit of fulfillment. Whether we seek this feeling in our work, our families, our hobbies, or in some other area of life, all of us long to find something that makes us feel content, useful, and fulfilled.
For some of us, finding purpose in our lives may seem like a daunting, impossible task. You must ask yourself big questions, after all.
- Who are you?
- What do you care about?
- What brings you the most joy?
- What do you want to achieve?
- How can you change the world?
Once you begin to answer these questions, and even if you don't have an answer right away, you can begin to identify your purpose. When you establish long-term goals that align with your passions, you can live each day with joy and purpose.
If you are struggling to find what gives you purpose, there are some simple ways you can begin to approach this query.
Practice Reading & Writing
Even if you aren't very literary-minded, reading and writing can help you better understand what you care about and who you are. You don't have to read biographies, political works, or philosophical texts (though if those things interest you, go right ahead!). Literature provides a means of connection and offers insight into the human condition. Reading can allow you to consider big concepts as well as the nuances of human interaction and emotion. By reading, you can better grasp what matters to you by exposing yourself to clever themes, well-written characters, and open discussions about those texts.
In a similar way, granting yourself the freedom to write without reservations can help you understand your own inner dialogue as well as your history, passions, fears, and insecurities. You do not need to write about these things with the intention of publishing a memoir (though you may want to do so after writing), but simply journaling or documenting your thoughts can help you acknowledge your journey, identify obstacles you've overcome, and value the relationships you've formed over time. There are numerous benefits to reading and writing on a regular basis, especially when it comes to finding a sense of purpose and understanding yourself on a deeper level.
Follow Your Heart
Intuition is a powerful guide. When you ask yourself big questions, try not to dismiss your immediate reaction or first thought; these impulsive responses could shed light on what you truly value or want out of life. Even if your first thought doesn't work out, it is still important to trust in your instincts.
Additionally, you should be keen to discover and embrace the things you enjoy and the things that come easily to you. For most people, these often contribute to the discovery of their life purpose. Other things to consider are your personal values and beliefs, the qualities you most enjoy expressing, and the ways you like to express yourself.
Connect With Others
We are social creatures by nature, and as such, communicating with our friends, family, peers, and coworkers can help us better understand ourselves. Reflect on who you surround yourself with, what you have in common with them, and what they are trying to accomplish themselves. You may also consider their attitudes toward you and what they appreciate most about your presence in their lives as fuel for your purpose. Often, our own self-identity is shaped, in part, by those around us, so it only makes sense that finding your purpose can be similarly found.
There is no deadline for finding your purpose in life, but prioritizing its discovery could help you find fulfillment and satisfaction. While the world is complicated and perhaps disheartening at times, having a sense of purpose can keep you mentally stable and happy even in the darkest of times.