Your purpose in life

6 April, 2010

Why are you here? Whether you’re a Christian, Buddhist, Atheist or otherwise it helps to have a purpose in life. Without a purpose, you drift through your life from day to day without an ultimate goal that guides your decisions and lifestyle choices and will probably end up at the end of your life wondering what you actually accomplished and why you bothered living your life to it’s natural conclusion.

Without understanding your purpose in life you may even wonder why you should go on living and maybe entertain thoughts of suicide – I know I have.

You as a person are not limited to your physical body or even your conscious life. You will exist after your body has died. I’m not talking about ghosts and spirits but the impact you make on the Universe during your life will linger on after you die. It may be that people remember your name and have a awareness of what you did in your life and that knowledge then guides people, influences decisions. Perhaps you actually made a physical difference in the world – contributed towards shaping cultural change or improving the lives of those in need.

Perhaps your name will be forgotten, but you still affected history, affected the world and affected society. It’s like a giant patchwork spanning thousands of years that everyone comes along, sews in their piece, and then leaves. Your contribution to the fabric of society – even if so minor no one even notices – is what our future is founded on.

Your purpose in life is to contribute in a positive and meaningful way to that future, to guide our society – even if you’re only nudging a handful of people a few degrees – towards a happier more hopeful future, aiming for a future without poverty, famine and disease. There will always be grief, people will continue to die and we should not aim for immortality. The natural order of things, the circle of life, is that we must die and we should resign ourselves to that unchangeable fate of every person. But in other things, we should have a picture in our minds of a utopian society and put our shoulder to the work.

We may have to move this block of stone miles to get there, but a mile is made up of yards, and yards of inches and if you only move it one inch then that’s one inch closer to a better future.

Don’t be selfish, don’t say “That future is a future without me – so why should I bother?”. This society gave birth to you, nurtured you and now you owe it a debt, to advance our civilisation, our species, to propel it towards a state of freedom, peace and prosperity for all.

Do not say “I can’t make a difference” because just by being alive you can make a difference. Even once you’re dead you will still be making a difference, so don’t give up. Just do something, anything. As long as it’s positive and in the best interests of humanity then that’s all we ask.


  1. Interesting post Nat – and advancing society is a worthy purpose in life but do you necessarily have to hold it as a goal to achieve the same affect? Say for instance you had as a goal to be kim and compassionate in your day — does that contribute in it’s own way to the greater goal of advancing society?

  2. Absolutely. You have to find your own way to contribute to that goal. I didn’t give you anything actionable – that’s up for you to figure out. What are your strengths? Where are you best positioned to make a difference? As I said, just by being, you are making a dent, making a difference and if that’s a positive one then you’ve helped tipped the scales in that direction.

    In fact as long as you’re NOT doing anything counter-productive like committing murder, domestic violence, risking people’s lives or being an angry, grumpy arsehat then you’re on the right track but it helps to have an overarching goal in life that stretches from the time you’re born to the time you die that all other things come under otherwise you’ll find yourself having to invent reasons for taking certain courses of action. It’s the ultimate strategy.

  3. That was brilliant and amazing.

    I’ll even venture so far as to say that, by writing this, you’ve changed this world… for the better in my opinion. Well done.

    I’ve always believed in the Carry-On Effect of Life, where the smile that you share with a stranger makes their life just that much better and they take that with them and pass it on to others as well.

    Extrapolate that out and you find that all deeds, both good and bad, leave their mark. Like that time I farted in the elevator full of lawyers… I changed the World that day I can tell you!

    Sorry Nat, for reals that was an excellent article I’m sharing around. Don’t be offended that I Gooogled some of the key sentences to see where it was originally from either, that’s just testament to your awesomeness.

  4. My purpose for life completely changed when I had children.

    The little things your kids do as they grow, develop and make their own place in the world totally transforms you and your views.

    Have kids. You’ll see.

  5. […] born with. I’m not bragging – I’m just calling it what it is, and I feel it is my duty while I’m alive to make the most of what I have to benefit society and this world. It’s […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: