Written by Samuel Rafini March 18, 2021
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” — Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
To know the purpose of life means to know “why we live.” Look around you everything certainly has a purpose. Trees provide oxygen, insects pollinate, cars bring us from Point A to Point B. They all have something in common, It is to be useful.
Although not knowing your purpose in life can be very stressful, I believe the moment a person truly starts the journey of self-discovery they start to put their mind at ease.
Happiness: the state of feeling or showing pleasure or the state of being satisfied that something is good or right. Happiness is a mental or emotional state, a fleeting emotion that comes and goes. You can be happy about your well-being, accomplishment, being with friends, travel, etc. In short being happy is to appreciate and like what you have.
Therefore I believe finding your purpose in life is to focus more on self-discovery and to be useful rather than happiness.
I came across this picture on Linkedin that I like very much, which inspired me to write this article.
Passion is when you combine (Left) what you do well with (Top) what you love doing. It is something you develop and what drives you to do something no matter what and also compels you to take risks and to push yourself past your current limits. Some people discover early in life what their passion is, and some have to explore different things and step out of their comfort to discover their passion.
Mission is when you combine (Top) what you love doing with(Right) what the world needs. It is a strongly felt aim, ambition, or calling. A great start to discover your mission is to ask yourself “how can I help?” some great examples are shown below
“To make people happy” — WaltDisney
“To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world” (everybody is an athlete)— Nike
“To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together “— Facebook
“To be a teacher. And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could be” — Oprah Winfrey
Vocation is when you combine (Right) What the world needs with (Bottom) For what they are going to pay you. A vocation is a work you almost feel like you’d do for free, something you feel that is what you were meant to do. You feel that your work has an impact beyond yourself.
Profession is when you combine (Bottom) For what they are going to pay you with (Left) what you do well. A profession is not just work and leave without progressing. A profession is not an occupation or labor. Professionals takes pride and responsibility for the work completed, knowing they can always learn more and become better. for example Physician, Software Developer, Chef, Beautician, and an Athlete
“The heart of human excellence often begins to beat when you discover a pursuit that absorbs you, frees you, challenges you, or gives you a sense of meaning, joy, or passion.” ―Terry Orlick
So by focusing on self-discovery ( What you are good at and what you love) and being useful ( What you can be paid for and what the world needs) is how I believe you can find your purpose in life. And perhaps in finding our purpose in life we will also find happiness.
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