How come we reserve the question of “what do you want to be in life?” for kids, instead of allowing it to persist throughout our lives? Kids are driven by imagination, their unfettered curiosity allows them to think outside of any scope of human limitation, so they dare to dream. They express their desire to become space cowboys, superheroes, firefighters, and writers with uncanny zeal. What happens to so many people in their life is that this desire to fulfill a purpose fades, or at the very least, they cannot identify their very purpose that gets them out of bed every morning.
This leads to more apathy towards things we do out of mere necessity, and our colourful minds grow thirsty for stimulation and drive. That, in turn, often exhibits in the form of depression, various kinds of anxiety, feelings of low self-esteem, and that painful feeling that you don’t belong. A purpose, it seems, is inextricably linked with our wellbeing, and devoting more time to finding that inner path of happiness may be the key to emotional and mental health.
The Value Of Purpose
You’d be surprised by the volume of research that points to a direct connection between finding meaning in life and health. One particular cross-sectional study that included three different age groups established a link between greater life satisfaction and having a purpose. It turns out that having a purpose inspires the kind of happiness we often search for without understanding that it is, at its core, rooted in finding meaning first and foremost.
On the other hand, studies also point out that meaning makes us more resilient to stress, which in turn means being able to fight for what matters most to us, and not give up at the first sign of a challenge. And we all know just how much our physical and mental wellbeing are connected to stress, so the ability to keep it at bay with the help of leading a purposeful life is one way to ensure mental fortitude.
Embrace The Learning Curve
Even when you ask yourself all the right questions, the answers don’t always deliver that one-stop solution you feel you may need. Few things in life are so straightforward, and we often need to work hard not only to discover our purpose, but to fulfill it. If you’re a creative soul eager to innovate through a specific field, you may find that institutions such as The Masters Institute of Creative Education can be a perfect way to define your path and find a way to express your meaning in life.
Such specific courses and educational workshops help us find a practical application for our purpose, a calling instead of a job, and passion instead of a chore. Give yourself time to explore the different options. If you aim to empower self-expression in people, you can find different ways to achieve that, be it through a fashion design course, or something else entirely, such as music, sculpting, or writing.
No Room For Copycats
The thing about purpose is, you cannot look to others to find it for you. You can be inspired when you see someone who has truly found meaning in their life, you can ask them about their journey, to share their advice, but you cannot expect to repeat after them and achieve the same results. A purpose is person-specific, it’s hidden under a pile of those unique questions stirring your soul every day, the ones often silenced by the noise of everyday chatter and life.
Self-reflection through meditation, for example, can be of great help to uncover and recognise which questions you need to ask yourself to find out what your passion is. You will recognise which moments in your life have caused immense joy, which situations make you feel as if you’d gladly spend the eternity experiencing them, and which actions have intrinsic value for you.
Look For Professional Help
As we’ve mentioned earlier, the link between purpose and health is a deeply-rooted one, and when we fail to discover our life’s meaning for years on end, it can lead to severe mental health issues. Although the chase for passion and direction should never truly end, we can feel discouraged and dissuaded when struggling with depression and anxiety.
In such instances, when you see that your wellbeing is at risk, it’s best to seek professional counsel from a therapist who can not only give you behavioral and medical advice as to how to best restore your mental health, but also guide you on your journey to find your purpose. After all, we as humans aren’t meant to go it alone. The support of our loved ones is a must so that we can see our own purpose and our own goals contributing to the wellbeing and happiness of others.
It’s a long and winding road, finding purpose. Give yourself the time, patience, and freedom to explore your options, and don’t be afraid of change. Sometimes the very same purpose can take many different forms, and bring you the satisfaction in life that you crave and that will make you feel alive through smooth sailing and storms alike.
Stella is a graphic designer and illustrator, a lifestyle and beauty blogger and a food enthusiast. She is very passionate about the environment and her hobbies center around her love for nature, yoga and living in balance. Stella loves giving tips about healthy lifestyle and self-development. She is a contributor to several health and lifestyle blogs. You can find more about her writing by following her on Twitter.