"What is the Purpose of Life? Here's the Answer!"
Dear Success Seeker,
Have you ever wondered about the Purpose of Life? I'm not talking about your 'Life Purpose', which would be the contribution, difference or impact you want to make in the world. I'm referring to the reason you are on this planet or the outcome you want to achieve. Well I have great news. In this newsletter I will reveal all!
Of course many religions, gurus, thought-leaders and philosophers are more than happy to tell you the purpose of life. Many of them claim that they have the correct answer. However these 'experts' also disagree with each other and there is no empirical evidence that any of them are correct. For that reason I maintain that you get to decide for yourself what the purpose of life is. And since you get to choose, my suggestion is that you pick a purpose of life that: 1) Feels deeply true to you; and 2) Gives you a positive and self-empowered experience of life.
While preparing to write this newsletter I asked a number of people what they thought the purpose of life was. Their answers included: Unconditional love; Getting rich; Doing God's work; Living selflessly; Contributing/making a difference; and Experiencing abundance and gratitude no matter what circumstances you are in.
Personally I have chosen a purpose of life that both empowers and inspires me. I say, "The Purpose of my Life is to have the richest, most fulfilling and longest life experience possible." Note that this does not exclude any of the answers others gave above but it puts some context around them. What I am striving for is a particular experience; a life that feels rich and fulfilling; a life that deeply and completely satisfies my soul.
In order to create that experience I need to take actions that will lead to it. For example, I know I won't personally experience fulfillment from being self-centered, doing things that violate my values, lacking compassion for others or making money more important than people. That's why I chose this purpose of life; it guides my actions and helps me refocus when I get distracted, complacent or tempted to violate my own values. And in the spirit of full disclosure, I added the 'longest' element arbitrarily to motivate me to take care of the health and safety of my physical vehicle.
Eleanor Roosevelt said, "The purpose of life is to live it, to experience it to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences." I concur, yet it seems to me that most people don't live their lives this way. Instead they live them in a trance, watching TV, playing Internet games, gossiping and living vicariously through the lives of others who are taking action. Not that these things are bad, but many people use them to excess.
The average lifespan of a Canadian is about 80 years, or 29,000 days. That seems like a long time but if you sleep eight hours (Canadian adult average) watch 4.7 hours of TV (North American average), deduct the early childhood years and so on, the time remaining to live fully with intention diminishes significantly. As the Roman philosopher Seneca said, "It is not that we have so little time but that we lose so much. The life we received is not short but we make it so; we are not ill provided but use what we have wastefully."
Here's my point. Once you arrive on this planet you and only you are the creator of your life. You are free to decide for yourself what the purpose of life is. In order to do so you must ask your own questions and listen to your own heart. If you want to, you are welcome to borrow and even modify mine.
Once you have chosen the purpose of your life, I encourage you to live it fully. Take the time to find what works for you and live your life on purpose. You are worth it!
Andrew Barber-Starkey, Master Certified Coach
Founder and President, ProCoach Success System
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Andrew Barber-Starkey is a Master Certified Coach residing in Vancouver, Canada. His coaching program, the ProCoach Success System, is designed for entrepreneurs, small-business owners, self-employed and commissioned sales people who want to double their income while simultaneously doubling their time off within 3 years.
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