What is my life’s purpose? Many of us have had the feeling that our life has no meaning, there seems to be no point to it all.
Lets start by having a look at who is asking this question “What is my life’s purpose?”. If you were to go inside into the still, quiet place, does that place feels like it needs to know the purpose of your life? Or the place where you actively think, does it need to know?
If it is not obvious at first, perhaps with continued self-enquiry you will notice that the place within you asking the question is the mind.
What this means is that you as you truly are, within that place of stillness, doesn’t need to know your life’s purpose. Why is this?
“The question disappears”
As you connect more deeply to that as you truly are, the very question about my life’s purpose disappears. It disappears because the meaning of life is felt and experienced in every moment. The moment when fully experienced is so rich, vast and complete that to there is no need to ask such a question. It could be said that life’s purpose is simply to be, or life’s purpose is to experience every expression that occurs. From another perspective it could be said that the purpose of your life is whatever it is you are doing in this moment. That is, your life is made up of many purposes, each one being expressed in each moment.
To the questioning mind this is an unsatisfying answer. The mind rarely understands the fullness of life, but rather wants to hear ‘answers’. Answers like your to become an amazing scientist or a famous medical doctor. Answers that the mind can use to create images and ideas to hold onto.
For when most people say “I have no meaning in life”, what they are really saying is that they feel disconnected from life and this is painful. The underlying message is that they want to feel connected again.
If you are or have ever experienced feelings of a life without a purpose, I would suggest that it is not the goals or aims in your life that you are missing, but the quality connection with yourself and the moments in your life. In other words, the purpose of life is found by going deeper inside, to get to know the essence of you, to know thyself.
In order to fill the void of not feeling this connection with self, the connection with life itself, many people use goals and aims as a substitute.
“Goals are not the Meaning of Life”
As such people confuse their goals or aims in life with their connection in life. That is, they use their aims and goals as a way to feel meaning in their life to fill the void of not feeling connected. This substitute is rarely fulfilling for long and at best provides a temporary relief from the pain of not being deeply connected with life. This pain will be experienced again in other forms during their life, even though people believe they have found their meaning in their life via their goals.
When we use goals as a substitute to feeling connected in life, we are using our thoughts to attach a meaning to an action or outcome. That is, we abstract ourselves from life and place a thought onto it, and hold this thought to be true about our life. Unconsciously we hope that by believing this thought as “our meaning in life” will actually replace the real experience of being connected with life. And by creating an abstract view of our life through thought we actually create a sense of separation from life itself, which can only increase our feeling of a life without meaning. So the irony is that by using goals to feel connected in life, to have a meaningful life, actually makes us feel even more disconnected from life. That is to say, only a true connection to life resolves the pain of not having a meaningful life.
It is very natural to set goals and aims, which we can use as guiding points to steer our actions through life, just as it is also natural to change or drop our goals and aims. When we are more connected with our essence, connected with life, we are then more deeply and clearly inspired by life to set goals. That is, we listen to life and life shows us which direction to move in.
Yet our meaning in life is derived from our connectedness with each moment and not on the idea of where we should be at any given time, or how far we have gone in relation to our mentally set targets.
To conclude with an analogy, goals and aims are merely points on the map we wish to navigate towards, and when reached, can never can be more satisfying than the journey you are on at this moment. Just as the map itself is not the territory, the points on the map, the desired goals, are not a substitute for meaning in life. If you are searching for the meaning in life, then you are yearning for a fuller connection with the one true self, the you as you truly are.
Published: August 2014