Our own purpose is not something we often sit down and think about. But fundamentally it is a huge part of our identity and it plays an important part in the view we have of ourselves.
Purpose can apply to all different areas of life. People can feel that this comes from the job they do, the family they have, the goals they set themselves, their ambition, perhaps the way they help people or give to others. Other people may feel it is about being a partner, parent, friend, role model etc. All in all this all amounts to meaning and identity. Without this people can end up feeling very lost.
Purpose doesn’t define us. We are not put on this planet to have one sole purpose in life and we don’t always have to be heading in a set direction. However society creates a setting and it sets a scene. It leaves people feeling that they should have a set role and identity, and that they need a definitive purpose to live. A focus perhaps. A reason to be.
But if you look at the flipside, this is a lot of pressure. Pressure to have a meaningful and successful job. Pressure to conform to social norms such as parenting, marriage, co habiting etc. Pressure to be achieving. To constantly be working towards something – life becomes a work in progress. Whether its fitness goals, house goals, travelling goals, financial goals, you name it – people get caught up in what they achieve. Then when they don’t feel they are achieving or the reason they feel they have purpose is removed. Suddenly they feel redundant, meaningless and not good enough.
If you sat down and thought about your purpose in life, you would be likely to come up with a lot of the areas above. A lot of people do and their purpose gets caught up in what’s expected of them and consequently what they expect of themselves. And while it is healthy for all of us to set ourselves goals and have some things to work towards, it is not healthy to consistently feel as though we have to be keeping up with social norms.
What would it be like to re frame all of the above. To let go of expectations and definitions. What would it be like to imagine a life that is free and a life that is open. Where happiness and contentment is the only goal. Where there are no set rules and restrictions. Imagine if your purpose was to just be. What would that be like ? How would that feel? Could you picture being present in the moment? Not knowing all the answers? Feeling content right where you are. Right now. Try it. It isn’t easy. But just try. Give the moment a go. Let go of what should be and embrace what is. The rest will follow, if you can just see how much you are worth – for being you. And you alone.