Finding Purpose of My Life! 9 Inspirational Statements

I asked myself a lot of hard questions lately. One day a difficult question popped into my head. “What is the Purpose of my life?” I didn’t have an answer so I asked the same question to my husband while having our morning cup of tea.

“Why are you asking such a difficult question?” was his response.

We choose not to start the morning on a heavy note, so we left it unanswered. Later in the day, as I had the luxury of time, I spent the day pondering over this thought and was overwhelmed by the gravity of the question. I started thinking, do I really need a purpose in life? I am neither on any spiritual path nor do I meditate to achieve a zen-like state of mind. Can’t I live my life as it comes?

I am sure there’s much more to life than studying for 15-16 years, working 40-50 hours per week, receiving regular paychecks and paying bills; so that next generation can do the same all over again.

But does that mean I must find life’s purpose?

I started researching about the purpose of life and realised it doesn’t have to be overwhelming and heavy. I imagined, that people with a ready-to-quote their life purpose statement would have an intense statement. I came across several beautiful and inspiring life purpose statements on the internet and a couple through my network, which I am sharing with you.

It’s up to you to decide, if you need a purpose in your life or not. But the fact is, you are given this one life and you could do so much to keep yourself happy, content and fulfilled.

  1. The purpose of life is to discover yourself, discover your surroundings & explore new destinations.
  2. To become our greatest version
  3. To leave a legacy behind – My friend Dr Piyush Roy (Author, Critic, Curator, and Film Scholar) had shared this statement once when we were in a deep conversation about our lives. He has already achieved many awards for his work including a National award. His eternal passion for his work not only inspire his students but also his social circle.
  4. To give love unconditionally and believe that you are worthy of love as well.
  5. To keep learning more and achieve excellence in anything I do while overcoming all obstacles.
  6. The Purpose of life is service – to give to the world more than what I have taken from it.
  7. Purpose of my life is to Teach, Inspire and guide people – Dr Rastogi, a celebrated academician and my father has lived by this mantra all his life. He has won several awards and accolades for his numerous achievements, but his crowning glory comes from the continuous presence of several ex-students in his personal life. Students who once sat in his classroom decades ago and who have built their own successful corporate careers, still maintain personal and social relationships with him, creating an extended family with deep ties. It is reminiscent of the essence of ancient India’s Gurukul Parampara for him, many came as his students but stayed as a family.
  8. To have fun, to not dwell on failures and setbacks and to embrace all the colours of life.
  9. The purpose of life is to do everything with a purpose

Having a purpose in life doesn’t mean that you leave the worldly pleasures or don’t be aspirational and competitive. Purpose brings out the best of your efforts so that you live your life in the happiest, healthiest and the most content way with fewest regrets. An aspiration to be happy comes in different degrees to different people. Some become happy with small achievements, but for some even big achievements don’t bring satisfaction and contentment.

This is a deep & vast topic and someday I would love to revisit this and write more about it. I am happy that I have started thinking and exploring in that direction, in a very normal way, without being spiritual.

What are your thoughts? Have you ever wondered, what is your purpose in life? Do share in the comments box, maybe someone will get inspired by it.

 

 

4 Replies to “Finding Purpose of My Life! 9 Inspirational Statements”

  1. Shubhangi, glad you asked this question. This is a question that is natural to all human beings.

    There are many answers in keeping with the diversity around us. In a way, i would summarize the purpose as :

    (1)To take
    (2)To give back
    (3)To take and give until we experience bliss (“Realize”)

    —————

    Purpose (1): To take

    Many a times, we live a life of mainly… consumption. We do it to various degrees – a mere survival at one extreme or … the so called Eat & be Merry at the other – both in terms of physical objects – nice food, fashionable clothes, luxurious home and a car, etc etc and… non-physical – consuming (taking) emotions of being loved, being famous and respected etc

    But in line with the spirit of this blog, we realize such a life is not satisfactory to most, it is necessary to some degree but not sufficient

    —————–

    Purpose (2): To give back

    These appear as attractive purposes of life and take many forms but they still appear as a “means” to a purpose of life rather than the purpose itself

    To a scientist, the purpose is to discover things that benefit society. There maybe an element of achieving fame and respect but primarily, it is to discover the workings of Nature and give back to society.

    To a social worker, social justice is the purpose. Human rights (women, children, poor, disease, folks struck with disasters, etc), freedom of the oppressed. Most of the well known heros have given their lives for this purpose

    Similarly we can examine each of the areas of the Nobel and other highly esteemed prizes and see the various purposes

    But again, these are not sufficient, it still begs the question: why am _i_ here ?

    ———————

    Purpose (3): Realization

    This is more of an experience rather than an intellectual concept. To illustrate what i mean … I can get the concept of the vastness of the ocean from a picture or a video but i can “experience” it only when i am in a tiny mega-ship on a cruise in the middle of it or better still be stranded for a few hours. i can get a concept of how sweet a fruit is from the reactions of people enjoying it but “experience” it only when i eat it [ when i am healthy].

    So, experience related to “realization” happens only when we walk it rather than talk it. And since it is a slow, arduous process without glamour, most folks dont pursue it. Only after having put in the effort can we see: yes, thats for me, or … no, it ain’t my thing.

    It involves 3 things –
    (a) the principles of life,
    (b) one’s own experience living those experiences and
    (c) since one cannot quite do it alone, a teacher (guru)

    The principles and concepts related to Realization are in Scriptures. By definition, they are time tested that generations of folks before us have validated with their “experience” to be true.

    Until I walk in that path, it still is just a hypothesis for me. I have to “experience” it to make it my “truth” – my resting place where (i) there are no more doubts or questions – and (ii) answers that give me joy, happiness, fulfilment … bliss.

    And for this to be efficient and effective, we need a guide, a teacher (guru) who has walked this path. This would be the so called triad which depicts the “delta” – in congruity
    (a picture shows this nicely)

    The final realm that scriptures lead us to as the purpose of human life is to realize [the non-physical] spirit (aka god / divinity / The Force etc). Put another way, the so called dharma of humans is to Question, Think and “Realize”. This is the natural purpose just as the dharma of water is to flow and birds to fly and fire to burn. And until one does this, one will be unsatisfied.

    We understand physical things (body) very well.

    We have a fairly good idea of mind – the stuff happening in the brain. Thanks to the undeniable and precious contribution of science. It must continue to answer the myriad of unanswered questions on why things work the way they do. The discoveries thus far have refined our understanding of scriptures and laid the foundation for discoveries beyond physical – into the personal realms of belief, feelings and emotions, motives, roots of a variety of our desires – stuff that is underlying that drives the mind and intelligence.

    Many folks find this non-physical – supra-sensual stuff daunting and discard it as hoax, made-up, subjective, etc. And perhaps with enough reinforcement of such a belief from the misdeeds in religion and society, they are turned off with this line of thinking. But we observe that for these folks too, the questions still persist:
    what is my purpose now,
    what happened in the past (where did i come from) and
    what about the future (what happens after i die)

    ————-
    Realization [in this world, a stage 🙂 ]

    The explanation of this state of “Realization” is mind boggling and amazingly rich in diversity – many points of views – just like the many varieties of us are expressed in terms of “personality traits” (Introvert / Extrovert, Sensing / Intuitive, Thinking / feeling, Judgemental / Perceptive) and hundreds more

    Using words in our tradition of Hindu thought, and more specifically in the frame of yoga, the purpose of life is to be in Samadhi and achieve Moksha. Similar to the so called “self Actualization” of Maslow

    [later, descriptions of samadhi and moksha]

    The related ideas that set the context and portray processes of achieving this “birth right” of all humans are many:

    (1) Achieving Moksha (as the 4th purushartha) by following proper: Dharma, Artha and Kama

    (2) Living what is prescribed for one’s phase of life (Ashramas): Focusing on studies (Brahmacharya) during the younger years, Experiencing the natural joy of purusha and prakruti – the complementary nature of male and female, experiencing the natural cycles of parenthood (as grahasthis) during middle age, the so called “sharpen the saw” of pondering and contemplation (as vanaprasthi) as we approach retirement and and the gradual disassocation from worldly affairs (as sanyasi) during the elder years.

    (3) Being in a state of samadhi as the ultimate stage in Astanga yoga – the prerequisites being living ethical and moral values (yama and niyama), a sound and able body (asana), a stable and controlled mind (pranayama), the ability to tune out the senses and concentrate (pratyahara and dharana) and being one (yoga) with the spirit – (dhyaana)

    (4) Always exercising the “free will” responsibly with a view of cause and effect, action and reaction (karma) that accounts over lifetimes of punarjanma

    (5) Following the dharma per ones Varna – an environment of opportunities afforded per samskara – desires from previous lifetimes. Focusing on matters of the Spirit (Brahmana), Welfare of Society (Kshtriya), Enabling enjoyment of the material richness (Vaishya) or service to society (Shudra)

    (6) Pursuing bliss via ones dominant tendency and liking – via knowledge (Jnaan), Actions (karma) or love and devotion (bhakti) akin to the self-help literature on universal consciousness, universal love

    etc

    So, finally from my view, we pursue what we want. We seem to live life to fulfill our desires. Just as we used to want different toys, having played with them and then outgrow them…we get desires, fulfill them – either enjoy or end up learning it was not enjoyable and move on to the next.

    These seemingly interim goals naturally fall towards a lifelong purpose. We may not be able to articulate our purpose in a word or a sentence or a book. But if we were to [b]log and analyze what we do, what we think about most of the time, what we pursue, what all our thinking and actions gravitate towards … that is our purpose [for the duration we analyze]. We will see a pattern over that duration.

    And the scriptural prediction is that we will continue to do this, we will not rest – be it this lifetime or several more until we reach this Moksha 🙂

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