“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”

― Friedrich Nietzsche

I believe purpose is very important. It’s what drives us. It’s like what Oprah said in one of her talks: “Expensive shoes are great but it is not what fills you.”

What fills you is purpose. But what is “Purpose”? Is it your career? The  job and work you do? The “roles” you play of father/mother, daughter/son, wife/husband, friend et al? Or is it all of the above?

I believe each and every one of us has a role to play in this “Play of life”. As William Shakespeare put it, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”

So some have a big role to play and some a small one. But each role is important for the entire play to make sense. So maybe our purpose is to play our part to the best of our ability?

I like to divide Purpose into two areas:

1. The generic purpose of learning and growing into a higher and better version of self.

In the book Slaying Dragons, Richelle E Goodrich, American author and novelist, said, “We live that we might have experience; that through it we might gain wisdom, compassion, faith, and inner strength.”

All aspects of our life from our work to the ‘roles’ we play and all our day-to-day interactions and experiences can help us move up this ladder of evolution IF WE CHOOSE SO.

2. The specific purpose that each one of us has based on our very unique gifts and talents we possess, which we can bring into this world in whatever way we choose—professionally or otherwise, via any medium we choose and at any level that we choose, big or small.

I love how American author David Deida, has put it. In his book Knowing Your Purpose—Way of the Superior Man, he wrote:

“As you open yourself to living at your edge, your deepest purpose will slowly begin to make itself known. In the meantime, you will experience layer after layer of purposes, each one getting closer and closer to the fullness of your deepest purpose.”

He further goes on to explain, “It is as if your deepest purpose is at the centre of your being, and it is surrounded by concentric circles, each circle being a lesser purpose. Your life consists of penetrating each circle, from the outside toward the centre.”

So even the specific purpose we define can evolve as we evolve. We can allow ourselves the flexibility of exploring, experiencing, evolving, changing and redefining the detailed layers of our purpose. Authenticity, right intentions and integrity though being the backbone and foundation of it all.

Having an innate sense of purpose has its advantages. It gives our life a deeper meaning.

A pleasurable life is great with all the material comforts and luxuries. But without a deeper sense of purpose pushing you forward, there remains a sense of void.

“Nature intended for human beings to live in an enthusiastic and curious manner, always exploring, striving, and creating.”—Kilroy J Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

It’s what makes us fulfilled at a core level.

Deeper levels of fulfilment are found once we have a sense of purpose in life. It’s the X factor!

“Dance your soulful path and you shall know the magic of your mind & heart and all the beauty laughing to fill your rising self.” ―Jay Woodman

It helps increase one’s own sense of self and confidence.

In a research paper in the British Journal of Psychology, Zika, S and Chamberlain, talk about and examine the link between the meaning in life and psychological well-being and found a strong association between the two.

The better our psychological well-being the better our sense of self is and overall levels of confidence is. (Zika, S. and Chamberlain, K -1992, on the relation between meaning in life and psychological well-being. British Journal of Psychology, 83: 133–145. doi:10.1111/j.2044-8295.1992.tb02429.x)

It helps keep us focused and positive

Purpose helps fill the mind with positivity and direction. You know where you are going and WHY you are going there. You can align all your thoughts and actions daily with your overall guiding purpose and hence keep negativity out.

“Occupy your thoughts with purpose and you will be so busy pursuing a meaningful future there will be no time for doubt, chaos and disappointment.” –Carlos Wallace, Philanthropist Author, The other 99 T.Y.M.E.S: Train your mind to enjoy Serenity.

At the end of the day when I think of “purpose” and not enacting my role in the “Play”, words of Jalaluddin Rumi, resonate within me: “It would be as if a king sent you to a village on a specific mission. If you went and performed a hundred other tasks, but neglected to accomplish the task for which you were sent, it would be as though you had done nothing.”

Originally published at http://aditimirchandani.com/