A Worthy Purpose

Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.” ~ Helen Keller

To be faithful to a worthy purpose you must first become aware of it. But how?

Many make the mistake of taking an outside-in approach. They are driven – as all people are – to find a purpose to their lives, but instead of letting their purpose emerge from the depths of their soul, they attempt to paste it on. They comb the world for a higher calling, dedicating themselves to this, that and the other thing, all the while hoping that they won’t be disappointed once again.

But the “why” of your life will never be found on the outside somewhere. The “why” of your life must emerge from the inside-out if it is to mean anything. The “why” of your life is the one purpose, the only purpose through which you can experience deep and lasting fulfillment and true happiness.

Your true purpose cannot be gotten, it must be revealed. No one can tell you what it is. It takes shape through selfless service to others, but for it to become real, to become meaningful, you must articulate it, that is, put it into words. From there you can actualize it, square any future decisions to it and discover the “hows” and “whats” that clothe the “why” in every aspect of your living.

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11 Responses to A Worthy Purpose

  1. Donna says:

    So true! Many people spend their lives “trying” to fit in. This outside-in approach to living goes against the natural flow of life. It’s no wonder we have the world that we do. Dis-ease is lack of ease, lack of flow.

    I too believe that each individual is here for a specific purpose. A purpose unique to them, that only they can provide or fulfill.

    Asking someone an open ended question engages the heart and mind and then the flow naturally moves from the inside-out.

    Helping individuals find/discover their purpose is what I am most passionate about.

    GREAT topic and post! Thanks.

  2. Colin says:

    I think it is so valuable to be able to articulate your purpose specifically. It really is a reality check, because when you actually put pen to paper, you get a different feeling than when you are just going over things in your mind. Don’t worry about it if you don’t know what your purpose is right away. If you keep living life with the goal of serving other people to the best of your ability, and keep being specific with your vision of life (even if it changes), you will eventually find your purpose.

  3. Vincent says:

    Without purpose, human existence is rudderless and ultimately meaningless. People know that inherently, and they do try hard to find and stay faithful to a purpose – whether religious, biological or philosophical. However, as you indicate, purpose can’t be grasped and then installed somehow in one’s life. It has to emerge from the unknown, the invisible, into the known and the visible. Service to others is vital to this, but even that is not the purpose exactly. It is something unique to each one, something that binds us to others in a living design and allows for the meaning of our lives to be known and shared. Thank you for your emphasis today on this most profound truth!

  4. Jordan says:

    Gregg- I love this topic and so appreciate you bringing it up. As I’m wrapping up my under-graduate degree, it’s really easy to feel the pressure of going straight to a “what” or “how” mentality. I see many students go through that thought process to only find jobs they consider to be mediocre (or worse). It’s a rough start when you try to satisfy your life’s purpose from the outside in.
    I’ve been seeking a way to keep out of the gravitational pull of outside in thinking, and have found this to be my mantra: I move forward with intention and my heart and mind aligned, open to opportunities that present themselves. This is a way to remind myself of both being intentional rather than passive and to be available-physically, spiritually, and mentally- to finding my “why”.

    Thank you for your post!

    • Joshua says:

      I appreciate your position, and relate to your concern.
      It is unfortunate that the backwards approach is so engrained in our educational system, starting at kindergarten and earlier as adults look at our youth and ask, “What are you going to be when you grow up?” the innocent child thinking, “am I not already something?”
      Such programming, indicates we each must work diligently to not perpetuate, and nullify through bringing everything under the scrutiny of “Why”.

  5. Ricardo B. says:

    You sure don’t want to be at cross-purposes with yourself, which can happen unknowingly if you haven’t been clear on what you’ve considered your greater purpose to be. All things in one’s life should stem from this overarching purpose and maintain uniformity throughout – this is the way to lead an integral life, a life of integrity. Thinking through this further, it seems to me this really is the only way to shield yourself from conflicts within yourself and creates a foundation for balanced decision making.
    Life challenges you to be clear about your purpose and will force the issue if steps are not taken to clarify this matter in your head and in your heart. The daily occurrences are openings where we can line up our purpose, express our energies, with the elements of the world and influence them to actualize the yet intangible qualities inherent in one’s purpose. These things need to come out of us in a balanced and uplifting way; they are not meant to destroy us, frustrate us, or limit us in any way can this clarity you speak of is the key to this.
    Dreams and vision are what make us human beings and we all have something valuable to give to the world – great education is provided in your pages to realize this!

  6. Rebecca Ledet says:

    I think the germane point to me relates to articulating your purpose – actually taking the time to sit and write what is most important to you, what you see as the purpose of your life and what really has meaning to you and why. There is a certain beauty in writing (by hand is my preference). It’s your own artistic expression (as unique as the lines on the fingertips which hold your pen). It places your soul at the tip of your pen (or keyboard) and reveals it for (you) or all to see.

  7. Coco says:

    Great post and comments. When this subject is brought up its encouraging to hear so many concerned to discover their purpose. We were born with an intended purpose I think much like a contract or promise to our creator. It’s not like he hasn’t provided myriad direction and the equipment as to how we might be successful in realizing and fullfilling it. A heart and mind free from discord between them, free to communicate what our specific contract is. This is the clarion call but again it’s only the start we still must live a life that fulfills that promise. Thanks for your dedication Gregg.

  8. Joshua says:

    Why, is the greatest starting point!
    For, as we seek to have our lives be uplifted into a meaningful, purpose driven life, we find ourselves asking it more often than not. Which can be quite a revealing process and provides a tremendous abundance of steps that can be immediately taken.
    Thanks for bringing us back to why!

  9. Joshua says:

    Love this! As I think back to times when things have just worked to perfection it was because this was in check. When (from moment to moment) “why” is the central driving force the “how” and the “what” seem almost magically, to take care of themselves. The work that is required on our part is being certain that the “why” remain the central concern, first, last and always!
    The Truth First.

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