Advice you didn't ask for

On Purpose

January 11, 2023

Humans need purpose. Not just morally, or philosophically. But psychologically. We are wired for it. We are drawn toward it. Without purpose it is difficult, if not impossible, for us humans to be healthy, to be happy, to thrive.

We need purpose because we need meaning. More specifically, we need to know that we, as people, as individuals, have meaning --  that we matter. When we have purpose, we matter

Purpose doesn’t have to be big, or perfect. Sometimes, from a philosophical perspective, a purpose may seem too small. But psychologically, a small purpose can be enough to keep us going. In fact, sometimes a particular purpose can be too big. If our purpose is so big that we cannot make a noticeable contribution to it, then it may not give us the meaning we need.

The hard thing is that purpose is personal. A purpose that works for one person, psychologically, may not work for someone else. If you find yourself feeling chronically aimless, unfocused, bored, or even depressed, it’s worth exploring whether you’ve lost touch with your purpose, whether your purpose has stopped matching your values and beliefs, or whether you have no purpose at all.