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What’s the Point of Having a Purpose?

August 25, 2010

What’s the Point of Having a Purpose?

I had been thinking for several months about the benefits of having a meaningful purpose in life. I had previously written a lot about this topic, in particular about how being committed to a purpose greater than oneself is the key to living a meaningful, fulfilling life. Recently, I was visiting Madrid and discussing the Find-Fulfill-Flourish project with a Spanish colleague.  She asked, “Do we need a purpose?”

That’s a great question – and a seemingly obvious one. But one up to that point, I had never asked myself. I knew I had to answer it.

It’s certainly possible to get through life without a purpose. That’s clearly not the issue. It really comes down to what you want out of life. If you believe, as I do, that the more you put into life and give of yourself, the more you will get back in return – in the form of personal satisfaction and fulfillment – then pursuing a meaningful purpose contributes to your quality of life, not to mention how it helps others.

Purpose moves us beyond the ordinary, toward the extraordinary – in terms of our life experience, the value we create, and the gratification we receive from it.

So, do you need a purpose? No. Will having one add a wonderful dimension to your life and what you experience from it? Absolutely.

Mitch Albom, author of Tuesdays with Morrie and Have a Little Faith, wrote, “The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” Three simple ingredients.

How do you get started?

  1. Express and demonstrate your love to the people closest to you – family and friends. Then focus on more distant relationships.
  2. Identify how you can use your talents to improve an aspect of your community and get involved. That community could be in your neighborhood, town or city, or an organization – such as a school, religious institution, nonprofit, or a cause near and dear to your heart.
  3. Determine a cause or worthy endeavor that is meaningful and important to you, and make a commitment to pursue it. Then take the first step by contacting organizations and people that work in the area. If you are uncertain what might be meaningful for you, click on the “Find Your Purpose” tab on the website and use the Heartisan Pathfinder Cards for guidance.

There is no time like the present to get started.

Steve Weitzenkorn


Steve Weitzenkorn, Ph.D., is a learning innovator, organizational advisor, experienced facilitator, and lead author of Find-Fulfill-Flourish: Discover Your Purpose with LifePath GPS – a book, tool kit, and workshop series focused on guiding people toward more meaningful and fulfilling lives.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Terri permalink
    September 8, 2010 11:07 am

    I totally concur with your suggestions for a purposeful life. I have just added no 3 and it has been totally exhilerating to be moving forward with a passion. Best of luck to you and Robin, I am excited to read
    your book when it is out and I commend you on creating it. Kol K’vod!


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