A Case For Defining Your Purpose

It’s a natural reflection to consider the question, “What is the purpose of your life?” It is perhaps one of the greatest questions shared by all human beings across history. It’s a question that can elicit inspiration and excitement, and on the other side of the coin, can trigger existential dread. It’s safe to say that the answer you come up with will morph and evolve over the course of a lifetime. From youth to old age, everything from the values we find to be important, to what we contribute our time, focus and heart to — shapeshifts as the decades pass.

Scientists, artists, and freethinkers alike have contemplated the concept of purpose and meaning in life for millennia. Their speculations on “the answer” have come from a vast range of cultural and ideological backgrounds. But there are, however, a few universal cords that have emerged across humanity. Philosophers and religious scholars from the ancient East and West, passed down their teachings through transcribed meditations and word of mouth, that have become the pillars of thought on purpose. Reflections on the nature of existence, consciousness, social relationships, happiness, ethics and morality, and how they interweave to create a purpose-filled life. Many of the ideals which have underpinned major, societal values across the world for centuries.

When we look at purpose values today, we’ve come to accept that there are many different ways in which you can lead a purpose-filled life. There is no one correct definition of what it is, nor a road map to “achieve” it. Whether your purpose is living a simple or an ambitious life, a life centered around family, love or relationship with spirit, it’s a task for each of us to determine what is meaningful to us, and to uncover what gives it resonance and why. Perhaps your purpose is centered around a vocation, a calling, your drive to create a legacy, or even passion itself. Your life’s purpose can be for yourself, for your community or even for humanity at large, it’s up to you to define.

We believe that it’s part of our purpose to leave the world a better place than we found it. To make a positive contribution, to challenge the status quo, to call-out the systems that do not work and to demand a new way. This is part of the challenge of living a life led by purpose today. But we do all have the ability to choose what our unique, individual purpose in life is. Whether you believe purpose is in-design, something we are created for and imprinted on our soul. Or if you believe it’s something that we are empowered to determine with our own free will, it’s there for all of us below the surface. We just have to be brave enough to choose it, and to discern what is right and wrong for each and every one of us.

Determining your purpose in life is the first step, but not the only. It’s one part of the greater whole. Passion, or finding something that gives you the spark is equally needed to metaphorically charge you up, and give you the internal motivation to go after your purpose. It gives you the energy to put one foot in front of the other and to keep going even when your path isn’t easy. Because one thing we know for certain is that oftentimes our purpose path in life isn’t always the easiest one. It’s the path that we must intentionally choose every day, and in the end it’s one of the richest and most rewarding things we can pursue in our lives.

“I articulate my story through the many people that I found, with the shine in their eyes globally. The people that you would identify that were different, that were mobilized by their soul, their spirit, and their actions follow a positive intention. You can identify those people by the shine in their eyes. That’s their secret power.”

Gonzalo Muñoz, UNFCCC High-Level Champion of Chile. Excerpt from interview for United Nations Global Compact, Uniting Business for a Better World film

We love this quote because it makes us believe that anything is possible when individual people come together that have this fire, this light, this greater purpose turned on inside of them. That passion, that hunger, that drive to make a difference is just the beginning of where real change can happen. All we need to do is find and stoke the light within ourselves and each other.

We invite you to reflect on and consider what your unique purpose and spark is in your life. No need to follow through with action just yet. We’re aiming for clarity around what these things are to you and why.

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