Having a purpose in life, because it matters

Who I am
Louise Hay


Having a purpose in life, because it matters

Goals must always be present in our hearts and minds to help us move forward.

Written and verified by the psychologist GetPersonalGrowth.

Last update: 15 November 2021

Today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. We must never underestimate the importance of having a purpose in life. We never stop setting goals and remembering what is important to us. Clear goals awaken little happinesses and bring abundance.

Goals must always be present in our hearts and minds to help us move forward. These are what give us reason to get out of bed, energy to think that today will be better than yesterday, meant to understand that life is always worth living.

Few dimensions are as essential to mental health and personal growth as the habit of making small and big resolutions.

This is what is most striking when we talk to a person who is sick in the soul. He will tell you that he no longer has any purpose. His reality is suspended in the void, where nothing gives pleasure and where everyday gestures lack meaning.

You may have interests, but not really enjoy them. You can have partners, friends and family and still feel empty.

It is a bleak state of life that requires long and delicate psychotherapeutic work to regain strength. To restructure thinking and rediscover the emotional balance that is needed to rebuild one's life and clarify new goals.

It is perfectly normal to go through periods in which we are forced to reformulate our intentions. These are moments of transition in which it is necessary to adjust the shot. Putting an end to an emotional bond, concluding a working phase, facing a great adversity, force us to redefine some aspects.

Doing so is good. We are stories, extraordinary plots to be rewritten over and over. As long as we have ink to write our goals, everything will be fine.

A purpose to move forward, to promote our well-being

In 2016, Harvard University launched a research project with the aim of delving into the concept of personal prosperity. It is a dimension that can go beyond well-being itself. It is, above all, overcoming, resilience, the ability to use psychological resources to face any circumstance and be happy.

From this program, which has been going on for four years, a clear concept emerges: working towards our goals is one of the fundamental pillars of prosperity. Making sense of our life, as Viktor Frankl would say, directly affects our mental balance. This is also confirmed by complementary studies, such as the one published in 2019 in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

According to this research, conducted by Ying Chen and Erik Kim, having a purpose in life has an impact on physical health, mental and emotional balance and self-esteem.

These goals, this meaning that each of us attributes to our existence, act as an inner support. At that point, nothing weighs on us, reality is not filtered by fear and we feel stable, satisfied.

What does it really mean to "have a purpose"?

Once you understand the importance of having a purpose in life, a question may arise. What is a purpose really?

Obviously, this is not a simple goal. It is not the desire for a bigger house or a better job. And even less to be slim or to be constant in going to the gym.

It is so much more. A purpose in life transcends simple desires. It is an elevating dimension, but it gives us a place, it provides goals, hope and motivation.

Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi explains it to us in his book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. One purpose is to establish in our minds a stable purpose for something that is meaningful to us, something that may even go beyond ourselves.

Be useful to others, for example. Create something that can inspire (a book, a song, an art form). It could be learning or gaining more wisdom. Or, again, make our loved ones happy, take care of the people we love.

The importance of having a purpose in life

Mark Twain said that the most important days of our life are two. The first, the day we are born. The second, the one in which we find out why. Sometimes it is exhausting. It's hard to tell what really warms our heart and makes it beat.

But there always comes a time when we feel a sting, that passion, that meaning. It is important to know how to distinguish them and never miss a purpose to move forward. Because only in this way can we fight against adversity. With goals come the opportunities and optimism needed to deal with storms.

On the other hand, the purposes can change. Being 20 is not the same as being 60. We are no longer the same when we close one door and open another, both in love and work life. Immediately new needs, new feelings, new goals that nourish hope appear on the horizon.

We have to keep this in mind. In each of us there is an inner flame that warms dreams and lights the way. Let's keep it on. 

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