The central motivating aims of your life—the reasons you get up in the morning
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They know something’s wrong, but they don’t know what they’re missing. The truth is that they’ve been lied to.
The Search for Constant Happiness Is Based on Lies
Why do people get stuck in a wild goose chase, making happiness their ultimate and only goal?
It’s because they fall for these false beliefs:
1.“You can ignore the bad things in life if you surround yourself with distractions.”
2.“With enough money, you can be happy all the time.”
3.“If you’re not happy 24/7, something is wrong with you.”
Let’s counter this with some cold hard facts.
1. Grief Is Inevitable
Fear of death is everywhere in our society, but we rarely talk about it.
The ugly truth is that death is coming for us all.
And before that comes old age (well, if we’re lucky).
It’s impossible to look or feel young forever.
It doesn’t matter how many anti-aging products you buy.
Hell, it doesn’t even matter if you eat well and exercise daily, though it will certainly prolong your life a little bit.
You can’t control the passage of time.
You can’t cheat your way out of getting older.
As psychology professor Steve Taylor points out in his article
about near-death experiences:
“Encounters with death indeed can sometimes wake us up.
They snap us out of a trance-like state in which we are indifferent to life and unaware of the blessings in our lives.
But I think we can gain some of these benefits by simply contemplating death.
In the Buddhist tradition, monks in ancient times were advised to meditate in cemeteries, or to sit down next to any dead, decaying bodies they found on their travels.
They were advised to contemplate that one day this would be their fate too, as a way of becoming aware of the impermanence of life and the foolishness of being attached to the world.”
We can’t all be Buddhist monks.
But we all grieve for somebody — a relative, a mentor, a friend who died before their time.
So my advice is this: remember those who are gone.
It’s not a happy way to spend an afternoon, but it is profoundly valuable.
Plus, like Dr. Taylor says, contemplating death can wake you up from a trance.
Are you contributing anything useful to this world, or just banging away at a keyboard 5 (or 6 or 7) days a week?
2. Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness (To Be Fair, Neither Does Poverty)
If there’s one statistic everyone should know about, it’s this:
Having a higher income improves your emotional wellbeing, but “there is no further progress beyond an annual income of ~$75,000.
Low income exacerbates the emotional pain associated with such misfortunes as divorce, ill health, and being alone.
We conclude that high income buys life satisfaction but not happiness and that low income is associated both with low life evaluation and low emotional well-being.” (Kahneman, Deaton 2010)
Lots of everyday problems boil down to a lack of money.
Being poor can ruin your health, your happiness, your ability to ever relax and take a break.
People who say you don’t need any material possessions to be happy are bullshitting you.
But if you have a degree of security and comfort, money stops making a difference.
From there, there’s no extra benefit to getting an impressive car or going on a lavish vacation.
You’ll keep on living the same imperfect life as everyone else, you’ll just be able to hide it better.
Billionaires suffer from constant stress too — and I’m not saying
we should feel sorry for them, it’s just that they’re living proof: becoming filthy rich can’t keep away the ugly parts of life.
Just remember the messy, expensive divorce stories that keep popping up.
Some of them sabotage their own lives with wild excesses, others simply don’t see changes coming because they’re too busy worrying about the next quarter’s profits.
3. Everyone Feels Unhappy Sometimes, Especially the People Who Keep Pretending to Be Happy
Many people pretend to be lighthearted and confident for profit.
Look at influencers on social media.
They hook you by making you feel good about yourself.
When you click on Follow and give them likes and shares (and donations), you’re one of the good ones.
You’re enlightened, you’re on the path toward true happiness.
But you’ll never be quite as happy as they are.
That’s on purpose, and the goal is to make you feel like a fraud and a failure.
Being on social media creates a negative self-image, and whatever you may have
heard, this problem isn’t exclusive to teenage girls.
We all feel a bit shittier about our lives when we spend time looking at other people’s (carefully curated and edited) photos.
But it’s not just about influencers — there’s a pressure to be happy coming from all directions.
Ads pressure us to check out the next Netflix show, to keep up with the newest pop culture trends. This is all done in the name of feeling good, but the result is that we’re
likelier to become depressed and isolated when we put entertainment above everything else.
“People jump back and forth in pursuit of pleasures only because they see the emptiness of their lives more clearly than they do the emptiness of whichever new entertainment attracts them.” —
Where Can You Find Purpose Instead?
I can’t tell you what your life purpose is.
I just have one question: have you ever taken the time to decide who you are and what you stand for?
Perhaps you’re too busy chasing material benefits, mimicking influencers, and following disappointing or unfulfilling paths because other people seem to be happy with them.
None of these life choices will serve you in the long term.
Fixating on happiness while excluding other considerations can only lead to disappointment.
Take a few days (weeks, months) and think about your Big Why.
What drives you?
What’s the thing that gets you up in the morning and keeps you going when you’re tired and worn down?
The real joy in life comes from finding your true purpose and aligning it with what you do every single day.
As for Me…
After much contemplation, I’ve arrived at these principles that give my life meaning.
Maybe some of them will resonate with you.
I always avoid following the herd.
I never act against my conscience or my truth, even though that makes me unpopular in some circles.
You know your life has a greater purpose when the thought of working for someone else makes you a bit uncomfortable.
As your consciousness expands, your freedom begins to mean everything to you, and working for someone else is constricting and restricting.
You know you’re going to do great things, but it isn't through working for another person.
It doesn't help your need for freedom and creativity.
You need your own inspiration and you know you won't get that working for other people.
This is a combination of your need to be free and your true nature as a leader with a purpose to fulfill.
Your perspective is beyond a regular level, and you don’t follow the crowd.
You don’t do what everyone else is doing. Instead, you go your own way.
This allows you to do many positive things for humanity because you can see what most people miss because they are too occupied with working for someone else.
When you work for others, you’re not able to move freely as you want and to you, that's no way to live.
You don’t like routine very much.
Routines are undoubtedly helpful at times and as much as you hate working for others, you don’t like routine.
You want to go and come as you want.
You prefer to just flow with the universe when it calls.
Working for someone in an office keeps you stuck in a routine and that’s something you just can’t do. You can see clearly that routines like office hours are just a trap for those who want to
remain in their comfort zones, and that’s not you.
You don’t want to be trapped in a constant routine.
The idea of having to work for someone and do the same things over and over again is like a nightmare.
2. You Don’t Worry Too Much About Money
This doesn’t mean that you have lots of money or that you don’t want any money.
It means that you’ve seen and experienced things beyond the physical and money cease to hold that much power.
It holds less power because it doesn’t satisfy you.
Money alone never made you happy.
Although you need money for basic needs, it isn’t your ultimate purpose.
I’ll admit it, I was not forthright, or accurate about the true nature of my existence.
Shocking as it is, I did not do what I knew I ought to do.
Ok, this is a philosophical issue with moral implications.
Everyone knows they should tell the truth, we’re aware of this, yet we fail to follow this.
It’s not because people are snide, or malicious, or deceptive.
Well, some are — but not all.
I think it has more to do with the difficulty of upholding a universal value; it has to do with “truth” and the burden it places on us individually.
The truth is un-obvious.
One of the inherent difficulties in telling the truth, like literally speaking it, is that it’s not obvious what is true — or real.
Individually, it is not feasible to understand all that is, because we are finite among the infinite.
Objectively, people are subject to differing interpretations over the content of conscious experience. And life is full of unexplainable phenomenon because humans have the ability to
abstract, personify, derive, and assign meaning to anything — this is a problem for us.
Meaning is subjective, yet undeniably real.
If you look hard enough, there is implicit meaning in everything.
I think this is why I’m captivated by a plastic bag floating in the wind.
Or why some of my friends believe the constellations reveal the deepest details of their being.
Or why some people can’t explain why they feel the way they feel, despite being the only person that could truly really know.
It is not obvious what is true.
The truth is painful.
Knowing the truth — identifying it — and living the truth are not the same.
Truth encompasses the what and why of reality.
Even if you happen to be certain in your understanding of reality, whatever axiom you choose to hinge that on, there is still pain and conflict that can (and probably will) emerge from speaking it
If you were mandated, by some sort of advanced technology let’s say, to speak your perception of the world at all times in every single scenario, you would have a very difficult time
leading a peaceful, virtuous existence.
There’d be no containing the ugly parts of your personality.
Your ability to socialize would evaporate.
You’d be combative, judgmental, overflowing with unnecessary (and unfair) inklings about the way your mind interprets things.
You’d have less friends — you’d probably struggle to make new ones.
Your partner might be devastated knowing the entirety of your urges.
Your coworkers would report you for your continual contempt and disdain!
Obviously this is an exaggeration, but you get the point: Saying what you most reliably believe to be true comes at a cost.
It is for these reasons it is difficult to tell the truth.
Because of our subjective nature, because of our relationship to meaning, because we are social creatures, the truth is not easy to discern nor does it come free of dutiful pain and conflict.
Reasons to lie, repress, and withhold the truth begin here.
Little White Lies
Up to this point, I’ve essentially made a case against truth.
I’ve explained the burden it presents to us and articulated the challenges of truthful speech.
However, despite the inherent difficulties, I think every individual has a moral obligation to seek what is real and uphold it in their conduct.
But you really have to look.
Like I said, I recently went against this when I told a lie.
This happened on the spot, I lied out of preservation for another persons feelings, and, by most standards, this would be considered a “white lie.”
First off, there’s no such thing as a “white lie.”
It’s a paradox because a lie indicates something left in the dark.
Calling it light, or white, is incorrect.
Also, it’s not a small implication when you are deceptive or facetious, even in regard to why you think and feel the way you do.
Regardless of the intensity, when you withhold what you know, or think to be true, that indicates a point of contention or infirmity.
Simply at face value.
Whether that’s insecurity, distrust, or laziness, it signals something is not right.
It’s your responsibility to figure out what that is and I would argue it’s best for you to know what that is.
To downplay that signal, by claiming it’s only a “white lie,” would be to ignore information about yourself you’d be better off knowing.
You’d be a fool to ignore that.
Lying doubles in consequence: Not only does it threaten your ability to understand who you are, it tends to make it difficult for others as well.
You never know when the person you are lying to, or deceiving (conscious or unconscious), knows the truth, even if you do not.
That is something to seriously consider.
If you fail to sort through your being, if you fail to take your emotions and ignorance and deceit seriously, you become reluctant to see that which needs to be seen.
You become unreliable and unaware and people notice that.
Needless to say, it’s not a good idea to believe you can warp reality.
That’s what you try to do when you lie.
How To Act
Realistically speaking, every individual is responsible for implementing an ethical system of mediation between morality and practical behavior, this is what you should do vs. what you
You can outsource the mediating force (in some sense, you have to) to God, religion, science, intuition, or some other rationale. But those frameworks depend upon voluntary submission to their
principles and ideals.
First you must believe there is a good and right way to be.
Then you must subject yourself and act towards that, despite your reasons not to.
This is your best defense against the complexity of truth.
Think about it like this: Your life is a game.
You create your moral landscape, which is like setting rules and parameters for gameplay.
It would be optimal (for you and everyone else) if you clearly articulated the objective and set of rules, then agreed to play by them.
This identification and communication guides you to act.
A key distinction about this “game,” is that you are play an additional role as the head referee, the leading official who arbitrates and ensures the rules are adhered to that you impose upon
You are responsible for upholding your own virtues — and that is true.
Without a mediating force, the game degenerates into chaos, there are no boundaries to perform within, and a game no longer exist.
Life does not come without suffering, confusion, and hardship.
There is no shortage of ambiguity, confusion, or doubt. The provision of truthful speech is paramount.
So tell the truth.
Or at least don’t lie.
Why Were You Born? A Christian Theory.
by Erik Jones
Have you ever asked questions like:
Why was I born?
Does life have meaning?
Why did God create man?
Does the Bible reveal the purpose of human life?
We enter this world weak and helpless, but each of us is born with tremendous potential.
Our parents likely watched us and wondered: What will our baby do with his or her life? What kind of person will he or she become?
Ironically, we often end our lives much like we began—weak and helpless.
As death nears, we typically ponder our past.
What did I do with my life?
What kind of person was I?
And, by the time life ends, most of us have brooded over the underlying, age-old question: What is the ultimate meaning of human life?Why was I even born?
What is the meaning of life?
It’s a demanding question, and many dismiss it as simply unanswerable.
Those who more seriously attempt to explore the meaning of life often settle on experiences, such as finding a fulfilling personal calling, accomplishing something emotionally satisfying, loving
and being loved, or maybe just being a “good person.”
But those stop short of anything beyond this life.
While nothing’s wrong with those thoughts, in our moments of deepest reflection, especially when facing our own mortality, do those answers really satisfy?
Is death truly the final bookend of life?
Or does a greater purpose for human life exist, one that transcends this short, physical life? If so, what is it?
Those are the biggest questions of life.
Theories about the meaning of life
One of the more subtle effects of the theory of evolution and the philosophy of atheism is that fewer and fewer people consider whether we were created and designed with an ultimate purpose.
After all, evolutionary theory eliminates, and atheistic philosophy rejects, the idea that any higher being ordained a meaning for our existence!
If life resulted from a random bolt of lightning hitting primordial slime and setting off a series of gradual mutations from simple to complex over time, does it have a purpose?
If humanity rose to be the globe’s prime inhabitant only through natural selection based on survival of the fittest, can anyone conclude his or her life has a transcendent purpose?
If not, we can find meaning only in whatever each of us settles upon as significant.
Being kind, learning, sharing knowledge, relieving suffering.
Squeezing as much happiness and fun out of life as possible.
Focusing on the “here and now” and practicing the freedom to do as we want.
However, many conceded that even though they had created their own personal meaning since they believe life randomly occurred, then, by definition, it has no common, overarching purpose, no grand
But are these ideas of limited, self-defined human meaning true?
Or is this world and your life the result of a perfect Creator who designed and placed us on earth for a reason?
Is there an answer to the biggest question of all—why were you born?
God answers, Yes!
But in order to find it, we have to begin … at the beginning.
(To learn more about man’s quest to find meaning in life, read our article “Purpose of Life.”)
Back to the beginning to understand the purpose of life
John 1:1 reveals: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” In other words, before anything was created, God the Father and the Word (who later came to
earth as Jesus Christ, verse 14) existed.
Through eternity, these two spirit beings existed together, unlimited in power and perfect in character.
Then God began to create.
Romans 1:20 tells us that God’s “invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made,
even His eternal power and Godhead.”
By looking at the world around us, we can easily deduce that the Father and the Word are builders! Our human drive to build everything from robots to relationships simply reflects the nature of
God our Creator.
The earliest recorded creations were angels—beautiful and amazing spirit beings made to serve God and the humans who would come later (Hebrews 1:13-14).
But eventually, one-third of them, following a fellow angel called Lucifer in the New King James Version of the Bible, rose in an ill-fated rebellion against God.
He had other plans, greater plans; and at some point, He moved to create what we now see.
What does it mean to be created in “the image of God”?
Being created in God’s image means that we have elements of His likeness and thinking abilities.
Genesis tells us that on the sixth day of creation God formed the first human, and within this account lies a huge key to unlocking the true meaning of human life.
God said, “‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over
every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis
You have probably heard these words, but have you grasped their full significance?
God created humankind in His image, in His likeness, with abilities that are like His abilities.
Most important, He gave us elements of His mind—higher intelligence, creativity, artistic appreciation, and emotions.
He didn’t give such characteristics to animals.
Instead of choice and creativity, they have instinct—and that’s a key difference between the human kingdom (created after the God kind) and the animal kingdom (each created after its own
Being created in God’s image means that we have elements of His likeness and thinking abilities, just on a much smaller and weaker level.
God did not create moral automatons, human robots are programmed to do what is right.
Instead, He gave mankind—beginning with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden—free moral choice, embodied by two trees: the “tree of life,” representing moral goodness according to God’s standard,
and the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” representing humans choosing for themselves what is right and wrong.
They chose to reject God (Genesis 3:6); and through that choice, the Bible tells us, sin (the breaking of God’s law) began
to infect all humanity (Romans 5:12; 1 John
Sin remains the obstacle that stands between us and God’s purpose for us (Romans 6:23).
Christianity is all about overcoming this barrier to achieving our purpose.
It starts with repentance and forgiveness of our past sins through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and is followed by baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit—God’s Spirit.
This allows us to begin changing our character.
Embarking on this path of change—called conversion—is our part in fulfilling God’s purpose for us.
Before God will give us His unlimited power, we must willingly surrender ourselves to Him and develop His perfect character.
That means, through a lifelong process, we put off our natural ways of thinking—which tend to resist God (Romans 8:7;
Colossians 3:8-9)—and “put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him”
In other words, while we’re physically created “in His image,” we must now be created in His image spiritually—developing His moral and spiritual character.
That’s the highest aim for a human in this life—to reshape one’s spiritual character in His image, imprinting His way of thinking and acting into every aspect of our lives.
Transformed to be like God
Because the next step is rarely understood, hundreds of myths have arisen that try to explain the purpose of life.
God designed the human body to eventually die (Ezekiel 18:4; Hebrews 9:27)—but not forevermore. Jesus promised to return to earth and perform one of the greatest miracles of all time: bringing the dead back to life.
Christians through the ages have drawn inspiration and motivation from this hope, being assured that by faithfully submitting to God and developing His character, they will be resurrected and take
the last step in putting on the image of God.
Changed from corruption (physical aging and decay) to incorruption (nonphysical life).
Changed from dishonor (imperfection) to glory (perfection).
Changed from weakness to power.
Changed from a natural (physical) body to a spiritual body.
In other words, a transition from the human level to the God level!
We do not, and cannot, have these four aspects of God’s image now, but verse 49 makes an astounding statement: “As we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the
heavenly Man [Christ].”
To learn more about what it means to be a child of God, read our article “Children of
What does it mean to be a child of God?
What amazing insight!
God doesn’t merely want angel-like servants—He desires a family of children, like Him, with whom He will share eternity!
A family of beings He can build with and relate to on an equal plane.
That is the answer to the question, why were you born? But in order for God to have a real family, the family members have to be perfect, like Him.
It turns out that what God wanted—to turn physical beings into members of His family—would take time, enormous sacrifice, and the willing participation of the created beings.
Think about it.
If He created humans perfect, but without free choice, they could never truly be on His level.
They would simply be automatons composed of spirit, programmed to be perfect.
On the other hand, if He created physical beings like Himself and then gave them free choice, they would have amazing potential—yes, the potential to rebel and become like Satan and the demons,
but also with the potential to choose to become like Him.
So God, from the beginning, designed a wonderful and remarkable plan to reproduce beings like Himself—through a process that ensures those beings will truly become perfect for eternity.
Yes, our incredible, real purpose is to be elevated to God’s level as full members of His family.
When you have a child, that child is like you—he or she shares not just your form, but your DNA.
When we are born into God’s family, we will be children of God.
We will be glorified (elevated) to the same level of existence as our Father and our Elder Brother, Jesus Christ.
God’s purpose and design are that you become a partaker of “the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4)—by analogy, that you share
God’s divine DNA.
That means becoming fully spirit, just like God (John 3:6).
Those who achieve this purpose will be given exciting opportunities that are beyond full comprehension now.
But imagine things such as serving as “kings and priests” (Revelation 5:10) and coming to “inherit all things”
(Revelation 21:7) in the Kingdom of God, in an eternal existence of productivity, building and growth!
This is God’s revelation of why you were born, and it’s so much bigger than anything any mere human can contrive for himself!
This can fill your life with meaning and purpose.
And, if you embrace it, it can change everything in your life!
This article only skimmed the surface of a huge topic.
We all hope that our lives have meaning, though most are still searching for the purpose of life.
What does God intend for us and our future?
A sense of purpose?
Many of us keep ourselves so busy between work, chores, and our leisure activities that there’s really little time to think deep thoughts about the meaning of life.
But occasionally, somewhere in the back of our minds, we have a nagging feeling that there must be something more.
There must be a purpose for our lives—something we were meant to be or accomplish.
Thoughts like these can come to our minds at those emotionally charged transition periods of our life: when we leave home, get our first job, get married, have children, have an empty nest, or
Even more, questions about the purpose of life come when we lose a loved one or friend.
Being reminded of our own mortality can lead us to analyze our lives and seek deeper meaning to it all.
Direction in life
What is the real purpose of life? It’s the most important philosophical question; yet at the same time, it is deeply practical. Knowing our purpose gives direction to our lives.
As U.S. President John F. Kennedy said, “Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”
And as pioneering futurist Alvin Toffler said, “You’ve got to think about big things while you’re doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.”
A life full of purpose is a life of vitality, excitement, and ultimately success.
So what is the purpose of life—of your life?
Seeking the meaning of life: a grand experiment
Is the purpose of life to pursue happiness—through comedy, music, and other entertainment? Through mood-altering substances?
Through enjoying fine food and other perks of the rich and famous?
Or what about through great building projects or other great accomplishments that will make a mark on this world and be remembered for years to come?
Many have attempted these and similar pursuits in their attempt to find true purpose in life.
One wealthy man, in particular, experimented with all these things and more, and still came to a disconcerting conclusion:
“Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them.
I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart rejoiced in all my labor; and this was my reward from all my labor.
Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done and on the labor in which I had toiled; And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind” (Ecclesiastes 2:10-11).
Is this all there is?
God had given King Solomon great wealth and great wisdom.
His experiments in seeking purpose in life were not half-hearted!
And he did find some satisfaction in the things he tried.
But he, like the rest of us in quiet moments of reflection, still wondered, Is this all there is? Are these physical and temporary things really why I was born?
It is all so fleeting and temporary—like trying to catch the wind.
If all the money in the world can’t buy a meaningful life or give us its purpose, what can deprivation teach us?
Man’s Search for Meaning: a view from the depths
Viktor E. Frankl experienced the depths of human misery in the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II.
Soon after the war, he wrote Man’s Search for Meaning and described the degrading and dehumanizing conditions prisoners experienced.
Even during a frozen predawn march punctuated with blows from rifle butts, his mind searched for meaning through vivid thoughts about his wife:
“A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life, I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers.
The truth—that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire.
Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love.
I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved.
In a position of utter desolation, when a man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way—an honorable way—in such
a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment” (pp. 56–57).
What a beautiful, yet tragic, though.
Viktor Frankl’s wife died in the camps, and he never had the chance to see her again.
Love and family
Dr. Frankl and the poets were on to something.
Love and family are essential elements of the true purpose of life.
But there’s so much more to it than Dr. Frankl experienced in those fleeting moments of bliss.
In fact, there’s much more to life’s purpose than any human being, in the very best of circumstances, has experienced yet during this short lifetime.
God’s essential characteristic is love.
He created us and gives us purpose in life because He loves us.
And He wants us to learn the eternal joys of this complete and perfect love!
All of us, whether in a concentration camp, a beautiful chateau, or a cancer ward, face a mortal enemy that robs us of life and purpose.
That enemy is death. (Why does God allow that enemy?
The Bible’s surprising answers show how humans will really enter the spirit world.
Albert Einstein is considered one of the most brilliant thinkers of the 20th century.
He was once asked about his brilliance, and he explained that it wasn’t that he was so smart, but that he was curious and asked a lot of questions.
He is reported to have said: “If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know
the proper question I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.”
Finding the right questions
If someone asked you to explain the purpose of man, what questions would you ask?
Upon reflection, I believe the purpose of man can be examined by answering three questions:
1. Who am I?
2. Why am I here?
3. What happens when I die?
If you can correctly answer these three questions, you will have solved the greatest of all mysteries.
Where can we go to research such a mystery?
Evolution and the belief in blind chance offer no satisfying answers.
As we will see, the great religions present a variety of ideas that can’t all be right.
So we turn to the book that claims to be from the Creator God to explore this essential knowledge only God can reveal. (Why believe the Bible? See our free booklet Is the Bible True?)
In Psalm 8:3-6 David wrote about the creation of man and spoke about the potential of human beings.
“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon, and the stars, which You have ordained, what is the man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?
For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor.
You have made him have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet.”
What does God tell us about our future?
If you look at the Bible and solely the Bible, you’ll find a different answer than you get from religion.
Some varied human views
Consider the Catholic view, taken from the website “Catholic Answers.”
“Although physical human bodies die, human souls never die.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that every spiritual soul ‘is immortal: It does not perish when it separates from the body at death, and it will be reunited with the body at
the final Resurrection’ (CCC 366).
So at the moment of death, the soul separates from the body, is judged immediately, and enters either heaven (immediately or through purgatory) or hell.
‘Each man receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the very moment of his death, in a particular judgment that refers his life to Christ: either entrance into the blessedness of
heaven—through a purification or immediately—or immediate and everlasting damnation (CCC 1022).”
Since Protestantism involves many different denominations, there are different ideas about what happens when you die.
But, in general, Protestants only differ from Catholics in their rejection of purgatory.
They also believe in an immortal soul that at death either goes to heaven for eternal bliss or to hell for eternal punishment.
Most eastern religions—Hinduism, Buddhism, and others—embrace the concept of reincarnation.
This is the belief that when you die, your immortal soul lives here on earth in a different form.
This new form may be human, or it may be an animal or even an insect.
Then there is the atheist view. Atheists do not believe in an afterlife.
They believe this life is all there is.
But they believe mankind will continue to evolve and things will get better.
One well-known atheist, Richard Dawkins, concludes that religion is nothing more than a useless, and sometimes dangerous, evolutionary accident.
He is joined in this view by other best-selling atheists, such as Sam Harris, who wrote The End of Faith, and Daniel Dennett, a philosopher at Tufts University, who wrote Breaking the
These contradictory human answers can’t all be right.
Are any of them correct?
To understand the answer to the purpose of man, let’s answer the three questions from the Bible, beginning with “Who am I?”
We find in Scripture that humans were created by God, and they were created after the God kind.
By that, we mean man was created in the image of God, but not of the substance of God.
Man is flesh and blood and not spirit.
He was not created after the animal kind, as we read about in Genesis 1.
“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and
over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” (Genesis 1:26). And in Genesis 2:7, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul” (King James
He is, in fact, a soul, a living soul that is subject to death (Ezekiel 18:4).
Man was created with the potential to become a spirit being and a child of God.
Man was created with the potential to become a spirit being and a child of God.
Paul writes in Ephesians: “For this reason, I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named” (Ephesians 3:14-15; see also Hebrews 2:9-11).
Paul, in writing to Timothy, declares: “I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the
truth” (1 Timothy 3:15).
The Greek word translated “house” here is Oikos, which means “the inmates of a house, all the persons forming one family, a household” (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon).
The amazing future of mankind is to become part of this family of God, of which the Church is a physical representation.
Now we get to the final question.
What happens when I die?
Scripture speaks of a resurrection from the dead. “So also is the resurrection of the dead.
The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption.
It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.
Elon Musk’s purpose in life might be to develop futuristic ideas into reality, while your purpose can be to just provide the best life to your family and children.
Copy & pasting the purpose of somebody that you respect and like will probably leave you unhappy and unfulfilled.
For example, I think Elon Musk is doing spectacular things, but I wouldn’t be happy if I were in his shoes.
My purpose in life is wildly different from his!
I have defined my own purpose in life, and I advise you to do the same!
Examples of life purpose statements
Even though you have to define your own purpose in life, it’s still interesting to read about other people’s purposes.
That’s why I’ve asked around to include examples of life purpose statements in this article.
I don’t want you to copy and paste these life purposes and make them your own.
I only want to show you how diversified life purpose statements can be!
Here are actual examples of life purpose statements of the people I asked!
“My purpose in life is to solve problems by changing the status quo”
You will love the story of how Michael Arnold found his purpose in life.
This is a great example of how straightforward your purpose in life can be.
I don’t remember my grandpa, he passed when I was 9 months old but I sat on his knee while Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon.
I always wanted to be an astronaut even studying Astronomy, Geology and Physics in high school.
But when I checked into the requirements of becoming an astronaut, I realized I had been lied to… I was told work hard and you can reach your dreams.
But there it was in black and white, maximum height 6’1”! I was 6’4”! I couldn’t be 3” shorter.
So, I decided to become an engineer and build taller spaceships, discovering my new purpose solving problems by changing the status quo.
“My purpose in life is making positive connections with others and enjoying those around you”
I got cancer age 30 and am currently grappling with this question.
My focus has completely shifted and I feel like the whole point of my life now is just 2 simple things:
This is what a Redditor answered when asked about her purpose in life. The first simple thing that
Making positive connections with others and enjoying those around you.
It is a lot easier to sit on the couch and watch a feel-good show than it is to go have dinner with your in-laws when you are tired – but what is the point in sitting there watching TV?
We all waste way too much time doing crap like that.
Better to build meaningful connections while you can.
There are millions of super isolated people in the world as well who would kill to have someone to have dinner with.
The second purpose of her life is:
Squeezing every bit of enjoyment out of life.
I need to walk home – I can either take the subway for 5 minutes underground or I can walk 30 minutes through a park and tree-lined streets and truly enjoy it.
Maybe get an ice cream on the way.
I’d pick the fast way every time before, now I’m constantly looking for the most enjoyable route instead.
“My purpose in life is to teach other parents of kids with ADHD how to positively parent to help their kids”
My oldest (who are 18 and 21) were really difficult kids.
I didn’t know until they were about 10 years old that they had ADHD.
I probably made every parenting mistake possible as a result.
It wasn’t easy.
I became a therapist and as a result, specialized in ADHD, specifically in parenting.
This is the story of Merriam Saunders, who found her own purpose in life is helping other parents deal with ADHD.
What I realized was that by constantly reprimanding my own children for behavior outside their control, I was ruining their self-esteem and leaving them (and, frankly, me) feeling like failures.
Instead of asking them to change, I needed to ask it of myself.
I changed my parenting approach to one of finding the things they were doing right, scaffolding the things they weren’t, and letting them make mistakes without shame.
We became a happier family for it, and they are now well adjusted and academically succeeding.
“My purpose in life is to make things”
This idea was the center of my thoughts for the past few years.
And I did a lot of testing out who I was and what I wanted out of life.
Trying on different careers and always second guessing myself.
And I was struggling and unhappy and went through a lot of different situations to figure this out.
Find a career, find a partner, find something else to fill the void in my life.