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How To Find Your Purpose In Life - The Best Tips On Finding Purpose

Living a life with purpose is a vital part of happiness. If the things you do are aligned with your bigger purpose in life, then it's likely that you'll live a happier, healthier and more productive life.

This is based on multiple studies. In fact, it has been found that a purpose in life is correlated to a lower risk of death.

But it's not the science and studies that we want to focus on at Tracking Happiness. Instead, it's the personal stories of our readers that resonate the strongest.

We've published numerous articles highlighting the purposes of our readers, and how their purpose has influenced their lives. This page contains the best bits of those articles, with links to every other article we've published on living a life with purpose.

Most recent articles about "Purpose In Life"

Here are the most recently added articles that are about finding a purpose in life:

Why a purpose in life is important

There are plenty of good reasons to find your purpose in life.

These have been studied in some fascinating ways. For example, a team of psychologists from Poland and the US found that living meaningfully can boost feelings of harmony, peace, and well-being, which in turn promote physical health.

Additionally, having or looking for a purpose in life predicts lower levels of suicidal ideation and lower suicide risk.

Finally, another study found that having a high sense of purpose in life is associated with a reduced risk of mortality.

How to discover your purpose in life

How do you find your purpose in life? This is a question that's a bit harder to answer, since there is no universal roadmap that you can follow. If only it were that easy.

You can't just copy and paste someone else's life purpose. Just like your happiness definition, your purpose in life is unique.

But it may inspire you to know about the life purpose of others.

Examples of life purposes

What are some examples of a purpose in life? There are a lot of commonly known purposes in life, like:

  • Providing for your family.
  • Living a successful life.
  • Making positive connections with others and enjoying those around you.
  • Exploring the world.
  • Fighting the declining condition of our planet.
  • Etc.

We've asked dozens of people about their own purpose in life.

The answers we've received are sometimes inspiring, insightful and heartwarming.

But did you know that a purpose in life doesn't have to be spectacular, amazing or highly ambitious?

My purpose in life is to live a long and happy life.

Sounds cheesy and anti-climatic? Maybe, but here's the thing:

Everything that I do is a result of my purpose in life. There are a lot of other things that I feel are part of my purpose in life, like:

  • Making others happy
  • Making the world a better place
  • Spending as much time as possible with the people I love
  • Challenging myself intellectually and physically

But I only truly care about these things because they will eventually result in my main purpose, and that is to live a long and happy life.

The best tip on discovering your purpose in life

Try something new if you want to discover your purpose.

  • Take a different route to work.
  • Try something you've never done before, like drawing, learning an instrument or volunteering.
  • Explore different career opportunities.
  • Travel to new countries.

You don't need lots of imagination to think of new things to try.

A big piece of advice that a lot of people are not willing to take seriously is to try something you've never done before. I find this mind-boggling. How can you expect a change in your happiness by not changing any of the things that you do? How are you planning to discover your purpose, when you are living a routine life?

Think outside the box here. What is something that you would like to do but never tried?

I want you to forget about the reasons why you shouldn't do these new things. There are always reasons to not do something. You have to push through this mental obstacle.

Grab a piece of paper and write down things that you would like to try. Here are a couple of examples:

  • Skydiving
  • Taking dancing lessons
  • Telling a person you have feelings for him/her
  • Ask your manager for a different position
  • Lose 20 pounds and get more confident about your appearance
  • Travel to another continent by yourself

My own example of trying something new

Here's a fun example: I signed up for my first marathon ever 3 weeks prior to the start.

I was TOTALLY UNPREPARED (even in full caps, this is still an understatement), but I still finished the damn race. It was a perfect way for me to add a little adventure in my life when I needed it! Running this marathon - something I had never done before - made me extremely happy.

Except for maybe the last 2 miles, as you can see on this picture of my physically broken body.

eindhoven marathon finding happiness This is me on the last mile of my first marathon. I was physically broken but I was in ecstasy when I passed the finish line!

More tips on how to find your purpose in life

Based on the feedback and stories of our readers, we've learned more actionable tips that can help you find your purpose in life.

Work towards freedom and independence

I believe one of the fundamental factors of happiness is the ability to make your own choices with a certain degree of independence.

What do I mean by that? We all need to be in control of where our lives are going. More specifically, we need to be able to make decisions without being constrained by factors that we can't control. Without these constraints, it becomes easier to follow your purpose in life.

For example, if your career forces you to make a decision that's not aligned with your purpose, it's hard to say no if you're living paycheck-to-paycheck. In this case, you don't have the ability to walk away from your job if the hypothetical shit starts hitting the fan.

Even if you truly love your job, then you should still have some sort of financial cushion that will keep you afloat when things go south. This is generally referred to as FU money. That doesn't mean that you should save every penny you can and live on a diet of rice and beans without ever taking a day off.

It means that you should find a balance between saving for your freedom and living life now. This is a balance that you'll need to find for yourself.

Having even a little bit of FU money places you well above the average.

But it's not about the money, but much rather the ability to make your own decisions and to create a degree of independence.

Having the ability to say no to certain things - like being forced to do something you don't like - is worth much more than whatever salary you're given.

Find your personal "Why?"

What is your "Why" in life?

This question is very common but makes you think about what you truly want out of life. How do you find out what your "Why" in life is? By asking as many questions as possible:

  • Why do I do this?
  • Why do I value this over that?
  • Why am I not happy when X happens?
  • Why am I stressed now?
  • Why?

If you keep asking these questions, it's likely that you'll eventually circle back to the same answer. That answer is almost always your "Why" in life. That's the reason why you want to move forward in life. That's what makes you unhappy if your current situation doesn't align with your "Why".

I believe every single person has a deep motivation that fuels their life in the grand scheme of things. Some people just don't know what this "Why" is yet. If you keep questioning why you do the things you do, you will eventually find your own personal "Why" in life.

My personal "Why"?

To be worth everything that has been given to me, and to have as much of a positive influence on the world as possible.

All articles about “Purpose In Life”

Here at Tracking Happiness, we are extremely fascinated about happiness and living a life with purpose. We are always on the lookout to answer questions such as:

  • What is happiness exactly and how is your purpose in life related to it?
  • What does it mean to have a purpose in life?
  • Can your purpose in life change over the years?

Whenever we learn something new, we usually write an article about it.

Here’s a full list of articles we’ve written about “Purpose In Life”:

Closing words

I hope these articles have improved your understanding of living a life with purpose. This article is updated whenever we publish a new and interesting piece of content, so make sure to check back every once in a while.

Now it’s time to hear from you! What's your purpose in life? Did we miss an important tip that helped you find your purpose? Please share it in the comments below!

Founder of Tracking Happiness

Founder of Tracking Happiness and lives in the Netherlands. Ran 5 marathons, with one of them in under 4 hours (3:59:58 to be exact). Data junkie and happiness tracker for over 7 years.

6 thoughts on “How To Find Your Purpose In Life - The Best Tips On Finding Purpose”

  1. Because I'm diving into this topic myself right now: did you know there's an Austrian research psychologist that actually studies purpose and sources of meaning scientifically? Her name is Tatjana Schnell and she's a professor at the University of Innsbruck and the MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society in Oslo (her research is not based on/in any faith).

    She also published a book, "The Psychology of Meaning in Life".

  2. Hello,
    Dr sushma here, I must congratulate you for the amount of hard work you are putting in. Hat's off to you, your content is more than amazing based on real and scientific facts. I love reading your posts. Thank you for spreading peace and happiness.
    Dr sushma


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