What Is The Purpose Of Life? Your Life?
Yes, I think purpose is the right question. Past the need for food and shelter, the two most important needs for all of us is the desire for community and the pursuit of meaning. W. Edwards Deming helped me realize that all of humanity has a need for community, a need to contribute and a need for meaning in life. Deming applied this thesis to the workplace and developed Total Quality Management.
Our personality help us understand traits and preferences while our core values determine what is most important in our life. This combination of personality and values lead our actions whether we realize it or not. As a Christian I find the answer to the “most important in life” question in the bible. The short answer for me is the Gospel (the Truth of a triune God) and Community (living interdependently with other people) and by living (or attempting to live) the way God created me to live: not in its original state but in its restored state, by knowing my core essence and doing my best to live that way.
What Is The Point Of Life?
Unfortunately, many think their work is where they will find meaning. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. Some say the most important in life is family. What happens when you live as if your work is the most important thing in life, but say your family is most important? Short answer: cognitive dissonance. In other words, you are living inconsistently. Many times this includes bad habits.
How To Break A Habit
All humans have emotional needs. When these needs aren’t met we drift. Begin by understanding the things that cause you to drift from your mission. Of course, this assumes you have clarity on your mission. And further, how you plan to fulfill this mission.
The U.S. Army uses a, “Be, Know, Do” model for leader development. Being is about character development. Knowing is about intellectual development. Doing is about behavior. All this is good stuff, however, like every model, this one is lacking. In the Army, as well as just about any organization that recognizes reason and logic as most important, one’s emotional state is often overlooked. I think this is because many have been taught that feelings are fleeting and we simply can’t trust them. This process suppresses feelings. When we don’t pay attention to our feelings we aren’t in touch with them. Being out of touch with our feelings causes us to take action to cover or mask them. We do this naturally and many times with no awareness.
Purpose is found when our community needs and our contribution needs are understood and active in life as well as when we discover and act on our meaning in life. For more go here or check out anything on my blog with the Life Coaching heading.