How Do You Find Purpose In Life?

I just had a birthday and I am doing a little self reflection. I don’t want to wake up one day and go “Wow what the hell did I do with my life?” I want to have purpose. I want my life to be fulfilling. This is supposed to be the prime of my life.

So I sat down and thought about how would I find purpose in my life? I know that I want to finish school and be an ER nurse. I know that I want to start a non-profit dental program for single low-income parents, I know I want to sell my house and move my kids to the mountains. But where do I begin?

Then I imagined for a moment that I was building a house. The first step is You hire a building contractor, but he never consults the blueprints drawn up by your architect, your designer. He works without a plan. An unwise move–because the contractor needs to know where to lay the foundation, erect the walls and
place the windows. Only then will the home look the way it was intended.

The same can be said of life. How can we try to build our life without first consulting the great architect of life, the one who created us for a wonderful purpose?

So that is when I thought …finding religion would be the FIRST step.

I read many sites offered here:

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?s=&postid=4123687#post4123687

But I can see this will take much time.

What do you do to find purpose in life? Would you agree finding religion is the FIRST step?

That isn’t how most people ‘find’ religion - it usually finds them.

…And I suspect that a half-hearted (by which I mean no offense) search for the ‘right’ religion for you would be nothing more than a temporary phase and a waste of time. - In my opinion, meaning emerges from life, rather than being something you install fully-featured.

Well I am a Christian and I do believe in the Bible (King James Version and NIV) However I have found in my church that they do not believe the same things I do which leads me to believe I am not in the right place.

Jesus is my Lord forever and I will not change that. However I feel the need to find a new church.

Easy. whistles Here, Purpose! Here, Purpose! Come here, boy! :slight_smile: [sub]Finding Religion is another thing. No idea where that mutt went…[/sub]

Seriously, though, I think the idea of “finding meaning in life” to be something of a red herring. It’s a bit like people who spend all their time arguing about the best way to write a novel but never actually get around to writing a damn novel. You should find worthwhile things to do and then let the purpose follow. Sounds like paragraph two of the OP is a good start already.

Read “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren… We are doing a study on it at church currently… and I think it’s gonna be a really good thing… shoot, email me your mailing address and I’ll send you a copy.

Ah, well this changes things a bit, doesn’t it?

It really shouldn’t be terribly suprising that people don’t believe the same things that you do; people are like that; I’ve often found this to be a useful and productive challenge to my thought processes anyway.

I believe Steve Martin found HIS PURPOSE in “The Jerk.” He was real happy about it.

Seriously, it begins with passion for something. It will be clear to you when you find it. If you find it. Some people don’t. I haven’t yet.

Hasn’t anyone here seen Steve Martin’s “The Jerk”?

Nathan: I’VE FINALLY FOUND MY PURPOSE!!

I think when you belong to a body of Christ you should be “one body” believing in the same things. Is this not a reality theory? Am I on the wrong track?

I think when you belong to a body of Christ you should be “one body” believing in the same things. Is this not a reality theory? Am I on the wrong track?

Can finding the right religion really be Carte Blanch?

I am in Marketing and we are taught to solve a probelm take the situation to the smallest degree. I thought my foundation theory was doing that.

I think when you belong to a body of Christ you should be “one body” believing in the same things. Is this not a reality theory? Am I on the wrong track?

Can finding the right religion really be Carte Blanch?

I am in Marketing and we are taught to solve a probelm take the situation to the smallest degree. I thought my foundation theory was doing that.

In any given denomination–hell, within any given congregation–there’s going to be some variance in doctrinal teachings and personal beliefs. If there are major doctrinal differences between what your church teaches and what you believe, you might look into the doctrines of other denominations to find a congregation that more closely matches your beliefs. Even then, though, not everyone will agree with you about every single little point. That’s just the nature of religion–we all have the same stuff presented to us, and our unique lives and personalities give us unique perspectives and interpretations of that stuff.

Meaning, like religion, is a highly personal thing. What looks like wasting your life to one person may be very meaningful and satisfying for someone else. It’s like trying a new food you’ve never had before–you can’t say, I’m going to buy this and cook it, and it’s going to be so delicious it will be my new favorite food. You can’t just decide that something is going to be meaningful, it’s something that emerges. It’s kind of like falling in love; sometimes you know right off the bat that something feels good and right to you, and sometimes it sneaks up on you over time.

Having a plan to achieve your goals is a good thing, but there are some things you just can’t plan. Having the best blueprints and contractors in the world doesn’t do much good if they’re planning a Colonial and you fall in love with a log cabin.

**Sounds (to me) more like the Borg than the Church. - I think there’s room for a little diversity of opinion, besides, how does one go about deciding exactly who is right and who is wrong.
(Actually, I know the answer to this - whichever one agrees with the Bible - but that assumes a)That the Bible agrees with itself in every part, b)That the Bible has an opinion on the subject, c)That it is possible to fully understand all parts of the Bible and d)That it is possible to know when you’ve fully understood part of the Bible)

Well assuming that I am on the right track…that it is FIRST important to figure out my beliefs…

How does one go about looking into other doctrines without iinvesting time? You can’t! And how can you invest time without becoming brainwashed (for lack of better word) in the doctrine your are investing your time? And how much time do you invest without wasting your time?

No one has offered another way to find the purpose in life. Is everyone agreeing that religion is the FIRST thing to do?

Well assuming that I am on the right track…that it is FIRST important to figure out my beliefs…

How does one go about looking into other doctrines without iinvesting time? You can’t! And how can you invest time without becoming brainwashed (for lack of better word) in the doctrine your are investing your time? And how much time do you invest without wasting your time?

No one has offered another way to find the purpose in life. Is everyone agreeing that religion is the FIRST thing to do?

I have some clear goals (as posted in my first post) maybe I should just follow my heart and God will come later? Somehow that seems the wrong order.

Why, bless your little cotton socks, no!

Religious people may agree on that. As for me, I have found my “purpose,” and religion plays no part in my life whatsoever. If it works for you, great—but it’s certainly not an answer—or even an option—for everyone.

I think it was the atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell who said "Unless you assume a God, the question of life’s purpose in meaningless " or words to that effect…

[DNA]
your purpose in life is to continue our genes, go on. breed!
[/DNA]

LOL If that is my only purpose, then I have done my fair share of breeding well in captivity as I have 5 children.

I think I need more purpse then that! Nice try!

Please tell me you’re not serious about this brain-washing stuff. You already know what you believe, and the fact that your church believes something else has yet to “brainwash” you into believing what they believe, right? So how on earth would finding out what someone else believes “brainwash” you? That’s just silly. Just find out enough about a group to know if it gels with what you already believe. As long as you’re still interested, or are enjoying the learning for it’s own sake, it’s not a waste of time.

And no, you don’t have to have religion to have meaning in your life. Some people find meaning through religion. Others find it in addition to religion, and still others find it in the complete absence of religion. Some people find it in their jobs, or their families, or volunteer work. Find something that fires your soul and makes you happy, and you’ll find your meaning.