Sunday, December 1, 2013

Finding Our Purpose in Life - Some Tools

Hi All,

Although we are - ultimately - all one and thus intimately interconnected with each other as well as "the whole" (humanity, all species, our community, our ecosystem, our culture, our planet, our universe, the multiverse), everybody is also unique and different from everybody else. Sages from various cultural and spiritual traditions have said that this uniqueness has a particular function: we all have a specific purpose to fulfill in the grand scheme of things, i.e. we all have come here to serve the whole with our unique interests, abilities, and talents.

Since it is often very difficult to figure out what our true purpose is, here a few links that will hopefully inspire you.

Deepak Chopra: "What Is the Purpose of Life?" (short video & short blog text)

Deepak Chopra: "Are You Living Your True Purpose" (short article):

Wayne Dyer: The Awakened Life (audio-version of book):

Myers-Briggs Personality Test:

Dharma Test:

Finding Your Purpose in Life - Some Steps to Take:

Please choose whatever appeals to you - or something else - and share your experience if you wish.

I hope you will enjoy discovering who you truly are - at least at this moment :)



  1. I have decided to do the Myers-Briggs Personality Test because I believe that in order to find one’s purpose in life, one needs to be reflect back and know oneself first. The Myers-Briggs Personality Test is great, it consist of a questionnaire type survey with scaled responses to test for multiple personality trait. I think nowadays, people are too caught up with what society wants or what society wants us to think, that we never really have time to think about what we really want in life. I think the one’s purpose of life reflects one’s personality and values, therefore it is important to understand yourself in order to see reasonable and fulfilling goals in life. From the survey, I learned I am an ENFP (extroversion, intuition, feeling, perception) in terms of personality, and by reading about the positives attributions of such character, I am more ensured and motivated to continue with these traits. Whereas, with the negative attributions, some of which I never knew I possess, I take it as constructive criticism for self-improvement. Therefore, I think it’s important to truly understand one’s personality and values before they can really determine the purpose of life.

  2. There is a very interesting quote from the "Are You Living Your True Purpose" that says "You feel scared about expanding your sense of yourself, clinging instead to the safety of a limited self-image. In fact, there’s no protection in remaining in a contracted state. Expansion is what helps you to solve problems and move forward.". I agree with this. People are indeed scared of expanding their sense of self because, in a way, it actually is a process that destroys the individual identity. I believe that the reason the human ego exists is because there seems to be this boundary between the self and the surrounding. I can't remember the exact details, but I've read a book where the authors explains that in some culture, the word for 2 traces its roots back to meaning of evil. 'I' may be one of the two, and everything that is not 'I' is the second half. This sense of separation may be the root of all suffering. In this sense, enlightenment is where your sense of self expands all the way until it hits the edge of the universe, then your boundary matches the boundary of existence. When two becomes one, your birth name is no longer a huge fraction of your identity, but rather a tiny drop in the ocean. So I think that as the boundary expands, you become more selfless, and in the process, find purpose.

  3. I read "Finding Your Purpose in Life - Some Steps to Take" since I haven't found my purpose in life yet and even can't decide what I really love and what job I will do. This article encourage us to take actions to find our purpose in life and to build our dream life step bu step. The first step is most important. If we want to know our purpose in life, we should start to find it now. Some people don't know their life values since they even haven't consider it.

    I have been trying to find my life purpose for a long time. When appealing university, it takes me a long time to decide what I want to study. Since I work hard in all different courses in high school, all grades are good without much difference. I think sometimes the grade is related to the compassion of the certain coursers. If we do well in one course, we will feel confident and grade to learn about it. Finally, I chose the business, a new field which I haven’t studied before. I think I am on the way of finding my purpose of life by trying new things likes the second steps “start a new hoppy”.In this article "If you don’t know your purpose, then make finding your purpose your purpose." affects me a lot. There are so many possibilities. We can try new things until finding what we actually love, and if we still cannot find it, keep searching. The experience about trying is unique. Maybe the meaning of purpose in life is just not wasting time and take action. No matter whether we find what we like, we are taking actions making our lives better, so “make finding your purpose your purpose”.

  4. I decided to do the Meyer-Briggs personality more out of curiosity than anything else. I have an idea of what I want to do in life already and it is linked to what I feel is my purpose as well. I want to become a doctor. Not for the reason that most people think though; money. I want to be a doctor so I can give back to the community and help those in need. I believe my purpose in life is to use my brain to get myself in a position to help others. I want to have the ability to make a positive and change a person’s life for the better. There is so many unfair situations that are beyond our control in life but if we have a society that we can lean on and trust to be there to support us those situations become a little less daunting.

    When I did the Meyer- Briggs test the results that I got aligned to what I believed I was meant to do in the first place. I got the ESFJ profile which is a very emotionally driven profile. I believe this is me exactly. It says we sympathize emotionally with people and wear our hearts on our sleeves. This is definitely me. I am very open and honest with the people in my lives and you always know how I feel. To me this is the easiest way to be as I find it very hard and a lot of energy to cover up my emotions. I also make decisions that are times effected by my emotions. However it does state that I have strong sense of judgment based on my feelings. This is definitely me as there have been very few times that my original instinct was the wrong decision. I have actually gotten myself in trouble for second guessing my instincts and choosing to go the other way.

    I believe our emotions are so powerful in both negative and positive ways. Yes, they can get us in trouble and cause us to make rash choices at times but they can also lead us to make very positive choices as well. I believe my purpose is to use my emotions to help others. I want to change society and show people that there are people in this world who care to make it better place. I am strong believer in Karma and that if you do good for the right reasons that good will eventually come back to you. This means doing stuff for others because you want to simply better their lives not because you gain something in return. Sometimes one small action can have the greatest effect. That’s what I want for my future to make small positive changes in people’s lives daily and always to continue to give back to others and make the world I live in a healthier and better place.

  5. After taking a look at all of them, I decided to take the Dharma test; one, because I didn't know what "Dharma" is and wanted to find out and two, because I enjoy taking tests and seeing how accurate they are. So a little bit of information before I discuss my results for those of you who had the same question as I did: What is Dharma? Well, after looking into it, I found that it has multiple meanings in Hinduism. The most dominant definition was that dharma is behaviors that are intertwined with the natural order of things. From the test, I noticed that there were 5 types of dharma behaviors: Merchant, Warrior, Laborer, Outsider and Educator. Each of them had a different purpose and unique characteristics to offer.

    The test went through questions of how you see yourself and the world and what some of your habits are. I slowly realized that as I was moving on to the next question, my answers were similar and connected in a way. They were more driven towards answers that were associated with helping other people and focusing on keeping my family and friends together. As I was going through the questions that reflected on myself, I noticed that I couldn't decide on an answer right away, because I did not know myself that well. It is something I have to learn how to do; keep some time to reflect on myself and learn more about what I am capable of doing.

    The result of my test was that I am a Laborer, which basically means that I am a hard worker. It is funny, because I am studying to become a teacher, so I expected to be an Educator. In all fairness though, it was a close call. I am more focussed on helping other people, "a glue to my social network" as the site says. I also agreed with the fact that it mentions that Laborers are "stomach people" and it would be better for us to get to know someone over lunch than having a lengthy conversation with them. This made me think back through my life and realized that I bonded with most of my friends over cooking things in my kitchen. It also says that Laborers are practical people, which I am, although I wouldn't consider myself a genius! It also said that they need to see or feel something to believe it and that 'touch' is our most reliable sense.

    By reading through this description, I noticed many things that relate to my life. This meant that the "Dharma Types" were pretty accurate and that the purpose we have in life might really be split up into 5 different behaviors. It follows that people like me do exist somewhere out there, with the same purpose in life. In order for the world to coexist in harmony, though, there has to be an equal amount of all 5 types. Everyone cannot have the same personality, because then the world would be monotone and imbalanced. Therefore, I should accept the type of person I am and not try to change, just improve my inner-self.

  6. In the past, I have never thought of things such as which job I would take when I grow up and what I would like to do. I also have never thought about what the purpose of my life would be, of course. All I did in the past was go to school, and all I wanted when I was in high school was to get better marks to enter better university. After entering university, I lost my purpose and felt empty. I had only studied to enter university, not because I wanted to get a certain job. Since I could see no absolute purpose, I studied less when I were supposed to study more. Today, I know that I am all grown up and have to find out what I will do for living some day, so I read the article “11 Actions You Can Take Today to Discover Your Life’s Purpose." The article asks if I can discover what I love doing, but I believe people should choose their majors and get a job depending on their areas of strength, not their interests. For example, the well-known chemist Viktor Meyer wanted to be an actor because he liked it. It would have been unfortunate for him and for the history of chemistry if he had actually followed that path. Even though I have not found the purpose of my life yet, I believe I will find it soon as I keep studying in my field.

  7. When i was young i always though that i wanted to be a fire fighter when i grow up because i thought they were real life heros. As i grow older, i got involved in the sport of boxing, and i wanted to become a professional boxer like Muhammad Ali because i thought he was an inspiration. Now i realized that i need to find a job or start my own business to support my family when i graduate from university.

    I realized that our goals changes as we age and our goals become more mature and realistic overtime. i believe everyone has different values, and goals. Some people may want to be a very successful business man and make lots of money, some people may just want to spend lots of time with their family and enjoy their moments. The article "11 actions you can take today to discover your life's purpose." gave me some really good ideas of how to look for a goal in life. It suggests the readers to find their passion. I agree with the idea that people should do what they love to do. If one does not love what they do, they will never be good at it. I believe other than finding one's passion, people should also consider their ability. They should question themselves if they are able to handle the work of their passion. for example, when i was younger i wanted to become a professions boxer, but do i have the ability to become a professional athlete? if not, that would not be a very realistic goal. therefore, i believe in choosing a goal or a purpose in life, we should find the balance for both our passion and our ability in order to achieve success in what we do.

    Finally our purpose in life may not have a set definition, and it may change as we age but we should keep searching for it and work towards it.

  8. Discovery of self is possibly the most difficult subject we'll ever come across, in any walk of life. In the rush of accomplishing the never ending materialistic goals, the mission to be real to self is abandoned somewhere along the way. However, we cannot really go far if we lose contact with our inner soul.
    I took the Myers-Briggs Personality Test and found out that my personality is INFP, a personality that is filled with dreams rather than logic; someone who gets carried away with beauty, morality and virtue instead of utility or effectiveness.
    Eventhough the test that I took defined me to a certain level, it also got me thinking about lots of other things. We are shaped by our experiences. We cannot get a definite idea of what we are by answering 50-odd questions but it's a headstart anyway. Every person has their own perspective which is created by their own thoughts and more importantly the lessons they have learnt in their life, owing to their different experiences. Every human being is the author of their life. Every decision we take changes us in subtle ways making way for more defining character traits.
    The journey of self knowledge starts the day we are born but due to many meaningless commitments we lose track of it. However, our inner soul is very kind and forgives us for all the ignorance and it's very easy to become best friends with it whenever we start our contemplations. I have realised that meditation and yoga are the two perfect mediums for self awareness. But after a while, a short walk in the lap of nature is enough too. Self knowledge not only helps us realise all the major goals in life, it also helps us become more peaceful. Calmness becomes the basic emotion and you are content.
    Self awareness is also an ongoing process. As I mentioned above, our experiences shape us. The more experiences we have, the more we grow and the more we change. Self awareness taught me to take of that one main goal in my life and all the small things would fall in place. This has made my life a lot easier and very peaceful.

  9. I decided to take Dharma test , and found myself to be a Educator.Dharma signifies behaviours that are considered to be in accorded with the natural order.
    There is many ways that you can discover meaning of life. In some ways its not what you find the meaning of life in its more about what you perceive of the meaning of life. When you look at something like a painting or a song what do you think it is trying to say? Does it paint a picture in your head and what does that picture look like?
    I find that the best way to see the meaning of life is through movies. Movies are an image of the life that we live but it shows us the true meaning of life in a way that we can all understand. People are blind when it comes to what makes them in this world. In a movie the character is set up to live there life and threw events shows us what makes them unique. In one movie the Shaw shank redemption the main character Andy is convicted for a murder that he doesn’t commit and is forced to go to hail for life. In the movie you think that he has nothing to live for anymore but in a way they present what his meaning of life is and how it comes clear to the characters eyes. The character see’s that he needs certain things in life to live. Friends was one of the things that he discovered was important to live a happy and full life. Hope is another one; if you don’t have hope then you have nothing to look forward to so then what is the point of living. The main thought in the movie was get busy living or die like a loner.

    The meaning of life is very complex and you can’t always pick up everything that it’s going to throw at you. That’s why movies, art and music in around so that other people who think about the topic more can show you there incite. If you listen and look at thoughts things you can learn things that will show you what the meaning of life is or at least what you can do to get started on living your life.

  10. We were all born with some kind of purpose. Every little thing we do everyday has an impact on the lives around us. An ultimate life purpose, however, is something we want to do for the rest of our lives per say. Our purposes in life reflect who we are as individuals. We all have unique personalities so in a way we all serve a unique purpose in life.

    I took the Myers-Briggs Personality Test where I was told I was ENFJ, meaning that I am a slight extrovert, I moderately prefer intuition over sensing, I go with my feelings over thoughts, and I moderately prefer judging over perceiving.

    To be honest, I have no idea what any of that means, but I like to think I have a pretty good idea of my own personality. I always thought of myself as somebody who loved being around somebody and interacting with all kinds of different people. I have always been one to help. Nothing makes me feel better than knowing I put a smile on somebody's face.

    I have traveled to India many times before and I still haven't seen the worst of it there. The poverty there breaks my heart. The lack of health care and the expense for whatever health care they do have is terrible. Every time I see a small child sitting near the gutter on the side of the road, all I want to do is pick up the kid, buy him a meal, buy him new clothes, get him treated for all his illness, and whatever else I can do to help him. But I can't. He's not the only child in that situation. There's millions of children across the globe who are just like that little boy.

    I have loved working with children for a really long time now. I could easily say my passion is in children. But not in teaching. I would love to be a teacher, but I want to do so much more than that for the world's future. I want to treat them and help them. My parents gave me the idea when I was about 14. They made me realize how good and calm I am in terrible situations, especially in those involved little kids. What I want to do for the rest of my life is pediatrics. That is my passion. And I don't know for sure yet, but maybe this will be my purpose in too.

    I haven't found my true purpose in life yet, and I don't know when and if I ever will, as a lot of people never really do. But I do know that whatever it is involves making a large and positive difference in somebody's life. Even if it's just one life.

  11. As a kid, I never thought about the purpose in life or starting a family or anything. All that ever troubled me was when the next episode of my cartoon came out or which bag of chips I should open next. I never had the idea of growing up at that time because all I did was play and play and play and play. Then time went by and I made my way into high school. I swear the first two years of high school were the hardest of my life. The first year of high school I spent most of my nights pondering the purpose of life and wondering what happened after life. I wasn’t afraid of death, but I was afraid of what came after it. I was afraid of the unknown that nobody knew about after death. It’s so scary how nobody knows that comes after death and nobody has an idea. When I got into a car accident the year after, the I couldn’t stop thinking about my purpose in life. I’ve never had any expectations for myself and no one had any for me. My parents wanted me to be happy so I said to myself that my purpose in life was to be happy. But back then I was just feeding myself lies upon lies upon lies.

    I don’t see my purpose in life to just be happy. I want to be successful in life. But that’s not the purpose of my life. For my purpose in life, it’s simple. I want to be someone else’s purpose in life. Once I achieve to be someone else’s purpose in life then I can say my purpose has been complete. Sometimes it really isn’t about living forever or enjoying yourself to the fullest. Although you should still live your life to the fullest, I feel that without the support of other people in your life would you be able to live your own to the fullest? I feel that in my life I should give back to those who stay with me whether it be my friends or my foes. I dream big and I expect much more from myself than when I was a kid but the purpose in my life is just a simple one, to bring happiness to someone else.

    1. Hey Philip,

      I think that's a beautiful purpose! Bringing happiness to someone else can be challenging, but that's exactly what makes it extremely rewarding. If everyone in the world took the time to look out for at least one other person, I think everyone would be happier, safer & and much more understanding.

  12. I took the Dharma test, because like Demi I didn't know what Dharma was. I found out I was a labourer and once I read more on what that meant it made sense to me. Labourers like bringing people together, they hold a large value in family and they enjoy giving and caring for others! That sounds a lot like me! It says that labourers typically enjoy jobs like social workers, nurses & therapists. I think I would enjoy any of those jobs however I am at a point in my life where I have no idea what my purpose is or what I want to do for the rest of my life. I thought university was the place where you are supposed to figure out the answers to all these questions, but ever since I got here it seems like I'm moving backwards instead of forwards. The only comforting thing I know is that I am not the only student in this position. I commonly hear other students say they have no idea what they want to do with their life. I do think that university helps you find your purpose. By the time you graduate, you go through tons of experiences, you find out many of your likes and dislikes and you meet tons of new people with new perspectives and ideas. I think all of these things will definitely point you in the right direction, and if not, maybe we don't all have one purpose. I think the key in life is to find something or multiple things that make you happy and dedicate yourself to that, and more importantly take the time to make those around you happy. That's what will truly fulfil your life's purpose.

  13. I took the Dharma test. The first part of the test, I was an outsider. The second part of the test set me between a merchant and an educator. I do not think that people should be categorized into types. Each person is unique and that is all there is to it. In genetics, it's called genetic variation. Each individual has their unique genotype, and these differences may or may not contribute to how a person acts. A person's personality can also be affected and changed by their experiences. Starting from when we were born, how others treat us will change how we treat others when we grown up. Since I study sciences, I do not believe there is an ultimate goal to life. I believe that in the limited time we have, we should be happy and free to do whatever we want. Of course there are moral standards we have to follow although those are just socially constructed ideas. I believe, rather than having an ultimate purpose, life can be divided by achieve small purposes we set ourselves. Whenever we achieve something, we feel happy and capable, and reassures ourselves. I do not believe in religion which often burdens the human race with some goal that we have to achieve together. We are a species, not any different from others such as birds and cows. We will survive and persist and ultimately die trying to defend our existence.