Our soul purpose is our individual reason for being alive at this moment in time and place. Some of us may go our entire life searching for a purpose, and some may know from a young age what they are destined to achieve, the thing that motivates them to keep moving forward.
A soul purpose could look very different from one person to the next. For example, you might find your soul purpose is to help vulnerable people living in terrible conditions on another continent, or you may look to create the next breathtaking piece of technology that will help humanity. But, on the other hand, it may be something as simple as finding the career that brings joy in your life and doesn't have to be about anything divine at all.
You don't have to be religious or believe you were put on this planet for a reason to create a purpose for yourself. For example, existentialists believe that life and the world have no inherent meaning or value, but they create their own meaning and purpose.
This article will explore what a soul purpose can mean to different people, whether everyone has one, the benefits to our emotional well-being when we find our purpose and pursue it, and some other schools of thought on why we're here on earth.
Do We All Have a Purpose?
Not everyone will find their purpose in life, and some believe that they don't have one - they are just here to live their lives as they wish. Still, we all have passions and things that drive us in life.
A common misinterpretation of our soul purpose is that it comes in the form of our careers or how we make money. In our society, money is essential, but it doesn't necessarily mean that your purpose is to find the job that brings you the most happiness or earnings.
Some find their soul purpose in the divine through religion and worship. If you are not religious, that's okay. The soul is a spiritual notion and not necessarily defined in faith and the almighty.
Try searching for your purpose in all areas of your life. For example, you could make a note when you discover something that sparks joy for you, such as when you cook, eat, exercise or travel.
As a soul purpose is an abstract concept, it isn't easy to define whether we all have a soul purpose. However, the facts are that some people definitely feel as though they have one, and some have yet to find theirs.
Can having a purpose help us heal?
There has been quite a lot of scientific research into the study of purpose in recent years. Studies show that individuals who claim they have a purpose are experiencing higher levels of physical and emotional well-being.
For example, a study published in 2013 showed that adults living with heart disease who had some kind of purpose in their lives had a 27% lower chance of having a heart attack. Additionally, the more the individuals claimed to show purpose, the lower the possibility of a heart attack was.
Another study shows that for the elderly, having some purpose can reduce the chance of a stroke by 22%, which again is further reduced when the participant shows an even stronger sense of purpose.
Do I Need To Be Great at Something for It To Be My Purpose?
You don't have to be the best at anything for it to be your purpose. As long as you are happy and fulfilled by what you are doing, you are on the right track. Remember, there's usually more than one way to pursue something, so if the traditional, direct route doesn't suit you, explore alternative options that still bring you joy.
For example, if your purpose was to help people who are sick, there are numerous channels you could explore. The most obvious of which would be to become a healthcare professional, such as a doctor or a nurse. Your purpose of wanting to help the sick would be continuously achieved through providing direct, practical health care to those who need it urgently.
But being a doctor isn't the purpose; it's simply the route we take to fulfill the purpose. When we look deeper, there are other ways of fulfilling the soul's purpose of wanting to help the sick. You could help by:
- Being a philanthropist.
- Being a volunteer at a hospital or charity.
- Designing new software that aids medical professionals.
- Raising awareness through your social platform.
- Providing emotional support to those who don't have anybody.
So you see, being on the front lines in a hospital isn't the only way to pursue the purpose of helping the sick; you can choose how you want to be passionate about your purpose. Some of us feel nauseous at the sight of needles but have a large emotional capacity for offering support. In contrast, some of us are excellent with technology and could have a fantastic idea for the medical industry.
Fueling Your Purpose
At its core, our purpose is like a long-term goal that keeps evolving as we understand more about ourselves and what our purpose really is. So there are external factors that come into play that help to fuel our purpose.
Leading a physically healthier lifestyle with regular exercise has been proven to improve our cognitive function and well-being, which helps us make decisions more rationally. It also helps reduce anxiety which can be a prominent factor when chasing our dreams.
Affirmations can also help fuel our purpose. Affirmations are things we say to ourselves to help us believe in something. There is scientific research that affirming our beliefs helps us overcome certain psychological boundaries we may have about them.
Meditation also has many benefits, one of which is generating focus towards the things you want to achieve. In addition, mediation allows us personal time to reflect on our goals and helps settle our minds away from harmful external factors such as stress or societal expectations.
Fulfilling Your Mission
Finding your soul purpose can be a lifelong journey, but some of us find and pursue ours early on. You might find that at some point in your life, you have fulfilled your soul purpose. So what's next for you?
Our soul purpose can change as we grow, learn, and interact with our environment. What we decided was true in our hearts ten years ago might not be true today, or you may believe your purpose to be fulfilled and want to progress to the next step. That's natural!
Ultimately it's up to you, though. If you feel like you have completed your life's purpose and are honestly content with your achievements, then that's fine! But only you will know if you want to stop pursuing it.
The last thing to note is that all your energy doesn't have to be focused on one thing. For example, just because you love teaching children doesn't mean you can't also work with troubled adults, animals, or the environment.
Do We Need To Find Our Purpose?
Finding our purpose can benefit our psychological well-being while providing something for us to focus on in our lives. Of course, not everyone's purpose is the same, and we have various motivating factors for pursuing them.
A study by Dr. Dillip Jeste found that finding meaning in our lives is associated with better mental and physical function. However, the study also found that those constantly searching for a purpose can adversely affect your body, so don't force it.
Does a purpose make us happy?
In our material world, we often get caught up in the race to acquire possessions to make us happy, but as we get older, we may realize that our experiences and what we have achieved bring us true happiness.
Pursuing our soul purpose can help guide us towards experiences that bring us true joy, and that's not to say it can't be a career or even the pursuit of money, but it often goes much deeper than that for most of us.
The sense of happiness one feels from their purpose is eudaimonic happiness, as opposed to the happiness that comes from self-gratification and pleasure-seeking, which is known as hedonic.
Those with a strong sense of eudaimonic well-being have a higher possibility of being both happy and healthy individuals, with a more positive reaction to adversity such as stress or anxiety over those who predominantly find hedonic happiness.
Finding Joy in Daily Life
Research carried out at the University of California suggests those who are pursuing their purpose have a higher likelihood of feeling physically and mentally better on a daily basis.
When we pursue our purpose, even if we don't act on it every day, we still have the joys of that passion in our hearts and minds. When we know we have something to look forward to in our future, our daily lives begin to make more sense. For example, the work you do, even if you don't enjoy it, is a means to an end for your passion.