Why Am I Here? And How Do I Find My Purpose In Life?

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A person silhouette sitting looking at sunset thinking.

As we rush through our days, one might think our only purpose on earth is survival. But survival is not a purpose. It is an instinct. All living things have an instinct to survive. It is a necessary thing we must do to exist. A purpose is the reason we exist. Only humans seek to have a purpose. Animals don’t wonder why they are walking the earth. We need to involve ourselves in life, not simply live it. We need a reason for being.

Individual Purpose

As individuals, we might have a purpose that we feel strongly about. We might feel called to write, practice medicine, enter the clergy, work with children, or be a lawyer. We might be led to support our spiritual path, culture, political affiliation, or lifestyle choice. We might be drawn to entertaining, playing sports, creating art, or building skyscrapers. There are as many purposes as there are people.

One Human Purpose

Though there are many individual purposes, I believe there is one underlying human purpose. That is to affect other people positively. It sounds simple, but we are so caught up in life that we often overlook our purpose and miss opportunities to do what we are meant to do. We interact with others every day and are given the chance to connect with and affect them and their lives. A short interaction with you could have a significant impact on another. That is how powerful our purpose is.

How Do We Affect Others

We affect others through words, actions, facial expressions, body language, and energy. You may never have considered how you can change the course of someone’s day, or even their life, just with a chance meeting, but you can. And the change you make could have a ripple effect as they go on to affect others.

Words

Nothing has more power than the spoken word. It can start and end love affairs and wars. Use them carefully to affect others. Bumping into someone and saying, “You’re an idiot!” instead of “I’m sorry” can make a big difference in that person’s day. Telling your son he looks great as he leaves for school, instead of “clean your room later,” starts him with an upbeat outlook on the day. Noticing and telling the harried cashier you like her earrings brightens her day and makes her feel someone actually sees her. Asking your wife, “Why do you take so long getting out of the car?” does not make for the start of a pleasant evening. Simple words. We say them without much thought or consideration. Yet they impact the person they are told to.

Scientific studies have shown that negative words lead to the release of stress and anxiety-inducing hormones. In contrast, positive words affect other areas of our brain, boosting confidence and well-being. So words can affect our physical health as well as our emotional state. 1 Positive, genuine words, such as “You are doing a great job” and “I always enjoy seeing you,” can make someone’s day. Are you living up to your purpose with your words and affecting people positively?

How Our Words Impact Others

Our words carry enormous weight. They often impact people for decades, providing either the courage to press on or one more reason to give up. 2

Michael Hyatt, Founder and Chairman of Full Focus and Author of Your Best Year Ever

Actions

Sometimes, our actions speak louder than our words. You can say you love someone, but it can be confusing if you don’t follow through by acting like you do. Our actions affect others in a big way, even very small acts, such as bending over to pick up something someone drops. Most people find this to be very noble and are most grateful. It leaves them feeling positive and cared for. A kiss or a hug is a loving action. Doing someone else’s chores, bringing home a favorite dessert, calling someone to say hello, or opening and holding a door for someone are all small actions that positively influence others. Thoughtfulness is the key, and those affected become more thoughtful.

Facial Expressions & Body Language

A woman talking on the phone while smiling.
A smile while talking can impact your tone of voice and thus your impact on the conversation.

It may be hard to believe, but your demeanor, stance, and expression affect others. If you cross your arms or turn away, you are closed off from them. You could have a defensive or even aggressive stance, which frightens people. If you are frowning, you could be angry or annoyed. Those signals will affect others you interact with. If, however, you are smiling with an open stance, facing people you meet, they will feel relaxed and welcome. A nod of the head and a smile will be taken as a greeting in passing and will leave people uplifted. If you smile during an argument, it can bring the disagreement to an end. A smile given anytime is one of our greatest assets in our purpose. It brightens the recipient’s day, and they, in turn, pass it on. 

There’s Magic In Your Smile

Did you know that your smile is actually contagious? The part of your brain that is responsible for your facial expression of smiling when happy or mimicking another’s smile resides in the cingulate cortex, an unconscious automatic response area. 3

– Sarah Stevenson, Degree In Behavioral Psychology

Energy

Energy, spirit, or aura is the unseen force people have inside and transfer to others to affect them. If you have a happy, positive, upbeat energy showing through, then when you meet people, they feel it and absorb it, it has an effect on them. If your energy is stressed, frazzled, and worried, that is how you will impact those you meet. They may start to feel the same and not even know why. If you are angry, offended, or outraged, you will give off that negative energy and affect other people with it, and suddenly, they are provoked. Just as the excitement and anticipation build in the crowd at a football game as they wait for the kickoff, the energy you have passes to others. Keep your energy cheerful and optimistic so you always positively affect those you meet.

How We Affect Each Other

The principle of emotion contagion holds that the emotions of two or more people converge and are passed from person to person in larger groups. 4

Steven Stosny, Ph.D, Author, Founder of Compassion Power and Co-Author of How To Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It

When You Understand Your Purpose

When you understand that your purpose is to affect other people positively, you know you must have positive energy, use positive words and actions, and carry yourself in a positive way to live your purpose. You also become aware that others will affect you. You have the ability to dismiss an attempt to influence you negatively, but it requires conscious effort to maintain your positivity.

Living Your Purpose

When we meet with others, it may not positively affect us. We can choose to ignore it, or if the connection is more than just a fleeting moment, we can meet it with empathy. Affecting someone with sincere empathy if they are sad, angry, stressed, or otherwise negatively energized can help them feel understood, cared for, and safe and enable them to calm down. It is then possible to positively affect them with comfort, relaxation, and peace. Then, we have lived our purpose.

As we strive to live each day with our purpose in mind and consciously attempt to affect people positively, we are also creating a positive life for ourselves. If you shine a positive light, it will be reflected back at you. You benefit from your positive outlook as much as those you affect.

What Are The 35 Most Mysterious Places On Earth?

If we all lived our purpose fully, the world would be a more pleasant, peaceful, cheerful place, and we would all be much happier. Then, you could learn about those mysterious places on earth that exist, some even defying explanations.

The Earth is a mysterious place full of ever-changing elements that leave us in awe of our planet’s majesty. It is through a combination of these ever-changing elements and the interference of humankind that we come across some of the most mysterious places on Earth.

What makes a location so mysterious? For some, it’s the presence of unexplainable elements. For others, it’s simply the astonishment that something came to be in the first place. Regardless of how these mysterious places came about, many people find each of the locations puzzling in one way or another.

What do you think is our reason for existing? Tell us in the comments.

Sources: [1] Three Oaks Behavioral Health & Wellness, [2] Full Focus, [3] Psychology Today, [4] Psychology Today

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