How to Find Purpose in Life and Be Happy

Tips for finding purpose in life and being happy

- | 70 Aha! comments | Posted in category: Life & Inspiration

girl beaming with happiness with purpose in life

At times, most of you must’ve asked yourself the so-called philosophical questions – how can I find purpose in life? What is the purpose of life? Why am I here? Is there any purpose in my life?

We’re also forced to wonder why do such questions arise and what is their relationship with happiness?

You must’ve observed that such questions about your existence do not come up when you are happy, inspired, or when you are giving. This is because at such times life is beautiful, natural, and so close to your real purpose.

You usually only tend to question and find purpose in life when you stray from the path, suffer, or undergo tough times.

“Purpose is what gives life a meaning.” ~ Charles H. Perkhurst

What’s the Need to Find Purpose in Life

By purpose of life we mean the desired aim, function, and use of our life. You need to remember that all life and its activities have purpose, whether it’s the flowering of buds, transformation of a butterfly, or even crying of a baby.

Sadly, most of us live our lives without having any conscious purpose in life, nor do we have the time to reflect on life and all that we’re required to do and be.

Lives of most people could be full of activities – they may become engineers or scientists, get married, have children, run a business, without ever understanding why they do such things.

The lives of such people have no purpose overall to give meaning to events, nor do they have any clear idea of their own identity or who they truly are.

It is observed that people are often depressed and unhappy because their lives lack direction and meaning.

But, it’s simple to give your life meaning and direction, which can be done by finding a purpose for your life.

Even for those who aren’t depressed or unhappy, it helps when you are able to define and find purpose in life.

There are others who are living a purposeful life because they have uncovered the secret to be happy.

Such people who have a purpose in life are generally energized, enthusiastic, and keen to get out of bed in the morning and do their tasks without fearing failures, and make themselves useful.

They have the inner strength and power to cross all hurdles, break through barriers, and push their way through till they achieve their purpose.

Once you know who you are, what you want, and how you can achieve your goals, you find purpose in life. You start living a purposeful life that helps you achieve more and more.

To be happy, you need to learn how to find your purpose and meaning in life.

“The purpose of life is a life of purpose.” ~ Robert Byrne

Benefits of Finding Purpose in Life

If you can find purpose in life, then there are a number of benefits you will experience, such as:

  • Added meaning to all that you do – All that you do becomes more meaningful when you have a purpose in life. You may be doing very well in your career, but if you don’t find any meaning in carrying on or doing what you are doing, you will feel empty within.

You will be satisfied because you know you’re giving your life to things that are most important to you.

  • Possess Clear viewpoint – You will have a clear viewpoint of life, and things that used to bother you would no longer do so.
  • Stay More focused – You will be more focused because with a purpose in your life you will be more drawn to it.
  • Achieve Inner peace – You will find inner peace as you no longer strive aimlessly, instead the turmoil within you will settle down.
  • Gain motivation – You and me, we all go through various ups and down in life. There are failures, rejections, denials, and tough times too.

In such cases, your life purpose can give you all the motivation you need to help you move ahead. You will be motivated because your inner drive will guide you to do something with purpose.

  • Get direction – Your purpose in life gives you meaning and clear direction of where you need to go in life. You are thus able to take larger decisions, which are missing in people who don’t have a strong base upon which they take decisions.

They tend to follow people with popular views. Your life will have more direction when you know why you’re here and where you need to head.

  • Receive Guidance – Your life purpose also guides you to make small decisions that we take in our daily lives. If you have two options in front of you, it will be easier to decide which one is better if you know what you purpose of life is.

You are able to see the purpose in life when you see beyond the horizon. Nevertheless, it’s not easy to find purpose in life and be happy.

This is because it doesn’t have a fixed formula, and as everyone has different purposes, they find various ways to find it.

Also, people want instant results. But finding purpose in life doesn’t work that way. It’s an on-going process, almost like a journey that takes time and patience.

“You only live once- but if you work it right, once is enough.” ~ Joe E. Lewis

Tips to Find Purpose in Life

Finding your purpose of life or what moves you is a personal experience for each one, but there are certain tips that can help you find it. They are:

1- Have patience

You need to understand that finding your purpose in life takes time, so have patience and don’t expect instant results. It’s a journey, so better sit back and enjoy it.

2- Recognize your passions, causes, and strengths

You need to identify the things you like doing because you love doing them, and not because of recognition or some external reward like money or gifts. Discover and work on your various passions.

Similarly, chalk out the causes that make a difference to you. Identify if there are situations that make you feel dissatisfied, or conditions that make you want to do something about it.

Your purpose of life is related to your inner strength. If you are strong in networking for example, it’s likely that your life’s purpose is related to networking.

3- Make a list

Note down all that you would like to see happen during your life. Or pen down what you feel you need to do to make you happier in life. Just write listening to your heart more than your mind.

If I had to list down, I would start with trying to find more time-managing techniques. Or I would list ways to spend more time with my family, yet be able to find the time to work.

Similarly, your thoughts could be focused on your career, relationships, family issues, or just about anything. So, for each one of you the list would be different that would lead you towards finding purpose in your life.

4- Seek answers

Once you make your list, ask yourself questions. Thereafter just write why you think each point listed will make your life happier.

Why did I list or choose time management techniques? That was because if I am able to strike a right balance between my work and family, I would manage both things more efficiently.

Similarly, chalk out the replies to your questions in the lists of whys.

5- Clear things

After listing and going through the whys, specify the similarities you find in each listed point. In my case it was obvious – that I value the time to bond with my family as well as manage my work more efficiently.

Thereafter, once your similarities are listed finding your ultimate goal becomes easy. You would then know your purpose of life and how you need to reach towards that goal.

“You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” ~ Christopher Columbus

Some Goodies

A nice post about discovering your life purpose, and how you can do it in 20 minutes! Also, there’s a nice hidden story within the ways to find purpose in life here. Some wonderful steps to access your life purpose can be read here.

I had to share this wonderful video I came across about how you can discover your purpose.


Discovering Your Purpose ~ Allyson Lewis  ~ You Tube Video

“The main purpose of life is to live rightly, think rightly, act rightly. The soul must languish when we give all our thought to the body.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

When you want to find purpose in life, you’ll realize it’s a path of discovering who the real YOU is.

You’ll understand your life journey, interests, likes, dislikes, passions, and how you can use those to make the world a better place.

When you are able to understand who you are and not what you are, the purpose of your life becomes clear to you.

Remember, that the emotions you feel within are the true indicators of what you actually feel about your decisions, rather than the thoughts in your mind.

When you are able to find and clarify the real intention and purpose in life, it helps you move ahead with better focus and clarity each day of your life.

Navigating stormy waters become easier, especially in these challenging times if you have clear intentions, and are able to develop and improve you purpose of life.

Everyone wants to be happy by having a fulfilling life. However, most people spend many years of their life without knowing their life purpose, only to find at the end that they have been doing or done the wrong things.

There are many who do achieve happiness by becoming successful, famous, and rich, but they still feel empty within.

I hope you are not among such people, and if you are then don’t make similar mistakes. Remember, you are here for a limited time, so value that time which is too precious to waste. Find purpose in life – act now!

I believe that the very purpose of life is to seek happiness. ~ Dalai Lama

Finding Purpose in Life and Being Happy

I think the purpose of life is to achieve inner happiness at the end of the day. It is what makes you come alive – isn’t it?

I should make it clear that being happy by hurting others is not counted, rather such an act can never be the purpose of life.

Life is so short and we can never tell about the next moment, so what are you dreaming about? Get up and make things happen!

Fight your fears and forget about what others might think. Just go ahead and do what you want to, because it makes you happy.

Have any grudges…then go out and forgive them as soon as you can, which will set you free.

Want to visit some places or someone – then start planning today so that soon you can go and visit such places or people.

Feel the lack of time to spend with your loved ones? Then give them all the attention you can. Create that time to bond and connect, and put love foremost on your list.

Remember, life is very simple. But we tend to make it complicated. So, try to make life simple again by focusing on what really matters. That’s one sure way to find your purpose in life.

“The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.” ~ Albert Schweitzer

Over to you

What is your purpose in life? Do you feel we all need a purpose in our lives? Have you been able to find purpose in life? Share your experiences in the comments below.

Photo Credit: anitapatterson

Show Comments

70 Comments - Read and share thoughts

  1. Amit Chawla

    2018-09-20 at 1:11 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    Thanks for sharing the amazing methods to find purpose in life. Really helpful content for people to get motivated.

  2. Marie Trout

    2015-10-09 at 5:09 am

    Harleena, you asked such an important question here: What are we here for? You offer a plethora of wise suggestions for answering it. One of the key elements you mention is “what” and “who” we are. And here we often let the “what” define us: Our professions, our networks, our families, our partners. The “who” often sits quiet and watches from the sidelines feeling unfulfilled, creatively, spiritually, and emotionally. I like how you tie it together that “what” we are often gets input from our rational faculty, while “who” we are is revealed to us, when we check in with how we feel. In my life having open dialogue between my thoughts and my emotions is a strong guiding principle. Having this synthesis inform my actions allows me to connect to my life purpose most powerfully. My “what” often aligns with my ego, and that is usually not at all where I need to go. It is however where I get my ambition, and my drive to move forward. It is where a million details need to be sorted. My “who” often aligns more with my heart. And this is where I find peace, connect to others in compassion and find the greater picture: the whole that is infinitely greater than the sum of the parts. I could continue just on this one little angle – your post truly inspired me. Thank you.

  3. Jarek Franek

    2014-11-16 at 9:17 pm

    Very nice article you wrote Harleena. With curiosity, I read it. For several years I have found my purpose in life. There are issues related to work and daily life, but what will be after death. My goal is eternal life. I believe that after life on earth will enter into such an area, which we deserved. The purpose of my life is to love God and people of all without exception.

  4. Arun Kallarackal

    2013-11-26 at 1:23 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    Thanks for sharing your old posts on Social media. Otherwise I wouldn’t have found this awesome article.

    As you described in the article, having a purpose has many advantages. I’m experiencing it at the moment.

    I decided to devote time towards my hobby. Finally, I found a great purpose worth trying for. Every morning, I wake up, very enthusiastic. It seems like I have abundant energy in reserve!

  5. Abdul Rauf

    2013-02-07 at 10:48 am

    Hey Harleena, I’m following you on Twitter; popped into this amazing article through your tweet. You are a great writer, of course. You know how? Because I have been trying hard to understand and comprehend the purpose of life; but I couldn’t write a single suitable word, while you have crafted a complete article. Woah! Amazing. Thanks for giving some important points to make my life purposeful. ‘Make-a-List’ was my favorite. Thanks again.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-02-07 at 12:45 pm

      Welcome to the blog, Abdul!

      Thanks for the follow on Twitter and your words of appreciation.

      I’m glad I was able to help you in some way through my post. I’m sure you’ll find your purpose in life and be happy.

      Thank you for stopping by and hope to see you around. 🙂

      • Abdul Rauf

        2013-02-07 at 5:14 pm

        Thanks so much for responding to my comment immediately and positively.

        Helping; this is what self development writers do. Thanks for that. I have begun following you on Email as well.

        You are my source of inspiration from now and onwards. I am also a struggling self development writer because it creates to opportunity to ponder over life.

        • Harleena Singh

          2013-02-17 at 10:23 pm

          Most welcome Abdul 🙂

          Yes indeed, I am always here to help anyone in the best possible way, and thanks for following on Email too. Thanks for stopping by, and wishing you the best in your new venture too. 🙂

  6. Vinod Kumar

    2012-11-13 at 4:49 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    Finding a purpose of one’s life is very important as without it life will seem meaningless. It is also true, as you said, that the question about the purpose of life comes only when a person is dejected or in sorrow. Positive attitude always helps in such situations and one must think that there is definitely some reason for the existence and must wait till he/she finds one.

    Most of the topics you wrote are indeed very close to everyone’s life. I appreciate the way you touch upon these aspects of life.

    Great work!!! 🙂

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How to Find Purpose in Life and Be Happy

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