What’s the purpose of life?

Hello! Seiiti Arata. What is the true purpose of your life? What do you really want to dedicate yourself to?

You may not want to face this question because you believe that the activities that represent your purpose don’t earn you any money, don’t pay your bills, don’t guarantee your future. Or you may find that you don’t have the time, the talent, or the resources to devote yourself to that life purpose.

If this is the case, the good news is that technology is rapidly advancing and bringing about major changes in the way we live and work. It’s very likely that over the next few years, you will end up changing careers.

Your job may simply cease to exist, be replaced by robots or outsourced to another country with cheaper labour. Or you yourself may be dissatisfied to the point of deciding to change careers on your own, when you realise that your current job doesn’t represent your true calling.

One way or another, when you find your life purpose and start working with your purpose in mind, that dissatisfaction that you feel in your work disappears. You really enjoy what you do, because you find a real reason to go to work every day.

This doesn’t mean that you won’t be faced with stress, problems and complications. The problems will always exist, but you won’t be suffering because of the problems.

When you align your work with your purpose, you feel a sense of satisfaction because you know that you’re bringing a unique contribution to the world.

Having a purpose in life is only useful if it benefits others. (125) - Seiiti Arata, Arata Academy

Many people dream of getting to the point where they don’t need to work anymore. To accumulate so much money, that they can live on their passive income.

But there’s an even better prospect. Finding a purpose for which you would work for free. This is a very special kind of freedom, which is choosing to go to work even if you don’t need the money. You don’t work because you need to, you work because you want to. It’s a conscious choice.

Without a purpose, you can’t make conscious decisions

Without clear life goals, the most common thing is that you start doing things simply because “everyone else does.” You go to school to get good grades, so you can go to a university to find an internship, so you can graduate and find your first job.

Along the way you meet someone that you become romantically involved with, you decide to have a child, to buy your first house. So you take out a mortgage for the next 30 years and become imprisoned by your employment because you need the salary to continue paying the mortgage.

You hate your job, but you can’t quit. I like to call this the ‘golden cage’, which represents the situation in which you’re imprisoned because of financial commitments. And so you’re miserable all week long, looking forward to feeling a bit of joy on weekends and holidays. You’re dreaming about the day that you can finally retire and won’t need to work anymore.

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There’s a way to break this vicious cycle: be clear about your purpose and work out a life plan to achieve that purpose. Think of your purpose as a mission. It’s something much more important than just a job.

Work can be something that makes you lazy, which represents suffering. Work without purpose is the anguish of believing that you’ll have to carry the activity you hate all your life just to be able to pay your own bills.

You can, from today, decide to make a change. Decide consciously to change your lifestyle so that you no longer have to work without purpose, just to pay the bills and do what everyone else does.

Of course, if you have debts to pay or a family to support, you can’t do this immediately, without good planning. You can’t just drop everything. But you can immediately decide that you’re going to change your situation, that you will draw up a plan for your life and start acting to make that plan a reality, one step at a time.

But for this, we need to find a way to describe purpose.

What is the purpose of life?

Before continuing, it’s essential to have a common definition of what we mean by purpose.

Having a purpose in life won’t make all your problems magically disappear, but it’ll make you see them in a more positive light. (125) - Seiiti Arata, Arata Academy

Please get rid of any prejudices you have regarding this topic. When we use this term you must understand that the use of the word ‘purpose’ is about something that everyone has. I, you, Aunt Josephine. Everyone, without exception. 

Within this definition, you already have a purpose for life now. Everyone has a purpose. The problem is that we forget about it or we’re not in a high enough level of consciousness to see clearly what our purpose is.

If this is the case that you find yourself in, here’s some good news. Just the fact that you’re here, thinking about it, is an indicator that you’re seeking to raise your level of awareness. Congratulations.

Let’s continue to develop our definition. What is your purpose? A purpose is more than just a logical plan. It’s also an emotional compass that guides you in choosing your objectives. Purpose makes you make conscious decisions that are aligned with your highest personal values. It helps you and the people around you.

If you’re thinking of something that only benefits you and no one else, that’s probably not your true purpose.

True purpose comes when you’re serving others. For example, if you’re able to make beautiful designs, but leave all your art hidden away in storage you’re not serving anyone.

To be more sure about this aspect, always ask yourself who is enjoying your work. If what you do isn’t helpful to other people, it has little use.

A good sign that you’re working with purpose is when you perform an activity and feel joy just by being there. When you act only for the pleasure of being on the journey, without focusing so much on results.

Having a life purpose will mean that you can live a more effortless life. (125) - Seiiti Arata, Arata Academy

The opposite is also true. When you work without purpose, you hardly have joy. You wake up early to go to work just because you have bills to pay and because you don’t want to get fired. If it weren’t for these factors, you’d choose to stay in bed for longer on a morning. You’re just exchanging your time for money and this money will be used to pay your bills. It seems obvious that you won’t be satisfied in this situation.

On the other hand, when you’re fulfilling your mission and benefiting the people around you, you have clarity of purpose. It gives you a new perspective on life.

Having a positive outlook

Let’s take the concept of having a positive mindset to improve our definition of purpose. So far, you’ve seen that to find your purpose, you should be serving others. What does that mean? It means that what you do should make other people’s lives easier, more practical, more interesting, happier, fuller.

These factors are very important. If you need to, take a minute to consider this, and then continue playing the video. Who do you help? How are these people’s lives better because of your work?

Ready? It’s important to understand how you serve others.

Imagine, for example, that you want to start a business. One question that may arise in your head is how to prevent your employees from slacking off and pretending to work when they’re actually doing nothing, they’re just being paid to stand around.

Or you might be wondering how to install security systems so your customers don’t steal products from your store. Or what to do to crush the competition and prevent your competitors from copying your ideas.

Another, more positive, perspective is figuring out how you can serve your staff by enabling the development of your employees so they are happy to collaborate with your company.

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Or how to delight customers so that they are loyal advocates of your brand and bring more customers through positive recommendations.

Or how to become a leader who inspires others in your industry so you can partner with other entrepreneurs who want to collaborate with you.

This is just a simple example of a change of perspective that causes different conscious choices. Choices that can radically transform the same experience.

It’s critical that you take some time to understand that your purpose is only fully revealed when you clarify what contribution you make in other people’s lives. The result of this is a life with less friction, an effortless life.

What would an effortless life be like?

A good indication as to whether or not you’re living according to your life purpose is to observe the amount of effort you have to put into each day.

When you work with something far from your purpose, your days can be torture because you’re constantly doing things that you don’t want to do. You have to wake up at a time you don’t want to. You have to deal with nasty people that you don’t want to see. All you want is for the time to go by so you can get home.

Having a purpose in life won’t make all your problems magically disappear, but it’ll make you see them in a more positive light. (125) - Seiiti Arata, Arata Academy

When you’re fulfilling your life goal, time passes quickly. Even if you have to be awake at a specific time, even if you have had to deal with certain people, it all seems to have cost you less effort because you see meaning in the work you’re doing.

Suffering, anxiety, laziness, or exertion mean that you’re not acting as you would like. It’s going against what you really want. You’re not being the person you would like to be, you’re not where you would like to be, you’re not working with what you would like to work with.

It’s not that problems simply disappear when you work according to your life purpose. In fact, what changes is your perspective and your willingness to deal with those problems. The impact of this change in mindset can completely change your life.

Therefore, it’s essential to be clear about the impact of your actions.

A classic example is this: you can look at two masons and ask what they’re doing. One of them might say he’s carrying bricks. Another will say that he is building a school for the children of that community.

Do you understand what the difference is? Everything may just be a matter of perspective. Depending on the perspective you choose, you will discover a very different meaning about what is in front of you. Some people realise this, others don’t. But it’s much easier to change your perception of the world than to try to change the whole world to fit your goals.

That said, you need to understand one last key piece to our definition of purpose: the pleasure of the journey.

When you identify your life purpose and make a plan to live by it, you want to be committed to action, not just the outcome. You need to be detached from the end result of your plan so that your real reward is to fulfill your mission, to do what needs to be done.

You find pleasure and happiness as you walk the path and not only when you reach your destination. You don’t need that final destination to bring joy to you because you’re already living in joy for the simple fact of being in the process, of being on the journey, of doing the activity that in itself is already the satisfaction you’re looking for.

Hopefully this illustrates to you how important perspective is. Try to imagine how each mason feels inside. Maybe the bricklayer who wants to build the school is the one who’s suffering every day, with the misery of not having finished building the school yet. And perhaps the bricklayer who simply carries the bricks finds contentment in his mission of being a servant carrying the bricks one by one.

Discovering your purpose is one of the key pieces for you to take control of your own life.

But there are other pieces that make up the puzzle of good life planning, a plan that makes it possible to turn your biggest dreams into reality. If you want to know which puzzle pieces you’re missing and how to put them all together in the right way, watch our special lesson on how to build a life plan by going to https://arata.se/planningyourlife