A sense of purpose is at the very top of the pyramid of self-actualization created by Abraham Maslow more than 50 years ago. Through his research, Dr. Maslow discovered that those who feel purposeful are living the highest qualities that humanity has to offer. During the many years I’ve been in the fields of human development, motivation, and spiritual awareness, this is the topic that more people inquire about than anything else. I’m repeatedly asked questions such as: How do I find my purpose? Does such a thing really exist? Why don’t I know my purpose in life? Being on purpose is what the most self-actualized people accomplish on their life journeys. But many individuals feel little sense of purpose, and may even doubt that they have a purpose in life.
The very fact of your existence indicates that you have a purpose. The key question for most of us is: “What is my purpose?” And I hear that question in as many forms as there are people wondering about it: What am I supposed to be doing? Should I be an architect, a florist, or a veterinarian? Should I help people or fix automobiles? Am I supposed to have a family or be in the jungle saving the chimpanzee? We’re befuddled by the endless number of options available to us, and wonder whether we’re doing the right thing. I urge you to forget these questions. Move instead to a place of faith and trust in the universal mind, remembering that you emanated from this mind and that you’re a piece of it at all times.
In response to the question What should I do with my life?, I suggest that there’s only one thing you can do with it, since you came into this life with nothing and you’ll leave with nothing: You can give it away. You’ll feel most on purpose when you’re giving your life away by serving others. When you’re giving to others, to your planet, and to your Source, you’re being purposeful. Whatever it is that you choose to do, if you’re motivated to be of service to others while being authentically detached from the outcome, you’ll feel on purpose, regardless of how much abundance flows back to you.
Allow yourself to be in the feeling place within you that’s unconcerned with such things as vocational choices or doing the things you were destined to do. When you’re in the service of others, or extend kindness beyond your own boundaries, you’ll feel connected to your Source. You’ll feel happy and content, knowing that you’re doing the right thing.
I get that feeling of inner completion and contentment that lets me know that I’m on purpose by reading my mail or hearing the comments I so frequently hear when I’m walking through airports or eating at restaurants: You changed my life, Wayne Dyer. You were there for me when I felt lost. This is different from receiving a royalty payment or a great review, which I also enjoy. The personal expressions of gratitude are what sustain me in knowing that I’m on purpose.
Outside of my chosen occupation, I feel purposeful in a myriad of ways virtually every single day. When I extend assistance to someone in need, when I take a moment to cheer up a disgruntled employee in a restaurant or store, when I make a child laugh who sits otherwise ignored in a stroller, or even when I pick up a piece of litter and place it in a trash can, I feel that I’m giving myself away and, as such, feel purposeful. Stay focused on giving and your purpose will find you.
Wayne W. Dyer, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned author and speaker in the field of self-development. He’s the author of 30 books, has created many audio and video programs, and has appeared on thousands of television and radio shows. His books Manifest Your Destiny, Wisdom of the Ages, There’s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem, and the New York Times bestsellers 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace, The Power of Intention, Inspiration and Change Your Thoughts—Change Your Life have all been featured as National Public Television specials. See Wayne in his new feature length movie The Shift. Visit www.drwaynedyer.com for details.