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Purpose Vs Meaning Of Life – Definitions, How To Identify, And Uses

Purpose Vs Meaning Of Life – Definitions, How To Identify, And Uses

Purpose Vs Meaning Of Life – Definitions, How To Identify, And Uses

Most people lack a sense of clarity about purpose vs meaning of life. This is because these terms are often used interchangeably even though there are some strong differences to tell the two apart.

Since there’s no proper “clear answer” to this question, many give up on finding their life purpose and meaning. They can’t identify their true calling at all.

But here, you’ll get a bit more clarity about the two. So, let’s get started.

What is the Difference between Purpose vs Meaning of Life?

The major difference between purpose and meaning of life is that purpose is related to the spiritual principle, and meaning is related to the significance of life – a psychological concept.

If that sounds complicated, let’s separately understand each here…

What is the Purpose of Life?

Your purpose of life is something objective. You don’t have to seek it actively or create one. Rather, you realize your purpose as you grow. This is because you already have a purpose innate to yourself.

Your purpose is to grow and change. It’s just like how the flora and fauna in your surroundings undergo metamorphosis, seasons change, planets rotate and revolve, and the Universe expands.

Just like every other thing undergoes cycles of change and expansion, you’ll also face it. And the process may not always be comfortable or painless.

Since the spiritual purpose of your life is non-material or non-physical, people can interpret it in various ways. It’s the same reason why multiple spiritual movements and religions exist.

Many wonder why the purpose of life is to grow in some way. This is because the metaphysical purpose of every living being is to ultimately unite with the Divine.

The union with the Divine has been given multiple names, such as illumination, enlightenment, self-realization, Nirvana, heaven, bliss, moksha, Buddhahood, non-dual awareness, wholeness, oneness, and much more.

Now, let’s know about the other one…

What is the Meaning of Life?

In simple words, the meaning of your life depends solely on your personal aspects as it emerges from your soul like a deep calling. It’s subjective. Thus, you have to create, find, or make the meaning of your life.

For a dedicated mother, the meaning of life is to raise her children. For a kind and empathetic soul, it’s about volunteering and charity. For an ambitious person, it might be about focusing on their business and making it world-famous.

The meaning of your life may be fixed from the beginning till the end or change. But in the end, it depends on your beliefs and expectations.

To find the meaning of your life, you need to practice soul searching. This is all about understanding yourself, your spiritual gifts, interests, passions, and shortcomings.

Importance of Knowing the Difference Between the Two

When you understand these factors, you understand how to add meaning and feel your purpose. Furthermore, you can also choose your life’s journey consciously.

To understand the significance better, let’s take an example of a mother.

When a mother knows her purpose and can add more meaning to every moment of her life, her children, loved ones, and any other living being feel the positive energy. Everyone feels happier from it.

However, it’s hard for most to focus on finding meaning or realizing their purpose when they’re in pain.

But if you can be open to distinct aspects of life, it’ll guide you toward the right path of life.

You’ll learn valuable lessons and grab opportunities that lead you to your ultimate destination – purpose while you find meaning along the way. This will help you notice that life is meaningful despite the difficulties.

Now, are you curious about how to realize the meaning and purpose of your life? Then let’s keep rolling…

How to Consider Your Life’s Meaning and Purpose?

To find out about these deep dimensions, you need to take alone time and introspect. So, let’s set on the path of self-discovery.

1. Identify your core values

Recognize things you value the most and find the most important in your life. Once you identify them, make choices that align with your values. This will provide you with the meaning for every small or big choice in life.  

2. Figure out your personal vision statement

Just like a business vision statement, identify the same for your personal life. A vision statement shows the goals you wish to accomplish in the future.

Make sure you write the vision statement in the present tense and read it regularly. This will keep you inspired and give you a sense of purpose.

3. Now create a mission statement

Mission statements define how much you wish to live and enjoy each day of your life. It keeps you focused and provides both purpose and meaning. This also directs your words, thoughts, and actions in everyday life.

Now, let’s check for some questions to identify your purpose and mission here.

Questions to Ask Yourself to Identify Your Life’s Purpose and Meaning

Other than the above tips, you can also ask yourself meaningful questions to identify both aspects – purpose and meaning. For that, you’ll just have to answer these questions.

To identify the purpose of life, answer these:

  • What would you like everyone to remember about you when you pass away?
  • If you only had one year to live from now, what would you do with the remaining time?
  • What do people seek your help for (something which is pretty easy for you but not for them)?
  • What do you want your kids to grow up to be?
  • What would you want your kids to think about your parenting and raising style?
  • How does your presence make everyone feel?
  • What is the ideal world according to your perception?  

To identify the meaning of life, answer these:

  • Which people and things do you love the most?
  • Which activities get you excited and focused? Which activities do you anticipate the most?
  • What things disappoint you?
  • How do you find peace in your daily life?
  • What lessons have you learned from difficulties?

But will knowing about purpose and meaning only help your spiritual life? Let’s know more about that here…

Uses of Purpose and Meaning in Different Areas of Life

Knowing the purpose and meaning of life isn’t just for spiritual growth. It also helps in other areas of your life, like the following:

1. Business

Back in the day, businesses cared only about financial gains, growth, and a greater customer base. But nowadays, business owners are trying to build purpose-driven establishments. They want to help everyone achieve their employee expectations.

Leaders want to fulfill both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation with benefit programs, healthy workplace culture, flexible work, and education goals.

2. Life

When you know the meaning and purpose of your life, you learn to be present in life. You live more consciously and with integrity.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not about always chasing goals. You just need to make meaningful choices that benefit you. This can also be doing nothing and relaxing yourself.

Your activities must add significance and value. Then, they’ll help you build, improve, and elevate in life. Ultimately, which activity is meaningful and which is not depends on your personal judgment.

3. Parenthood

As a mother or father, your life’s meaning is closely connected to your kids and their future.  Every parent will focus on the serious and stressful parts.

But when you try to know your purpose and find the meaning of life as parents, you learn several values. Some of them are patience, playfulness, being present in your child’s life, and being the supportive parent you always desired to be.

A word from TheMindFool

It’s not easy to differentiate between your life’s purpose and meaning. So, make sure you sit with a clear mind and focus. Remember, there’s no hurry, so take time to figure things out.

The journey will be messy, so have patience for the right moment when you gain clarity. Until then, step forward to know the truth at your own pace.