The Buffer Effect of Having a Life Purpose

Depression. Addiction. Bad relationships. Persistent dissatisfaction.

Those are just a few of the ways that we suffer from lacking direction in life.

We lack direction when we haven’t carefully constructed our life purpose. Without a purpose—without an impetus to push forward—we fall prey to all sorts of menial distractions. We fall into the lower levels of existence: the transient pleasures of addictions, the allure of mindless validation on social media, the temptations of tuning out and watching another hour of TV. Until eventually, we find ourselves hitting “rock bottom”. And rock bottom is not a place—as Jordan Peterson has said, “hell is a bottomless pit”. So there is no limit to how terrible your life can become.

But happily, there is also no limit to how incredible your life can become. There is no upper limit to the amount of passion you can experience when you wake up every day. There is no limit to how imbued your life can be with joy and radiance. You can wake up every day thirsting for life.

That’s exactly the purpose of having a life purpose: it shields you from the base types of suffering in life. You will still suffer—life is full of suffering, and you shouldn’t try to avoid it! But you will suffer in more interesting ways; in higher-level ways. You will suffer in your attempts to manifest your vision in reality; you will suffer through long nights, hard work, and overcoming obstacles.

But paradoxically, when you are aligned with your life purpose, the suffering will feel good, and you will look forward to it—because you know that every painful moment is bringing you closer to fulfilling your vision. A life purpose will protect you from pain; because suffering for what you truly care for is called passion.

Put simply: you have to sample the grand buffet of what the world has to offer, and find what intrigues you. What sparks a fire of curiosity within you? What interesting problems would you like to solve? What can you never learn quite enough about?

Here’s the secret: your life purpose is both discovered and created.

Your primary directive in life should be to find what makes you curious. Find it, define it, commit to it.


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