The Life Purpose Lie

Scroll down ↓


Ever hear or think this?

You need to find your one, all-consuming purpose, what you are here on Earth to do, before you can start down a path that leaves you fulfilled

I’ve studied hundreds of career, inspirational, religious and theological, philosophical and practical living books and been to many lectures and trainings led by leaders in each discipline.  And, in almost every single one, I’ve been told that before I can really get the most out of my career, I need to learn, with absolute certainty, my life’s purpose.

Not my passions, not what I love to do, not the impact I want to have or who I want to spend my days with.  But…

My personal universal truth.

The one thing I’ve been put upon this planet to do.

And, in an effort to help facilitate my indisputable aha-moment, my ultimate awakening, I’ve been taken through processes, experiences, visualizations, worksheets, spreadsheets, bed sheets and more.  I’ve been told to make lists, journals, check boxes, fill-out forms, stay in dorms, write and re-write for hours and iterations until I bawled in ecstatic revelation (I faked it, so I could go home).

And, maybe, for some people this works.

If that’s you, fabu!  Give it a go and see if you can shortcut the process.

But, my fear is, for many more, the pressure to come up with an answer through the cacophony of methods before you are allowed to take action to create a meaningful path becomes not a facilitating event, but a massive roadblock.

Because, if the answer does not come quickly or easily through these processes and techniques, there is a near-overwhelming impulse to just give up on not only figuring out your life’s purpose, but taking any steps to create a more meaningful working life.

Does that mean I don’t believe it’s important to pursue an answer to what you are here on Earth to do?

Not at all.

But, there’s a better way to go about discovering that purpose or combination of purposes.

A longer-term exploration that enables, rather than discourages, action that leads to meaning. Rather than beginning with the requirement to reveal your life-purpose as a pre-requisite to taking action, why not reverse-engineer it?

Chunk it down.  Discover the far more easily-identifiable “overarching qualities” of work that allow your spirit to incrementally come back to life, build more of what you do, your work and play, around them.

Then step back and give your life-purpose the chance to emerge over time as the by-product of the joy, space and clarity created by simply spending your days engaged in work that is deeply-meaningful and rewarding.

It may take decades or a lifetime.

Honestly, if it doesn’t or you claim to know it before you’ve lived enough of life to have the experience to even know what matters, there’s a pretty good likelihood you’re gonna make a wrong guess. Or your guess will be right…for the moment. But, as you evolve, so will it.

And, if it’s really your universal truth, that’s not supposed to happen.

How many people stand weeping on the day of their marriages at the gift of finding their soulmates so early in life. They’ve never been surer, at the age of 25, that the person who stands before them is who they are meant to be with…forever. Yet, 10 years down the road, an astonishing percentage of those very couples end up in divorce.

Through a process of years, we evolve…

And we experience enough of what makes us come alive and what empties our souls to finally have enough evidence and intuition to let us divine some sense, if we are listening, of why we are here or, at least, who and what makes us come alive.

And, very often, it’s not one thing…but a whole bunch.

But, it’s near impossible to know that until you’ve got a fair bit of the Earth’s mud on your psychic boots.

You may never feel you’ve discovered that singular life –purpose.


But, by allowing an exploration and evolution of meaningful work to lead to the discovery of the elements, actions, people and activities that make you come alive, you remove the potential barrier to action that comes with the instruction that “you can’t take action until you know your life purpose.”

It takes away the pressure to know your life-purpose as a pre-requisite to begin the exploration of meaningful work.

Might having some singular life purpose accelerate your path to meaningful work?  Maybe so.  I honestly don’t know.

I can’t say I have one, yet my days are filled with amazing things, I drink in life, I work at things I love with people I love. And, those things change all the time. Yet, I still feel incredibly fulfilled.

I believe, for most of us, life purpose isn’t one thing, it’s just a deepening awareness of the qualities of living that make us come alive. Once known, those qualities can be applied in any number of ways.

And, they become apparent not through some short exercises, but rather over an extended period time, often decades, spent engaging in increasingly meaningful individual acts.

As always, just thinkin’ out loud, here.

So, I’m curious, what do you think?

What’d I miss?

Let’s discuss…

Join our Email List for Weekly Updates

And join this amazing community of makers and doers. You know you wanna...

64 responses

64 responses to “The Life Purpose Lie”

  1. I’ve often felt stuck because I “didn’t know my purpose.” I have similarly done far too many exercises trying to discover what “it” really is.

    Recently I did a process with the part of me that really wants to know what my purpose is, and I realized that in order to know my purpose, I needed to know the purpose and status of the entire universe, because my purpose changes as the universe evolves. I had the profound understanding of how much hubris is involved in trying to nail down my purpose once and for all.

    While I do find it helpful to know one’s strengths, identify one’s relatively important priorities, and have meaningful and inspiring goals, I value seeing reality as it is more than sticking rigidly to my plans for what I’d like reality to look like.

  2. Marie says:

    Great post Jonathon. I really think this is what has been holding me back… The idea of NEEDING to know your life purpose has been hammered into my head and it’s stifling. I’ve been afraid to make any substantial life choices simply because I don’t know if it falls in line with my life purpose. And if this continues, I’ll never do anything, including figuring out my life purpose. Thank you for putting into words the frustration I’ve felt my whole young life! Life purpose, life shmurpose. I’m just gonna live 🙂

    • clint says:

      I did that now Im 38 and hit a wall

      • clint says:

        I should add

        Im a deep thinker aswell guys

        About 12 years ago after spending many years with no real direction I decided just to get on with it and live !!
        Time waits for no man lol

        This is what I think after 39 years lol

        some people question life and some people dont !

        questioning can come about earley in life or late

        intellectuel people stuggle with life as it has no real purpose but only to breed

        a sucsessfull life depends on many factors

        parents / love
        social skills

        its random lol you didnt create it its were your born

        just look at the basics , every single day is inportant to you ,do your best with it with the tools your got and you will get better at life and understand life better,as in your purpose

  3. James says:

    Here’s my take on it: all of these guides, these plans, books, these “secrets,” the idea is to help people find a purpose that they believe in. When you have a purpose that you truly believe is the right thing for you to do, with absolutely no inner conflict to hold you back in subtle ways, it’s amazing (sometimes scary and unreal) the way everything comes together.

    It’s a matter of believing in yourself, which is harder than you’d think. I think all of these books and teachings are trying to help people find their way there.

    Anyway, my $0.02.

  4. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Duff – yeah, one of the things I’ve always wondered was “who is it that’s telling me you’ve got to know your singular purpose here on Earth…and who told them?”

    @ Marie – Things is, I get why people latch onto it, because it seems that if you DO figure it out, if it is in fact one thing and it exists, life would just fall into place. But, what if it’s not one thing?

    @ James – No doubt, I think all the teachings are well intended, I just wonder where the intersection is between well-intended and valid?

  5. So true!!

    I beat myself up for years trying to figure this one out before I realized that there are a handful of things that I am good at, enjoy, and that can contribute to my community and enhance my quality of life. Also, many times these things change and grow as I evolve…

    Right now in fact I am working at levitation and 3D travel ;0) Anyone want to play?!

    Woop Woop!

  6. Jonathan,

    I was so glad that you brought this up. I agree with you that we don’t have to postpone starting life’s career journey until we have nailed down our life purpose.

    Barbara Sher, in her book Refuse to Choose, insists that we don’t have to choose just one path. We can pursue a number of things that interest us and bring us joy. Best of all, she believes that when you are finished with a pursuit that it’s okay to move on or change.

    Too many people have been the victims of flawed career, spiritual and life counseling. I’m sure many people secretly feel they are at worst failures or at best misfits because they can’t pinpoint a single life purpose.

    Life is about living, learning, growing and evolving. We need curves and bends in our road to keep us from falling asleep at the wheel.

  7. Glen Allsopp says:

    Great post Jonathan, I found this on Twitter. It ties in closely to what I was saying on my recent post about finding your life purpose, I wont link to it here but you can click my name if you want to read it.

    Would love to know how book sales are going, I’m getting a lot of hits for ‘career renegade review’


  8. Juho Tunkelo says:

    Very well written. I certainly needed to read this today, in the midst of having to choose between numerous new projects on offer.. and having to explore my real values in the process.

    I think often when we get stuck trying to figure out that one sole purpose of our individual life, it’s just a sign that we’re not really in tune with our innards NOW…

  9. Steve says:

    I think people forget the plain and simple fact that we’re animals. The thing that makes us most unique is our brains. It allows to think at this level but it’s real simple. Since we are animals our one true function on this planet is to live, procreate and die so anything beyond that for me is gravy. No need to find a purpose or a goal to aspire to, in a 100 years none of this is gonna matter anyway right. Just my .02

  10. As a creative career coach, I’m embarrassed to say I have never once thought of My Life’s Purpose, or encouraged my clients to do so. The thought has actually never crossed my mind. And the more I thought about it, & the more I read this post, the more I thought, “Well duh I never considered it. It’s ridiculous! I’ve discovered my strengths, I know my passions, I clarified my values, I’ve made my goals concrete – and in my short 31 years all of those elements have changed more times than I can count.”

    Why put that pressure on yourself when one day/week/month/year/decade your Life Purpose might be “to share my talent with the world” and the next day/week/month/year/decade it’s “help other artists find a stable career they can be passionate about while keeping their art in their life on their own terms.” Not like that’s my personal story or anything 🙂

  11. Tohami says:

    Hi Jonathan,

    Finding your life’s purpose shouldn’t be a difficult task. It’s a common sense. Would you sail without knowing your direction?

    No matter how difficult the process might seem (which is not necessarily the case), your life’s purpose remains THE thing that brings the ultimate sense of meaning and joy in life.

    Napoleon Hill said, “To begin, you need to know what drives you. Simply because not knowing will mean that you can never begin to satisfy yourself. What does money mean to someone who hungers for love?”

    Search for your life’s purpose through what your heart hungers for.


  12. HI Jonathan,
    I find we all finds purpose in different ways and it is an evolving process for most of us, and real purpose rarely involves a specific activity, although something specific, like DANCE might invoke passion… Purpose involves LOVE and SERVICE and COMPASSION And CONNECTION, but it is how these are expressed out into the world through our passions that are unique to each of us. Great article – and I’m loving your book…..

  13. Thanks for saying this. It needs to be said. Lift the boot of the self-help industry from our collective neck. Get real.

  14. As we go through life, learning and experiencing, doesn’t it seem reasonable that our perception of purpose would change along the way? A young child may seem adamant about what they want to be when they grow up, but how often do they stay fixed on that course? Life is a journey with many crossroads, we make choices based on where we are at any given time. Growing, learning, and experiencing move us through many expressions of purpose. It is a fluid process with unlimited possibilities. I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up because I am having too much fun enjoying the process.

  15. CK Reyes says:

    Getting to the point of even caring if you have a Life Purpose is an evolution. Call it whatever you want …but when you are doing what you want to do and simultaneously feel fulfilled you will be living your life purpose. Here’s a hint…don’t look at the specific actions you are taking, look at the energy beneath the actions.

  16. Great article. I think that believing we should know exactly what we were put here to do can be downright depressing if you don’t know what that something is yet! There’s time, we’ll all figure it out, but that doesn’t mean we have to know what it is today.


  17. Mark Daniels says:

    One of the things I tell people as their pastor is that basically, we are called to love God and love neighbor. That’s our purpose. Everything else is optional stuff we can make up as we go along. There’s incredible freedom in that. The “searching for your specific purpose in life” can lead to absolute paralysis.

    Good thoughts.

  18. Todd Smith says:

    I’m so with you on this one. Why-ever should we have to know our life’s purpose? And yet you’re right, everyone promotes it like it’s gospel. Like, what’s your 5-year plan?!

    It all presumes that you have to accomplish something in life. But what if there is nothing to accomplish?

    For me there is much more peace in this thought. What if my only life purpose was just to take in what I’m doing right now and enjoy it? I don’t know where I’ll be in a couple of hours, and it doesn’t really matter. It doesn’t mean I don’t plan and act responsibly, but the joy of life for me is in loving what I have right now.

  19. Jeppe K says:

    I love the way David Allen in Getting Things Done & Making it All Work (I have no affiliation with the guy, I’m just a fan of his productivity/life-management system) approaches this: From the bottom & up. If you haven’t got control of all you projects, next actions and plans at your current level, how then are you supposed to know your life purpose? It’s like trying to define where you want to go, without knowing where you are.

    Before I learned this approach I too was caught in the “Define your life purpose”-trap. Now I focus on what is where I am, and build on that. By now I have a pretty clear sense of my 2-3 years goals. Beyond that, I’m still lost – and I feel completely fine about it, because I know it will develope over time.

    And also – life purpose is a mental construct, so it will never be a constant. It’s more a set of values, principles.

    Usually the question asked “What are you here on earth to do?” I think it’s much more interesting to ask “What are you ultimately here on earth to be?” Values, especially deep-rooted ones, are much more constant and authentic. Life circumstances seldom are.

    Just my thoughts after reading the post.

  20. Erin says:

    I completely agree with this…it’s nice to see someone publicly discuss this topic. I’ve struggled with freezing up inside of feeling like I don’t know what my purpose is; even argued about it with those closest to me. Only in the last few years have I begun to melt inside of going where life takes me (and that is the true living). In essence, enjoy the ride. If you live with your eyes open, you can appreciate the journey. Thank you for your blog, it’s great!

  21. I’ve often wondered how you could have One True Life Purpose or One True Soulmate without predestination. And if you accept predestination, then you open a whole new can of worms. If the outcome of my life is predetermined, why strive?

    As you suggest, let’s build on our strengths and pursue that which is of interest today and eliminate the artificial precedent of true purpose.

  22. Helen South says:

    Brilliant. This is really insightful, Jonathan, and it’s not an idea that I’ve seen plastered around the internet. You need to get this idea ‘out there’.

    My experience of life so far at forty, is that NOTHING turns out like you imagine it. And within any given path, there can be a thousand unconsidered possibilities. The mailman (postal worker) comes home at 1pm each noon and gets to explore art. While the artist in the advertising office suffocates under deadlines and restrictive “creative guidelines” … you just never know.

  23. Stacey says:


    This struck a nerve. I think for a long time I’ve held on to a hard little nugget of fear that if I don’t clearly understand my life’s purpose, I will waste whatever natural ability and talent I have, a prospect that can feel like the worst kind of heart break. That somehow nothing will align properly and it will all go to hell in a hand basket if I can’t explain my reason for being here in 25 words or less. And even though I think I’ve been doing this in my day-to-day life, it’s still quite freeing to acknowledge that I’ve been acting on my passions, using my skills and talents to help others, and applying my energy and creativity, in spite of the fact that I’m frequently very, very confused! Thank you. XO

  24. Spot on Jonathan. Too many people feel like they’ve already failed because they have no answer to the life purpose question, when in fact they’re just doing things the wrong way around.

    If this ‘life purpose’ stuff has any value (and I’m not saying that it does), when you boil it right down surely everyone’s life purpose is to ‘live a full life’?

    Forget about your life purpose and just look at what matters to you right now.

  25. Jeremy Day says:

    Hi Jon,

    I think you hit on a major point. I am frustrated with the idea that there is ONE thing in your life your supposed to be passionate about. For me, there isn’t.

    I am also frustrated that people seem to think that they know what you should be doing with your life more then you do. For me, they don’t.

    You know, the idea of having a life purpose is a fairly recent invention. With that being the case, even though I have bought into this idea in the past, currently I am about to chuck it out the window.

    And that my friend, feels good!


  26. Amy says:

    I work almost exclusively with people who feel connected to a deep calling or life purpose. The only thing more frustrating than not feeling like you can connect with a life purpose is to know what it is and not know how to make it work in a career.

    But I think too often people confuse “soul’s purpose” or “life purpose” with “sole purpose.” In my book, there is no one true purpose for any one. Our purpose is simply to live fully expressed lives.

  27. Anj says:

    Gr8 post. Agree with it totally.
    A question for everyone though…

    What if you know the things you enjoy, do well at. Have a decent to good family/social/work life yet there are bouts when for no particular feel there is a void somewhere , some question that you don’t know the answer to, it’s frustating because you think there is a missing piece to the jigsaw and that’s know why the hell I am here.
    What’s the bigger picture?

    What do u think should be done?

  28. […] You’ve probably read that you should follow your passion and the money will come. Well, Jonathan Fields challenges the idea that you have to identify your one all-consuming purpose before striking out as an entrepreneur in his article, The Life Purpose Lie. […]

  29. carla says:

    My husband and I were discussing this last night, so I wrote a blog post about it today.

    It’s not a big message, it’s a day-to-day awareness.

    Here’s the post:

  30. Helen South says:

    @ anj, I think that a sense of dissatisfaction is necessary to human existance. S/He who always wants to store a little extra wood, or gather a few extra nuts, or to gain a bit further territory, is going to be the most successful. The one who thinks ‘enough’ might well underestimate the severity of the coming winter, and fail to feed their family. Those who are always in search of new lands conquer those who stay put.

    That said, if there is something missing from your life, get out there and try things. Get into the outdoors, go to a painting class, try something you normally wouldn’t dare to.

    Modern life isn’t very satisfying. We aren’t designed to spend days in front of a computer, eating food out of boxes, never feeling the breeze on our skin.

  31. Tisha Morris says:

    Great article! I think there is a syndrome among us ex-attorneys who can’t figure out what we want to be when we grow up. But, I think it’s because it doesn’t exist yet… we have to create it.

    Tisha Morris

  32. Molly says:

    Kudos for my friend in sending me this article. I too have been in a functional depression b/c i haven’t found that ‘purpose.’ i love the idea of going about it in reverse. find meaningful, rewarding work and then the life purpose. However, that’s where I’m stuck. I can’t find work that is deeply-meaningful and rewarding for me. You know, a passion for something. I’m just kind of going through life as is. I’m waiting for ‘the big idea.’

  33. Lisa Gates says:

    Jonathan, this is probably the best thing you have ever written, and you’ve written copious good stuff.

    I call this “putting the cart before the horse” and I have to say it’s the very foundation of my practice as a coach, and as a human being making daily choices. Without action, nothing happens. It doesn’t have to be the one perfect action cuz there’s no such thing. We discover ourselves when we’re making congruent choices and “bad” choices. I think the angst and depression come from never choosing, fear of being wrong, fear of wasting time, fear period.

  34. bob says:

    I too have spent a lot of time reading career guidance books, going to seminars, etc.

    The whole concept that each person actually has a ‘Life Purpose’ is far-fetched.
    What deity gave you this Life Purpose?

    In the study of Life Purposes and ‘You need to find what makes you happy’, has anyone looked at the people who did follow their dreams, and they failed in other parts of their lives? For instance, lets say someone wants to be a magician, and they want to be father.
    Can they be both? Can the father support a family on the $10K/year he makes a magician?

    Trying to find your one, single Life Purpose is a fool’s errand. It makes your entire life one-dimensional. I want an interesting job, well-adjusted family and children, and time for my friends, and time away on a vacation.

    That’s my Life Purpose.

    Another fallacy in this type of thinking is the assumption that your desires stay constant for your whole life. That if you somehow ‘discover’ your life purpose, that it never changes.

    That’s a poor assumption.
    A life purpose is just a desire created at a point in time. That desire called Life Purpose will change after you’ve done the work for a couple years, and discover aspects of it that displease you, and that you weren’t aware they existed.

  35. become a real estate millionaire says:

    Hey Jonathan, this is an awesome article you have written. I would have agree with Lisa that “Without action, nothing happens. It doesn’t have to be the one perfect action cuz there’s no such thing.” Keep up the great work.

  36. […] you give that stuff your attention you’re looking at the wrong things – look at what matters and look at what you can do […]

  37. Jonathan,

    Thanks for the post and insight.

    One comment on it that I have discovered, at least in my situation. I can only assume that other have been here to.

    I worked for about 8 years in what I thought was my life purpose. Owned a successful business and was working when, where and with whom I wanted.

    But then one day, the fire died. I spent 3 more years trying to get it back with no success.

    My point is this, I believe that people can have different “purposes” at different points in their life. If we are supposed to have an impact at a certain point and we accomplish that, it may be time to move on.

    I have moved on to this next phase and will see what the plan for me is, at least the “next” plan.


  38. […] The Life Purpose Lie | Awake At The Wheel | Personal Growth | careers | entrepreneurship | health &a… This is JAMMED PACKED with useful and realistic advice about finding your "purpose". (tags: success musician life personal_development) […]

  39. Andrew says:

    Thanks Jonathon for your valuable insights around life purpose. It is wonderful to hear common sense crying from the wilderness. There seems to be a myriad of people focused wholly on one particular purpose bringing them wealth, both financial and physical. Its great to hear such a down-to-earth approach. I have experiential training in life-coaching as well as having been a chef for 27years. An interesting mix. As I deeper delved into self-development I decided to look more closely at the processes in cooking and what wisdom they might hold for personal development. They seemed to tie in quite nicely with the stages of the Hero’s Journey – Preparation, Initiation and Return.

    The book “Your Soul Purpose” by Brendan Nichols also gives a good map for looking at our lives from this perspective. His idea is that each of us is here to “Grow and Evolve”. That is our Grand purpose and this is non-negotiable. An indicator that we are on track is to first have an inspiring vision and secondly a unique vehicle to bring our vision to life. Both vision and vehicle can change as life unfolds. I guess its like trading in a car when we grow tired of it and getting a new one. When the vehicle stops working for us we either fix it or move on to something different.

    I like to think that it doesn’t matter what we are doing as long as we are intimately connected to it, and that through being present and giving ourselves fully it we receive the innate blessings of life.

  40. 007 says:

    I think as an individual’s Life Purpose is about reaching the self-realistion of your true self, You may call it enlightenment.

    But there are other people who have found thier calling (life purpose. This is what I belive constitues a life purpose) something that lives you fullfilled and happy. As they follow your bliss!

  41. You have it. I’ve never failed to achieve what I’ve set out to do. Choosing has always been the challenge. shit, I want to it all. I don’t like rules and/or categories, for myself or my clients.

    thanks for a great post

  42. […] Fields talked about life purpose in a recent article – ““Rather than beginning with the requirement to reveal your […]

  43. Lady J says:

    A very inspiring post. Right now I am in the midst of finding my life’s purpose. And they say the student always finds the teacher when they are ready. After reading your post, I realized it’s not really purpose, more like “What’s the purpose?” I want fulfillment and that’s my purpose.

  44. 008 says:

    Just a quick question you think, Bill Gates or Richard Branson ever asked this question? They may be doing what they were born to do or what about Eeinstein when he found his life’e work by formulating the theory of relativity.

    Everyone has a purpose it’s just that it takes time or many lifetimes to find it, very easy for some and very difficult for others.

  45. Donovan says:

    I think you are very wrong about all this. It is TOTALLY important to have a life purpose and to find it. If I would not have found out my life purpose at an early age, I don’t think I would have all that I have today. My life purpose you ask? I found out that my life purpose is that life has no purpose. FREE at last, I became free at last. Life just IS. enjoy.


  46. habib says:

    Hi Jonathan
    Good to see such a philosophic article. Dear brother, I, as a Muslim have totaly different purpose of life. We are here in this world for a transitory period after which our distination will be heaven or hell. Therefore, our purpose of life is to save ourselves from hell. Whatever career choose we will have to make it successfull for the seck of our life after this one.

    • Moh says:

      To Habib: What makes you think there is a Heaven or Hell? Has some-one come back after they have passed on and told you that they have gone to heaven or hell? There is no life after death, that is another another great lie as well. Don’t believe what people tell you….Good luck on your pilgrimmage. Heaven is right here while your alive, once you go who will have time or the luxury to enjoy heaven or hell. You come from nothing and you go back to nothing. I know terrifying thoughts if you really think about it but hopefully this makes you think for yourself? Stop taking other people’s word for it

      Best of luck

  47. Minerva says:

    I think the purpose of each of our lives is to give our lives purpose – in whatever way we are able.

  48. […] as Jonathan Fields rightly points out, most of us have trouble confining ourselves to a single interest or goal. We are creatures of […]

  49. […] point here is not uber-spiritual. I just think we’re a culture of people putting way to much pressure on ourselves to find that “one thing” that we’re here for when we’ve all got a trunk-load […]

  50. […] The Life Purpose Lie Does your life have real meaning before you find your one true purpose? Of course it does. (@ jonathan fields) […]

  51. […] The Life Purpose Lie Does your life have real meaning before you find your one true purpose? Of course it does. (@ jonathan fields) […]

  52. […] The Life Purpose Lie Does your life have real meaning before you find your one true purpose? Of course it does. (@ jonathan fields) […]

  53. […] The Life Purpose Lie Does your life have real meaning before you find your one true purpose? Of course it does. (@ jonathan fields) […]

  54. MizLoo says:

    I had an AHA! moment when i read Thomas Kelly’s statement about the effect on the soul of saying yes or no to a request. Paraphrased: When we say yes because it needs doing & no one else steps up, the task is a drag. We are operating from head, not heart. But when we say yes to inner guidance, a prompting from the “Center of our life,” because of what he calls “an inward rising,” a sense that this is mine to do, then we are living in guidance. Life from the center, he says is “simple and serene. It takes all our time and it takes no time.”

    Works for me.

  55. […] The Life Purpose Lie Does your life have real meaning before you find your one true purpose? Of course it does. (@ jonathan fields) […]

  56. ~Carol says:

    Amazing to be reminded that we have permission to just be… living life to the fullest by our own standards, design, desires, in ways that bring only joy and positive energy to the Universe, is the best way to fulfill our purpose. Hone your skills, interests, and talents to serve, and we can find the peace we all seek! Thank you for the reminder Jonathan!

  57. […] The Life Purpose Lie:  Harsh words for people like me, but worth considering. Believe it or not, I’m still not entirely sure of my purpose. I like writing, but do I love it? Am I consumed by it? No. I like astronomy, too. I like politics. I’m quite anxious, to be honest, to discover my purpose. It’s not obvious yet – and Jonathan says it might not be for a long time. Not what I wanted to hear, but quite possibly true. […]

  58. Eamon says:

    I’m reminded of Buckminster Fuller’s search for generalized principles. In which he spoke Life Purose, saying that we are not meant to go after money. He suggested that instead we set a goal that ‘adds value’. That is, that improves the quality of people’s lives or of the earth. That we humans are meant to be in motion, taking action. So you will probably never fully know your true life purpose. But know that if you are in motion and adding value (improving the quality of life), you are achieving it.

  59. You’ve hit the nail on the head. While finding your life purpose can really make your life blissful by aligning all your actions under one purpose, it doesn’t mean that you can’t live a happy fulfilling life till you find your life purpose. It is definitely a mistake to get stuck on finding your life purpose before your life can begin and yet it is a mistake a lot of people make. I made this mistake for about 10 years. I always felt that my life has not yet started. I had a job, I was making money, I was trying to pursue my passions and balance my life, but I still felt that my life hadn’t started yet. I kept waiting to find a life purpose that will motivate me permanently.
    Two years ago I put finding a life purpose on hold by assigning a purpose to my life. It was a simple purpose of living my life the way I want to without making any compromises. I had started taking action and it was hard to stay motivated but I kept at it. I would fall into the same comfortable routines again and again and I would just give up on my dreams. I thought that I’m just going to earn money and live a normal life and stop thinking about dreams. But I came back each time and kept trying.
    When I stopped searching for a life purpose and assigned one instead, it kept evolving as I evolved (just like you’ve said above). And finally one fine day, it hit me like a truck. I had found my life purpose by assigning purpose to my life and changing it as I changed.
    How do I know that this purpose won’t change in a few years? Because for the first time I’ve found permanent motivation or what you call drive. I’m driven each and every second of each and every day to do things that help me achieve my purpose. I’ve become one of those people who seem inexhaustible, always marching ahead, never paying any attention to those who try to demotivate. This drive that has kept me motivated continuously for such a long time, is the proof that this is my life purpose. It just makes sense to me. It feels right and it makes sense to my rational mind and it resonates with my soul.
    If you are wondering my life purpose is conscious spiritual evolution. To grow spiritually and help others in their spiritual growth and hence help life in the next stage of evolution which I feel is going to be spiritual so that we can come closer to our final destination of enlightenment of godhead.
    This purpose might not make sense to you. Your purpose might be different from mine. And you are right to focus more on living life than finding it’s purpose but also be aware to not close yourself up so that you never find your purpose. Keep yourself open so that when you see it, it hits you as well. Trust me life after purpose realization is on a completely different league.