Having a purpose seems to be the new gospel. There’s this believe that it will help drive progress for the greater good. And through that achievement, a sense of fulfillment will emerge.
Perhaps this is true. I, for one, do not know.
This post is not written to explain the intention of purpose or its usefulness in our world. I’m simply writing this to understand it better and to put some perspective into what the word means, and what the people driving this ideology into our heads want it to mean.
What is the meaning of purpose?
Purpose, in its simplest form, means “a person’s sense of resolve or determination”.
Therefore, there is no guarantee that a determined person will actually do good. Just like with any other ideology, an action a person takes is solely based on the ethical conclusions he or she makes, and nothing more.
So to assume that focusing on our sense of purpose will actually do anything to make a better world is stretching the truth.
Furthermore, I’m not sure that having a purpose is any better (or worse) than the other “IT” words before it.
For instance, prior to the word purpose being thrown around, there was a rallying call for us to follow our passion – do what you love and the rest will be easy.
There is no evidence proving that it makes the world a better place overall, or results in satisfaction and happiness. Additionally, let’s not forget the other IT thing prior to passion: Do what brings you the most money. The same argument applies.
What does this mean?
Of course, this is not to say that purpose, passion, or the pursuit of wealth is good or bad. What it means is that if people tell you to follow any of these – and whatever new term they come up with – tell them to tone it done.
What’s more important is making sure you are able to maneuver the ethical dilemmas that come with the choices you make.
Purpose has little or nothing to do with it. It may provide a good roadmap for us to determine our route in life. But it won’t help us make the right decisions.
To me, creating a solid moral compass will give us a better foothold in our understanding of what might be best for us to have balance, peace of mind, and peace within our surroundings.
If we don’t develop this as a base, then purpose would be meaningless, because we’ll do anything to bring it to fruition.
But if you’re using any of these “IT” words, it might be helpful to understand what is driving you towards it.