The Motivating, Mental Health Boosting Power of Purpose


Many people feel better and are more active when their lives are propelled by a specific purpose that benefits them and others. Having a purpose can even help us get moving when feeling depressed or anxious.

Whether you think a purpose is something individuals choose or is something chosen for us by a higher power, having one can be a powerful influence and energizer.

Eight Benefits of Living with Purpose

  1. Emotional Fuel. Purpose brings the mind and emotions into agreement. Having a good idea is not always a compelling reason to hop out of bed, but a good idea backed by emotional fuel makes action difficult to resist.
  2. Self-worth Boost. Living to fulfill a purpose is empowering. Every step taken to make something positive happen has an uplifting, confidence building effect.
  3. Compass. Even with a purpose we may not always know which step to take next. However, we will know in which direction to look for it and recognize a good an option when we see one.
  4. Existential Lift. People who feel their life is meaningless can slip into an existential depression. Without a sense of meaning, individuals may feel anything that they do is pointless so their motivation, even for pleasure, withers. Not only does having a purpose give a point to our actions, it helps us rebound after setbacks or difficult days.
  5. Generates Opportunity. People who want something - really, really want something - often get it, or make sure it happens. Purposeful action can lead to new opportunities and it attracts attention that may inspire others to help.
  6. Self Awareness and Wholeness. Our sense of self comes from knowing what we like or dislike, and from the decisions we make. Having a purpose provides something positive and specific to center our preferences and choices around. It gives all the aspects of our self the same goal, helping us integrate those aspects into a whole.
  7. Personal Growth. Pursuing a purpose that is meaningful prompts us to do things we might otherwise avoid. It motivates us like nothing else to choose wisely, persevere, try new things, and venture outside our comfort zone.
  8. Courage. When a purpose is heartfelt, mild to moderate fear and anxiety do not hold people back. Sometimes purpose will propel people with severe anxieties into action. Activities that give life meaning are a source of courage.

Photo credit: (@flickr)


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