meaningful purposeTake a few moments to consider your gifts, passions, values. Where do you find and bring meaning to life? Each of us was born for a reason. We all have something unique and valuable to contribute to the world, and our happiness depends on making the most of that human potential. A meaningful purpose states your definitive answer to the question “Why am I Here?”

Contemplate your reason for living and put that reason in writing. It may take you several passes, but clearly state your meaningful purpose in twenty words or less. Here are some examples of how a meaningful purpose might read:

  • I spread the message of nonviolence by writing children’s books.
  • I am here to make my community a better place.
  • I teach peace.
  • I seek beauty.
  • I was born to inspire others with my athletic abilities.

Without a meaningful purpose, life feels flat or like a treadmill of obligations. We wake up, go to work, solve the day’s problems, eat dinner, go to bed, wake up, and do it all over again. We can spin our wheels for fifty years and reach the end of our days wondering why we ever existed. Or we can strive to make a positive impact on the world and find meaning in even the most routine aspects of our existence. Modest acts performed with right intention are as powerful as grand gestures. We don’t have to cure cancer or be the first human on Mars to make a meaningful contribution. We can plant flowers to bring beauty and happiness to our neighbors.

When you are tempted to stray from your financial plan or have difficulty choosing the right direction in your life, this meaningful purpose will be the beacon that guides you toward the best course of action. You’ll find more instructions for crafting a Meaningful Purpose Statement in Chapter 14 of Mindful Money: Simple Practices for Reaching Your Financial Goals and Increasing Your Happiness Dividend.