What is the purpose of life? of your life? of what you are working on? These eternal questions have occupied some of the wisest minds. Here are some inspiring and challenging quotations on purpose.
Determine the thing that can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way.
Almost all creativity involves purposeful play.
In my mid-term vision, movements prioritize building the capacity, skill and wide hearts to receive new comrades, while practicing daily and deeply what it means to sustain our relationships and collective visions, uphold our values, and adapt towards purpose. We find ways to bond that aren’t limited to pettiness, gossip, cliquishness, which can be so fun and then so destructive. We get skilled at critique that deepens us, conflict that generates new futures, and healing that changes material conditions.
All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man’s life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom.
When we self-regulate well, we are better able to control the trajectory of our emotional lives and resulting actions based on our values and sense of purpose.
I’m really glad that our young people missed the Depression, and missed the great big war. But I do regret that they missed the leaders that I knew. Leaders who told us when things were tough, and that we would have to sacrifice, and these difficulties might last awhile. They didn’t tell us things were hard for us because we were different, or isolated, or special interests. They brought us together and they gave us a sense of national purpose.
Keep on beginning and failing. Each time you fail, start all over again, and you will grow stronger until you have accomplished a purpose — not the one you began with perhaps, but one you’ll be glad to remember.
Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. And it will leave you unfulfilled.
If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.
Happy people have two things in common. They know exactly what they want and they feel they’re moving toward getting it. That’s what makes life feel good: when it has direction, when you are heading straight for what you love.
Art for art’s sake, with no purpose, for any purpose perverts art. But art achieves a purpose which is not its own.
For everything there is a season,
And a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate,
A time for war, and a time for peace.
Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.
My story is a freedom song of struggle. It is about finding one’s purpose, how to overcome fear and to stand up for causes bigger than one’s self.
The significance of our lives and our fragile planet is then determined only by our own wisdom and courage. We are the custodians of life’s meaning. We long for a Parent to care for us, to forgive us our errors, to save us from our childish mistakes. But knowledge is preferable to ignorance. Better by far to embrace the hard truth than a reassuring fable. If we crave some cosmic purpose, then let us find ourselves a worthy goal.
My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I’m happy. I can’t figure it out. What am I doing right?
In a universe where I believe meaning and purpose are not gifted from a divine source but are instead collectively assembled by humans, learning to live alongside and love others—all others—is perhaps our greatest task.
Pray that your loneliness may spur you into finding something to live for, great enough to die for.
Do not seek death. Death will find you. But seek the road which makes death a fulfillment.
It is not we who seek the Way, but the Way which seeks us. That is why you are faithful to it, even while you stand waiting, so long as you are prepared, and act the moment you are confronted by its demands.
I don’t know Who — or what — put the question, I don’t know when it was put. I don’t even remember answering. But at some moment I did answer Yes to Someone — or Something — and from that hour I was certain that existence is meaningful and that, therefore, my life, in self-surrender, had a goal.
Never look down to test the ground before taking your next step; only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far horizon will find the right road.
The purpose of life is to discover your gift. The meaning of life is to give your gift away.
When we find ourselves devoid of passion and purpose, the first thing we need to do is stop. But that’s not easy. The rest of the world is zooming by at full speed. Left alone with ourselves, without a project to occupy us, we can become nervous and self-critical about what we should be doing and feeling. This can be so uncomfortable that we look for any distraction rather than allowing ourselves the space to be as we are.
To explore what it would mean to live fully, sensually alive and passionately on purpose, I have to drop my preconceived ideas of who and what I am.
In a world where there is so much to be done, I felt strongly impressed that there must be something for me to do.
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
You’re on your own.
And you know what you know.
You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.
I am only one,
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.
I consider those are rich who are doing something they feel worthwhile and which they enjoy doing.
One ship sails East,
And another West,
By the self-same winds that blow,
Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales,
That tells the way we go.
Like the winds of the sea
Are the waves of time,
As we journey along through life,
‘Tis the set of the soul,
That determines the goal,
And not the calm or the strife.
If you ask me what I came into this life to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud.
First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.
Passionate hatreds can give meaning and purpose to an empty life. These people haunted by the purposelessness of their lives try to find a new content not only by dedicating themselves to a holy cause but also by nursing a fanatical grievance. A mass movement offers them unlimited opportunities for battle.
Solidarity is not a matter of sentiment but a fact, cold and impassive as the granite foundations of a skyscraper. If the basic elements, identity of interest, clarity of vision, honesty of intent, and oneness of purpose, or any of these is lacking, all sentimental pleas for solidarity, and all other efforts to achieve it will be barren of results.
The purpose of life is not happiness but worthiness. Happiness may come as an accessory; we dare never make it the end.
The human race may be compared to a writer. At the outset a writer has often only a vague general notion of the plan of his work, and of the thought he intends to elaborate. As he proceeds, penetrating his material, laboring to express himself fitly, he lays a firmer grasp on his thought; he finds himself. So the human race is writing its story, finding itself, discovering its own underlying purpose, revising, recasting a tale pathetic often, yet none the less sublime.
There is a great and crying evil in modern society. It is want of purpose. It is that narrowness of vision which shuts out the wider vistas of the soul. It is the absence of those sublime emotions which, wherever they arise, do not fail to exalt and consecrate existence.
There is a universal element in man which he can assert by so acting as if the purpose of the Universe were also his purpose.
Purpose is the place where your deep gladness meets the world’s needs.
To forget one’s purpose is the commonest form of stupidity.
Some see things as they are and say, ‘Why?’ I dream of things that never were and say, ‘Why not?’
This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.
The true object of all human life is play.
Life is what you make of it. Always has been, always will be.
One needs something to believe in, something for which one can have whole-hearted enthusiasm. One needs to feel that one’s life has meaning, that one is needed in this world.
Everyone should carefully observe which way his heart draws him, and then choose that way with all his strength.
Joy is the holy fire that keeps our purpose warm and our intelligence aglow.
Many persons have no idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.
Many people have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.