Why it’s better to find meaning than to seek your purpose in life

Kathy Krugercontentment, find your flow24 Comments

puppy 1

*trigger warning – cuteness*

Do you wish you had a dollar for every person who has agonized over finding their purpose in life? I’d put my multi-millions towards finding – no make that creating, – more meaning in life. And it would be wonderful.

(of course money itself doesn’t create meaning, but we all know that story).

While I believe in the concept of purpose in life, or Dharma, I don’t think it can really be found by searching – or maybe that’s just my excuse (here Dharma, there Dharma, where did you disappear to Dharma)!

You see I think Dharma is revealed to us only when we surrender the searching, and I think meaning can be found in lots of places if we just look hard enough.

Confused – play along with my semantics.

In narrowing your focus to find ‘your purpose’ it is easy to have the blinkers on – you can’t seem to find anything exciting in the everyday and the joy of curiosity is lost in the burning quest for purpose.

But if you focus on finding meaning then it can be found in lots of different ways.

Simply by living mindfully, purposefully, you find purpose.

Cooking (or maybe not). Crafting (definitely not). Writing. Playing music. Dancing. Painting. Starting a business. Playing with your kids. The secret is lies in creating/caring/connecting. If you do one or all of these things there will be meaning. And so you’ll be doing these things on purpose.

In her book ‘Big Magic’ Elizabeth Gilbert points to curiosity being the key to creativity, which in turn is the secret to finding meaning and purpose.

In her beautiful ballad ‘Amazing Life’ Claire Bowditch speaks of wanting to life this ‘amazing life’ in many different ways, but not knowing where to start. So she (wisely) says just start with one thing. Do it. It may or may not be your Dharma, but at the least it will add meaning to your life until your Dharma reveals itself.

What if life isn’t about climbing the mountain but (merely) meandering through the wilderness, curious and always open-minded to the lessons we can learn along the way.

It’s bringing a child’s eye to the every day, and seeing possibility instead of limitation.

As for me, purpose has been getting lost lately down the rabbit hole of life and I’ve had to literally eek out this post which I’m sure is all too similar to words that have come to me before, much more eloquently. But I always look at things anew during our annual family holiday to Brunswick Heads.

And it was the colour orange that spoke to me, reminding me of the sexy sacral chakra that is all about owning your desires and being creative – guilt being the enemy of both. Yes, that old chestnut is still hanging around (ready for roasting on an open fire this Christmas)!

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I love how this chakra image looks a bit like a Christmas tree, all lit up

Something tells me that a certain new addition to our family is soon going to be teaching me even more about being curious, open-minded and present enough so that dharma will soon be licking me fair on the face – hello there Rufus (he’s 2.5 weeks old here but we have to wait until early January to bring him home).

puppy

Do you agree that purpose is found more in finding things meaningful than in searching for that ‘one thing’? No point asking if you think our new puppy is cute right.

Cheers

Kathy

Namaste sign off_edited-1

 

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Kathy KrugerWhy it’s better to find meaning than to seek your purpose in life

24 Comments on “Why it’s better to find meaning than to seek your purpose in life”

  1. deb dane

    Yes rufous is adorable!!!!

    I totally agree on living life with meaning and intention and purpose will reveal itself rather than chasing after purpose!!! Great post Kathy xx

  2. writeofthemiddle

    I totally agree that searching for purpose can narrow our minds and close it to many opportunities but that finding meaning in being is what opens and broadens our minds. Rufus is adorable! What breed is he? How exciting! :-) x

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Yes – finding meaning in being – and not always doing. Rufus is a full breed chocolate labrador – can’t wait to bring him home (although all that dark brown hair in the house not so much).

  3. Caz

    Love this post so much Kathy! And Rufus too… I managed to get myself a bit tied in knots with so much talk about finding your ‘why’ and so on and it not being clear to me. Slowing down, being present and being open to the metaphors of nature definitely helps life to feel more meaningful even if I don’t have an overarching purpose.

    1. Kathy Kruger

      I think we can have many purposes Caz and many ways we can contribute – you have really got the slowing down and being present thing happening so I’m sure you are creating plenty of meaning for yourself and others.

  4. Sasha @ Fromtheleftfield

    That’s such a wonderful way to see things! I am constantly torn up by trying to find the ‘thing’ I’m ‘meant’ to do- but really are we ‘meant’ to do anything specific? Many things can be found in many different aspects of life. And Rufus- so cute! x

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Thanks Sasha – I’m glad you liked the perspective. I think we are all torn thinking there is one thing and it really makes us miss out on the good things we could be making the most of.

  5. nicolethebuilderswifeNicole

    I have spent most of my late 20’s and early 30’s searching for my thing, and then woke up one day to realise that my life was my thing. The experiences, and lessons I learn along the way are my purpose. My intent as I finish out my 39th year is to be sharing my purpose with others, so that they can add this to their own experiences and lessons. Rufus is just so cute!!!

  6. Deborah

    Awwww… puppy! So cute. (For now!)

    I think I’ve kinda searched more for meaning than purpose but I’ve seen it as a selfish thing – more about the why than the what… if that makes sense. Why am I here rather than what am I supposed to be doing…

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Deb I think searching for the why is the most important thing and not selfish. Then the how can unfold in different ways. And I know – that little puppy is going to grow up to be a pretty big dog.

  7. hugzillablog

    That’s a very interesting perspective, and one I’ve never really considered before. I think because I know what my “one thing” is, I’ve never really needed to think about meaning in other ways. I can see how this approach would benefit if you weren’t sure what your one thing was.

    1. Kathy Kruger

      I think having ‘one thing’ must be really satisfying and I used to think my one thing was writing. But the truth is I want to write certain stuff – I like playing with words writing any old thing but I really prefer to write to explore how our minds work, to explore spirituality and meaning, understand wisdom teachers etc. And I love teaching and practising yoga. And making meditation videos. And I like design stuff and I enjoy cooking when I have the time to be creative….so I don’t know.

  8. mummywifemee

    Right. He’s super cute. I’m so glad you had a wonderful getaway to Brunswick. I still find myself constantly searching for that one thing and have to remind myself to live in the moment a little more and to open my eyes up to what’s around me.

  9. Kitty

    Thank you so much for this post. I am so curious about so many things and I enjoy trying new things but trying to keep up with my variety of interests can get overwhelming at times. I tried restricting my interests now and then but as you said, I couldn’t find anything exciting about the everyday. I think I need to change my attitude about all my interests; it’s okay to be curious and investigate until I’m satisfied and then move on to the next thing. I don’t need to be an expert at it as long as I’m having fun and finding meaning in the activity. I love your statement “curiosity is the key to creativity which in turn is the secret to finding meaning and purpose.”
    Thanks again, and Rufus is adorable!

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Glad you found it helpful Kitty – and thanks for commenting. I think we can put far too much pressure on ourselves in finding purpose when it is often found in moments rather than in quests.

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