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Living a purposeful life

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By Oluwaseyi Tosin Olabode

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: “The purpose of life is not to be happy, it is to be useful, compassionate, to make some difference that you have lived and lived well”. As human beings, we all want to live a life full of purpose and that is the way we are wired. We do not enjoy being stuck or stagnant.

We crave the need to constantly move forward to some goals and if we do not achieve those goals we are less happy. Some of us are lost in finding our purpose or the reason for our existence and many times this is always difficult to recognize.

A purposeful life, however, is one in which when a goal is set at a particular time in one’s life, it aligns with one’s zeal, passion and things that begot happiness. This article however covers measures to take in order to live a purposeful life which centers on: being true to oneself. Trying to be someone you are not will blind you from seeing your own purpose and it will make you bitter for the rest of your life. Surround yourself with positive people, identify your passion, strengths and weaknesses. Accepting that failure is inevitable and letting go of it, and in all be content.

When I was younger, I heard and saw great people on national televisions, magazines and I have questioned what and what they would have gone through to have turned out to be great. My parents will then tell me they are great lawyers, doctors (people) today because they are purposeful, but as I grow up I understand that your purpose in life and your job are not the same things. Too many people look for a job that is simultaneously something that can fill their purpose in life. A very small percentage of people find actual purpose in the work they do. So while one’s job is a means of survival, one’s purpose is where one fulfilment lies. Sometimes, both coincide as one for some people at other times we have to search well to pursue what gives us joy side by side with what gives us food.

In conclusion, a life is purposeful life is a worthwhile life. In the words of Myles Munroe, when purpose is not understood, abuse is inevitable. It is important to find one’s purpose and this happens only when we search well within.

Oluwaseyi Tosin Olabode is an undergraduate student of English and Portuguese Studies at Lagos State University.

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