What is Life's Purpose?

Most popular purpose of life quotes

As one approaches the end of life, that which truly matters emerges sharp and clear—family, love, generosity, peace, nature, comfort.
A man needs a purpose for real health.
The purpose of life is a life of purpose.
Aim at being loved without being admired.
A life has a meaning, which you give to it.
An aim in life is the only fortune worth finding.
To want to be what one can be is purpose in life.
He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.
The soul which has no fixed purpose in life is lost.
He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how.
He who has a 'why' to live, can bear with almost any 'how'.
The greatest tragedy is not death, but life without purpose.
The one way to get thin is to re-establish a purpose in life.


Life must be dedicated to a destiny in order to have meaning.
I'd like to know
what this whole show
is about
before it's out.


If we have our own "why" of life, we can bear almost any "how."
Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life.


The meaning of life cannot be told; it has to happen to a person.


Life has no meaning the moment you lose the illusion of being eternal.


The wise don't expect lo find life worth living; they make it that way.

attitude wisdom

If we have our own why in life, we shall get along with almost any how.
There is nothing quite as potent as a focused life, one lived on purpose.


Until thought is linked with purpose there is no intelligent accomplishment.
Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.


What do we live for if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?


The great and glorious masterpiece of man is to know how to live to purpose.


Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?


No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it for anyone else.


The secret of man's being is not only to live but to have something to live for.
The biggest threat to our well-being is the absence of moral clarity and purpose.


Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart give yourself to it.
Man is the only animal for whom his own existence is a problem which he has to solve.
Patience and tenacity of purpose are worth more than twice their weight of cleverness.


The man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder; a waif, a nothing, a no-man.
I don't know why we are here, but I'm pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves.
The only failure a man ought to fear is failure in cleaving to the purpose he sees to be best.
Here is the test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you're alive, it isn't.
The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.
A definite purpose, like blinders on a horse, inevitably narrows its possessor's point of view.
I submit to you that if a man hasn't discovered something he will die for, he isn't fit to live.
Every existing thing is born without reason, prolongs itself out of weakness, and dies by chance.


This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one.
If I could think that I had sent a spark to those who come after I should be ready to say Goodbye.
Purpose in the human being is a much more complex phenomenon than what used to be called will power.


Without purpose, without meaning, life is dark.  We've no light within, and we're just living to die.
To give life a meaning one must have a purpose larger than one's self, and more enduring than one's life.
When God gives an assignment, he also gives the skill. Study your skills, then, to reveal your assignment.

God religious

When the soul is without a definite aim, she gets lost; for, as they say, if you are everywhere you are nowhere.
Our children may learn about the heroes of the past. Our task is to make ourselves the architects of the future.


As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.
You must act as if everything depended on your individual efforts.  The secret of success is constancy of purpose.


There are days when I am envious of my hens:
when I hunger for a purpose as perfect and sure
as a single daily egg.
Once you fully apprehend the vacuity of a life without struggle you are equipped with the basic means of salvation.

life struggle

To have his path made clear for him is the aspiration of every human being in our beclouded and tempestuous existence.

aspiration life as a journey

The stronger the signal you send yourself of your highest purpose, the more likely you are to notice ways to serve it.
The glory of God, and, as our only means to glorifying Him, the salvation of human souls, is the real business of life.

God religious

The very first condition of lasting happiness is that a life should be full of purpose, aiming at something outside self.


An aim in life is the only fortune worth the finding; and it is not to be found in foreign lands, but in the heart itself.
If we are not to go to pieces or wither away, we all must have some purpose in life; for no man can live for himself alone.
A life directed chiefly toward the fulfillment of personal desires will sooner or later always lead to bitter disappointment.


Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose—a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.


What's the subject of life—to get rich? All of those fellows out there getting rich could be dancing around the real subject of life.


You will recognize your own path when you come upon it, because you will suddenly have all the energy and imagination you will ever need.
I must have something to engross my thoughts, some object in life which will fill this vacuum and prevent this sad wearing away of the heart.
You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.


More than anything else, what keeps a person going in the midst of adversity is having a sense of purpose.  It is the fuel that powers persistence.


The purpose of life is not to be happy – but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you have lived at all.


For while species develop in an extraordinarily chancy way from the bottom of the tree upward, human lives, even when haphazard, "reek with purpose."
It concerns us to know the purposes we seek in life, for then, like archers aiming at a definite mark, we shall be more likely to attain what we want.


Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn't matter to me ... Going to bed at night saying we've done something wonderful ... that's what matters to me.


Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness.  It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.
Purpose is the keystone in the temple of achievement.  It binds and holds together in a complete whole that which would otherwise lie scattered and useless.
They who have no central purpose in their life fall an easy prey to petty worries, fears, troubles, and self-pitying, all of which are indications of weakness.
The purpose of a woman's life is just the same as the purpose of man's life – that she may make the best possible contribution to generations in which she is living.


The living self has one purpose only: to come into its own fullness of being, as a tree comes into full blossom, or a bird into spring beauty, or a tiger into luster.

the self

To put meaning in one's life may end in madness,  
But life without meaning is the torture  
Of restlessness and vague desire—  
It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid.
Let the youthful soul look back on life with the question: what have you truly loved up to now, what has drawn your soul aloft, what has mastered it and at the same time blessed it?

aspiration youth

We need not only a purpose in life to give meaning to our existence but also something to give meaning to our suffering.  We need as much something to suffer for as something to live for.


There are many people who arrive at answers in life just like schoolboys; they cheat their teacher by copying the answer out of the arithmetic book without having worked the problem out themselves.


It is easier to accept the message of the stars than the message of the salt desert. The stars speak of man's insignificance in the long eternity of time; the deserts speak of his insignificance right now.
To have a great purpose to work for, a purpose larger than ourselves, is one of the secrets of making life significant, for then the meaning and worth of the individual overflow his personal borders and survive his death.
Anyone can carry his burden, however hard, until nightfall. Anyone can do his work, however hard, for one day. Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, purely, till the sun goes down. And this is all life really means.
There are some things so dear, some things so precious, some things so eternally true, that they are worth dying for.  And I submit to you that if a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live.

civil rights movement

I cannot believe that the purpose of life is to be happy. I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be compassionate. It is, above all to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.


I still believe that standing up for the truth of God is the greatest thing in the world. This is the end of life. The end of life is not to be happy. The end of life is not to achieve pleasure and avoid pain. The end of life is to do the will of God, come what may.


Capitalism is always in danger of inspiring men to be more concerned about making a living than making a life. We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size of our automobiles, rather than by the quality of our service and relationship to humanity.


I am afraid that many among you are more concerned about making a living than making a life. You are prone to judge the success of your profession by the index of your salary and the size of the wheelbase on your automobile, rather than the quality of your service to humanity.

service success

I am here only to be truly helpful.I am here to represent Him Who sent me. I do not have to worry about what to say or what to do, because He Who sent me will direct me. I am content to be wherever He wishes, knowing He goes there with me. I will be healed as I let Him teach me to heal.


For this is the journey that men make: to find themselves.  If they fail in this, it doesn't matter much what else they find: Money, position, fame, many loves, revenge are all of little consequence, and when the tickets are collected at the end of the ride they are tossed into the bin marked FAILURE.

dignity failure know yourself

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.

happiness joy selfishness

People say that what we're all seeking is a meaning for life. I don't think that's what we're really seeking. I think that what we're seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.
Our task as humans is to find the few principles that will calm the infinite anguish of free souls. We must mend what has been torn apart, make justice imaginable again in a world so obviously unjust, give happiness a meaning once more to peoples poisoned by the misery of the century. It is a superhuman task. But superhuman is the term for tasks we take a long time to accomplish, that's all.
The heart says that there is "nothing to attain." We meditate not to attain enlightenment, because enlightenment is already in us. We don't have to search anywhere. We don't need a purpose or a goal. We don't practice in order to obtain some high position. In aimlessness, we see that we do not lack anything, that we already are what we want to become, and our striving just comes to a halt. We are at peace in the present moment.


A man should conceive of a legitimate purpose in his heart, and set out to accomplish it.  He should make this purpose the centralizing point of his thoughts.  It may take the form of a spiritual ideal, or it may be a worldly object, according to his nature at the time being; but whichever it is, he should steadily focus his thought-forces upon the object which he has set before him.  He should make this purpose his supreme duty, and should devote himself to its attainment, not allowing his thoughts to wander away into ephemeral fancies, longings, and imaginings.  This is the royal road to self-control and true concentration of thought.
There is a Buddhist teaching that might seem strange to you. This is the teaching of aimlessness (apranihita in Sanskrit ). Aimlessness means not setting an object or goal in front of you and running after it. That is exactly what everybody does. We want this, we want that, and as long as we haven't got it, we think happiness will be impossible. We must bring about a revolution in our thinking: we must stop. We must do as the flower does. The flower is aware of the fact that it contains everything within it, the whole cosmos, and it does not try to become something else. It is the same for you. You have God within you, so you do not have to look for God.