The Importance of Purpose in Life: Beyond External Attachments

 Purpose. It's a powerful word that holds immense weight in our lives. At its essence, purpose gives meaning to our existence and drives us forward even during the most challenging times. But what happens when our purpose is intertwined with external entities, whether they're people, places, or things? When these entities disappear from our lives, do we lose our purpose too?

The Pitfalls of Externally-Driven Purpose:

Imagine Sarah, a dedicated mother who has devoted her life to her children. Everything she does, from her career choices to her daily routines, revolves around their well-being. But as her children grow up and move out to pursue their own lives, Sarah finds herself in a deep abyss of emptiness. With her core purpose attached so firmly to her children, their absence creates a void that's hard to fill.

Similarly, take John, an individual who found purpose in his prestigious job. The accolades, the admiration from peers, and the sense of accomplishment fueled his sense of worth. However, when he unexpectedly loses his job, John's identity and purpose come crumbling down.

Such examples highlight a critical truth: when our purpose is deeply attached to external factors, the stability of our sense of meaning becomes fragile. The loss of that external entity can lead to an identity crisis, profound sadness, or even depression.

The Void of Purposelessness:

Viktor E. Frankl, a neurologist, psychiatrist, and Holocaust survivor, profoundly stated, “When a man can't find a deep sense of meaning, they distract themselves with pleasure.” This profound observation captures the essence of what happens when individuals lack purpose.

Without a guiding purpose, people often seek fleeting pleasures or temporary distractions to fill the void. These distractions might include excessive partying, binge-watching shows, overeating, or even more harmful paths like substance abuse and addiction. Without a deeper meaning to anchor one's life, it's easy to drift into avenues that offer momentary relief but long-term damage.

Navigating Life with an Intrinsic Purpose:

Finding a core, intrinsic purpose is akin to building a compass that consistently points north, no matter the terrain or weather. It serves as an unwavering guide through the many phases and challenges of life. So, what does such a purpose look like?

One example is the pursuit of becoming the best version of oneself. This purpose is expansive and evolving, allowing room for growth and adaptation. Whether you're a teenager navigating the challenges of adolescence or a senior reflecting on life's experiences, the goal of self-improvement remains relevant. It's a purpose that transcends external circumstances; even if someone is terminally ill, they can still strive to be their best self in terms of emotional understanding, fostering deep connections, or imparting wisdom.

Another intrinsic purpose could be the quest for continual learning. In today's rapidly changing world, there is always something new to learn, understand, or explore. This purpose offers flexibility; whether you're diving deep into a professional field, picking up a new hobby, or simply understanding human nature, the thirst for knowledge can be an enduring drive.

The beauty of such intrinsic purposes is their durability. They are not tied to temporary conditions or external validations. Instead, they offer a consistent goal that can be pursued regardless of age, health, or life's unpredictable circumstances. This longevity ensures that even as our external world changes, our internal drive remains constant, guiding us through every chapter of our lives.


Purpose is more than just a driving force; it's the essence of our existence. When we base our purpose on external entities, we risk losing our way in the unpredictable journey of life. By finding a deeper, intrinsic meaning, we not only enrich our lives but also ensure that we remain undeterred by external challenges. After all, a life with purpose is a life truly lived.

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