How to discover your purpose in life that resonates w/you emotionally without religion

SmallChristian
SmallChristian's picture
Posts: 87
Joined: 2007-03-21
User is offlineOffline
How to discover your purpose in life that resonates w/you emotionally without religion

 I read this article a couple years ago and I observed it to be thought-provoking.  It seems to be a rational way about finding your own personal purpose in life.  Just wanted to share this article with you guys (in case you haven't read it already) and see waht you thought.

http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2005/01/how-to-discover-your-life-purpose-in-about-20-minutes/

quick excerpt: (click the link above to read blog in its entirety, and it is part of a series if you're interested in checking out more of his stuff)

Steve Pavlina's blog wrote:
So how to discover your purpose in life? While there are many ways to do this, some of them fairly involved, here is one of the simplest that anyone can do. The more open you are to this process, and the more you expect it to work, the faster it will work for you. But not being open to it or having doubts about it or thinking it’s an entirely idiotic and meaningless waste of time won’t prevent it from working as long as you stick with it — again, it will just take longer to converge.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Take out a blank sheet of paper or open up a word processor where you can type (I prefer the latter because it’s faster).
  2. Write at the top, “What is my true purpose in life?”
  3. Write an answer (any answer) that pops into your head. It doesn’t have to be a complete sentence. A short phrase is fine.
  4. Repeat step 3 until you write the answer that makes you cry. This is your purpose.

...

...

When I did this exercise, it took me about 25 minutes, and I reached my final answer at step 106. Partial pieces of the answer (mini-surges) appeared at steps 17, 39, and 53, and then the bulk of it fell into place and was refined through steps 100-106. I felt the feeling of resistance (wanting to get up and do something else, expecting the process to fail, feeling very impatient and even irritated) around steps 55-60. At step 80 I took a 2-minute break to close my eyes, relax, clear my mind, and to focus on the intention for the answer to come to me — this was helpful as the answers I received after this break began to have greater clarity.

Here was my final answer: to live consciously and courageously, to resonate with love and compassion, to awaken the great spirits within others, and to leave this world in peace.

When you find your own unique answer to the question of why you’re here, you will feel it resonate with you deeply. The words will seem to have a special energy to you, and you will feel that energy whenever you read them.

 

It's quite a long blog which goes over a few other ideas but that's the jist of it. He also claims this isn't the only way, but a way that helped him.I'm going to give a try here soon and see what I come up with.  If you give it a try feel free to share it with us or drop me a pm!  I also appreciate any feedback on this topic so feel free to speak your mind.

Thanks!

 


marcusfish
Superfan
marcusfish's picture
Posts: 676
Joined: 2007-05-11
User is offlineOffline
So once we write something

So once we write something that makes us cry instinctively, we have descovered what our "Purpose In Life" is? Interesting.

Because it makes me cry? That's a bit of a leap. Lots of things make me cry, I'm a wuss like that. And, how are we even quantifying "Purpose In Life"? It's a pretty loaded term, made up of volumes full of assumption.

Sounds pretty scientific Smiling


spike.barnett
Superfan
spike.barnett's picture
Posts: 1018
Joined: 2008-10-24
User is offlineOffline
marcusfish wrote:So once we

marcusfish wrote:

So once we write something that makes us cry instinctively, we have descovered what our "Purpose In Life" is? Interesting.

When I got to my purpose in life I started bleeding out of my ears...

Just messing SC. I hope it leads you somewhere. Just remember, an emotional attachment to a career is not enough. You have to be good at it too. If you think of something, make sure to asses how reasonable it really is. If you think it's within reach go for it!

 

After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him.

The moral: When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut.
MySpace


SmallChristian
SmallChristian's picture
Posts: 87
Joined: 2007-03-21
User is offlineOffline
marcusfish wrote:So once we

marcusfish wrote:

So once we write something that makes us cry instinctively, we have descovered what our "Purpose In Life" is? Interesting.

Because it makes me cry? That's a bit of a leap. Lots of things make me cry, I'm a wuss like that. And, how are we even quantifying "Purpose In Life"? It's a pretty loaded term, made up of volumes full of assumption.

Sounds pretty scientific Smiling

In really fast voice:

* Purpose of life subject to change based on age, maturity, personal influence and brain integrity, crying may lead to runny nose; consult your doctor before conducting purpose of life test. Purpofe of life test not responsible for divorce, damages, or deaths conducted after finding it. Void where prohibited!

 

Smiling

Yeah I don't think it's a scientific way of finding "purpose in life" - Nor is "purpose in life" a scientific thing at all? - Glad I didn't claim that!

I think everyone finds their own purpose in their own way, and if there is a way outside of religious idealogies I think they can be useful.  Some folks have used similar writing techniques to help them clear our their jarbled minds.  If you read the atricle he doesn't claim in anyway that this method is the "one true way" or anything remotely like that.  I also think that human emotion is one of the main reasons why we want a purpose anyway, and I don't think it is bad to embrace our emotional nature. 


latincanuck
atheist
latincanuck's picture
Posts: 2038
Joined: 2007-06-01
User is offlineOffline
purpose of life

Never found something that makes me cry my purpose of life, my purpose changes as life changes. In my youth (ok in my teens and twenties) it was about good friends, family and of course good times. In my thirties, my daughter was born and my purpose changed to her, she's the reason I work as hard as I do, she's the reason I get out of bed in the morning, she's the reason I enjoy life now. In 15 years when she moves out, who knows what my purpose will be to continue on living, what my desires will be.


Archeopteryx
Superfan
Archeopteryx's picture
Posts: 1037
Joined: 2007-09-09
User is offlineOffline
To me his method sounds like

To me his method sounds like a jerked-over form of secular meditation. The MSword version.

 

Not trying to belittle it. I also find meditation useful for many reasons (without injecting any woo-woo into it, of course).

 

A place common to all will be maintained by none. A religion common to all is perhaps not much different.


marcusfish
Superfan
marcusfish's picture
Posts: 676
Joined: 2007-05-11
User is offlineOffline
SmallChristian

SmallChristian wrote:

marcusfish wrote:
Sounds pretty scientific Smiling

Some folks have used similar writing techniques to help them clear our their jarbled minds. 

Certainly. I'm a big fan of meditation and that sort of thing, just without any of the supernatural nonsense. I also think it's best to separate the nonsense terms like "purpose in life" from something constructive like meditation. As a people, I think we are too quick to add mystic and woo woo terminology to something that is actually quite simple.

This guy is adding silly terminology to something that is actually quite simple. That's goofy, and I made fun of it. Smiling


butterbattle
ModeratorSuperfan
butterbattle's picture
Posts: 3945
Joined: 2008-09-12
User is offlineOffline
SmallChristian wrote:Take

SmallChristian wrote:

  1. Take out a blank sheet of paper or open up a word processor where you can type (I prefer the latter because it’s faster).
  2. Write at the top, “What is my true purpose in life?”
  3. Write an answer (any answer) that pops into your head. It doesn’t have to be a complete sentence. A short phrase is fine.
  4. Repeat step 3 until you write the answer that makes you cry. This is your purpose.

So if I don't cry, then I haven't discovered my true purpose yet?

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
 I've mentioned this

 I've mentioned this before, but one of the mistakes a lot of new atheists make is in continuing to use the catchphrases and definitions from religion in their new life.  "Meaning in life" is one of those phrases, and it's a huge pitfall.

The fact is, every human on the planet has purpose in life.  (I know... I just switched from meaning to purpose.  I'll get back to it.)  When I wake up in the morning, I have the purpose of getting my groggy self to the bathroom to pee.  Then I have the purpose of finding something to eat, and maybe getting some caffeine into my system.  Then I have the purpose of going to work because going to work helps with the purpose of paying the mortgage, which helps with the purpose of finding shelter, etc, etc, etc.  Purpose is simply a goal, and we all have hundreds of goals, even if they seem mundane to us.

Here's where the theist version of meaning can sneak in and play tricks with our heads.  When a theist asks if you have meaning, he is really asking if you have meaning "bigger than just this life."  He wants to know if you're going to heaven when you die, and whether you're part of God's "master plan."  Well, if there is no god, and there is no afterlife, then there is no master plan, so that question becomes literally meaningless.  Still, there is something in the mind of the new atheist that insists there must be "something more."

Well, at any given point, sure there is something more.  If you're concerned about global warming and you're not doing anything about it, there is something more for you to accomplish with one of your purposes (see above).  You feel like you're not living up to your potential.  When we talk about finding meaning in life, what we're really talking about is finding a daily routine that makes us feel self-actualized with regard to things we think are important!

Just to prove the point, try letting someone tell you what your meaning in life is.  Here, I'll try it for you.  Your meaning in life is ending the distribution of out of date condoms to the quarter dispensers in Shell stations all over the United States.  For the rest of your life, you must devote yourself thoroughly to that cause.

Why doesn't that work for you?  Because it's not interesting or relevent to you  (at least, I'm guessing it's not).  You have things that you think are important, and you're doing some of them, but not doing others.  Thus, you feel a certain sense of unfulfillment.  When you find a job that makes you feel particularly fulfilled, you get an emotional high.  Likewise, if you meet someone you might want to make babies with, you will feel an emotional high.  If you are lucky enough to find a career and a social circle in which you spend most of your time feeling good about what you're accomplishing, you will feel content.

There's nothing magical about any of this.  There isn't "one meaning."  There are simply things that make you happy to do and other things that make you less happy.  Each day of your life is an opportunity for reevaluation of purpose because each day, your environment will not be exactly the same as it was yesterday.  Thus, the search for meaning in life is simply the daily evaluation of purpose compared to action.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


spike.barnett
Superfan
spike.barnett's picture
Posts: 1018
Joined: 2008-10-24
User is offlineOffline
Archeopteryx wrote:The

Archeopteryx wrote:

The MSword version.

I wish I had an MSword. But in truth, I can't even afford a Masterwork Short Sword...

I just found my purpose in life!

After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him.

The moral: When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut.
MySpace


theacrobat (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Hambydammit wrote:Here's

Hambydammit wrote:

Here's where the theist version of meaning can sneak in and play tricks with our heads.  When a theist asks if you have meaning, he is really asking if you have meaning "bigger than just this life."  He wants to know if you're going to heaven when you die, and whether you're part of God's "master plan."  Well, if there is no god, and there is no afterlife, then there is no master plan, so that question becomes literally meaningless.  Still, there is something in the mind of the new atheist that insists there must be "something more."

Uhm, this is one of the silliest definition of the what is meant when asked what the meaning of  one's life is? But of course, leave it to you, like in your countless other posts to give your claims more reverence than what they deserve.

If I as a theist were to ask someone what's the meaning of his life, a perfectly satisfactory response doesn't have to be otherworldly or "bigger than just this life". Such as response could be: "the meaning of my is to be an example of love and goodness toward others. To seek justice, and freedom as long as I live." 

The question ask what is that you strive for, live for, devote your life to more so than anything else, not that you get up in morning and pee. 

The answer may just as well be, that an individual finds no meaning in life, that life is meaningless, and nothing but bells and whistles, that he lives, just for the motion of doing so, come what may..

 

 


Vastet
atheistBloggerSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 13210
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
Meaning cannot be logically

Meaning cannot be logically derived from existence. Only emotion can give an individual a sense of meaning, which makes it subjective. Therefore while an excersise like this may have an impact on a great number of people, it cannot work for everyone.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
Quote:Uhm, this is one of

Quote:
Uhm, this is one of the silliest definition of the what is meant when asked what the meaning of  one's life is? But of course, leave it to you, like in your countless other posts to give your claims more reverence than what they deserve.

It's not my definition, kiddo.  It's what theists believe.  Anyway, in this part of the internet, you don't just get to bash someone without offering something better.  What's your definition?  (And oh, boy, it better be awesome or I'm going to rip it to shreds just to prove a point.)

Quote:
Such as response could be: "the meaning of my is to be an example of love and goodness toward others. To seek justice, and freedom as long as I live."

If a theist answers like this, then he is not giving a theist answer.  That's a secular answer, and isn't particularly relevant to my conversation.  Would you like to quote me where I say that there are no theists who build their meaning without worring about God?  If you can't find the quote, then stop building these stupid strawmen, as if the existence of a range of answers changes one thing that I've said about this particular answer.

Quote:

The question ask what is that you strive for, live for, devote your life to more so than anything else, not that you get up in morning and pee. 

The answer may just as well be, that an individual finds no meaning in life, that life is meaningless, and nothing but bells and whistles, that he lives, just for the motion of doing so, come what may..

That's great.  Now would you like to talk about meaning that is derived from theistic concepts instead of something you can derive with no religion whatsoever?  That is, after all, what I was talking about... or didn't you get that?

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 15753
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
I can solve our economic

I can solve our economic problems right now, I'M SERIOUS, and it does not involve slicing onions!

Everyone here knows how bad my jokes are. If everyone would invest in optomitrists for all the damage I cause for the eye rolls for my bad jokes, we would make the eye care industry  biger than OPEC!

We could solve world hunger! We could fund medical research.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


Vastet
atheistBloggerSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 13210
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
We could be blind...

We could be blind...

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


theacrobat (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Hambydammit wrote: It's not

Hambydammit wrote:
 It's not my definition, kiddo.  It's what theists believe.  

Oh please. 

It may be well and dandy that this is what theist believe, but that wasn't what you wrote:

Hamy: "When a theist asks if you have meaning, he is really asking if you have meaning "bigger than just this life."  He wants to know if you're going to heaven when you die, and whether you're part of God's "master plan."

What you didn't write is, "the theist meaning of life is something bigger than this life,  going to heaven when he dies, and to be a part of God's master plan." Nor did you ask when a theist ask other theist about the meaning of his life, but rather you wrote "when a theist ask if you have meaning". In a forum dominated by atheist the use of "you" implies or at least includes "atheist" as a main suggestion of who "you" is composed of.

The question you present implies that the theist is not asking the individual if he shares his sense of meaning in life, such as his belief in being part of God's master plan, but rather if a has a sense of meaning in life at all, regardless if he shares his theistic beliefs or not. It would be quite silly to ask an atheist if he has meaning in life, when implying by meaning a belief that's he's part of God's master plan. 

Regardless you can go ahead and claim this is not what you were implying, and that i got it all wrong or whatever, but any nitwit with half a brain could read what you wrote and decide what seemed to be implied by it. 

And if by the off chance you really meant to imply what you wrote in your second post, in the first one, then so be it. You're just rather shitty at making your point the first time. 

 

 

 

 

 


Tapey
atheist
Tapey's picture
Posts: 1477
Joined: 2009-01-23
User is offlineOffline
theacrobat wrote:Hambydammit

theacrobat wrote:

Hambydammit wrote:
 It's not my definition, kiddo.  It's what theists believe.  

Oh please. 

It may be well and dandy that this is what theist believe, but that wasn't what you wrote:

Hamy: "When a theist asks if you have meaning, he is really asking if you have meaning "bigger than just this life."  He wants to know if you're going to heaven when you die, and whether you're part of God's "master plan."

What you didn't write is, "the theist meaning of life is something bigger than this life,  going to heaven when he dies, and to be a part of God's master plan." Nor did you ask when a theist ask other theist about the meaning of his life, but rather you wrote "when a theist ask if you have meaning". In a forum dominated by atheist the use of "you" implies or at least includes "atheist" as a main suggestion of who "you" is composed of.

The question you present implies that the theist is not asking the individual if he shares his sense of meaning in life, such as his belief in being part of God's master plan, but rather if a has a sense of meaning in life at all, regardless if he shares his theistic beliefs or not. It would be quite silly to ask an atheist if he has meaning in life, when implying by meaning a belief that's he's part of God's master plan. 

Regardless you can go ahead and claim this is not what you were implying, and that i got it all wrong or whatever, but any nitwit with half a brain could read what you wrote and decide what seemed to be implied by it. 

And if by the off chance you really meant to imply what you wrote in your second post, in the first one, then so be it. You're just rather shitty at making your point the first time. 

 

theacrobat wrote:

But of course, leave it to you, like in your countless other posts to give your claims more reverence than what they deserve.

But in all seriousness you are arguing about the use of words. Really? He clarified what he ment where is the problem? If you are unsure ask perhaps?No need to go all karate ninja. Seems a little petty tbh. 

 

But on topic, seems like a silly way tbh. As an atheist I can't believe I was put here for a reason so I think anyway that it follows that there is no meaning to my life, that is not me saying my life has no purpose. Sure you could say my meaning in life is to be a symbol of awesomeness, this I would say this is your purpose. The meaning of life to me means something beyond, something deeper, the driving factor. To me I would say it is deeper than your purpose. That is just my understanding of it anyway. It all depends on what kind of answer you want.

 

Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
No animal shall wear clothes.
No animal shall sleep in a bed.
No animal shall drink alcohol.
No animal shall kill any other animal.
All animals are equal.