The purpose of life is a life of purpose.

Robert Byrne

What people actually need is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of them.  What they need is not the discharge of tension at any cost, but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by them.

Victor Frankl


I'm doing what I think I was put on this earth to do.  And I'm really grateful to have something that I'm passionate about and that I think is profoundly important.

Marian Wright Edelman
Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

Susan Ertz

Many people have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness.  It is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.

Helen Keller
It is as if a king had sent you to a country to carry out one special, specific task.  You go to the country and you perform a hundred other tasks, but if you have not performed the task you were sent for, it is as if you have done nothing at all.  So people have come into the world for particular tasks, and that is our purpose.  If we don't perform it, we will have done nothing.


Purpose serves as a principle around which to organize our lives.


We are here on earth to do good for others.
What the others are here for, I don't know.

W.H. Auden

Great minds have purposes, little minds have wishes.

Washington Irving


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Never forget that the purpose for which we live is the improvement of ourselves,
so that we may go out of this world having, in our great sphere or our small
one, done some little good for our fellow creatures and labored a little
to diminish the sin and sorrow that are in the world.

William E. Gladstone


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.

George Bernard Shaw


Above all be of single aim; have a legitimate and useful purpose,
and devote yourself unreservedly to it.

James Allen

The first principle of ethical power is purpose.  By purpose, I don't mean
your objective or intention-something toward which you are always striving.
Purpose is something bigger.  It is the picture you have of yourself--the kind
of person you want to be or the kind of life you want to lead.

Ken Blanchard

What humankind wants is not talent; it is purpose.

Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton


Each of our acts makes a statement as to our purpose.

Leo Buscaglia


The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach
out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.

Eleanor Roosevelt

The person without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder--a waif, a nothing,
a no body.  Have a purpose in life, and, having it, throw such strength
of mind and muscle into your work as God has given you.

Thomas Carlyle

The secret to success is constancy to purpose.

Benjamin Disraeli

Multitudes of people, drifting aimlessly to and fro without a set purpose,
deny themselves such fulfillment of their capacities, and the satisfying
happiness which attends it.  They are not wicked, they are only shallow.
They are not mean or vicious; they simply are empty -- shake them and
they would rattle like gourds. They lack range, depth, and conviction.
Without purpose their lives ultimately wander into the morass of
dissatisfaction.  As we harness our abilities to a steady purpose and
undertake the long pull toward its accomplishment, rich compensations
reward us. A sense of purpose simplifies life and therefore
concentrates our abilities; and concentration adds power.

Kenneth Hildebrand


There is no road to success but through a clear strong purpose.
Nothing can take its place.  A purpose underlies character,
culture, position, attainment of every part.

Thornton T. Munger



We are all designed for a specific purpose; we all have something
for which each of us, and each of us alone, is responsible.

Naomi Stephan


What allows us, as human beings, to psychologically survive
life on earth, with all of its pain, drama, and challenges,
is a sense of purpose and meaning.

Barbara De Angelis


To have a purpose that is worthwhile, and that is steadily being
accomplished, that is one of the secrets of life that is worth living.

Herbert Casson


The human heart refuses to believe in a universe without a purpose.
What are the aims which are at the same time duties?  They are
the perfecting of ourselves and the happiness of others.

Immanuel Kant


A life without purpose is a languid drifting thing.  Every day we ought
to renew our purpose, say to ourselves:  this day let us make a sound
beginning, for what we have hitherto done is naught.
Our improvement is in proportion to our purpose.

Thomas a Kempis


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.

Leo Rosten



I respect the people who know distinctly what they wish.  The greater part
of all the mischief in this world arises from the fact that people do not
sufficiently understand their own aims.  They have undertaken to build a
tower, and spend no more labor on the foundation than would be
necessary to erect a hut.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

When you have chosen a great purpose, and are certain you have
chosen well and wisely, concentrate upon it.  Bend your best energies
to it.  Guard yourself against subtle and innumerable influences that
tend to divert you from it.  Make that single great purpose the
definite aim of your daily life.  Your thought and time will be solicited
by many influences, and you will do well to take special means to
protect yourself against them.  Make your resolutions so clear and
firm that nothing can lure you from your chosen path of purpose and
duty.  Substitute doing for dreaming, and achievement for wishing.
The great things of the world are done by people who
specialize and concentrate.

Glenville Kleiser
Riches for the Mind and Spirit


Your purpose on Earth goes far beyond satisfying critics or
proving yourself according to standards others set for you.
Your purpose is to recognize the greatness within you and deliver it.

Alan Cohen
A Course in Miracles Made Easy


We have some inspiring and motivational books that may interest you.  Our main way of supporting this site is through the sale of books, either physical copies or digital copies for your Amazon Kindle (including the online reader).  All of the money that we earn through them comes back to the site in one way or another.  Just click on the picture to the left to visit our page of books, both fiction and non-fiction!


Your life is always being shaped and driven by something.  For most, it's the
past -- beliefs and habits based upon survival and fear.  There's another option.
You decide what's going to shape and drive your life.  You choose the vision for
what your life is to be about, the values you hold most sacred and the kind of
person you are to be.  And you allow those three to shape and drive your actions
in each moment.  Life becomes much more joyful and productive when you can
filter out all the things that are not in alignment with your self-defined life purpose.

Helaine Iris


I am not on this earth by chance.  I am here for a purpose and that
purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand.
Henceforth will I apply all my efforts to become the highest mountain
of all and I will strain my potential until it cries for mercy.

Og Mandino
The Greatest Salesman in the World


The purpose of life is to matter--to count, to stand for something,
to have made some difference that we lived at all.

Leo Rosten


A purpose statement is a simple, private statement that guides your daily
actions.  For example, you might write, "I help others to live happy
and healthy lives" or "I create art that brings spiritual awareness."
Do not confuse a purpose statement with a mission statement, which
is a more specific way you might fulfill your purpose.

Steve Brunkhorst



The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful,
to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make
some difference that you have lived and lived well.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


One needs something to believe in, something for which
one can have whole-hearted enthusiasm.  One needs to feel
that one's life has meaning, that one is needed in this world.

Hannah Senesh


No one can tell you how to find your purpose.  It can only be found, slowly,
in your own dark sky, in whatever is sacred to you, be that church or woods.
It can't be found by searching around for a role model or learning how cultural
heroes handled their difficulties.  It is seldom found by following anyone
else's rules.  It lives in the rest in the place where music is born, the fertile
void, the silence between notes.  It is simple and basic.  It emerges slowly
as a sunrise, as we search through our gifts, our darkness, our losses and loves.
Your job and mine is to be quiet and alone from time to time.  To be present to
ourselves and the natural world, and to be in conversation with what is hidden
in us in such a way that we can explore what brings us more alive.

Dawna Markova



To exist without purpose is to be at the mercy of the chance encounter,
the chance invitation, the chance phone call, the chance event--
always being controlled by forces external to oneself.

Nathaniel Branden
Self-Esteem Every Day

Not all purposes are equal.  The key questions about any purpose
are these:  Does this serve your life and well-being?
Is this a purpose you can be proud of?

What our deepest self craves is not mere enjoyment, but some supreme
purpose that will enlist all our powers and will give unity and direction to our
life.  We can never know the profoundest joy without conviction that our life
is significant--not a meaningless episode.  The loftiest aim of human life is
the ethical perfecting of humankind--the transfiguration of humanity.

Henry J. Golding

I believe that nothing that happens to me is meaningless, and that it is good
for us all that it should be so, even if it runs counter to our own wishes.  As I
see it, I'm here for some purpose, and I only hope I may fulfill it.  In the light
of the great purpose all our privations and disappointments are trivial.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer


Your purpose in life is intrinsically connected to your passion, and
your passion is present right where you stand. While you might argue,
“I have no passion,” or “I don’t know what my passion is,” you do
have passion—if you didn’t, you wouldn’t be alive. While part of you
may have lost touch with your passion, another part knows precisely
where it lives. Ask the part of you that knows your path and purpose
to reveal itself, and it will. If you try to grasp the Big Picture of your
entire life’s purpose, you will get muddled and confused. If you demand
to know it all now, you will become even more overwhelmed. But if you
start by acting on the passion that already exists, even if it is the tiniest
of trickles, it will expand to a stream and then a mighty river.

Alan Cohen
The Tao Made Easy



The research on happiness clearly shows that people who are deeply
committed to whatever gives their life meaning are much happier than
those who don't have this greater sense of purpose.  According to the
psychologist Edward Diener, who researches subjective well-being in
the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-
Champaign, one of the vital ingredients for happiness is "having a
meaning in life. . . . and having goals embedded in your long-term values
that you're working for, but also that you find enjoyable."  Health and
longevity studies show that when people live with a sense of purpose,
no matter how big or small, they live longer and healthier lives.

Marci Shimoff
Happy for No Reason

There are two great days in a person's life--
the day we are born and the day we discover why.

William Barclay

Find a purpose in life so big it will challenge every capacity to be at your best.

David O. McKay


Have a purpose in life, and having it, throw into your work
such strength of mind and muscle as God has given you.

Thomas Carlyle


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Your mission in life is to have a "why" to live for, to use your best qualities
in the service of the kind of world in which you would like to live.  That is
your purpose.  This is what life expects of you.  And when you live according
to your purpose, setting goals that support it, you may find the pieces of your
life drawn together into a strong internal whole.  Then, no matter how difficult
life's experiences may prove to be, you can be able to endure and even prevail.

John Marks Templeton
Worldwide Laws of Life

The true purpose is to see things as they are, to observe things
as they are, and to let everything go as it goes.

Shunryu Suzuki


A productive purpose to which you give yourself fully and joyfully is one
of the great adventures of life.  It is a uniquely human source of happiness.

Nathaniel Branden
Self-Esteem Every Day

Do not allow anyone to tell you for what purpose you should live.  To be
happy and fulfilled, you do need a purpose, but let it rise out of who you are.

To give life a meaning one must have a purpose larger than one's self.

Will Durant

There is nothing that I so greatly admire as purposefulness.  I have an
enormous respect for people who know exactly what they are doing
and where they are going.  Such people are compact and integrated.
They have clear edges.  They give an impression of invulnerability
and balance, and I wish I were one of them.

Louise Dickinson Rich


When you are clear on the purpose behind your act,
you have the answer as to whether or not you should do it.

Alan Cohen
The Tao Made Easy



Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.



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