Barton Goldsmith: We All Need A Purpose In Life

By Barton Goldsmith
Tribune News Service

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Dr. Barton Goldsmith, a psychotherapist from Calif. shares why he thinks it is so very important that we all find our purpose in life. As Dr. Goldsmith explains, sometimes that purpose may be as simple and gentle as supporting those you love.

Tribune News Service

I believe that if you find your purpose and share it with the world, you will be happier. This is because you are doing what is right for you, what speaks your values, and is important to your life. If you don’t have a reason to get up in the morning, then you probably will have a hard time being motivated even to brush your teeth.

Your purpose in life is not what keeps you up at night; if you are on the right path, this seldom happens. You will know you are in the right place when you feel that you are doing the right things with the right people for the right reasons, and that makes you feel good about yourself.

What Is your purpose? If you’re not sure, begin by asking yourself what makes you feel great. Are you into your work, or is there something else that you’d like to do (besides win The Voice)?

What we do with our days does not necessarily define our purpose in life, but the closer it is to that purpose, the more you will enjoy your time.

Your purpose does not have to be changing the world. It can be very fulfilling to live a peaceful life.

You do not have to build a rocket to Mars to have a purpose. Nurturing your family, friends, and those who come into your path is a wonderful way to do life, and it is a purpose that not enough people take up.

Helping others beyond my family is important to me, but that isn’t for everyone. Helping your own people is quite enough.

Sometimes we forget to take care of those we love. Many of us can get so caught up in our own mini-dramas that those closest to us can end up feeling lost or abandoned because we weren’t there for them when they needed us. We can lose perspective on our purpose in life. But when we make an effort to be there for others, we end up smiling a whole lot more than when we were just letting life happen to us.

If you want more from life, then, by all means, make that part of your plan. But I don’t think that a purpose can be just about acquiring wealth.

There needs to be an end game. Warren Buffett and Bill Gates got it right. Both decided at a fairly young age that they would give away their personal wealth to help improve the world. They are doing some very important work, and I know that there are very few people who can do this and I’m not one of them. If you’re not either, then it is important that you find a purpose that’s within your ability to carry out.

If you are not feeling great about where you are in life at the moment, it may be time to do a little soul-searching about what will work better for you.

Make a list and see what jumps out at you. We all have a purpose. The challenge is to find it and allow it to enrich your life.
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(Dr. Barton Goldsmith, a psychotherapist in Westlake Village, Calif., is the author of “The Happy Couple: How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a Time.”)
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