The other day my daughter called me in tears. Something had gone wrong on a project she had been working on and it hadn’t turned out the way she wanted. She sobbed, “What is the purpose of my life?”
Now, of course, her brain was being dramatic. (This is what brains do. They like to equate failure with death every chance they get.) But I also thought it was interesting that her brain had made a connection between production and purpose.
A lot of us do this. We think the things we do, the things we produce, the things we accomplish give our lives purpose and meaning.
But think about how exhausting this is. When we think what we do gives our lives meaning, we have to constantly justify our existence by doing. This also leads to ranking ourselves and comparing what we do to what other people do. And we have to always be doing more and accomplishing more to feel okay.
We even say ridiculous things like, “Find your purpose.” And we put it on mugs and t-shirts and inspirational posters. But notice how this turns purpose into something outside of you that you have to earn.
Another thing to earn. Like love or enoughness or worth.
Another job with no finish line.
The truth is no life has more purpose than another. And the things you do don’t create your purpose.
Your purpose is already fulfilled. By being alive. By being here. By having a human experience.
Your purpose is to be you.
And there’s nothing you need to do to find it or produce it or earn it or grow it.
In fact, it’s impossible. You can’t add meaning to God’s plan for his children. It already has absolute meaning. And nothing you do can ever add purpose or production value to what he has perfectly created.