"What do you want to be when you grow up?" is a common question put to children. A better question—especially for adults—is, “Who do I want to serve and why?” Once you shift focus, it is more about living life with greater meaning and fulfillment than simply just “one” defined purpose, as we all have gifts and talents that remain untapped and are waiting to be uncovered.
Your overall purpose consists of the central motivating aims of your life; it boils down to the reasons why you get up in the morning and what motivates you to move forward and take action towards something you believe in. Purpose can guide life decisions, increase joy and happiness, influence behavior, shape goals, offer a sense of direction, better your health, and create deeper meaning as to why you exist here on Earth in the first place. For some, purpose is connected to vocation— meaningful, satisfying work that is extrinsically motivating. For others, purpose relates to family, values, morals, faith, service, beliefs, and worthiness from within. Over the long term, having a purpose that is intrinsically versus extrinsically motivating creates longer lasting transformation in the personal, relational, spiritual, emotional, physical, and professional areas of our lives.
When you do something with purpose, you do it with drive and determination. When your activities have a clear, defined purpose, you have an aim, intention, or greater goal in mind. It is important to know and understand that a sense of purpose not only helps you to find and do things that add meaning to your life, it helps when things go wrong.