Tiny Wisdom: On Finding Your Purpose

“There is not one big cosmic meaning for all, there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person.” ~Anais Nin

Someone asked me recently if I feel as though my life has changed since I found my purpose and started living it. This struck me as odd because it seems to imply before I discovered a professional path that felt meaningful to me, my life was meaningless.

It’s a logical conclusion: The opposite of having a purpose is being purposeless, doing without intent or value.

But in retrospect, I have always had a purpose, even if it wasn’t work related.

When I was at some of the lowest points of my life, my purpose was to get strong. When I was trying to find what I want to do professionally, my purpose was to explore. And I’ve learned we’re all born with a shared purpose we can acknowledge or deny—to simply be good for other people.

These things may not seem significant in the grand scheme of things, but they’re absolutely meaningful.

We might not always feel like we’re making the impact we’d like to make on the world, but that doesn’t mean that what we do doesn’t matter. Just like every action has its own purpose, every day contains its own meaning. It’s up to us to decide whether or not it’s something valuable, for our own evolution and for the people we love.

What does today mean to you?

Photo by Rose Zhang

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha and Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. Her latest bookTiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal, which includes 15 coloring pages, is now available for purchase. For daily wisdom, follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram..

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  • Kyata

    Being Purposeless with intent has a very definite value. Kyata

  • Dr. Steve McSwain

    Today means more when we honor each moment – Today only ever unfolds as the NOW!

  • Sarah

    Thank you.

  • Exquisite. Thank-you.

  • One of my favorite quotes is: “He who has a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’. (Nietzsche) This propels us to do what we need to do each day.
    But one has to be fortunate to find and live that grander purpose that makes us feel passionately alive and connected to our authentic selves. You clearly have found it and are making a world of difference.

  • Jennifer

    Hmm that’s interesting. I guess for me “purpose” has always been ill-defined. I had felt for a long part of my existance that I had no purpose, however I was always striving towards something. I would suppose it would make sense that my purpose has always been the things I continue to strive towards, which is self betterment and a better ability to help other people. Which is nice to have found out that there are other people with similar plans. 🙂


    Well said. I can totally relate and appreciate this. I have in the last 6 months tapped into my inner wisdom thru various disciplines, yoga, meditation, sand running and tai chi. My path all of a sudden seems clear and unquestioned and my habits and behaviour have Effortlessly changed to align to my inner values. In sum, what I’m saying… A journey is only as beautifully rich as it’s experiences.

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