Theme Night Summary #1 - Finding and maintaining purpose in life


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I'm sorry about the delay, I am terrible. :D Hopefully you'll have forgotten the discussion enough to be interested in reading the summary today! It's a long one, I wanted to include everyone's ideas, and lots of them are direct quotes from our wonderful members. I hope something resonates with you, and feel free to continue the discussion, or give your own ideas if you couldn't attend the theme night.

What is "purpose"?
  • Dictionary definition : the reason for which something is done or exists.
  • A reason to live, to get up in the morning.
  • Our impact on the world.
  • What gives direction and value.
  • Seeing a future.
  • What makes life worthwhile, what gives meaning to it.
Why have a purpose?
  • For motivation and drive in our daily life.
  • To make a difference, to have an impact.
  • To keep doing activities : hobbies, studying, householding...
  • To look forward to future experiences.
  • For the hope of a better future.
  • To avoid the feeling of stagnation.
What purpose can you work towards?
  • To make money for the future.
  • Helping others.
  • Having fun.
  • Feeling needed, valued and recognized.
  • To accomplish something at work.
  • Creative activities and goals : to publish a story, to draw things you like, to learn to play an instrument...
  • Learning : by specializing your skills, getting a degree, understanding people...
  • To be curious and/or have a passion.
  • To make friends.
  • To build a family, raising your children.
  • Loving people.
  • To fall in love, and being loved.
  • Happiness.
  • Contentment, peace of mind.
  • Belonging, to connect with others.
  • To be the best at something.
  • To heal.
  • Travelling.
  • Achieving the best thighs - improving body image.
  • To win the Eurovision, or any competition.
  • To gain staff power on SF and be worshipped.
Daily goals also give purpose...
  • Going to work.
  • Volunteering.
  • Supporting and taking care of the family.
  • Hobbies, passions : shopping, knitting, writing, painting...
  • Meeting up with friends, meeting new people.
  • Meeting basic needs (food, shelter, bills).
  • Being kind : be someone's highlight of the day, make someone smile, help someone at work...
  • Supporting people on SF.
What stops you believing you have a purpose?
  • Feeling like nothing is going right, feeling stuck.
  • Lack of accomplishments or progress, repeated failures, rejection, leading to a lack of self-esteem.
  • Lack of recognition for achievements.
  • Being results-oriented, big picture thinking.
  • Perfectionism and self-criticism.
  • Not valuing small goals.
  • Depression, anxiety, fear of failure.
  • Not knowing how to find a (new) purpose.
Part 2 below...


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How to find and maintain purpose?
  • Ask yourself what you don't like about your life and be honest with yourself.
  • Find what you daydream about, understand yourself.
  • Have realistic expectations : not everyone can become a doctor or a president, but it doesn't make one a failure. Create your own purpose.
  • Accept your mistakes and what you can't change - self-acceptance.
  • Put less value on what others perceive and the established benchmarks created by society.
  • Don't dismiss your contribution.
  • Have several purposes rather than only one to avoid easily losing hope.
  • Have a routine, goal lists, wishlists.
  • Focus on the small steps leading to your bigger goals.
  • Do a little better every day, you can always do something.
  • Don't be too introspective, look what's out there.
  • Free yourself from materialistic desires providing ephemeral happiness.
  • Prefer continuous goals that you can easily implement in your life and/or can't lose (being kind, learning...).
  • Don't overthink your purpose or meaning of life. That leads to degradation of your mental health and is counterproductive.
  • Regularly remind yourself why you work towards your purpose, your reasons and your values.
  • Take breaks, escape from your stressors.
  • Be grateful for what you have, every day.
Other words of advice from SF members
  • "Purpose in life can, and sometimes should, change throughout life."
  • "Every job has its own merits, is needed, and should be valued."
  • "Social networks contribute to negative self-perception."
  • "More weight should be on the individual, for them to see what constitutes a failure or not."
  • "Inner peace might be a more realistic goal than happiness, which is more of a fleeting state."
  • "At your worst, helping others can be a good purpose. It also helps you."
  • "Just because one doesn't have a purpose right now, doesn't mean they won't have one later."
  • "Your purpose is what you want it to be. It is different for everyone."
  • "Others can gain from you without you ever knowing the full extent of your impact."
  • "You always have an impact."
  • "Money makes life easier, but it does not make you happy past a certain point. It's a means towards an end."
  • "You can live day by day without a bigger purpose in mind (have only daily goals)."
  • "Realizing we're tiny specs in the universe can lower the pressure."


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Also big thank yous to the loveliest...

@Bradamante and @Harrow

Sorry, not sure why you weren't on my original list, I looked at the whole transcript of the chat, but I remember you took part in it. :)


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Thanks, @Auri, but I wasn't there. Though I am about to learn a lot reading your notes *hug
You were, for like 30 seconds, then you left. I remember one thing you answered. :D But it's ok, I just wanted to be thorough. :P
Have fun reading ^^

Citizen Insane

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@Auri *bravo *agreed This is so nicely put together *thumbsup
Much appreciation from me! *dance4

@Bergerac @Pebble mouse @Kiwi2016 @extraterrestrialone Tagging those from the previous thread & showed interest in this transcript! :)

  • "Inner peace might be a more realistic goal than happiness, which is more of a fleeting state."
Is my favourite one, *yes4 - As I had discussed with @Butterfly during the Theme Night - I agreed with her that "finding inner peace" is one of my current purposes

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