Debunking the Whole “Life Purpose” Thing

By August 9, 2013 18 Comments

This summer as I’m taking some downtime, I’m sharing some of my favorite and your favorite posts from the archives. Hope you enjoy these selections!

Love, Tara

Debunking the Whole “Life Purpose” Thing

If you are searching for your life purpose, you are in luck. The search stops here.

It’s become a common thing in our culture to try to “find your purpose.” It’s thought of almost like finding a soul mate: there’s a big epiphany as you discover your one true purpose and then… you and it ride off into the sunset. Now you’ve got career direction, a sense of meaning, and a kind of serenity about finally knowing what your purpose is. You can say to your purpose, a la Jerry McGuire, “You complete me.”

Except I’ve never seen it play out this way. More often I hear people talking about searching for their purpose with angst. They feel like they are missing something — like life will be different if/when they get to x…

Here’s the truth: Your purpose is to bring more love to this earth. It is to heal where there is brokenness. It is to bring light where there is darkness. It is to restore sanity where insanity reigns, kindness where fear has taken over.

That’s your purpose.

That’s my purpose.

That is the purpose of every human being here on earth.

If, in the morning, you find at least one minute, sixty seconds, of silence to close your eyes and humbly say to life, the cosmos, God — whatever you call it:

Please allow me to be an instrument of love today
Please allow me to serve
Please allow me to heal
Please use me for the good

Or your own form of that… then life will take care of the rest. Life will place in your path the most remarkable, tender, perfect, interesting, set of opportunities to do just that.

Yes, there’s this other secondary thing — the thing we normally call purpose. That’s actually the manifestation of your purpose, the form it takes at any given time. That form will change, and the more creative and open to the force of love you are — the more fluid and dynamic and expansive it will feel.

All the time, there is your consistent purpose — embodying love, bringing light, bringing healing — but it is flowing through the unique prism of your changing circumstances — your time, place, resources, personality, personal experiences, sources of inspiration.

When we focus our attention on wondering about the manifestation, looking for the concrete details of how our purpose will be realized, we get off track. It’s as if we are trying to grow petals of a flower, instead of planting a seed, and then watching as the flowers grow.

Planting the seed is dedicating yourself to be of service, to be an instrument of love. If you do that, humbly, every morning, you’ll feel in your heart the call to specific acts of love and healing. Ideas for how you might spread light and change the world will start showing up, vividly, with a sense of calling attached to them.

Center in your big purpose — spreading love, bringing light, healing — and the specifics will take care of themselves.



Join the discussion 18 Comments

  • Jana says:

    Just a note to say “thanks”. This is my first time reading this piece from you. It called out to me and slapped me to reality – as I am one of those who ponders that question with angst. Your piece gave me the space to breathe and realize my purpose is in the things I do each day to serve the greater good.
    Thank you!

  • I so love how you use your popular platform to express the truth of reality.!
    Yes, Yes and Yes! I was one of the millions who searched until I discovered what my purpose was. It’s the same purpose as everyone else, however, we make it personal, by way of who we are. Thank you so much for getting the word out!!!

  • Michelle says:

    Thank you for the great post. I really loved it as I too have been trying to figure things out, with angst. My direction has changed is all, and I choose to flow with it, learning all along the way. I have been searching, but I choose to focus on where I am right now, and be grateful for each day as it unfolds. It is a pleasure to read things that resonate with my choices.
    Again, thank you!

  • Tracey says:

    Tara, I always enjoy your posts, and today I feel like you are speaking directly to me. I am 52 years old, and am sitting in my office preparing for the first day of my reinvention as a public school seventh grade math teacher in September, after a business career followed by many years as a stay at home mom. (Should I be “playing big”?) Thanks for the sentiments – I will print them out and put them in my planner! T

  • GIna says:

    What a wonderful post! Tara I feel so sad to see how far we have strayed from being of service. Life is not a self improvement project…life is so beautiful when we are helping and being of service to others (of course after our *basic* needs are met). The Hawaiian word *Kouka* embodies this idea as it means: extending loving, help to others for their benefit.
    Aloha, Gina

  • Heather Reynolds says:

    I agree we are here to love. I also know there is a thing that fulfills you that would not fulfill me in the same way something else does. I am unique, as are you. I am incredibly inspired to see people strive for their potential AND I am never so connected to something bigger than myself when I am doing that in my own life. That is my purpose, in addition to love.
    How do I know this?
    I did the Four Desires intensive with Rod Stryker.
    I would argue we each do have a unique purpose in addition to our purpose to love. I have seen too many people discover theirs with Rod to disbelieve it.
    Further, you notice my purpose isn’t a career title. It allows me to do it in ways that use my unique talent and knowledge in whatever area they lie. I fulfill it as a mother, as a coach, as a employer.

    Check out Rod’s book, The Four Desires and see what you think.

  • Thank God for you, Tara. I am so tired of reading and listening to people exhorting me to live my purpose or my passion. That works fine for those who have one. What about someone like me, who has reached a big goals already.

    If you are in the “now what?” stage of life, people don’t have a lot to say..

  • cara letho says:

    YES….this is the fundamental purpose

  • Bang on! I believe you are completely on target about the confusion most people feel around this idea of “purpose” versus the “manifestation of purpose”. Excellent post!

  • […] 1. Debunking the Whole “Life Purpose” Thing via Tara Sophia Mohr Wise Living […]

  • Rosi says:

    Thanks, Thank you, for this wonderful post!

  • Nonnie says:

    call it coincidence,
    call it synchronous
    however it’s described
    I was ready to hear this. thank you so much!

  • […] Mohr posts an oldie but a goodie: Debunking the Whole “Life Purpose” Thing (I often follow a similar set of closing thoughts/mantras in my morning meditation […]

  • […] It was called “Debunking the Whole ‘Life Purpose’ Thing.” […]

  • […] It was called “Debunking the Whole ‘Life Purpose’ Thing.” […]

  • […] foremost.  Have you ever felt like you haven’t found the purpose of your life?  Well check this out from the lovely Tara Mohr and you’ll feel much better.  Sounds a lot like […]

  • Pamela says:

    Wow. Inspiring, beautiful. And as above, I was considering my purpose today and wrote such things as loving and spreading radiance and light. That is enough — isn’t it? Working to re-purpose and create meaning for myself as I work as a realtor. It can be snarky and sharky work!! I bring light to it, yet there’s more.

    Also, when going to sleep at night I breathe in and breathe out love.



  • […] Tara Mohr wrote, ”Center in your big purpose — spreading love, bringing light, healing — and the specifics will take care of themselves.” In her Playing Big program, she also told us to forget finding one big thing to focus on your whole life. Instead, a calling is whatever is calling you now. That will change as you accomplish different things along your journey. […]

We are on a mission to help you realize your playing big dream.
Dive into our resources here: