Building a Life of Purpose



Story: The Pig and the Panther: How the Panther saw his purpose.

The pig set about one morning to search for food. As he ventured forth, the panther began to follow him. Intending at first to eat him, he continued to stalk. Then he noticed what the pig was doing. He saw the pig struggling to find food to bring to his family of piglets. The panther then began to help him find tasty morsels, not for himself, but for the pig. He saw a greater reality here. The pig needed help.

Moral: The panther saw a higher purpose than that of satisfying his own needs. Yes, he needed food too. But he reached out and set a higher purpose which was that of helping someone else.

Quotes About Purpose

Rick Warren: author of the Purpose Driven Life: Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.

This doesn’t mean that we do not think about ourselves. Each and every one of us has deep value and purpose. If we don’t tend to our own needs and we totally submerge ourselves in others, we deny comfort, care, and safety to one of God’s creation.  At the same time, the ego can get in the way of personal development and success. So thinking of others becomes paramount in self-development, in relationships with others, and in our integration into community life. It’s a balancing act.

What about you? What do you do to nurture yourself? What do you do to care for others? And what do you do to add quality to your community? What is your purpose?
– Albert Einstein: Who wants to go to their grave without having contributed something positive to mankind? Who wants to say, “My life was useless?” And who wants to experience the futility of a life not lived with a purpose? Not me, that’s for certain. When the candle goes out, I want the world to shine a little brighter for my having been here. I want a life of purpose.


Albert Schweitzer: The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others

Dr. Schweitzer was the living embodiment of this sentiment. Trained early on as a classical musician, he used his musical talents to bring beauty, harmony, and life to worship. Raised in the Lutheran tradition, Schweitzer had a deep faith and an abiding love for God and Jesus. In his adult life, he became a doctor and ministered healing to thousands in his clinics in Africa. He was a true Renaissance man and a man devoted to one purpose, that of helping others.

Practical Application to Your Life: A few weeks ago I attended  a marvelous presentation given by Bendet Raijner on his experiences as a Holocast survivor. I followed up by reading his book “Sixty Years of Silence.” At age eighty five, his stated life purpose is to create an awareness of the horrors of the holocaust by presenting his story in as many venues as possible, often speaking two or three times a day. I carry his book with me and I think about how blessed we all are to have the simple things in life. His life has purpose.

How can you use your life challenges to benefit yourself and others?  Most of you will not write a book, as I did when I wrote Recovering from Depression, Anxiety, and Psychosis.” Most of you will not give speaking engagements. But you can, in your everyday lives with your families and friends, tone up the quality of your lives by doing simple everyday things. Please take some time to write down how you think you can help. You can live a life of purpose.


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