Everyone needs ways to find a daily purpose. Finding purpose every day can help people lead more fulfilling lives, whether or not circumstances are ideal. It has been theorized that in order to be happy, people need to work, to love, and to be loved. Not all people are able to hold full-time jobs.
However, finding a daily purpose does not have to involve bringing home a paycheck. Finding a daily purpose involves more than thinking positive thoughts. You have to take action. The best part is that taking action can be as simple as making an effort to do something nice or making an extra effort to smile.
1. Do Something Nice For Someone Else
You do not have to give ten thousand dollars to a local charity or save a life. Simple acts of kindness can go a long way. Open the door for someone you do not know, or talk to a person that appears lonely. Offer someone else your place in line. Call a relative that you have not spoken to in a long time, or send a card with a handwritten note. Doing good deeds can range from offering a chair to someone that looks uncomfortable to offering minor help when solving a smartphone issue.
2. Find Community
People need to be around other people. It is important to find a support system. Find others that care about you. Show others genuine caring as well. Be there for others when emotional support is needed, and they will be there for you. Everyone needs help at times in the form of friends, family, or friends that might as well be family. It is very possible to find purpose in being there for others. Instead of hoping to find new friends and a new community, be active and involved. Have a positive attitude. Explore different social circles until you meet the right friends and get involved in a meaningful community.
3. Stop Procrastinating and Enjoy Small Things
Set dates for when you will do something, and stick to it. It is difficult to find a purpose when chronically procrastinating. Depression and apathy can go hand-in-hand. In other words, sitting around and doing nothing can cause depression. Depression is characterized by a sense of hopelessness and helplessness rather than normal sadness. One of the best ways to stop procrastinating and combat depression is to find a way to incorporate small amounts pleasurable activities throughout the day. It is important to take notice of how good the sun can feel on your face or how much you enjoy a certain author or type of candy bar.
Give yourself a schedule to follow. Engage in different activities that mean something to you. Keep a schedule of how far along you will be when completing activities and larger projects. Don’t beat yourself up if you fall behind. Think of falling behind similar to requesting an extension in the workplace. You have to give yourself a set date by which you will catch up and be back on track.
4. Pay Attention to Your Thoughts and Words
Find something nice to say about people or things that annoy you. Force yourself to adopt a positive attitude. Instead of scowling silently, find something that is good. Think about how pretty snowflakes are when they are pressed against the window instead of thinking about the dreary weather. Similarly, find something positive to say when around others. Simple things such as sipping iced tea on a sunny day can help transform your thought process. Instead of longing to be in a different place or time, enjoy the moment.
5. Stay in the Present and Do Not Revisit the Past
It is difficult to find purpose when dwelling on the past. Past events might have been great or terrible, but they are over. Living in the past can be dangerous. Leave regrets and guilt behind you. It is important to think about what your present purpose is. Your present purpose can be as simple as making other people smile. Brighten the days of others around you. Think about what you can do today rather than what you did in the past.
Finding Purpose after Retirement
Many people struggle with retirement as their daily purposes often change from working and taking care of children to other things. It is important to remember that you can still provide those around you with something meaningful. Be the person that is a delight to be around, or embark on a new project. Be positive and be proactive when finding a daily purpose.
Lauren Hill looks forward to her retirement more and more every day. She has watched as many people have retired only to later become depressed and knows the importance of adopting a positive attitude to enjoy life at any stage. Lauren writes for Lakewood Manor, a Richmond, VA retirement community.