UPDATED November 16th, 2017
In 2012, the United Nations released the first World Happiness Report, which ranks countries by the happiness of their citizens, and in 2013 the U.S. came in 17th. We’d like to believe that being happy has something to do with finding purpose in life. So (here it comes—the question of questions), what is it that gives you purpose? What, deep down, is it that makes your life really worth living?
Marian Cannon Schlessinger, author, activist, painter and centenarian knows what makes her happy: “Early on I decided being a painter was what I wanted to be but I wanted to be a lot of other things too. I wanted to write. I wanted to play tennis. I wanted to have a lot of friends. I wanted to have a lot of beaus. I think I’ve been very lucky. But I think that I’ve made some of it for myself. I never gave up. I wanted it all, in other words, and I think I really almost got it all too.” She’s had over 100 years to figure out the answer. To help you figure it out in less time, we offer a few suggestions on the art of finding purpose in life.
1. Identify what you don’t want. When it comes to finding your purpose in life, it’s best to start with a process of elimination. Make a list of what makes you unhappy. Sitting at a desk job, a boyfriend who takes you for granted, bad habits that make you feel unwell. Now figure out how you can change or remove those unhappy elements from your life.
Read Related: How to Attain Happiness!