The Purpose in Life

The reason for your existence goes far beyond survival and enjoying the pleasures of life. Some of us do have challenges in survival that require a lot of our focus, of course, and there is certainly nothing wrong with pursuing pleasure. However, the whole point of surviving your many challenges and enjoying the pleasure you derive from life is to fulfill the purpose of your creation in the first place.

I do not claim to be a theologian, but I have studied spiritual teachings for many decades, especially those in my chosen path of Christianity. The vast majority of spiritual teachings hold that we are here on this planet, at this point in time, for a determined reason. Each one of us has abilities and perspectives that can contribute to the universe’s greater good and even to its evolution toward ultimate fulfillment.

Few if any of us can know what that ultimate universal fulfillment will be, but it is certainly our right and quest to find and to fulfill our own specific places in this world.

A dear friend, New York Times best-selling author Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., shared a profound idea with me recently. We were discussing the fact that in my 63 years, I have been given up for dead by doctors more than three times, yet I am still thriving.

“Each time you have overcome death,” she told me, “you have added something very significant to the Universe.” I have not looked at my life in the same way since that afternoon.

At times, you might be fulfilling your purpose without even knowing it. For some people, just overcoming the challenges of their lives contributes to the overall evolution of the universe as well as adds greatly to the overall good in the world. All those who are trying to be truly alive, contribute to others’ happiness, and be a creative force in the world are helping overcome the destructive forces unleashed on the universe daily.

Such sources of destruction include the obvious (such as terrorist groups), as well as those to which we have become numb and complacent. One example of the latter is people who create resentment and low self-worth in others by judging them in a negative way, often in the name of God. Another is the many people and institutions driven by greed. And another is people who take their insecurity, anger, and frustration out on those they claim to love or on those whom they have power over. An increasing number of otherwise “good” people habitually post nasty comments about public figures or social issues on social media. All of these negative forces add negative energy to our environment.

Research shows that even our moods emit a force that is picked up by others, whether or not we speak to or interact with them in any way. Elaine Hatfield, Ph.D., of the University of Hawaii, conducted some of these studies. In one, a student who reported feeling significant anger was placed into a room facing away from another student who reported feeling significant joy. They did not speak or look at each other, yet after a matter of minutes, the angry student reported feeling a little happier, and the joyful student reported feeling a slight sense of anger. The researchers repeated this process many times with the same result. It seems our attitudes, thoughts, and actions affect everyone and everything in the environment through an invisible force.

Every time you face down a destructive challenge, smile at someone, say a prayer for an enemy, truly listen to someone going through a loss or disappointment. Respond with kindness to someone who is acting like a jerk, thank God for what is happening in your life—including the challenges—and take even one small step closer to following your passion.

You already have all that you need in your life to fulfill your purpose. Don’t worry if your health is poor. Don’t fret over finances. Don’t linger on losses and betrayals. Just keep showing up to your life every day. Have faith in a power greater than yourself to guide you. Continue pursuing your passion and being a source of light and life.

You are already a dynamic force of good in this world!

Author Biography: 

Christopher Knippers, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist, writer, and speaker. He specializes in addiction, mood disorders, and trauma. In 2014, Knippers transitioned from full-time psychotherapy, university teaching, and healthcare administration to independent consulting and writing. He has written both fiction and nonfiction books. Originally from Hawaii, he now lives in Long Beach, California. Visit