I have been thinking about the word ‘purpose’ and I find it a bit confusing. I don't know about purpose. First, I often don’t know what is meant by it. One possible meaning may be a) an over-arching value or goal or project which gives meaning to your life. Another one is b) an inherent function or plan for you, provided by ‘God’. The second meaning is not credible to me because the whole idea of ‘God’ is actually not credible to me.
The first meaning is somewhat more credible to me but I still have doubts. Do I have a clear-cut purpose? Sure, I do try to do good and make a positive difference. But does this qualify as a specific purpose? You might also say that fulfilling my autonomy, competence and relatedness needs is my purpose. But is that a purpose? Or should I think of something very specific and personal? In that case I would still doubt. I do intentionally try things like learn, share, help, be friendly, be a good parent and husband, etc. But I don’t think of these as a purpose. Rather, I think of life as a more open-ended process of discovery. With respect to ‘purpose’ I am in doubt because I think (if it exists):
- it is not just one thing (rather a complex set of things),
- it is not something fixed (rather something developing and unfolding),
- not something individually specific (rather something we share).