Purpose plays an important part in the article, “Processes, automation and human potential“.
Purpose gives life. Purpose drives life. The meaning of life is determined by the purposes that drives us. As I see it, we are free to give life any meaning we choose through the purposes we elect. And this may well be the only meaning life has. So diverse and complicated, yet so feeble.
In my experience in coaching struggling young people, lack of purpose is one major reason why a person could consider ending his life. While a strong purpose gives life, a lack of purpose results in a lack of life.
When a person looses a strong purpose, a valuable desire, the person “dies” to that degree. It doesn’t seem to matter what the purpose is, or whether it is a “good” purpose. A soldier returning from a war has lost a purpose to fight. When the Islamic State is defeated, a lot of people will loose a strong purpose. Loosing a job is a loss of purpose. Loosing a loved one. Being kicked out of a team. Or loosing the tools or means to achieve a purpose. They all amount to loosing some zest in life.
Having the purpose to go spiritually free or “salvaging the planet” and then thinking that it can no longer be done as one leaves the Church of Scientology – that amounts to a big loss. And it doesn’t matter that the purpose was unrealistic or the tools crappy or crazy. It still leaves the person mentally darker. It is a tough blow. And falling from such high and strong purposes, it can be really hard to mount comparable purposes to regain the level of zest and thrust.
The ability to find meaning, to create meaning in life is perhaps the most important of all abilities. Children excel at this. Adults less so. But I believe this ability can be exercised like any other ability. Training oneself to create meaning, purposes, desires and then going for it amounts to training oneself to live. Getting closer to achieving your purposes generates happiness. Happiness is a basic purpose, a good reason for living :-) But remember – achieving a purpose is also a loss of purpose. This is why one should excercise oneself to be ready to give new meaning to life by setting new goals.