March 6, 2019


Identity Development

What is Our Purpose?

This is a big question and quite difficult to figure out. Fortunately, for the sake of building resilience, we don’t have to have a clear and fully flushed out answer. The more precise it is makes it easier to hold onto, but overall we simply need a connection to a goal bigger than ourselves. Previously, we went over the topic of willpower and how we need to learn to engage that will to persevere. Purpose plays a key role in directing our willpower. Our goal through pain and suffering can be simply to not feel the pain anymore, but being able to place ourselves in the mindset of using the pain to achieve a purpose makes the struggle meaningful. Through engaging our will to direct us toward our purpose, we find a path through the pain and suffering and hope to push through. Practicing this mindset builds our resilience in the face of many storms headed our way.

What Are Your Values?

Much of purpose is created by what we value: what or who we find important to us. This value is what helps us create meaning in the things that we do and what we endure. Our values are shown by the actions that we take or how we want to be. If your family is important to you, what do you do to show that you value them? Your diligence in your job can be a way you show you value your family. Your work has meaning more than simply an activity you do to pay the bills, and it is an act to provide for who is important to you. So, take a moment to reflect on your values. There are many resources online like Values Questionnaires that can help direct you and give you some ideas.

Developing Your Purpose

Once you have an idea of what is important to you, reflect on what you are doing to live out those values. Where are you now and if it’s something new, what is emerging for you? Then, identify if there is something getting in the way of living out your values. What are the roadblocks you are facing? Finally, ask yourself what changes you have to make to overcome these roadblocks or work around them.

When faced with trials and struggles, it can be easy to forget why we are going through them. Why are we trying to push through instead of simply giving up? Every once in awhile we need to take a step back and remember our purpose. If we can create meaning from the hardship we are going through, it can be the fuel for our will to see us through. But if we have no idea where we are going, it’s difficult to ground ourselves and become overwhelmed by our pain. If you’re finding it difficult to see your values or meaning in your pain, reach out for help. While we are in the fight it’s hard to remember or create our purpose. Find support to help you get through the immediate storm.

Written by therapist Daniel Pak

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