Well known pastor and author of ” Purpose Driven Life”, Rick Warren has made a career out of helping people find purpose in their lives. It is interesting to research what various great and famous people throughout history have settled upon as the most important purpose in life and to find how consistent is the conclusions that they have reached – that to make a positive difference in someone else’s life gives purpose to our own lives.
Here are some examples from across history:
“Non nobis solum nati sumus. (Not for ourselves alone are we born.)” ― Cicero
“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”
― John Bunyan
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” ― Charles Dickens
“Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.” ― Booker T. Washington
“It’s not enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something. May I suggest that it be creating joy for others, sharing what we have for the betterment of personkind, bringing hope to the lost and love to the lonely.” ― Leo Buscaglia
“The purpose of life is to contribute in some way to making things better.” ― Robert F. Kennedy
“Never underestimate the difference YOU can make in the lives of others. Step forward, reach out and help. This week reach to someone that might need a lift” ― Pablo
“I cannot do all the good that the world needs. But the world needs all the good that I can do.”
― Jana Stanfield
“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” ― Nelson Mandela
“When YOU stop believing one person in the world cannot make a difference; differences in the world will be made.” ― Kellie Elmore
“To me, life is about helping people.” – Ernie Banks
So you can see the themes that run through these quotes by people from ancient history up to modern times – making a difference in the lives of others is our purpose AND even a single act, by a single person is important.
There is a compelling call to action by most of the people quoted not to sit on the sidelines and not to be intimidated by the size of the need that you can see all around you. Get up, get out, and get busy making a positive difference in someone’s life today. You will immediately feel better because now you will be living your life with a purpose and you can end each day with a sense of accomplishment from having helped someone else. That’s why we are born. That’s what we are to do. That’s our purpose.