Hardwired for a Higher Purpose: Yes, You

You are on a quest. As am I. It’s great that our paths have crossed at this time in our respective journeys.

All of humanity is invited to join this quest.  Viktor Frankl called it the search for meaning. Yes, deep inside, we want to believe life has meaning and purpose. That it’s no accident that we’re here and that there’s more to life than bumbling and stumbling through it.

It’s not enough to believe there is meaning and purpose to life in some broad,  generic sense. Each of us wants to believe there is meaning and purpose to our life. You want to believe it’s true for you, just as much as I do for me. And you want to discover, embrace, and fulfill your life’s purpose.

We don’t want to be spectators, simply sitting on the sidelines or in the stands watching others as they live magnanimous lives of adventure and purpose while we muddle through the monotony and mediocrity of a mundane existence.

Frankl had a label for that too. He called it the existential vacuum. The zombie-like state of bouncing from one activity to the next in hopes of drowning out the longings and emptiness we might otherwise have to acknowledge.

And Frankl observed this boredom at a time when most televisions had only three channels. Of black and white pictures at that. News? It was delivered twice a day rather than every minute of every day.

But that’s not the kind of person you are.

You are one who has been awakened or aroused out of this existential vacuum and you are searching for answers or, at least, clues to the specific meaning of your life. And once you discover that meaning, you won’t be content until you find ways to live it out.

The Second Most Important Day of Your LIFE

There’s a great line attributed to Mark Twain,

The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.

Day one? Check! Yes, you are alive. Day Two? Hold that thought for a moment, please.

Solomon, highly regarded by many for his great wisdom, declared that God set eternity in the hearts of men and women. C.S. Lewis expounded on that a bit by saying, “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”

Eternity in our hearts? Really? What does that mean? How can it fit?

It means we have desires that aren’t satisfied simply by doing more, having more, or achieving more. These desires require us to become more. I see this as part and parcel of our search for meaning. It’s discovering the design and the designer of life. I call it higher purpose. We are all invited to higher purpose living. Living for something more and something beyond me, myself, and I.

You are meant for more, but what more were you meant for?

So what about your second most important day that Twain mentioned?

Discovering the why of your life. How do you do that?

That’s the quest. It’s what I call the Higher Purpose Pathway. And if you’re still reading, I’ve got great news for you. You’ve already begun the journey!

Asking questions, coupled with a willingness to wrestle with your answers to those questions (and then acting on what you find) are essential elements. These help you unlock the doors and facilitate the discovery of who you are, why you are here, what your unique contribution to the world is, and the people or people groups you want to serve.

The clues are abundant. As a matter of fact, they are all around and in you. You are uniquely made. There is no one else exactly like you. Even if you’re an identical twin.

You are endowed with gifts talents, and abilities — strengths and skills. Your passions and perspectives are uniquely yours. What gives you great joy, what riles you up and gets your juices flowing — it’s all unique to you and revealing about you.

Your specific journey, perspective, and life experiences make you one-of-a-kind.

Besides that, there are some people (or people groups) for whom you have a soft spot in your heart. They are your others. The people for whom you want to make the world, or their world, a better place.

Higher purpose always includes someone else.

Jackie Robinson put it like this, “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”

You are not the center of the universe. Who is your other? Whose world do you long to impact?


Kevin Monroe
Kevin Monroe
Kevin Monroe helps people flourish on the road less traveled in business, leadership, and life so they make their dent in the universe. Since he was a teenager, he has usually chosen roads less traveled which usually involve going against the grain and seeking to go with the flow. All in hopes of making the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. His unique contribution to the world is creating environments, hosting encounters, and crafting experiences where people are inspired, equipped, and encouraged to live, love, and lead in extraordinary ways. He hosts a variety of events and experiences designed to do just that including; the Higher Purpose Podcast, The Gratitude Challenge, This ExtraOrdinary Life, and most recently, The League of Extraordinary Difference Makers. Kevin holds a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University and an undergraduate degree in theology from Mercer University. He lives in Woodstock, GA with his lovely wife, Gwen. They are the parents of two adult children and one precocious granddaughter, Emma.

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  1. Kevin, this is a wonderful story with much to think about. I’ll be pondering your question all day. Some days, I think I have a firm grasp on what my purpose is, and others…not so much. Naturally, I hope that I have a positive impact on my immediate family, but, as a writer, I long to go beyond that. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Kevin, what a delightful article as you speak my language. I love the positive themes which are entwined in all of my speeches and writings (I especially emphasize Uniqueness). I cannot imagine making this journey in any other way. I forgot about Twain’s profound but straightforward quote. For anyone who reads this article negative thoughts before will be extinguished.💖

  3. Kevin I am so sorry! I spent 30 min yesterday writing a comment since every single word of your article resonated so much and made me moved to my core! It made me remember how it all started and I shared a part of my heart…

    I will never be able to write it again unfortunately! I just want you to know this article is a gem, and will only add one of my quotes — the closest to my heart actually :):

    “Your center is the foundation of your love manifestation. If your center is your children, the love that manifests from that will exclusively benefit your children. If your center is the ‘Principles’, the manifestation of your love will benefit the humanity.”

  4. Thank you so much, Kevin, for this reminder that each of us is here for a purpose, to find meaning in sometimes really difficult life experiences, and to contribute our gifts to those who could benefit.

    I have reflected on these questions over the years. At one juncture I thought I could make a positive difference for college students. (and I did for some of them). I shifted my focus to my two children, family, and friends when I became a full time parent. Another shift happened to focus on clients when I founded Cherish Your World.

    Over time I had a bit of an epiphany when I realized that with every person I encountered there existed this opportunity to extend kindness, presence, compassion-so at that awakened moment-I realized I could expand my lens to include the person in the grocery store line, the clerk, the health care providers I interacted with for the care of my teeth, eyes, and body and so on. When we pay attention to the world of people and places where we encounter them, we see many rich opportunities to make a positive difference. All the small kind and compassionate interactions with sometimes complete strangers matter. This will unlikely get your photo on the cover of some magazine, but you might just live a very fulfilled life from the inside out.

    “When it’s over, I want to say all my life I was a bride married to amazement.” ― Mary Oliver . Mary Oliver also said, “Pay attention. Be astonished. Share with others.”

    Sometimes we complicate life or believe that our lives have to be more than the nuanced, gentle ripple effect that loving energy has on every life this energy touches.

    Become a loving, forgiving, compassionate and courageous human being and love will easily show you the what and the who, the where, and the when. You will have answered the why.

  5. No words would be able to describe the impact of your words dear Kevin! Every single one of them resonates and moves me to my core… I had a journey… The old perfectionist me spent so many years struggling with a syndrome draining her every single day and leading to an existential crisis.

    I can’t forget that moment which occured during my first healing process (yes because I had 2, but this is a story for another time :)). I was sitting outside under the stars. I was observing the sky and had a reflection out of a sudden:

    “How much this cosmos was huge; how much microscopic planet earth was in it — needless to talk about myself — and how nonsense and ridicuous it was to think I could be the center of this world!”

    That refelction humbled me so much and filled my whole being with a limitless gratitude! I put my hand on my heart and said “thank you!”, and it all started from there! The process of moving back to our original “Center” granted to all of us at conception — the Universal Correct Principles, of progressively owning the spirit through re-writing the program, and of unleashing huge amounts of love first for ourselves and second for others and the universe, as well as the potential which would serve the mission!

    One of my closest quotes to my heart is saying:

    “Your center is the foundation of your love manifestation. If your center is your children, the love that manifests from that will exclusively benefit your children. If your center is the ‘Principles’, the manifestation of your love will benefit the humanity.”

    Thanks again for this gift!