Dear Stranger, You have been battling with yourself lately, not knowing what your purpose in life is. You feel as if you have been set adrift, floating at sea, waiting for the tides to take you along an invisible current that will wash you ashore. To a place you don’t know, and don’t fit into. You have contemplated the purpose of every other creature on the planet. Why it was designed in a particular way and how its purpose fills it with ease. How it never questions the conditions of its existence or asks what its purpose in life is. For instance, you see that a shark is created to keep the population of other predatory species down. Its job is to feed on other predators and to procreate. That is the sole purpose of its design, and it fulfils it effortlessly, without question. I know that you think I am ridiculous for comparing you, a human being, to an animal, especially an animal that seems so basic and simple in its design. But think about this: what would happen if you removed its purpose? What if you caught the shark and put it in a tank, feeding it regularly so it wouldn’t need to hunt? What would happen if you put it in an environment where it never has to use its instincts? I know that it is an animal, but what would its purpose in life be? Imagine that it never has to hunt, never has to breed or fight for its survival. At first, like you, the shark wouldn’t care.

Weeks would go by, with the shark quite content to be fed lifeless prey and not having to expend any energy in order to eat. But at some point, it would begin to show signs of anxiety and stress. It would swim around in circles, instinctively knowing that it was meant to be doing something but not knowing what. The need that it yearns to satiate is not hunger, you see; it is the hunt, the animal’s driving purpose. And without this purpose, it will become depressed and eventually perish. The shark in this metaphor is you, dear stranger. Your anxiousness and feeling of being lost come from your sense of purpose which is clawing its way out from deep inside you. The answer to your question about the purpose of your life is not an easy one, because there is no definitive answer. You see, like you, I questioned life. I questioned myself, and the meaning of this humdrum world we live in. Instead of answers, I found frustration. I tormented myself, berating my stupidity for not paying more attention during philosophy class, for the lessons I had missed or was too preoccupied to care about. I researched and read. I sought counsel from men and women who were meant to be in the know. None of it satiated my hunger for the answers. I became self-destructive, depression crept in, and frustration gave way to a deep sense of loss. I mourned who I was supposed to be, even though I did not know who that was yet. Until, one day, I reached out to a friend.

I expressed my sadness and frustration. My friend told me exactly what I am going to tell you. There is no one answer to the purpose of life. There are many answers. And you will have to find the one that resonates most strongly with you, because that is the purpose of your life. Happiness, ever elusive in this day and age, could be your purpose in life. Search hard to find what makes you happy and pursue it. Once the source of your happiness is crystal-clear to you, you will find a sense of purpose in life. Remember that what makes you happy does not necessarily make me happy. Know also that others can be a huge part of your purpose. I discovered that helping others, even from a distance, fulfilled me. It closed a hole in my heart that I thought could never be healed. Leaving behind a legacy of happiness and positivity— and I am not only talking about death, but even behind you in a day —will affirm that you have begun to know what your life’s purpose is. This was particularly hard for me to realise, and I understand that it may be hard for you too. There is but one solution—love. Love yourself fiercely, and love others in the same way. Acknowledge that you deserve to be loved. Love is a safety net; it is a soft place to fall when we are hurt or tired. Allowing yourself to be loved gives you refuge from life’s storms; it is a means of being safe, away from judgement. When your emotional environment is safe, you have the space to explore your purpose.

Many have told you, and I will tell you as well, that the purpose of life is to create. Not just procreation, but physical expressions and manifestations of how you feel. Art, music, dance, food: these are all creative forms that you use to show how you feel. Whether those feelings are positive or not, the purpose of creative expression is life’s purpose—to heal suffering and release negativity. I want you to know that the purpose of life is positivity. To spread it, to speak it to others and yourself, to live it every day. It may seem underwhelming and barely worth the mention, but positivity is powerful. Positive thoughts, positive behaviour and positive actions lead to dramatic positive change. The purpose of life, dear stranger, is to create the meaning of your own life and then bring it to beautiful fruition. All I ask of you, moving forward, is that you begin living life each day with the intention to find and create meaning, rather than existing through habit alone. By doing so, you will find your own meaning and create your own purpose for existence. And while you remain committed to this goal, you will never be alone. ( ASISH BAGRECHA, 2019)

Sending you wisdom and patience.