How to Stay Purposeful Every Day


“Life is never made unbearable by circumstances but only by lack of meaning and purpose.”
Viktor Frankl

In his book, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” Dr. Frankl describes his experience as a prisoner in some of Nazi Germany’s most notorious camps. This experience is nearly impossible for most of us to relate to. Yet the upshot of his experience- the importance of meaning and purpose in one’s life- is universal to all of us.

Have you ever asked the question, “Why am I here?” or “What’s my purpose?” You are certainly not alone. Through the millenia, spiritual seekers and philosophers have tried to answer these questions. Frankly, the answers can seem frustratingly elusive! What we do know is that feeling connected with something larger than you is an important quality of being resilient.

What I have found is that I can stay purposeful in my day-to-day life while I continue to explore purpose and meaning. Where to begin?

I am a huge fan of keeping it simple. So let’s start with a few simple things for you to consider.

  1. You already know what your purpose is. Whaaat? Yep. You have been doing it all your life. So take a look back and notice that THING that has been a constant for you. (Spoiler Alert: it isn’t something like painting or reading or gardening. It is more something like clearing a path for someone else’s achievements, making others feel better, or challenging business as usual). Talk to your family or closest friends. They may be able to help you here.
  2. What is important to you because it makes you feel good? Do you LOVE making people laugh? Creating beauty? Developing new ideas? Creating opportunity?
  3. What makes you forget about time? You know, when an hour feels like 5-minutes, not the other way around!

What if you spent the next week paying attention to these three things as you move through your day? Simply noticing when you feel good. Making sure you do something that is important to you each and every day. Staying open to an awareness (or two) you maybe weren’t expecting to have from a circumstance or person that might take you by surprise.

Living each day to the best of your ability is certainly its own best reward.


Join Kathy for her upcoming online course “Staying Purposeful.”

Kathy Mangan

Kathy Mangan, Landscape Architect

Founder of Laying Groundwork and the Learning Center at Red Willow in Missoula, Montana, Kathy has long been interested in health and well-being. She leans heavily on what she has learned from many years of gardening and being in nature. Since planting her first radish seeds at age 4, Kathy has experienced the natural order of things and learned valuable lessons about patience, control, and timing. She brings this timeless wisdom to her work.

As the Landscape Architect for Laying Groundwork, Kathy puts her relentless curiosity to work staying current on health and well-being research and helping to develop relevant curriculum in cooperation with experts in various allied health science fields. She is dedicated to making even the most complex content accessible to and practical for every audience.

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