Find Your Why: An Exact Summary of The Purpose Driven Life

The questions we most often ask ourselves are, “What am I doing here? What is my purpose in life?”

Do you too ask yourself that, and feel you haven’t yet found the meaning in your life?

Quick Summary: In “The Purpose Driven Life,” Rick Warren argues that everyone has a predefined, unique purpose in life, and living out this purpose is the key to true happiness and fulfillment. It is a 42-day guide for finding and living one’s purpose in life. Practicing a purposeful life can reduce stress, simplify decision-making, increase life satisfaction, and, prepare one for eternity.

Importance of Purpose In Life

In “The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?” pastor Rick Warren gives some compelling answers to these age-old questions:

  • Question of Existence: Why am I alive?
  • Question of Significance: Does my life matter?
  • Question of Purpose: What on earth am I here for?

The book has sold over 50 million copies in more than 85 languages by 2020. It is a very Christian work, and people from other faiths may not find the book worth their time.

Warren dives into the importance of purpose by suggesting that we all have a natural yearning to find out what our earthly experiences mean. And that a lack of purpose can lead one to emptiness, boredom, and despair.

To make sense of our human experiences, he says, we must start living a purpose-driven life in our daily lives. And one can do that by allowing God into their life.

Book Summary of The Purpose-Driven Life

Discovering Your Purpose In Life

In “The Purpose Driven Life,” Warren proposes that discovering one’s purpose is a divine journey that involves prayer, self-reflection, and studying the Bible.

He shares tools and drills to help one find their God-given gifts, talents, and interests, which he feels are signs of one’s God-given purpose.

He also says why living a purposeful life should not be a solo endeavor, but rather one that recruits the support and guidance of other believers.

1. “Finding Your Why”

Finding out one’s “why” in life is critical to a purpose-driven life. A person’s “why” drives them to do everything they accomplish.

A Christian may want to make a positive difference in the world or strive for personal success, both count.

When a person’s “why” becomes the central part of their existence, they have the right direction and motivation in life.

Warren argues that God defines our purpose in life, which we can uncover through prayer, self-reflection, and study of the Bible.

2. Living Your Values

A person’s values are like a GPS guiding them through life, helping them make the right choices and stay true to themselves.

These values represent their principles and beliefs, and they impact their daily decisions.

When a person’s life is in line with their values, they feel authentic and confident because they are living according to what truly matters to them.

If a person is not certain what their values are, they need to take some time to ask themselves what they believe in and what they stand for.

They could think about the principles that guide their decision-making and the qualities they admire in others.

With some candid introspection, they will be able to identify their core values and use them as a guide for a purposeful life.

3. Creating Your Vision

Once a person has a grasp of their “why,” it’s time to create a vision for their life.

They have to let their imagination work meticulously to draw out how they want their ideal life to be like.

Do they see themselves as traveling the world, making a difference in their community, or achieving financial independence?

It doesn’t have to be a detailed plan. But should be specific enough to give one a clear sense of direction and purpose.

A clarity of vision gives us a goal to strive for and a sense of purpose to move toward that goal even when things get tough.

So, one must take some time to create a vision that will inspire one to live a purpose-driven life.

4. Taking Action

Next is to implement one’s plans and start taking steps toward a purpose-driven life.

They may introduce some changes in their daily habits or their personal life.

They could discard their envious attitude, adopt an altruistic mindset, or build some good practices that benefit their Christian community.

The key is to take small steps in the right direction, even if they seem too small to have any big effect.

With daily little progress, one will soon gain momentum and start to see real changes in their life.

They do not need to wait for the perfect moment or the perfect plan. Instead, they must act today toward the purpose-driven life they chose and deserve.

Challenges of Living Your Purpose

Warren recognizes that a person may confront many obstacles and setbacks in their journey of living out their life’s purpose. These could be fear, self-doubt, or external resistance.

However, grit and resilience can help them conquer these hurdles while remaining true to their purpose.

Benefits of A Purpose-Driven Life

Living one’s purpose, as Warren says, can gift us many rewards, like increased joy, life satisfaction, and overall well-being.

He cites studies that suggest people who have a strong sense of purpose have superior physical and mental health. They also have better relationships and a greater sense of success and fulfillment.

Living out one’s purpose can also have a positive impact on the world as it allows us to make meaningful contributions to our communities.

Every chapter of The Purpose Driven Life provides a daily meditation and practical steps to help one uncover and live out their purpose. The book is designed to be read over the course of 42 days:

  • Day 1 to 7: What On Earth I Am Here For?
  • Day 8 to 14: Purpose #1: You Were Planned For God’s Pleasure (Worship)
  • Day 15 to 21: Purpose #2: You Were Formed For God’s Family (Fellowship)
  • Day 22 to 28: Purpose #3: You Were Created to Become Like Christ (Discipleship)
  • Day 28 to 35: Purpose #4: You Were Shaped For Serving God (Ministry)
  • Day 36 to 42: Purpose #5: You Were Made For A Mission (Mission/Evangelism)

What are the 5 purposes in life as per Rick Warren?

Rick Warren writes in “The Purpose-Driven Life” that there are five universal purposes every Christian should strive for: 1. To worship God (worship), 2. To love other believers (fellowship), 3. To become like Christ (discipleship), 4. To share one’s gifts and serve others (ministry), 5. To go on a mission to evangelize others (evangelism). These are essential for a satisfying and meaningful life. They are inter-connected and support each other. Warren advises incorporating these five purposes into daily life so that we can get more clarity and direction on each of them every day.

Focusing on ourselves will never reveal our life’s purpose. You were made by God and for God — and until you understand that, life will never make sense.

— Rick Warren
The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren | Animated Book Review

Final Words

Living a purpose-driven life isn’t always easy, but it’s worthwhile.

When you define your “why”, you will find a greater sense of meaning and fulfillment in your life. It will nudge you to live your values, create a social and personal vision, and leave an impact on this world.

One thing to remember is that your purpose is unique to you, so do not compare yourself to others.

Also, do not feel forced to conform to society’s expectations. Embrace your uniqueness and live your life with purpose.

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Author Bio: Written and reviewed by Sandip Roy — a medical doctor, psychology writer, and happiness researcher, who writes on mental well-being, happiness, positive psychology, and philosophy (especially Stoicism).

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