“The purpose of life is not happiness”

The poet Ralph Waldo Emerson said:

“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.”

And Darius Foroux writes about how this makes more sense than our more conventional pursuit for happiness in life. Our friends and family tell us “we want you to be happy”. But how can happiness be defined and measured? How can we find meaning for life and purpose through something so hard to quantify or measure as happiness?

Consider for a moment whether usefulness is the ultimate life goal. In being useful, we have purpose and can make a difference with our time, skills and experience. We can be useful to benefit other people around us, to contribute something to the environment or a specific industry, or to benefit future generations.

How can you be useful in your work and career?

Read Darius Foroux’s full article on this topic here.

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