Quotes for
the Journey:


What humankind wants is
not talent; it is purpose.

Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton


One needs something to believe in, something for which one can have whole-hearted enthusiasm.  One needs to feel that one's life has meaning, that one is needed in this world.       -Hannah Senesh


The first principle of ethical power is purpose.  By purpose, I don't mean your objective or intention--something toward which you are always striving.  Purpose is something bigger.  It is the picture you have of yourself--the kind of person you want to be or the kind of life you want to lead.        -Ken Blanchard

The person without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder--waif, a nothing, a no body.  Have a purpose in life, and, having it, throw such strength of mind and muscle into your work as God has given you.       -Thomas Carlyle

Each of our acts makes a statement as to our purpose.      -Leo Buscaglia

There is no road to success but through a clear strong purpose.  Nothing can take its place.  A purpose underlies character, culture, position, attainment of every part.       -Thornton T. Munger
Never forget that the purpose for which a we live is the improvement of ourselves, so that we may go out of this world having, in our great sphere or our small one, done some little good for our fellow creatures and labored a little to diminish the sin and sorrow that are in the world.       -William E. Gladstone

This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.        -George Bernard Shaw
To have a purpose that is worthwhile, and that is steadily being accomplished, that is one of the secrets of life that is worth living.         -Herbert Casson
It is as if a king had sent you to a country to carry out one special, specific task.  You go to the country and you perform a hundred other tasks, but if you have not performed the task you were sent for, it is as if you have done nothing at all.  So people have come into the world for particular tasks, and that is our purpose.  If we don't perform it, we will have done nothing.        -Rumi
What allows us, as human beings, to psychologically survive life on earth, with all of its pain, drama, and challenges, is a sense of purpose and meaning.        -Barbara De Angelis
We are all designed for a specific purpose; we all have something for which each of us, and each of us alone, is responsible.       -Naomi Stephan
What people actually need is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of them. What they need is not the discharge of tension at any cost, but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by them.        -Victor Frankl
Above all be of single aim; have a legitimate and useful purpose, and devote yourself unreservedly to it.       -James Allen
The secret to success is constancy to purpose.        -Benjamin Disraeli

I'm doing what I think I was put on this earth to do.  And I'm really grateful to have something that I'm passionate about and that I think is profoundly important.       -Marian Wright Edelman
Great minds have purposes, little minds have wishes.       -Washington Irving
We are here on earth to do good for others.  What the others are here for, I don't know.       -W.H. Auden
Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.       -Susan Ertz
Purpose serves as a principle around which to organize our lives.       -unattributed


Many people have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness.  It is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.        -Helen Keller
The purpose of life is a life of purpose.       -Robert Byrne

Multitudes of people, drifting aimlessly to and fro without a set purpose, deny themselves such fulfillment of their capacities, and the satisfying happiness which attends it.  They are not wicked, they are only shallow.  They are not mean or vicious; they simply are empty -- shake them and they would rattle like gourds. They lack range, depth, and conviction.  Without purpose their lives ultimately wander into the morass of dissatisfaction.  As we harness our abilities to a steady purpose and undertake the long pull toward its accomplishment, rich compensations reward us. A sense of purpose simplifies life and therefore concentrates our abilities; and concentration adds power.
-Kenneth Hildebrand


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There is nothing that I so greatly admire as purposefulness.  I have an enormous respect for people who know exactly what they are doing and where they are going.  Such people are compact and integrated.  They have clear edges.  They give an impression of invulnerability and balance, and I wish I were one of them.     -Louise Dickinson Rich
To give life a meaning one must have a purpose larger than one's self.     -Will Durant
A productive purpose to which you give yourself fully and joyfully is one of the great adventures of life.  It is a uniquely human source of happiness.

Nathaniel Branden, Self-Esteem Every Day

Do not allow anyone to tell you for what purpose you should live.  To be happy and fulfilled, you do need a purpose, but let it rise out of who you are.
The true purpose is to see things as they are, to observe things as they are, and to let everything go as it goes.     -Shunryu Suzuki
Your mission in life is to have a "why" to live for, to use your best qualities in the service of the kind of world in which you would like to live.  That is your purpose.  This is what life expects of you.  And when you live according to your purpose, setting goals that support it, you may find the pieces of your life drawn together into a strong internal whole.  Then, no matter how difficult life's experiences may prove to be, you can be able to endure and even prevail.     -John Marks Templeton, Worldwide Laws of Life
Have a purpose in life, and having it, throw into your work such strength of mind and muscle as God has given you.     -Thomas Carlyle
Find a purpose in life so big it will challenge every capacity to be at your best.     -David O. McKay
There are two great days in a person's life--the day we are born and the day we discover why.     -William Barclay

The research on happiness clearly shows that people who are deeply committed to whatever gives their life meaning are much happier than those who don't have this greater sense of purpose.  According to the psychologist Edward Diener, who researches subjective well-being in the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, one of the vital ingredients for happiness is "having a meaning in life. . . . and having goals embedded in your long-term values that you're working for, but also that you find enjoyable."  Health and longevity studies show that when people live with a sense of purpose, no matter how big or small, they live longer and healthier lives.
-Marci Shimoff, Happy for No Reason
I believe that nothing that happens to me is meaningless, and that it is good for us all that it should be so, even if it runs counter to our own wishes.  As I see it, I'm here for some purpose, and I only hope I may fulfill it.  In the light of the great purpose all our privations and disappointments are trivial.     -Dietrich Bonhoeffer
What our deepest self craves is not mere enjoyment, but some supreme purpose that will enlist all our powers and will give unity and direction to our life.  We can never know the profoundest joy without conviction that our life is significant--not a meaningless episode.  The loftiest aim of human life is the ethical perfecting of humankind--the transfiguration of humanity.     -Henry J. Golding
To exist without purpose is to be at the mercy of the chance encounter, the chance invitation, the chance phone call, the chance event--always being controlled by forces external to oneself.

Nathaniel Branden
Self-Esteem Every Day

Not all purposes are equal.  The key questions about any purpose are these:  Does this serve your life and well-being?  Is this a purpose you can be proud of?

No one can tell you how to find your purpose.  It can only be found, slowly, in your own dark sky, in whatever is sacred to you, be that church or woods.  It can't be found by searching around for a role model or learning how cultural heroes handled their difficulties.  It is seldom found by following anyone else's rules.  It lives in the rest in the place where music is born, the fertile void, the silence between notes.  It is simple and basic.  It emerges slowly as a sunrise, as we search through our gifts, our darkness, our losses and loves.  Your job and mine is to be quiet and alone from time to time.  To be present to ourselves and the natural world, and to be in conversation with what is hidden in us in such a way that we can explore what brings us more alive.     -Dawna Markova
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.     -Ralph Waldo Emerson
A purpose statement is a simple, private statement that guides your daily actions.  For example, you might write, "I help others to live happy and healthy lives" or "I create art that brings spiritual awareness."  Do not confuse a purpose statement with a mission statement, which is a more specific way you might fulfill your purpose.     -Steve Brunkhorst

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