Some claim a purpose in life is essential. I disagree. It is fine to have goals. But a purpose is blinding, obsessive, limiting, and often destructive. It is easy to change goals, very difficult and shattering to change purpose.
My candidate for a valid purpose in life is simply to remain enchanted with existence. To be as happy as possible, I suppose, but much more than pure hedonism. Not always possible, but a worthy thing for which to strive, in all levels of engagement and at all times.
Money, fame, power (the grand tautology) are adequate goals for a few. Being or, better, doing good serves all of us well. Family, society, history – we all slip in and out of how we evaluate our lives. All of these are slippery and transient, easily corrupted, often malignant to others.
Enchantment on the other hand, is a state of mind which will always bring happiness and harms no one. It is life as a child encounters it, full of possibility, mystery, and wonder. There is never enough time to fully appreciate the miracle of being.
So when I am told I must have a purpose in life, I rarely argue but secretly smile. Perhaps I can never change anyone’s mind, it is their loss that they so belittle their possibilities.