Why Study This Mantra...

You will learn how to apply everything you've learned and all the skills and motivations you have toward a problem that's bigger than yourself. This will set you up for your spiritual awakening!

"He who has a why can bear any how."

– Viktor Frankl


Now that you know who you are and what you want, and you've established a connection and compassion for the world, you're ready for your most important step – the step into something larger than yourself.

This month, you will find your purpose. You will learn to spend the rest of your life dancing with it. This month, you will go forth on your most glorious journey!

Before you begin...

Before you start these practices and challenges, take a moment to rate yourself on this mantra. Give yourself a score from 1-10 (10 being the highest). 

Do this again at the end of a month of practices and challenges. How much have you grown?

The Practices

Daily Practice

Live My Purpose

Today's affirmation: "How could I possibly do anything other than fully dedicate myself to my purpose?"

Today I will focus on living my life's calling. I will live larger than me. I will humbly offer my genius to the world. I will apply it to something big and important... Bigger and more important than me! I will remind myself, this is the work that I must do.

Monthly Challenge

Find & Live Your Purpose

If you already know what that thing is – that big problem – that thing that you want to spend your life on – that thing you want to dedicate yourself to, then we hope by now, you're already working on it. If you're not, now's the time. Plot your course toward your north star. This month is your month. Seize the day.

If you don't know what that is, this is your month to figure it out. Use the prompts in your journal to guide you through this.

Once you've gone through the exercise and you've determined your purpose, reconcile that back to your work and how you spend your time. How far off are you? Why have you made the choices you've made? Does this make you want to change your answer? Rinse and repeat. If you're not sure, sit with this for a while. This is an important one. Try it on in different contexts. Beat it up. This will be the drumbeat you march to for the rest of your life.

You likely won't have to make major changes to your life. You're likely there already... or close... to a life that lets you live this purpose. All you have to do is start living life through your purpose's lens.

Are you worried about the problem being too big for you to make a meaningful difference? What if, for example, you wished to save humanity from a deadly disease? If you save just one life, is it worth it? Of course. Think about what the consequences would be if you do nothing, or if you fail. Then be stubbornly optimistic. Give your meaning life. Take action infused with meaning. Stay laser focused. Approach the problem with love.

You can do this.

Journaling Practice

Find My Purpose

Your goal is to identify what gives your life purpose, what makes your life feel like it makes sense, what makes you feel like your life matters and you are worthwhile. There is tremendous value in this.

The trick is knowing what truly motivates you. It can't simply be personal achievement, nor your family, nor your community. It must resonate with your values. Your soul.

You don't have to be religious to get this one right. If you completed Richard Nelson Bolles's What Color Is Your Parachute, then you've already filled in this sentence: "I want there to be more ___________ in the world because I was here."

What goes there for you? Don't think about it. Instead, feel it. Is it something for the senses, like beauty or music? Something for the body, like fitness or caring for the weak? Possessions, like inventions or gifts? Justice or morality? Love or compassion? Entertainment? Helping protect the Earth? Faith? Truth or knowledge? Is it a particular relationship? Pick one. Think about why that's your answer. Write a short paragraph about it.

If you're still looking for more, reflect on what you already do – what you gravitate to – for guidance. Why do you do those things? What is it about it at the deepest level? There is likely good reason for your behavior. 

To quote Viktor Frankl, "Meaning doesn't just get gifted to you. You must find it. You don't do this by sitting and doing nothing. You do it by doing. By living your life, and moving toward the activities that call to you. Then, reflect back on those activities and ask yourself, 'What is it about them that draws me in?'"

You need to find your proximate cause. Break down what you think you want into the smallest, most abstract bits. You don’t want to be a doctor, you want to give people hope when hope is lost.

Finally, revisit your views and strengths from Compass, your values from Real, your declaration from Pledge, and your story from Write Your Own Story. What's the theme?


The Reasoning

How Should We Define Purpose?

In a research paper titled “The Multifaceted Benefits of Purpose in Life”, Gabrielle N. Pfund and Patrick L. Hill dig deeper into this subject. They clarify its definition as “a commitment to a  clear set of aims or causes that direct actions while also leading to the sense that life is meaningful.”1,2,3  They outline three key elements of Purpose “a)  its scope, or the reach a purpose has throughout all aspects of life, b) strength, or the power with which purpose influences those aforementioned life  aspects, and c) awareness, or a person’s ability to explain their purpose”2

Throughout the course of your Bodhi journey, you may not realize it, but you’ve been working toward each of these elements. Through your journaling, you’re digging deeper into how your values not only affect you, but also help define your impact on those around you. During your experience with “Compass,” you spent time each day reflecting on yourself, what guides you, and how to put those feelings into action. By “Writing Your Own Story” you exhibited awareness by putting pen to paper and outlining a path for yourself. It’s all starting to come together now!


The Health Benefits of a Purpose in Life

Establishing your purpose and living by it has been shown to result in more positive health & happiness outcomes over time.4 In a series of studies, cognitive decline was reduced, the volume of brain matter in certain cases increased, reduced likelihood of stroke, improved sleep, and a lower likelihood to develop frailty. These factors were identified after mitigating for many of the common factors leading to both positive and negative health outcomes.

There was an additional study conducted the relationship between life purpose and mortality, with the results showing decreases in all-cause & certain cause-specific mortality.5 The results controlled for a number of other factors such as age, health, and lifestyle attributes.


Other Benefits of Finding Your Purpose: Resilience

A 2013 study identified a link between recovery after being exposed to a negative stimuli and the participant’s sense of purpose in life.6 This ability to recover is also similar to the findings that grit tend to be related to having a sense of purpose.1 The ability to push through challenges while recognizing there will be small obstacles along the way toward achieving your ultimate vision is what we’re ultimately trying to help you achieve in studying these mantras. Consistency is crucial, so keep up the good work on your journey!


Further Reading

Life can feel directionless at times. Two big thinkers have wrestled with life's "absurdness" and have answers. Here's Søren Kierkegaard and Albert Camus on why we should accept the absurdity of life.




  1. Pfund, Gabrielle & Hill, P.. The Multifaceted Benefits of Purpose in Life. 41. 27-37. 2018 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/330565076_The_Multifaceted_Benefits_of_Purpose_in_Life
  2. McKnight, P. E., & Kashdan, T. B. (2009). Purpose in Life as a System that Creates and Sustains Health and Well-Being: An Integrative, Testable Theory. Review of General Psychology, 13(3), 242–251. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0017152
  3. Ryff, C. D. (1989). Happiness is everything, or is it? Explorations on the meaning  of  psychological  well-being.  Journal  of  Personality  and  Social Psychology, 57, 1069-1081. https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2F0022-3514.57.6.1069
  4. Fotuhi, M. “The Science Behind the Powerful Benefits of Having a Purpose.” Practical Neurology, Sep. 2015. https://practicalneurology.com/articles/2015-sept/the-science-behind-the-powerful-benefits-of-having-a-purpose
  5. Alimujiang A, Wiensch A, Boss J, et al. Association Between Life Purpose and Mortality Among US Adults Older Than 50 Years. JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2(5):e194270. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.4270
  6. Schaefer SM, Morozink Boylan J, van Reekum CM, Lapate RC, Norris CJ, Ryff CD, et al. (2013) Purpose in Life Predicts Better Emotional Recovery from Negative Stimuli. PLoS ONE 8(11): e80329. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0080329