Find Your Purpose & Live For Something Greater Than Yourself

Last Updated: 24 Jul 2019
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We all need a reason to get up every day–whether it be a pet, family, or work. But what do you do when you don’t have any of those things? The answer: find your purpose in helping others.

We all need a reason to get up every day.  For some people they may have a pet to take care of.  For many people that means showing up to work every day.  For others it is taking care of their small children.  But what do you do when you don’t have a pet, don’t have a job or don’t have small children?  Luckily for me I am able to work full time again but there were many times in my life when I couldn’t work at all.  It was really difficult for me to get up and start my day when there was no where I had to be, no one to look after.  And when I couldn’t even pay my bills every month there wasn’t much point in going any where because I didn’t have any money to spend. 

I would be restless at home.  I would pace around my apartment.  I wanted to do something but didn’t know what.  Every time I tried to work part time I would have to quit after a few months because I was either depressed or manic.  My psychiatrist, in his wisdom, told me to take more of an anti-anxiety medication to calm me down.  I knew this wasn’t the answer but was desperate.  I came home that day from his office and sent an E-Mail to a man that I have never met but he became a mentor of mine by E-Mail.  He owns a radio station, publishes magazines about radio and art and hosts art workshops all over the world.  I tell you this so that you know he is quite an accomplished person and always took time out of his busy life to answer my E-Mails sometimes on a daily basis.  On this particular day when I came home from my doctor’s office I sat down and sent him an E-Mail.  I told him I had 3 strikes against me:  I had no professional/work life, no boyfriend and money problems.  3 strikes were against me.  Even if I could solve one of these problems, I felt I could cope with life.  In the E-Mail he sent me back, he gave me the kick in the pants I needed.  In part, this is what he said, “Fake it till you make it.  Believe in your own success.  Get out there and do something, anything, every day…………Time on your hands is dangerous.  You need to stay busy.  The best way to stop feeling sorry for yourself is to volunteer to help others.  Go to something every day if you have time on your hands.  Help people.  Get involved with a shelter.  If you have no purpose, invest one.”  He also told me to pray for direction and to stop focusing on finding a good man. 

That very day I read his E-Mail I went to my local CMHA drop in center and started interacting with people there.  Within a month I was speaking there about my struggles with bipolar disorder and what I had done to assist in my recovery.  That started a 2-year stint in which I did over 100 talks and wrote 2 books.  I spoke at mental health centers, hospitals, libraries, colleges, universities, Rotary Clubs and other places.  I felt like I was really making a difference in the lives of others struggling with mental health issues. 

Fast forward 10 years.  Today I work full time as a Virtual Assistant and own a home.   Having a mortgage and not wanting to lose my home is great incentive to get up and work every day.  It is still a struggle and there are many days I can’t put in 7 hours but I persevere. 

And I do have one more thing to live for now.  I became a grandmother a year ago.  I want to see my grandson graduate high school, college, get married and have kids of his own.  If I accomplish this I will live until 90!

Now when I am having a bad day, I look at his picture and know with certainty I can cope with whatever the world throws my way. 

About the author
When Lynn Rae was 39 years old two psychiatrists told her that she would NEVER work full time again. She had accepted the diagnosis of bipolar disorder but would never accept the prognosis. After working part time at several different jobs between episodes of depression & mania Lynn was finally able to work full time and has been since 2009. She has now enjoyed over 10 years of good health. Lynn Rae can guide you in making those important decisions in your life surrounding Family, Friends, Fun, Fitness, Fulfillment, Finances & Faith through her Keynote “The Seven F’s to Your Fantastic Future.” She has written 3 books and self-published one of them which are available for sale on Amazon. Lynn received the Marilyn Nearing Award from York Support Services Network for the contribution she was making as a volunteer in the mental health field. Lynn Rae has her own business, GTA Office Services , in which administrative tasks are done virtually for her various clients. She makes her own home in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada.
1 Comment
  1. I do not have a purpose. I’m 41, left a man who payed for everything, I used to have a home and dogs that I adored. Now I’m with family. I haven’t worked in 8 years. I am BP II and I’ve just been through a suicidal depression that was induced by trying to add some medication to the meds I have already.

    I had to move provinces to the only place family could take me in. I have a mother who is bipolar and mainly stable on drugs and a father who has had his mental health struggles too. So they struggle enough and I can’t talk to them because I get very dark. So I have a counsellor and psychiatrist but that is my life. I rarely go out since the severe depression. I feel worthless and a burden and I’m a arts psych grad and read a lot about bipolar. But all I read is how hard life is and how it’s a constant battle. Maybe this is all I take in right now because I’m depressed but now that my life has changed so drastically and I always seem to need help, I just don’t know why I’m here. Why do I keep fighting? I have learned some DBT and try that but self care is hard for me because I feel like just a burden. I want to become independent but I’m just full of fear and I compare myself to all of my cousins, my younger sister. They all have families, careers, children, and they all work hard. They deserve these things. But me, I can barely be alone.

    Why keep fighting. People tell me to find a purpose. How do I do that when I’m so depressed?

    I come here always to read and to find hope because I feel none. I hang on. But I feel like I’ve messed up my life so much and ended up right back with needing my parents to help me.

    Is there hope?

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