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Every action has a definite purpose. Riding in a taxi, for instance, even the quietest person speaks up without hesitation to tell the driver his destination. Otherwise, the driver would have no idea which way to go. Heading off in a direction chosen at random would be a waste of time and money. 

Ask someone why he is studying, and he is likely to mention a test the next day, or talk about getting his license. Ask someone where she is off to, and she may say she is going shopping, or out for a breath of fresh air. All our actions have a purpose. 

What if someone asked you the point of living? What would you answer? 

Certainly, life is far from easy. The modern workplace, for instance, brings its own difficulties and stresses. 

Why must we endure these hardships to go on living? Others may advise us to “hang in there,” “fight the good fight,” and “never say die,” but if they cannot offer us any clear and compelling reason to live, these words fall flat. However well-intentioned, such platitudes can feel like the crack of a whip as we run in endless circles.

Without lasting joy or fulfillment in living, the days merge into one indistinguishable blur of eating, sleeping, and getting up. Living such a life is like running a footrace with no goal: without the thrill of anticipation or the joy of crossing the finish line, why strain to keep up the pace? In life, too, only those with a clear sense of direction and purpose can stay the course with vigor. 

Knowing life’s purpose would invest everything one did with meaning. Whether reading a book, performing a task, or caring for one’s health, one would feel deep commitment and satisfaction. Even if one were suffering from a dreadful disease, enmeshed in a family quarrel, or stung by a humiliating defeat, the power to live—the determination to overcome any obstacle in order to fulfill life’s great purpose.

Read more about this topic in Kentetsu Takamori‘s book Why do we live?.

You can buy the book at the bookstores below:

Buddhist philosophy professor, author, content editor and president of ITIMAN. International director of Ichimannendo Publishing Co. Ltd. - Tokyo, Japan.

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