Selected Quotes about Purpose

We are here on earth to do good for others. What the others are here for, I don't know. -- W. H. Auden

And thou wilt give thyself relief, if thou doest every act of thy life as if it were the last. -- Marcus Aurelius

The purpose of life is a life of purpose. -- Robert Byrne

Everything's got a moral, if only you can find it. -- Lewis Carroll

I have one life and one chance to make it count for something . . . I'm free to choose what that something is, and the something I've chosen is my faith. Now, my faith goes beyond theology and religion and requires considerable work and effort. My faith demands -- this is not optional -- my faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have to try to make a difference. -- Jimmy Carter

That is happiness; to be dissolved into something completely great. -- Willa Cather

But there is suffering in life, and there are defeats. No one can avoid them. But it's better to lose some of the battles in the struggles for your dreams than to be defeated without ever knowing what you're fighting for. -- Paulo Coelho

Whatever is at the center of our life will be the source of our security, guidance, wisdom, and power. -- Stephen Covey

I never see what has been done; I only see what remains to be done. -- Marie Curie

Solidarity is not a matter of sentiment but a fact, cold and impassive as the granite foundations of a skyscraper. If the basic elements, identity of interest, clarity of vision, honesty of intent, and oneness of purpose, or any of these is lacking, all sentimental pleas for solidarity, and all other efforts to achieve it will be barren of results. -- Eugene V. Debs

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

Never work just for money or for power. They won't save your soul or help you sleep at night. -- Marian Wright Edelman

Service is the rent we pay to be living. It is the very purpose of life and not something you do in your spare time. -- Marian Wright Edelman

We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee. -- Marian Wright Edelman

All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom. -- Albert Einstein

Don't waste life in doubts and fears; spend yourself on the work before you, well assured that the right performance of this hour's duties will be the best preparation for the hours and ages that will follow it. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do. -- Epictetus

Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon. -- Susan Ertz

A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the "why" for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any "how." -- Victor Frankl

What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost, but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him. -- Victor Frankl

Never forget that the purpose for which a man lives is the improvement of the man himself, so that he may go out of this world having, in his great sphere or his small one, done some little good for his fellow creatures and labored a little to diminish the sin and sorrow that are in the world. -- W. E. Gladstone

A useless life is an early death. -- Goethe

Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed. -- Vaclav Havel

The great end of life is not knowledge but action. -- Thomas H. Huxley

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

Where am I? Who am I? / How did I come to be here? / What is this thing called the world? / How did I come into the world? / Why was I not consulted? / And If I am compelled to take part in it, / Where is the director? / I want to see him. -- Soren Kierkegaard

It is not "history" which uses men as a means of achieving -- as if it were an individual person -- its own ends. History is nothing but the activity of men in pursuit of their ends. -- Karl Marx

The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death. -- Thomas Paine

My mother said to me, "If you become a soldier, you'll be a general; if you become a monk, you'll end up as the Pope." Instead, I became a painter and wound up as Picasso. -- Pablo Picasso

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

Some men see things as they are and say, "Why?" I dream of things that never were and say, "Why not?" -- George Bernard Shaw

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

Yes there is a meaning; at least for me, there is one thing that matters - to set a chime of words tinkling in the minds of a few fastidious people. -- Logan Pearsall Smith

I have learned, that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. -- Henry David Thoreau

All men should strive to learn before they die, what they are running from, and to, and why. -- James Thurber

Being religious means asking passionately the question of the meaning of our existence and being willing to receive answers, even if the answers hurt. -- Paul Tillich

Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life. -- Mark Twain

I don't know why we are here, but I'm pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves. -- Ludwig Wittgenstein

In the world to come, I shall not be asked, "Why were you not Moses?" I shall be asked, "Why were you not Zusya?" -- Rabbi Zusya

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