I just decided to write this post because I really like this subject. It lights a spark in me... From my own perspective...
In life, we are essentially moving from point A to point B. Beginning to the End.
So, on that premise, life is a journey from A to B.
If that is so then we are moving through space. Or rather within it.
The journey is really a motion "Moving" through what we have termed life.
So, the question arises - Where do you want to go? But that question gets nulled all together and replaced by its successor... What do you want to be?
To stop you making that decision (here's my none religious opinion) and having the power yourself... government and god have declared that they have work for you to do, sorry... I mean "they have a purpose for you". That to me is not your purpose, it is "someone else’s purpose for you", along with going to school, finding a girl, getting married, buying the most expensive home you can afford and getting the best job you can find to keep you in the debt, I mean the lifestyle you aspire to.
We judge the level of success we achieve within that meter. Either you succeed within it or you're a failure within it.
So, you either comply with their wishes and what the externals have lined up for you or you don't.
I personally do not accept that someone else has a purpose for me because if I do then life has essentially been claimed by someone else, government, god and their minions and then has absolutely no meaning, so then people go on forums and ask, "what's the meaning of life"? Because they can't see meaning in the meaningless existence the externals have laid out for them.
I affirm to myself that they don't own life, they don't own the land (seems they actually do and I am powerless to say any difference because they have bigger guns than me - I have a pea-shooter), and they don't own me so from that standpoint I have to work for myself. I have to outsize myself until they send their shepherd to look for me and gather their flocks?
In order to succeed at that, I need to "Decide for Myself What My Purpose Is".
I am not religious as mentioned and so to me when someone says "I just follow what god says my purpose is". That's laziness resulting in obedience to me and I don't do it very well. I give myself the power to choose. I don't look outside myself for answers to questions such as "what is my purpose". I prefer the hard-nosed approach and to get my head down and do the work necessary for me to succeed in life. Through the purpose, I chose for myself.
Because I am doing that, I bypass the periodical boosts in happiness instant, gratification living style, and go straight to joy. I always feel good about myself and where I am going with the occasional reset. Because I am not being forced to act against my own will to do things, I find no joy in, things with no meaning.
So, I have rendered the morning affirmation they forced me to make as an impressionable infant... "Thy will not mine be done," impotent.
The irony is that for me to succeed in what I have chosen for myself (my purpose) and what you might call a selfish decision ends up helping others in life. Which is a question for another time? But my purpose is not to help others, it’s to help myself succeed in my purpose. (see The Fountainhead Speech - Ayn Rand)
So, selfishness isn't really selfishness. It leads to helping yourself and then helping others. Then back to yourself before the externals divide the atom of everything in life in order to conquer it.???
So, from my standpoint... Your Purpose is: To Choose A Purpose and to Succeed Within That. The meaning comes after and during the journey.
And accept the responsibility that your choice brings.