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Find Yourself, Discover Your Purpose

The “Why” of our selves is every bit as important as the “Who”.

David Amerland
Nov 28, 2017 · 4 min read

“When it comes to reaching our goals it’s Passion that drives us, Purpose that sustains us and Persistence that gets us there.”

The Romans called this sense of self and awareness “gravitas” and prized it in their leaders. They felt that it gave a person a sense of rock-solid foundation in who he or she was and they could therefore be relied upon to make better decisions because they were unlikely to be rattled by outside events. This is the reason why they considered it to be one of the four virtues alongside piety, dignity and courage.

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It’s Passion that drives us, Purpose that sustains us and Persistence that gets us there.

Constructing the Self

So, what are we really? No one is born with a mission in life and no one has some kind of hardwired programming that drives them. This then suggests that the “why” of us is contextual. It is born out of experiences and knowledge, memory and comprehension. Neuroscientific studies using patients who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease suggest that self-knowledge is the product of multiple, interacting systems involving both general and self-specific memory as well as different systems of memory for one’s past history of specific events (episodic memory) and for summary information not tethered to particular episodes from one’s life (semantic memory).

“An identity is very much a tool for connecting with other people.”

This is a central tenet of the Existential-Humanistic perspective that places the individual’s journey to self-discovery at the very heart of the discovery of purpose and meaning which then affect elements such as self-regard, mental resilience and the ability to not be cowered by even the most insurmountable odds.


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