Dear Therapist: I don't know what my life purpose is

Dubai - Dear Therapist is a weekly column responding to our readers' mental health concerns

By Prateeksha Shetty

Published: Wed 18 Aug 2021, 8:55 PM

I am unable to decide what I want to do in life. I keep getting distracted and keep finding new things/interests to pursue, without knowing what exactly is my calling. Is it true that we all have a purpose in life? If so, how do we find what it is? Is there a manual for finding out such things? — Rama S.

Dear Rama, life indeed would be so much easier if such a manual existed! What one considers meaningful and purposeful in life differs from person to person. It need not necessarily be a vocational or academic pursuit and can be discovered in roles that we play in life. I sense that you have varied interests but you might be trying to restrict yourself based on others’ definition of what a ‘calling’ looks like. Have a look at all activities or subjects of interest to you; finding a common trait, value or pattern among them can help you understand what is appealing to you as a person. It could be creativity, a cause that you are passionate about or something that you believe you can leave your mark on. What you may find difficulty with is staying on-course and not being distracted by equally appealing interests. Assuming that you are implying confusion over choice of profession, you can benefit from seeing a career guidance counsellor. However, if you are referring to bigger existential questions, a mental health counsellor would be recommended.

(Got a query about mental health? Email us on

More news from Ask The Therapist