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The Financial Express

Finding the purpose in the present


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The word ‘purpose’ has a much deeper meaning than most people can ever fathom. The Arabic word ‘niyyah’ which stands for ‘intention’ or ‘purpose’ is a frequently used word among Muslims.

Terminologically, it is an Islamic term and defined as the intention in one’s heart to do any act with a good purpose. Niyyah is very much significant in Islam. Because, in Islamic philosophy, the reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended.

People often misapprehend the purpose with a concept that has to do something in the future. Being future-oriented has become synonymous with the idea of the purpose. But this isn’t the only way a person can feel purposeful. The purpose is camouflaged in the power of now.

Present-oriented purpose starts by recognising something you want. Only instead of choosing something in the future, you choose something in the present. It is a way of life that you enjoy now and that you’d like to experience more in your life- going for something that fuels your passion and doing something that ignites your soul.

Present-oriented purposes are the baby steps of unlocking the biggest purpose of your life that you embed in your past, present, and future.

Finding a purpose and working upon it is not an easy task at all. It takes one’s enormous willpower and consistency. Oftentimes, people may also feel that it is too late for them to find their true purpose. They believe they are too old or too established in their current life.

This, however, is rarely ever true. Finding a purpose is a never ending journey and all you have in your life is now.

Identifying, acknowledging, and honouring your true purpose in life is perhaps the most important action successful people take. They take the time to understand what they’re here to do, and then they pursue that with passion and enthusiasm.

The great Gautama Buddha has always put humongous focus on exploring the ulterior motive of life.  “Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it,” he said.

“Finding the purpose of life is a hard nut to crack. So I try to find purposes in the present seems to be easier to me. Briefly, I try to do the right thing in the present by taking the right decision, shares Nibedita Khanam Chowdhury, an employee of Brac Bangladesh and a social worker.

These things are not significant or big. They might be as simple as choosing books over procrastination or even accepting procrastination over forceful productivity on a bad day. The purpose, for Nibedita, is to make smart and healthy decisions.

Nibedita believes that to find the right purpose before any action, it’s important that people question themselves, agonise themselves. The missing answers are the key to obtaining a true purpose.

Human beings are basically a product of how they think and what they do after that. Hence German philosopher and poet Friedrich Nietzsche said, “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”

Kaniz Fatema is a fourth year student of geography & environment at the University of Dhaka

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