Riley’s Rainforest: Finding Your Purpose

Have you ever noticed that learning is more fun when it means something to you? Maybe you love your creative writing class because you want to have a career as an author. Perhaps your water filter science project was inspired by your goal to provide clean water to everyone. When you have a sense of purpose, you’re inspired to use your talents and interests to help the world.

A purposeful mindset can help you persevere through tough challenges. One researcher says students with goals to help humanity tend to rate their schoolwork as more meaningful—maybe because they know why they’re doing it.

Knowing your purpose can also make you happier. In one study of 1,200 youth, those with a clear sense of purpose had higher levels of gratitude, self-confidence, and optimism. Scientists say that those positive qualities can help prevent depression and anxiety.

Purpose may even add years to your life! Studies show that adults who have focused and meaningful goals can live longer and healthier lives.

So how can you develop a sense of purpose? Pray and ask questions. What kind of a person do you want to be? How can you serve others? Where do you want your education take you? Your purpose may change over time, as you find new passions and goals. Keep exploring ways to improve your skills and help our human family. You’ll discover your purpose—and you and the world will be better for it.


Explore & Soar: Searching For Meaning

What if you’re struggling to find a sense of purpose? Figuring out what is meaningful to you can be like a treasure hunt. Here are some places to look for clues:

  • Delve into the arts. Do you want to inspire people with music, painting, drama, or sculpture?
  • Volunteer in your community. Maybe helping local people in need is your passion.
  • Get out in nature. Our Earth could use some care. Is tending to the environment or its creatures your calling?
  • Explore possible careers. Your interests might lead you to a fun and fulfilling job.
  • Serve your faith. Worship, learning about God, and practicing His teachings are great ways to get clearer about your purpose.


Curiosity Canopy

True or False?
Youth in the U.S. think enjoying your work is more important than making a lot of money.

True. In one study, 75% of U.S. youth ages 16-25 said if you don’t enjoy your work, you should change your job. Only 39% said the most important thing is to make as much money as possible. 

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