The most important thing each one of us should be doing now is figuring out our purpose in life. Some of us have already done it; I envy you. It's difficult and time-consuming, but not as difficult and time-consuming as one may think, which is what I realized a couple of weeks ago.
Why is it so important to know your purpose? Because purpose allows you to define your values, which allows you to define your goals in life, both the distant, momentous ones, and the small, short-term ones. Once you know your goals you can come up with a plan for what to do, and finally do it. So purpose, in my view, flows all the way down to everything we do. If you ever tried to assess your actions, wondered what the right thing to do is, hesitated before making a decision, you have indirectly tried to figure out your purpose (only at a much lower level).
At first finding purpose seems like a daunting task because it forces us to introspect, to think carefully about our wants, to define our philosophy, to face our fears. It seems so removed from our daily life that we underestimate its importance and choose not to be bothered with such abstract ideas as a purpose. Most of us have probably never asked ourselves this question.
While there's no right or wrong answer, I believe each one of us can find <em>an</em> answer that will be consistent with our intuition and deeply satisfying. I haven't found my purpose yet but I imagine that I'll be much happier once I do; I'll be able to motivate myself more easily, be more confident, and feel a sense of pride. Most importantly, that annoying little voice in my head that keeps asking "Are you sure you're doing the right thing? Are you sure you're not wasting your life away?" will go away.
There is no right or wrong answer but there is a right and a wrong approach to finding it. You can't do it arbitrarily, by guessing or reading it in some book. You can't ask your parents, your spouse, or your peers. The answer has to come from you alone.
I'll be harping on about this more in the future because I think it's unbelievably important. For now, I'll say that I started thinking about my purpose, and I believe that I will figure it out.