As millennials, there’s so many influences around us. We’re in this unique spot in human history where information has never been transmitted so fast. With the snap of the fingers, we can hop on social media and have access to quite frankly, things that we shouldn’t. Underneath it all, it leaves you on a journey to finding your purpose in life. 

The messages from our culture are strong. Far often than not, it’s all about your purpose in life being fulfilled by getting yours. Through advertising, film and music, we’re programmed to look towards shallow relationships, sex, career status and money as figments of success.

As a man, I look around and am disheartened by the state of our gender. It feels too often that I meet dudes my age that are more consumed by sex and power rather than faith, family and community.

But there’s a fatal flaw in the so-called treasures that the world promotes. They are fleeting, they quench your thirst for just a second, then leave you feeling empty at the end of the day.

So how can we find our true purpose in life? Here are five ways to get there:

1. Consider serving others above yourself

This might seem obvious and something people always have on their list, but never quite get to.

Service shouldn’t come as a have-to, but a want-to. I was once in a place where it felt like a struggle to volunteer for anything. Just to spend a couple hours with an underprivileged community because it seemed like a chore.

But when you stop living for yourself, service brings such fulfillment.

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:13-14)

We’ve been given free will and our first instinct is to use it to fulfill our selfish desires. Seriously, how often when we wake up in the morning and our first thought is about ourselves? I know I’m as guilty as anyone of this.

That’s why we need a helper, a savior, that can help us look past ourselves and into the needs of others. We pray for considerate hearts with unconditional love and the Holy Spirit fills us.

Sometimes, loving others isn’t just about the less fortunate communities. My best moments come from serving my fiancee. Showering her with love, complements and affection, building her up as much as possible. That’s part of my purpose in life.

When you get in a place spiritually to be able to serve others, you’ll find the pure joy that comes from it to be indescribable. It’s a far deeper and more spiritual feeling than anything that could come from personal success.

Who can you touch in your life? A great way to get involved would be to join a project near you, visit our volunteering section for more information.

2. Make your job a part of the equation, not your life

I’ve heard millennials be classified in two ways – lazy or overworked. I don’t quite see the case for the first, because I’ve seen far too often for the latter to be the case.

I watch the people around me and the 9-5 has turned into an 8-9 and there’s not much time left to do anything else.

The concerning part is this has become the norm. Companies encourage it. At 25, I helped launch a startup. So many hours were put into that.

And when I look back, even if I didn’t want to admit it at the time, my main driving factor was money and status. I wanted to be looked at as successful and important.

I constantly compared myself to others to see what they were doing. And I lived for the future, daydreaming about what it would look like one day when I got there.

When we live for these things, it will never be enough. They’re fruitless. We’re never satisfied. It’s never enough.

Keep from wanting all kinds of things you should not have. A man’s life is not made up of things, even if he has many riches.” (Luke 12:14-15)

These words are from Jesus himself. It perfectly sums up something that’s a hard truth. Even if you become rich and successful, your happiness will still hinge upon the things you could’ve had anyway when you weren’t.

There is an obvious collateral when you overwork yourself. It usually comes in the form of everything else in this post – relationships, family, your spouse, community and personal growth. God himself is left out of the equation. We forget to pray, read the Bible, invest in our faith.

All our mental energy is put on one thing when we live to work and we lose sight of everything else.

It’s okay to work hard and have ambition. But always check yourself. Are you serving personal success or money? Or using your gifts and skills to advance the Gospel in some way?

Find something you love. Pray about it. Get somewhere you can make a difference. And be a blessing to the world.

3. Strive to always grow in wisdom

I watched a sermon recently from Carl Lentz, senior pastor at Hillsong in New York City and he begged the question, “Do you still want to be dealing with the same stuff a year from now as you are now?”

Sometimes we lack fulfillment, because we’re stuck. We’ve been in the same place mentally for a long time.

We lack self-awareness. We’re not growing spiritually. The same problems we had three years ago are still bogging us down. This was my story for far too long.

I was stuck in the same thought processes, mindsets and routines. And it’s the way I thought it had to be. Much of the time, our circumstances lend us a negative attitude, so the “I can’ts” become our truth. I was mentally weak through the trials in my life.

But God is faithful. There will always be a path back to Him. If you seek Him, ask for Him, he will come.

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:11)

Personal growth is HARD. Overcoming are circumstances and situations can seem unbearable at times. The Gospel is clear here though – those that endure trials, will have overwhelming peace and joy once they’ve conquered it.

If we can always be moving from point A to point B, getting stronger and better with each day that goes on, growing in perspective – our true purpose in life will find us where we’re at.

On a behavioral level, I’d also consider the vices and unhealthy habits you have in life. For many that might mean smoking, drugs or casual sex. But for me, it was as simple as being addicted to sports, fantasy football and letting it consume me. Try cutting it out for a while. Are you capable of doing it? It’s an amazing feeling when we can just live freely and not let negative things control us.

4. Build community and strong people in your life

What does your inner circle look like? Is it filled with people who build you up?

By having strong influences in your life, your chances for holistic success are infinitely better.

When we work too much, often times we’re surrounded by other people who are trying to find meaning in life in the same misguided way. When we party hard on Saturday nights, live it up on the weekend, often times we’re surrounded by others who are motivated by sex and superficialness. Our bonding is over getting wasted together rather than having meaningful, real conversation.

I had the privilege of moving from NYC to Seattle last year and have been blessed to join Churchome. Naturally, Church communities will provide you relationships that will last a lifetime.

I’ve met so many people in a such a short period of time, that genuinely build me up, where we can talk about things that matter and just do life together. When you’re surrounded by loving people, the chances you’ll find purpose in life are exponentially higher.

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25)

The Bible has called us to live in community since the beginning of time. We’re called to build each other up, to lead each other towards positivity and healthy habits.

We’ve been given the gift of Jesus and it’s our duty to help others down a fruitful path. Strive to find strong pillars in your life, relationships that will have a lasting effect of meaning and purpose. If you’re looking to find those types of genuine friendships, join a community near you

5. Value relationships and family over sex

Men, find as many women you can to have sex with. And women, be as beautiful as possible. Be seen and be desirable.

That’s what the world essentially sells us today. You aren’t going to find advertisements that say, “be a good husband, be committed to your wife.” Or “be your real self, forget about looks.” It’s not sexy.

The world fuels our selfish desires and promotes sex at all costs. But what is sex really? It’s a feeling we have one moment and then it passes. When done in the wrong context, it’s empty. It’s also a means of gossip and bonding when you have the wrong social circle.

Some call it a need. But when casually done, it’s a vice. The truth is, we could go without out.

We have to understand, that at the end of the day, family is going to have an enormous effect on our happiness. The relationship with our spouse is the most important relationship we’re going to have with another human.

But we only have one foot in the door, while holding onto the idea of freedom on the other side. When we get married, we might physically be committed to our spouse, but mentally we’re all over the place. We lust after others.

A rocky marriage leads to an unstable foundation to raise children in. And most of all, you’ll pass on your shortfalls to them. They’ll learn from you.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (Ephesians 5:25)

When you think about this verse, it’s actually incredibly profound. We’re called to love our spouses as Christ loved us. That means we aren’t keeping a tally, we aren’t counting wrongs, we aren’t holding grudges, we’re faithful, we’re committed to building them up and loving them unconditionally. Jesus does these same things for us everyday.

I strive to be all-in everyday in my relationship with my fiance. I’m mentally and physically committed to her. Marriage is a journey, it’s a marathon. You’re going to have ups and downs, as with everything in life. I’m not perfect, I make mistakes.

But having a special, timeless bond with someone, who is a true backbone and rock. It’s hard to put it in words. To love and be loved in such an intense way by another human being, there’s tremendous purpose that comes out of that.