THE SPIRITUAL LIFE

Finding Your Purpose: Beginning Your Quest with a Spiritual Mentor or Guide

Michael Williams
4 min readSep 25, 2023
Photo by Vlad Bagacian on Unsplash

In the comings and goings of our everyday lives, it’s not uncommon to find ourselves pondering life’s big questions. One question that takes center stage is: “What is my purpose?” or “Why am I here and what am I meant to do?” This quest for purpose is a driving force behind many people’s spiritual journeys.

The search for purpose is a universal human pursuit, transcending cultural, religious, and philosophical boundaries. In his seminal book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl argues that “striving to find meaning in one’s life is the primary motivational force” in human beings. Whether you’re a Mongolian yak herder, a single mom raising 3 kids, or the leader of a multinational corporation, we are all searching for purpose in our lives. It’s a quest to discover our unique role in the grand tapestry of existence. For some, this quest is deeply intertwined with their spirituality.

Like many seekers, we may be lucky enough to encounter a mentor or guide during our journey. During a particularly chaotic time in my early 20s, I returned from rambling around Europe. I was depressed and with no obvious purpose in my life. A friend recommended a therapist. He turned out to be as much a spiritual mentor as a therapist. So, why do many of us turn to spiritual mentors or counsellors in our quest for purpose? There are several reasons:

Firstly, we can learn a great deal from the wisdom of tradition: Throughout history, spiritual traditions have offered profound insights into the purpose of life. Seeking guidance from those well-versed in these traditions can provide valuable perspectives. In my 20s, my mentor introduced me to a number of writers from the Zen Buddhist and Sufi traditions. These, in turn, introduced me to meditation, a life-long practice that has helped me overcome depression and find meaning and purpose in my life. They also awakened an interest in other religious and spiritual traditions.

Secondly, spirituality encourages introspection and self-discovery, which are crucial in uncovering one’s purpose. A spiritual mentor can serve as a guide on this inner journey. I’ve been blessed with a number of spiritual mentors in my life and all of them have…

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Michael Williams

I’m a storyteller, StoryCoach, writer, accredited End-of-Life Planning Facilitator, spiritual mentor & podcast host. Oh yeah, I play ukulele.