If You Have but One Goal in Life, Let It Be This

How can I help?
A photo of a person walking with a wheel barrow.
Photo by Kate Ferguson on Unsplash


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If you have but one overarching goal in life, make it this:

How can I help?

Because when you do that, it gives you a sense of purpose. A reason for being. Something to wake up excited every day.


And when you have a sense of purpose, you’ll find that whatever you do to help morphs from something that you do out of duty or compulsion to something you do out of passion and devotion.

But perhaps the most interesting thing you’ll notice out of such a wholehearted commitment to serve will be this:

It changes the vocabulary through which you offer your assistance, too.
And soon, instead of saying ‘How can I help?’, you’ll catch yourself saying ‘How may I help?’— which, if you ask me, is a decidedly far more warm, genuine, and inviting an offer than its formative cousin.

* * *

So, if you have no clue what you want to do in life, make your life a life of service. Make yourself a tool or a vessel or whatever to do some good in this world. To spread some love, to easy some pain for the others.

Make ‘How can I help?’ your new mantra. Make being a light instead of a plight your new goal.

Offer it to your friends. To the coworker who is drowning in her workload. Offer it to the stranger on the road who clearly needs some direction.

And be on the lookout for anyone who might need help and offer it without them having to ask for it.


And while you are at it, observe how your life becomes that much more meaningful. Notice how you go to bed a little bit more fulfilled than yesterday. And how it makes you look forward to the next day.

And notice how your vocabulary evolves as you continue doing it long enough. How it makes your altruistic-self shine through your actions and your words.

I hope you catch yourself saying ‘How may I help?’ instead of ‘How can I help?’ very soon.


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