This September more than three million Muslims will travel to Mecca for the annual five-day pilgrimage (Hajj). This is the biggest yearly gathering of humans on earth.
For Muslims to be at the Grand Mosque over this period is the most important moment of their spiritual lives. According to Islamic faith, every Muslim has to make this holy journey before they die. Some will save their entire lives to make it to Mecca once and others even walk hundreds of kilometres through the desert to see the Kaaba.
But what is this really about? To Muslims, the pilgrimage (one of the five pillars of Islam) serves as atonement and culminates in worshipping and obeying their one true almighty God. It is part of their faith, their spiritual journey, and gives purpose for being here to serve.
Many other spiritual followings religions, even achievements have purpose as the core belief or foundation. What is it about having or finding purpose that is so important to human beings?
In modern psychology, Abraham Maslow stated the importance of self-actualisation. Many other theories and beliefs are formed around his findings.
Victor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning details his personal experiences in a WW II concentration camp. He observed that fellow prisoners most likely to survive were the ones who had a goal or purpose. For him it was time to reconstruct his own book while for others it was about their future after the war – loved ones, dreams, the future …
People who have purpose seem to get up in the morning having direction. They seem to be happier, less stressful, more self-confident to achieve their goals, and have an increased level of hope in their lives and beliefs. All of which increases their ability to succeed, survive and recover in life.
What do you draw your strength from? What are you doing daily to connect with your purpose?
Spend your life on things that will outlast you. Don’t just live, but live for something. Malcolm X said, ‘A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.’
What do you stand for?
Author: Stanford Payne CA(SA) is an ICF-accredited executive and business coach