True Joy in Life: Living with Purpose and Passion

Have you ever paused and asked yourself, “What is true joy in life?” George Bernard Shaw, a sharp-witted Irish playwright, tossed us a profound thought to chew on. He said, “True joy in life is being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one.” That’s deep, right?

Shaw’s take is a stark contrast to our usual chase after quick fixes of happiness. He’s not talking about the temporary high from a shopping spree or the buzz of a like on social media. Nope. Shaw’s diving into something much more substantial. He’s urging us to find fulfillment not in selfish pursuits but in contributing something meaningful to the world, in making the most out of our fleeting time on this earth.

In this piece, we’re going to explore what Shaw meant by “true joy” and how we can apply his wisdom to our own lives. It’s about living fully, vibrantly, and purposefully according to our own unique values and passions. Ready to dive into this thought-provoking journey? Let’s go!

True Joy in Life: Living with Purpose and Passion | Featured Image

“True Joy In Life” Full Quote

This is the true joy in life, to be used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one, to be a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clot of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and that as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live, I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me, it is a sort of splendid torch which I’ve got a hold of for a moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.

George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

Shaw’s Meaning of “True Joy In Life”

Beyond Fleeting Pleasures

For Shaw, joy isn’t found in the latest gadget or the next big thing. It’s about a deep, soul-level satisfaction that comes from living out your unique purpose. It’s the kind of contentment you feel when you’re doing something that really matters – to you and to the world.

Embracing the Journey

True joy, according to Shaw, emerges as we push past our comfort zones. It’s about not holding back, about embracing even the discomfort because that’s where growth happens. Think about it: when have you felt most alive? Probably not while you were playing it safe, right?

Contributing Over Consuming

Shaw nudges us to shift our focus. Instead of asking the world what it can do to make us happy, we should be asking ourselves how we can contribute to the world. It’s about using your time here to make a difference, to leave a mark.

Living Boldly

Finally, Shaw believed in burning your metaphorical torch as brightly as possible. This isn’t about just getting by or sticking to the routine. It’s about pursuing those big, meaningful ambitions with all the gusto you’ve got. It’s about living a life that’s full, vibrant, and utterly yours.

Cultivating “True Joy” Through Living Purposefully

Seeking Your Unique Mission

Let’s start with a simple but powerful question: “Why?” Why are you drawn to certain goals and not others? It’s about finding that sweet spot where your unique talents, interests, and passions intersect with what the world needs. This isn’t about chasing what everyone else says is success. It’s about finding what resonates with you on a deep level.

Experiment and Explore

Don’t be afraid to dip your toes into different waters. You don’t have to commit to one passion or path right off the bat. Give yourself the freedom to try different things. Who knows? Your true calling might be hiding in a place you haven’t looked at yet. It’s all about keeping an open mind and heart.

Aligning with Your Core Values

What are the principles that guide your life? Identifying these core values is like setting up a personal GPS. It helps steer your life in a direction that’s true to who you are. Whether it’s compassion, creativity, or courage, building your life around these values brings a sense of fulfillment that just ‘doing stuff’ can’t match.

Envision Your Legacy

Here’s a thought-provoking exercise: Imagine writing your own obituary. What do you want to be remembered for? This future-backward approach can provide surprising clarity on what’s truly important to you. It’s about aligning your daily actions with the legacy you want to leave.

Lifting Others as You Climb

Remember, true joy isn’t just about personal achievement. It’s also about lifting others up along your journey. Collaboration, mentorship, community service – these are ways to amplify your impact and spread joy beyond your own life.


George Bernard Shaw’s perspective is a wake-up call. It’s about turning away from the empty calories of consumerism and surface-level pleasures and, instead, fueling our lives with purpose and passion. This isn’t the easy route. Embracing this philosophy means facing challenges head-on, stepping out of comfort zones, and sometimes, going against the grain.

But here’s the thing: the satisfaction and contentment that come from living a life aligned with your innermost convictions and values are unmatched. Shaw invites us to live not as mere spectators but as active participants, burning our torches of life as brightly as possible.

So, what ignites your spirit? What makes you feel most alive? Find it, embrace it, and give it everything you’ve got. That’s where true joy lies. It’s about making your mark, however big or small, and savoring the journey every step of the way. Here’s to living a life that’s not just a brief candle, but a splendid torch, illuminating your path and those of others.

Success Minded

Writer & Motivator with a goal of Inspiring and Helping 1 Million people across the globe to reach their goals. Join the largest self-improvement community on Twitter (700K+) over at @_SuccessMinded_

This Post Has 3 Comments

Leave a Reply