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5 Life Purpose Examples of Highly Sensitive People

Blue eye of a woman looking aside

Highly sensitive people (HSP) are not only more sensitive but need a sense of purpose more than the average person. Therefore, they favor a purpose-driven career or seek meaning outside work through arts, music, philosophy, nourishing nature, community work, advocating social justice, or entrepreneurship.

In this article, you’ll find five life purpose examples of HSP. They are gathered by topics backed up by my personal experiences as an HSP and some susceptible friends’ experiences. This way, you can get real-life ideas on how to pursue a purpose as an HSP.

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What is a highly sensitive person?

Before diving into the examples, let’s clarify the term Highly Sensitive Person (HSP). HSPs are more aware of their surroundings, receptive to sensory stimuli, and more reactive to social activities and emotional events. HSP isn’t considered a disorder but rather a personality trait. Research shows HSPs are about 20% of the population 1.

HSPs usually have a deep appreciation for beauty and tend to be empathetic. But, sometimes, they tend to pay a cost for being too empathic and neglecting themselves. That is a common cause of tension I dealt with as an HSP myself.

In addition, HSPs can get quickly overwhelmed by anything mentioned before, emphasizing social events. As a result, they need more alone time to process all the information and continue engaging with the outer world. This dynamic requires HSPs to pace their work wisely and incorporate relaxation techniques to avoid burnout.

HSPs usually have a deep inner awareness of everything – from friends and family to hobbies and their job. As a result, HSPs tend to take each project more seriously. They are also highly intuitive and perceptive and may deeply appreciate nature, be quiet, and dive into philosophical questions. The pillar question is often, what is their life purpose? As susceptible people typically have a strong sense of purpose, they may feel a strong desire to impact the world positively.

These were the main traits and characteristics of HSPs. Remember that each HSP is different, and so is their life purpose. As with everyone pursuing a purpose in life, it can change over time, and you can have several purposes at each time.

Let’s see what life’s purpose is and what purpose examples mean.

What are life-purpose examples?

Life purpose examples are the different ways one can live life. For example, through a meaningful career, you are helping others as a life coach or therapist, or through community work or being an influencer on social media. Life purpose can also start with a hobby you develop in which you teach others interested in that hobby. Alternatively, pursuing your purpose can solve one of your problems that more people around the globe struggle with.

Many factors will determine your life purposes, such as your life course, family, friends, and the environment you grew up in. But it is also essential to think about who you want to be and what matter to you now.

How can HSP purposes be different?

HSPs often have a different approach to life purposes because they tend to be more introspective and attuned to their inner worlds. This tendency can lead them to prioritize personal growth and fulfillment over pursuing prestigious jobs that society value. Derived by this vibe of meaning, HSPs often become content creators, entrepreneurs, artists, musicians, and scientists as they create unique, helpful things that last.

There are various career paths and purposes typical to HSPs. Yet, the common ground to them is careers or activities that align with the HSP’s values and allow making a positive impact on others. Here are five life purpose examples that embody some typical paths and meaning sources for HSPs:

5 Life Purpose Examples of Highly Sensitive People

1. Content creation and entrepreneurship

content creator setup with desk

For HSPs, content creation and entrepreneurship can be a fulfilling way to express their creativity and satisfy their need for autonomy and control over their work. As sensitive individuals, they may find it challenging to work in traditional, high-paced work environments and may thrive in settings where they can set their own pace and work independently.

Being a content creator means providing value to others through videos, blog posts, reels, and short videos. It usually involves building an audience or getting traffic to the website through building authority around a niche. However, long-form content is where HSPs thrive the best. They can deep dive and provide meaningful advice with unique nuances that competitors might miss. This is where I find myself most impactful, whether on my blog, Medium.com account, or YouTube channel.

When I finish editing my post and videos, I feel a wave of meaning for the value I delivered- whether it’s a chess opening tutorial or a blog post on finding purpose in life. I feel proud of producing value through long-form content.

Coming out with new ideas and making them a side hustle or business can also be meaningful. HSPs seek that feeling of composing something unique and bringing themselves to help others. I enjoy developing my side hustle and finding ways to collaborate and monetize my work. Seeing how my personal brand and blogs grow and have a more significant impact over time is fun and motivating.

2. Advocating for social justice

three hand of different people put together on a world map

Highly sensitive people may strongly desire to speak out against injustice and work for positive change in the world. As a result, they may be drawn to careers or volunteer roles that allow them to work for causes they believe in, such as human rights, animal welfare, environmental protection, or their issues.

A common thing among HSPs is noise sensitivity. Therefore, they might want to raise awareness of our noisy environment – from renovations in their block, construction sites, or neighbors’ noise. Check this Medium article I dedicated to making our world quieter.

HSPs may also find meaning through community work and volunteer work. For example, I volunteered between 2014–2016 at a local NGO which promoted social change. We had learning groups and pilot projects to implement innovative concepts called social three-folding 2. First, we tried translating and updating these philosophical thoughts to be relevant to today’s society. Then, we planned how to harness these concepts to promote healthier societal and organizational balance and solve current problems in my country.

Helping to create a more harmonious and compassionate world is an intrinsic part of an HSP life course – whether through the job, entrepreneurship, or volunteer work like this one I had.

This tendency also involves promoting peace and understanding among different groups to promote a more inclusive society. This is why I studied sociology, education, and anthropology for my B.A. and deepened my knowledge in sociology by pursuing an M.A. degree. It gave me a critical perspective on our social world and conceptual tools to better understand our changing reality.

3. Providing support and care to others

two silhouettes in a mountain sunset - one helps the other climb

Highly sensitive people often have a deep sense of empathy and a desire to help others. As a result, they may be drawn to careers like teaching, social work, counseling, or healthcare, where they can provide support and care to those in need.

For example, my friend Berber works as a teacher for children with special needs. He was dedicated to them for years by teaching them and providing additional time and educational activities to meet their special needs and disabilities. As I know him personally, I see how much effort he put into the work to help these children and their families.

Helping others can also take place through community work. For example, my other volunteer work at the time of my previously mentioned one in 2014-16 was helping disadvantaged people in my community 3.

It was dedicated to helping the poor deal with issues like working, depts and lawns, social isolation, psychological problems, etc.

I felt meaningful for participating in that endeavor as I alleviated the suffering of an individual I accompanied and promoted a social change in my community, together with all the professionals and other volunteers in that enthralling organization.

4. Creating beauty through art or music

A wooden spoon
A wooden spoon I carved

Susceptible people often have a deep appreciation for the arts and may strongly desire to create beauty and bring others joy through their creative pursuits. But, again, that doesn’t necessarily mean devoting their career to art or music (though, of course, some HSPs do) but spending their free time on that. Instead, they typically have one or more of these hobbies and creative activities: playing music, composing music, writing poems, books, or blogs, painting, drawing, animating, taking pictures, or designing visuals in photos and videos.

I used to play the piano when I was young and composed ambient music with the FL studio sequencer. That was fun at the time. Now I have less time for that, but I will consider reenacting this in the future. I’ve also made some micro woodworking stuff as the spoon in the picture above. Today I like to take view photos with my smartphone during my afternoon strolls and post them on my Instagram account.

5. Protecting the environment and providing humanitarian aid

a drop makes circles in the water

Susceptible people may feel a strong connection to the natural world and a desire to preserve and protect it for future generations. Others may want to help communities in developing countries improve their infrastructure or recreate one after a natural disaster. As a result, they may be drawn to careers or volunteer roles that allow them to work for environmental causes such as conservation, sustainability, renewable energy, or maintaining water supply systems – like my friend Mori.

He combines humanitarian aid with his love for nature. On behalf of several NGOs, He has built, maintained, and improved developing countries’ water supply and sanitation systems as an environmental engineer. This is his profession, but also his calling. He could have stayed in the offices as many engineers do but preferred to be with the local people, guide them on water purification 4, and improve their water systems. So instead, he helped local engineers to install and improve their water systems.

Why it’s important to find purpose as an HSP?

Without making any progress in finding the purpose, it is not unlikely to experience frustration, emptiness, and even body symptoms sooner or later. This is true for everyone, but especially for HSPs. The highly sensitive nature of HSPs leads them to pursue meaning. It’s difficult for us only to work 9-5 in an average job and enjoy the weekends with friends. We have to have meaning and purpose in what we do, if not at work, at least in our hobby or side hustle.

When I got into my 30s, the stress from not finding my purpose started to hit me. Before then, I avoided dealing with the big question of what to do in life. I worked only to make ends meet. However, I felt empty and wanted to do something meaningful. Yet, I had no clue what career or another path I should choose. Facing the life purpose question was difficult for me and I’ve developed several mind body symptoms like shoulder pain, back pain, and hearburn.

After I found my balance path as a creator, I started to share insights and tips from my journey on this blog to help you find your purpose more efficiently. As the mind-body connection of HSPs is more noticeable, I gradually felt better physically again. It is never too early to start thinking about your life purpose and take action to fulfill yourself.

How to find your purpose as an HSP?

Finding purpose takes time to happen, especially as an HSP. We deep process everything in life and, at the core, the journey for meaning. There is no magic trick, unfortunately. Instead, it’s an ongoing journey of self-awareness to what experiences make you feel good and meaningful. From there, you can map your impact zone – working as an employee or building your own business, changing roles or companies, volunteering in your community, being a content creator, or traveling the world while working.

Try to experiment with some of such career paths and journal about your experiences repeatedly until you can map the things that suit you the best. Consulting with friends, family, coaches, or therapists is sometimes good.

This is only the tip of the iceberg, however. If you wish to start your journey of self-discovery, this blog is your go-to. I share my insights and tips on how to find your purpose more easily. You can start with this guide covering all you should know about a purpose and how to find it step by step.

Wrapping up

highly sensitive people often have a deep sense of purpose and a desire to impact the world positively. Some common examples of life purpose for susceptible people include content creation and entrepreneurship, advocating for social justice and promoting a more inclusive world, providing support and care to others, creating beauty through art or music, and working to protect the environment.

These examples are just a few of the many ways that HSPs can find meaning and purpose in their lives, and everyone’s purpose may be unique to them. I backed up the typical HSP trajectories with my examples as an HSP and with my susceptible friends.

Ultimately, the key is to find a purpose that feels authentic and meaningful and to work towards fulfilling that purpose with passion and dedication. For HSPs, it’s also crucial to learn how to balance your purpose with limited stimuli levels – whether it’s your morning routine, project schedule, or the work environment. It’s essential to work towards your life goals while implementing work pacing and relaxation techniques like meditation to avoid burnout or unpleasant mind-body symptoms.

Footnotes
  1. Acevedo B, Aron E, Pospos S,Jessen D. (2018). The functional highly sensitive brain: a review of the brain circuits underlying sensory processing sensitivity and seemingly related disorders. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B373:20170161. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2017.0161[]
  2. Social threefolding, Wikipedia[]
  3. “Kesem” Organization website[]
  4. Preparing for Coronavirus on a Small Pacific Island – an interview with my friend Mori on his humanitarian work during Covid, published on Medium.com[]