In our previous Wisdom Note, we explored why integrity matters. This week we will come to understand while we not only need to live life, but “Living Life With Purpose.” If you miss any of our Wisdom Notes, please go to the blog to read past newsletters.
Some people measure success by the wealth they’ve accumulated, the power they’ve attained, or the status they’ve achieved. Yet, even though they’ve reached success beyond their wildest dreams, they still have an empty feeling, as if something is missing from their life, which is purpose.
In order to fill that void and be completely fulfilled in life, they are in a relentless pursuit, but their soul is searching for something more. This type of person will be inflicted with at least some of these scenarios:
- It’s lonely at the top. – They spent so much time clawing their way to the top that they did not make time for family and friends.
- Enough is never enough. – There was always something bigger and shinier to obtain.
- Sold their soul. – Their integrity was pushed aside in lieu of…
- All work and no play. – They were always the first people in the office and the last to leave. Work consumed them.
- Lived in the future rather than the present. – They spent much of their life thinking about what they were going to do tomorrow and not enjoying the present. They did not realize that all we have is today.
If any of these scenarios sound familiar to you, it may be time for a course correction.
Living Life with a Purpose
As a Christ-follower, I would never be complete without my primary focus on a life of faith. Although I have other purposes for life, the ultimate purpose is to bring honor and glory to God through my positive impact on the lives of others. Although everyone is different, there are seven common threads that bind a life with purpose.
1. Live by your beliefs and values.
People who live a life of purpose have core beliefs and values that influence their decisions, shape their day-to-day actions, and determine their short-term and long-term priorities. They place significant value on being a person of high integrity and in earning the trust and respect of others. The result is that they live with a clear conscience and invest more time listening to their inner voice than being influenced by others. For me, that inner voice is God’s Spirit working through me.
2. Set priorities.
People who live a life of purpose identify those activities that matter most to them and invest the majority of their time and effort in those areas. Otherwise, it’s too easy to drift away in the currents of life. It could be said, “How we invest our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
3. Follow your passion.
People who live a life of purpose wake up each morning eager to face the new day. They pursue their dreams with fervor, put their heart into everything they do, and feel that they’re personally making a difference. As James Dean once said, “Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.”
4. Achieve balance.
People who live a life of purpose put their hearts into their careers and in building relationships with friends and family. They also reserve adequate time to satisfy their personal needs. Achieving balance means living up to one’s God-given potential in all facets of life.
5. Feel content.
People who live a life of purpose have inner peace. They’re satisfied with what they have and who they are. To them, the grass is greener on their own side of the fence. As the saying goes, “The real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money.”
6. Make a difference.
People who live a life of purpose make a meaningful difference in someone else’s life. They do things for others without expectation of personal gain, serve as exemplary role models, and gain as much satisfaction as witnessing the success of others as witnessing their own. As the old proverb says, “A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.” This is what living your legacy is about.
7. Live in the moment.
People who live a life of purpose cherish every moment and seek to live life without regret. They take joy in the experiences that life gives and don’t worry about keeping score. Dr. Seuss may have said it best, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”
Start Living Today
The purpose of life is a perpetual question that has intrigued mankind since the beginning of human existence. Without purpose, it’s easy to wander aimlessly through life instead of following your North Star. Without purpose, it’s easy to squander your time instead of investing time by waking each morning with an unquenchable thirst to attain your mission. Without purpose, you could achieve remarkable success and still feel that life is passing you by.
Success in life begins with knowing your purpose. When you achieve clarity, you’ll gain a new perspective on your life. When you find your purpose, you’ll feel good about who you are, what you stand for, and where you’re heading. When you discover your purpose, inner peace will replace the need to seek approval from others. You will be someone who is happy, motivated, and self-assured — a person with a mission. As Robert Byrne once said, “The purpose of life is a life of purpose.” It’s never too late to start.
As I have referred to many times, as Christ-followers we should live a life of purpose as mentioned by Jesus in John 10:10, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”
May we be able to proclaim what the Apostle Paul said to his apprentice Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:10, “But you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance.”
On our daily trek of life, let us know and pursue the purpose of our living legacy each day. Next week we will hike a familiar trail as we learn lessons from ordinary life. Encourage your friends and family to join us on our 5-days a week podcast: Wisdom-Trek, Creating a Legacy.