Rick Warren, author of ‘The Purpose-Driven Life’ asks in the first page of his book ‘What on earth am I here for?’ Everyone wants to live a meaningful and purposeful life. Life loses meaning if lived without purpose. Thus, we should all seek to find what our purpose in life is, as early in life as we possibly can.
Purposefulness is the awareness that each of us is here for a reason – having a definite purpose in view, and to be determined and fixed in one’s purpose. To be purposeful is to possess a clear focus. Purposefulness gives value to our lives as we discover the part we are uniquely meant to play. A sense of purpose in life reduces frustration, as it makes daily decisions easier, increases motivation and creates concentration as it enables you to focus and avoid distractions.
Purposefulness entails having a vision for what you want to accomplish, concentrating on your goals and doing one thing at a time without scattering your energies, and also finishing what you start. It also includes making things happen rather than being a spectator in your own life and merely letting things happen.
To live with purpose, we first need to understand, as Rick Warren explains, that it all starts with God. Warren states that only the Creator can reveal the invention’s purpose. Thus it is only through our relationship with our Maker that we can discover our identity and purpose. Our top priority and highest purpose or calling is to learn to know and love God. Secondly, we should help others. Every individual should ask himself what will be their contribution of their life to society? What are you doing or going to do with your God-given talents? You’re here to make a contribution, not just to make yourself happy. So what are you doing to benefit others? To live with purpose, we also need to consider our values.
These are reflected by three main areas of our lives – our schedule, how do you spend your time? Our budget, how do you spend your money? And our relationships, who are the people that matter the most to you? We need to learn how to do away with that which doesn’t matter so we have time to do what counts. What are you doing with your talents, opportunities, time, energy, and life in general? Are you just spending them on yourself or are you using them for your purpose on earth?
The man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder – waif, a nothing, a no man. Have a purpose in life, and, having it, throw such strength of mind and muscle into your work as God has given you.
Thomas Carlyle (1795 – 1881), Scottish author, essayist, and historian
To live only for some future goal is shallow. It’s the sides of the mountain that sustain life, not the top.
Robert M. Pirsig, American writer and philosopher
He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.
Friedrich Nietzsche, (1844 –1900), German philosopher
Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.
Helen Keller (1880 –1968), American author, political activist and lecturer
I cannot believe that the purpose of life is to be happy. I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be compassionate. It is, above all to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.
Leo Rosten, (1908 –1997), Polish writer, scholar and language maven
There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.
Napoleon Hill (1883-1970), American writer
A purpose keeps you focused on the things that count. I find I’m happier and more productive when I stay on course. Without a clear direction or purpose, we spend a lot of time trying to figure out what exactly we ought to do then worry about how we did it.
Edwin Kuria, 25, Communications liaison officer