Principles for Living on Purpose

Are you just living day-by-day? Are you simply taking things as they come? Successful people don’t. Successful people live on purpose. Here’s how you can too.

shipImagine for a moment that you are a ship. You’ve departed the harbor and the ship is moving. Some days you start up the engine and move, other days you let the engine rest and just coast along. You, the ship, are not steered. You simply go wherever the wind and the waves and, occasionally, the engine decide to take you.

Do you think that ship (you) will be successful? I don’t think so either.

Now let’s assume that you, the ship, now have a destination set. You crank up the engine and begin to move toward and finally arrive at your destination. Are you now successful? Maybe, maybe not. I’ll explain later.

Successful people, those often-hated 1-3 percent of the population, don’t just float along. They are driven, propelled and they live on purpose and though many books are written that contain the word “secret”, it’s really not a secret why successful people succeed. They live on purpose. They live with intent.

Here are some principles to help you live on purpose.

1. Develop a Purpose Worth Living For

If you’re going to live on purpose and live with intent, you need to know what your purpose is. Remember I asked about the ship arriving at the destination and if it meant that the ship was successful? Here’s why I asked. If your purpose, as the ship, is to carry a certain cargo and you show up at the destination empty, did you succeed? If you were supposed to be carrying passengers and instead you showed up with a cargo hold full of food, did you succeed? Absolutely not!

You first need to determine your purpose, your “why”. Why are you here? What are you supposed to accomplish? What is the end-goal of your life? From a spiritual perspective, this could be asking yourself, “Why did God put me here? What does He want me to accomplish?” Until you can answer questions like these, you can’t live on purpose.

Don’t compare yourself to others here. Your purpose might be to bring the passengers. My purpose might be to bring the food.

Find your purpose. Find your “why”.

2. Determine Your Destination

You can’t be successful in life if you don’t have a destination determined. You must know where you are going. At it’s heart, this is what goal setting is all about. The ship will not be a success if it doesn’t have a destination. Don’t just float around hoping to one day get to where you think you kinda-sorta-wanna be, set a destination and lock in the course.

3. Make a Plan

Ok. You know your purpose. You know your destination. Now you need to plan out the trip to your destination. You’ll need to take into account the path to take, fuel, supply stops along the way and make preparations for the unexpected. Will you need to bring help on board to assist in navigation and repairs?

This is a huge step. Don’t be lazy in planning here. Educate yourself, find people that can help you. Read books, listen to audio, watch videos and tie into people who have, or are accomplishing, what you want to achieve based upon your purpose and your destination.

This step should include developing a daily task list and making some calendar entries. Know how you are going to get to your destination and break that down into the smaller steps that need to be accomplished.

4. Work the Plan

Living on purpose means that each day you now have the small steps identified that need to be accomplished and you do them faithfully, with discipline. These seemingly small steps will, day by day, lead you to your destination. You are now focused, driven and are moving ahead with intent and purpose to achieve a determined end goal.

The truth is that none of this is really hard, nor is it a secret. The sad truth is that only a small percent of people actually live their lives this way. That’s why only a small percent of people achieve the level of success that they desire in life. The good news about this truth is that at any time one can change and stop floating in the ocean of life and begin to live on purpose.

Live on purpose. Live with intent.


If this information has helped and encouraged you, please use it to help others by re-posting or sharing. Thank you.

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Doug is a retired U.S. Air Force veteran who enjoys computers and technical gadgets. He serves God in his local church in the audio/video ministry. He holds an Advanced Diploma of Biblical Studies from Faith Bible Institute. Doug and his wife, Emily, have been married since 1989 and have successfully raised three children. It is his desire to impact young Christian men.

“I believe that most men are not living up to the potential that God has for them and I want to help them to find their purpose, grow spiritually and impact other men for Christ.”

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