As the founder and director of an organization with a name like Life On Purpose Institute, I guess it’s not surprising to hear me say that I feel that one of the most important matters that anyone can do for themselves and the world is to become clear what their true purpose in life is and to then live true to it. So, I’d like to point out some of the many benefits to knowing and living your life purpose.
These are some of the benefits most commonly shared by the clients of Life On Purpose Institute as well as ones that I have personally experienced by clarifying and living my own life on purpose.
When you clearly know your life purpose, it becomes a truing mechanism allowing you to focus more clearly on what matters most to you. Many people report that this has been one of the most valuable benefits to going through the Purpose Process ™, especially once they begin to use their life purpose to make their decisions and choices in where and how they are going to invest their time, energy, money and talents.
The other side of this coin is that oftentimes a life off purpose is unfocused and scattered. Much like a boat without a rudder, when you don’t know your true purpose in life, your life tends to be thrown all over the place by the currents of circumstances.
For many people clarifying their life purpose becomes the key to unlocking their passion for life. The passion becomes the fuel that propels them forward in expressing their life purpose, often in extraordinary ways beyond anything they would have considered before they clarified their purpose.
A life off purpose is often devoid of any real passion. The experience can be a little bit like the movie, Pleasantville. At the start of the movie, everyone in Pleasantville was living a dull, black and white life, but over time they began to tap into their passion and learned that life could be a beautiful multi-colored experience, filled with passionate moments.
People living on purpose become unstoppable, particularly the longer they live true to their purpose and the more they allow their purpose to shape their life. At the same time, purposeful people aren’t positional in their being unstoppable. They have learned that it’s not necessary to go through life like a bull, ramming through anything that tries to get in their way of living their purpose. They’ve found that often a little patience, coupled with persistence can go a long way, as does surrendering to the timeline of a Higher Power.
People without clarity of purpose often finds themselves stopped or stuck in life, which isn’t surprising because they haven’t tapped into their passion so they’re like a high powered automobile without any fuel in their tank.
Living a life in which you are regularly expressing your life purpose and allowing it to shape your decisions, your thoughts, feelings and actions is simply a whole lot more fulfilling. A life on purpose is filled with meaning, and people on purpose realize they are making a difference in the world simply by being in the world. Then, whatever they choose to do in the world to express their life purpose is like icing on the cake.
People living off purpose often have a life filled with meaning as well. Unfortunately, the meaning that they have ascribed to life stems from fear and preoccupies them with the need to struggle and suffer. Remember, “suffering is optional” in this world, and knowing your purpose is the key to making this important shift.
Living a Value-based Life
You will learn as you delve more deeply into the Purpose Process ™ that an integral component of a person’s life purpose are their “core values” — those intangibles of life that mean the most to them. Our core values are at the heart of all the values we’ve been taught we “should value.” Think of it like 3 concentric circles. The largest circle is composed of our “should values,” the next circle inside that one is our “chosen values” — the should values that we actually choose to hold onto and live from. The last circle is our “core values” — those chosen values that truly matter most to us. Since these core values are an integral part of your life purpose, when you are living a life on purpose, you are living a “value-based” life, rather than a “lifestyle” based life.
People living off purpose are often focused on living more from the outer circle of their “should values” — what is often described as “keeping up with the Joneses.” In a lifestyle based life, the focus is on life looking a certain way — the way we were taught our life was supposed to look. The focus is often more on stuff and doing what’s expected of us, not what gives us the most joy.
Let’s face it, living on purpose is simply a lot more fun than living a life based in fear and shoulds. People who know their life purpose and are living it have a renewed zest for life. They can bring purposeful play to almost any situation and find or create ways to have each day be a reflection of their true joy and purpose.
Recently, I took time off from my normal work routine to take in an afternoon matinee. The movie I saw was “The Legend of Bagger Vance.” While I thoroughly enjoyed ‘playing hooky from work’ and the movie in general, there was one line that stood out above all the rest, and the main lesson I was there to learn that day. The caddy, Bagger Vance, said, “God is happiest when his children are at play.” I keep that line on my desk lamp so I won’t forget. Whenever I’m feeling like my work is drudgery, or there’s a heaviness or effort involved, I know in those moments I’ve shifted from expressing my life purpose to something else.
People who live off purpose lives have bought into the idea of ‘No pain, no gain.’ It doesn’t have to be that way. Sure, there may be times when you need to exert yourself more diligently, but that doesn’t mean you need to suffer while doing it. I lift weights 3 times a week as part of my health and fitness routine. Part of the object to lifting increasing amounts of weight is to fatigue the muscles so they will grow and become stronger.
At the same time, this doesn’t mean that I need to suffer while I’m straining. I have the choice to sweat with enjoyment or to sweat while complaining about how hard it is, or how unfair it is that I have to be stuck in my gym. I choose to bring joy and fun to my life and so can you.
For me, a life on purpose is a life of ultimate integrity. It’s a life that is whole and complete. People who know their purpose and are living it, know who they are and why they are here. They live true to their core values as they serve themselves and others through the expression of their life purpose.
People who are living off purpose simply haven’t found themselves yet. There’s nothing wrong with them, there’s simply something missing — their knowing their life purpose, which is why the Purpose Process ™ was created — to provide people with a means of putting into their life this important missing ingredient.
Trust / Faith
As people clarify their life purpose and begin to live true to it, many of them report a surprising increase in synchronicity and serendipity in their lives. It’s as though the Universe is rewarding them for the courage to live true to their purpose. With this comes a deepening in trust and faith for most of these people, as they realize that indeed there is a greater force in the Universe than themselves and they are an integral part of that force.
People living off purpose are often slow to trust anything they can’t see and touch. Coming from fear, trusting looks like a bad idea, and they have plenty of evidence for not trusting — all the times they did and were hurt. That’s why it takes real courage to live on purpose. No where will you hear me say that a life on purpose is risk free — anything but. But I will say from my own experience and from the experience of the hundreds of people I’ve met living on purpose, the risk is well worth it.
According to the dictionary, grace is “the unmerited divine assistance given man…” and people living on purpose often report living a grace-filled life. When you commit to living true to your purpose, something amazing begins to happen. The Universe lines up with your intention and commitment. Perhaps this quote says it best:
That the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising ones favor all manner of assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it; boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”W. H. Murray
And perhaps we can summarize the other 9 benefits under this last one. People living on purpose live in the flow of the Universal stream of consciousness. Rather than fighting against the current, they allow the current of what’s wanting to happen to happen. They allow what’s wanting to flow to flow. They know that while they may never completely understand or comprehend God’s divine design and plan for this Universe, they can still be an integral part in its realization.