How To Live A Purpose Driven Life:
When you live your life in a purpose driven manner, you are streamlining your path towards whatever it is that you desire. You set your goals, and these goals become the major focus of your life. All of your efforts are dedicated toward achieving these goals. You might want to do it short-term or long-term, but over whatever time period that you choose, all of your efforts are targeted towards achieving your goals.
People who live an action oriented life, do things in a different manner. They do set goals as well, but for them it is not the product but the process that’s more important. They plan their processes for the sake of carrying out their processes. They are quite dedicated in what they do. Though it will make them quite happy to achieve what they are looking for, it is the journey that interests them more than the destination.
For example, if your purpose in life is to become a millionaire, and everything that you do, and plan is toward achieving that goal, you are living a purpose driven life. For you, it doesn’t matter what you do to reach there. Your activities in life are just a means to the end. But, if you are action-driven, what you do to become a millionaire will really matter to you. You will be completely engrossed in the things you pursue to reach the goal. You might learn something to reach there. You might start a business. You might network with people. When you are living an action oriented/purpose driven life, these things matter to you more than actually reaching your goal of becoming a millionaire.
Taking Action (Physical and/or Mental)
People have a very wrong notion about action. The word action has got a very Hollywoodesque meaning for most people. For them, action needs to be physical. So, if you say someone is performing some action, it usually means that that person is doing something with hands or feet or whatever. The sad part about this is that people don’t take the mind into account. What we really need to remember here is that a lot of action starts in the mind. And a lot of it ends in the mind as well.
Yes, thinking is as good an action as any.
Your thinking can come in various ways. Your planning, for example, is an action-oriented activity. You are thinking. You are using the channels of your brain. This is serious work!
So, with anything that you take up, you aren’t beginning to work only when you start it physically. It begins right when you start thinking about it. Nowadays, we speak a lot about the power of thought, about how thought can make things happen. If you think about something hard, you are predisposing yourself into doing things that way. For example, if you think highly optimistically about buying a new car, you are very likely to do things that take you toward it.
This is how thought works. It brings results. That is why thought is a very integral part of your whole life. You do most things the way you think. If this isn’t action, what is?
It is quite right to say that action needn’t be physical all the time. It is manifested in various other ways, and a very significant manifestation of it is in through the way you think.
So begin planning for what you want to achieve. This is really where your action driven life makes a start.
Purposes Versus Aspirations
Most of the people who make lethal mistakes in their lives do so because they confuse themselves between two very important aspects that govern their lives, their purposes, and their aspirations. Since we are trying to see how to add more value to your life, it becomes very important to understand the difference that lies between these two. Let us see how purposes and aspirations differ from each other and why it is crucial to understand this difference.
Imagine that you want to become an actor. Now, that is called as your aspiration. You aspire to become an actor, to see yourself on the cinema screen, on the billboards, etc. When you aspire to become something, you also aspire for all the baggage that comes along with it. Aspirations are like a perfume that spreads in various directions. They don’t have a fixed focus and most times, they are abstract. Like, you may want to become an actor, but you don’t any preferences about what kind of actor you would want to become. You don’t mind if you become an actor in action flicks, or in romcoms, or on television, or on Broadway. The only thing you aspire for is to become an actor, but you don’t have preferences there.
Now, purposes are vastly different. Like aspirations, they aren’t vague. They are concrete. When a person has a purpose in mind, there is something definite in their mind. They are doing something in the direction of achievement. Like, you take up an acting course because you want to become an actor. Now there you have a purpose. You aren’t just shooting in the dark. You are doing something so that you can achieve what you dream about.
We have spoken about purpose driven and action driven lives before. So, we know that action is even more superior to purpose. So, when you take up the course, you must go right ahead and follow it through. You have to practice, you have to rehearse and you have to mold yourself so that you become the actor you want to become.
When you just dream about doing something, you lead an aspiration driven life.
When you decide to take steps in order to fulfill your dreams, you lead a purpose driven life.
When you actually act on those steps so that you can fulfill your dreams one day, you lead an action-driven life.
It is not difficult to understand which kind of life is the most enriched in quality.
How To Turn Aspirations Into Purposes
Purposes are the next step of aspirations. But they aren’t the next automatic step. They are a step that comes only after to begin working in that direction. You have to start working to convert your purposes into aspirations.
Actually, this is the beginning of your action-driven life, but you should know that you still have to go a long way ahead.
The best way you can make your aspirations into purposes is by setting milestones for yourself. You cannot achieve what you dream at a short notice. Most people make the biggest mistake of their lives here. They dream, but then they decide that their dreams are too fantastic and never take any steps in the direction of their fulfillment. That isn’t how an action-driven life works at all. Why, that’s not even a purpose driven life!
If you want to become the head chef on a cruise ship on the Caribbean, you should not expect to get that just like that. You will have to set milestones for yourself. First, finish your college. Then take up a professional hotel management course. Then work as a chef in a small establishment till you build up a résumé. Then take the bold step of approaching the bigger establishments. Work your way to the top.
But if you just have an aspiration and never set purposes to veer it toward fulfillment, then your aspiration becomes totally meaningless. You don’t want to let that happen.
Whatever you want to achieve, you can do it. Pep yourself into thinking that way first. Then, sit down and work out those milestones. Prepare a blueprint for yourself. Put it into raw figures. Mention by what year you will accomplish what. It might take a few years, but when it is a life’s aspiration, the period doesn’t matter. Take them one step at a time.
As you keep getting one thing after another accomplished, your confidence levels will start boosting vastly. Each time your confidence gets renewed, you will want to take on the next purpose with greater energy. Slowly but steadily, you shall achieve what you have set your heart upon.
Turning Purposes Into Achievements
Now comes the next step. First, you dream. That’s your aspiration. Then you sit down and think how you will be able to fulfill those aspirations. That blueprint, which contains your various milestones, are your purposes. These are the things you need to do. So, what comes after that? Now you act! You have to now convert your purposes into achievements.
The good news is, that most people who don’t achieve what they dream falter at the first step, which is turning aspirations, into purposes.
That is because most people dream, but few are moved to do something about it, such as beginning to plan for it. However, if you do reach the initial stage of planning, there’s very little chance of you not doing it. Hence, what’s important is to motivate yourself to build the initial plans. Once your blueprint is ready, you will be encouraged to follow it through.
Once the machine is set into motion, the motivation keeps on coming. You plan, you act, you achieve. Since you have set various milestones for bringing your plan to fruition, you aren’t going to achieve everything in one big gobble. Anyway, things don’t usually happen like that. You are going to swallow one bite at a time. You are going to get one little success at a time. Good enough! Each little success that you get tells you that you can. It tells you that you have come one step closer to getting your dream realized. You move more speedily toward success at the next milestone.
In any accomplishment, it is always the start that’s problematic. As things begin materializing, even little things, you see that your energy increases as well.
If your aspiration is to have a house, you must start setting yourself various purposes, viz. milestones. These could be multiple, of course, and you would need to set them according to their priority. Probably one of your first milestones is to speak to a financer about financing options. If you do accomplish that, i.e. if you find a bank that verbally tells you it can give you the mortgage that you are looking for, you are definitely motivated to take the next step. Your momentum increases drastically because now you see your aspiration taking shape. When the next step gets fulfilled, probably you get a real estate agent who locates a property for you that you like, your speed increases in multiples. It goes on like that, till it begins to seem like you are on a collision course with your target, which is nothing but your aspiration!
I Came. I Saw. I Conquered.
So we have seen the three important things it takes to materialize any dream or aspiration that you have in your life. First aspire. Then set milestones. Then achieve them.
It will be quite unusual that there will be occasions when this system will fail. But, there are definitely times when the whole process can go much faster. One of these ways is when there’s an opportunity looming.
Yes, this is a whole different story. Opportunities come knocking at our door. We know all about those clichéd sayings. But these sayings would not have become clichés if they weren’t true. However, what we need to remember here is that if we are at the right place and at the right time, things are quite expedited.
You have to first come. This means, you must be aware of what is happening around you. Keep your eyes peeled. Keep your mind functioning always. Know that opportunities come in various shapes and sizes. An email can change your life. The advertisement behind your bus ticket could be the turning point of your life. A phone number carelessly thrown about could be it. The secret is to never denounce anything. Don’t let “no‟ be your reflex response to anything.
Next, you need to “see‟. This means you must evaluate what you have just stumbled upon. Do your research. Is this worth it? Ask around. Check on the Internet. There are forums about anything and everything nowadays. Meet those people in person if you think that could help you decide. Involve someone knowledgeable whom you can trust. Without seeing, you must not plunge into anything, relevant or irrelevant.
The ultimate step is to “conquer‟. When everything fits, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t put all your energies into conquering it. Make the most of what you can. You started with the aspiration of achieving what the opportunity held for you, now you must unleash your action driven life upon it to achieve that glory.
Sifting Through The Dirt
So far, we have been talking about what you must do in order to achieve what you have set your mind upon. But there are still several nagging problems that might get in the way.
For instance: What do you do when there is more than one option to take you where you want to go?
This is bound to happen. We live in a highly competitive world. There are more options than one person can handle, for just about everything. What do you do then? You need to start sifting through the dirt, just like how a diamond sifter would sift through the dirt, to get at whatever precious stones could be found. You have to do the same thing. You have to evaluate the worth of every option.
Ask yourself these questions-
1. Is this going to be worth my time/effort?”
2. Is this option better than the others? In what way? Are the benefits clear on the surface for all to see?
3. Is there a good review of this option wherever I research?
4. What are the pitfalls?
5. How fast will this milestone get accomplished? How much nearer will I be to my eventual goal after accomplishing this?
6. How much value will this add to me as a person?
It is very difficult to get positive answers for everything, but go by the law of numbers. Whatever has the best/most positive answers, should be the winner.
The Difference Between Existing & Living
Everyone exists. Only a few live.
Existing is a biological phenomenon. We breathe, we eat, we drink, and we exert ourselves physically and mentally. That’s existence. We are life. We go on. We perform our biological tasks and then we die. That’s existence.
Living is an entirely different ballgame. You don’t live just by breathing or eating or drinking. You live when you show that you have an individuality of your own. When you can plan, and strategize, and do things that improve you as an individual. That is living!
We all live to an extent. But the extent of life is different in each of us. This is shown in the quantum of success that each of us receives. By taking our discussion further, we could say that a person who gets more successes in life lives better than someone who gets lesser glories. So, life isn’t an absolute concept. It is relative. It depends on the quality of success you get.
Existence is an absolute concept. Everyone exists. The mathematical value of existence should be 1.
But the mathematical value of living can be anywhere between 0 and 1.
Whether your living is closer to the 0 or the 1 is decided by how you tackle situations in your life. Do you allow things to just happen and go on by your instinct? Or are you focused, and make rational go forward decisions? If you do things that bring you closer to achievements, you are living, and not merely existing.
It is highly important for us to know this difference, and to make sure that we live and don’t just exist.
What Shouldn’t Faze You
Action isn’t without its perils. Not all action becomes substantial. There are times in which you might be punching in the dark, trying to hit at something but without managing to do so. This could deter you. This could make you bail out of the situation and go back to where you were before.
If you let the difficulties get at you, you aren’t going to make any headway towards your goal/goals. The most important point is to never get bogged down in the face of difficulty. Never succumb to the thought of- “This is beyond me.” It isn’t. Think calmly and coolly about it and you will see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Never Giving Up
The point is to become relentless. Be unstoppable. If you bow down to the impediments and difficulties that can and will come into your path, you will not make much progress.
Never give up. That’s the gist of it all. Instead of removing yourself from the situation, try to find another way of handling it.
If you are living an action driven/purpose driven life, you will find this very easy to do. For you, the journey is more important than the destination. So, you wouldn’t mind applying your efforts in another area. You will also not mind the experimentation that goes on with such dynamic approaches. Sooner or later, you will find the one place where your efforts will really mean something.
So, go ahead and become unstoppable. By doing that, you have nothing to lose. Give one thing your best shot, and if that doesn’t work, give your best to something else. This is the true meaning of living a purpose driven life. You act, and don’t expect immediate results, because you know that eventually, all of the right pieces, will fall into place.
Now you know what a purpose driven life entails, and what you need to do, to live a purpose driven life.
The benefits of living a purpose driven life, make it very attractive to consider living this way.
This Book Changed My Life by Michael “MJ The Terrible” Johnson – https://www.therealmjtheterrible.com/the-book-that-changed-my-life-by-michael-mj-the-terrible-johnson/