I graduated high school as mediatarian. No that doesn’t mean I subsisted on finely aged books and DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince cassettes (Summertime!). It means I was really good at being mediocre. So good, in fact, it’s worthy of a name. Mediatarian it is.
Back then, living centered around all things social. That all changed in college though when I got involved in student activities and assumed leadership positions. I then began devoting more of my life to living for other students, trying to make their college experience better. From throwing big events to being their primary representative with school administration, I was living with more of a purpose.
While doing this, I met professor and motivational speaker, Joe Martin. Joe changed my life.
To this day, he speaks all around the nation about living with purpose. When I first heard Joe speak, I was blown away. The idea of finding my calling and pursuing a career that aligned with it was incredibly powerful to me. So, we brought Joe to the college to speak. I had the honor of introducing him. I was like a proud dad. I did my thing and then Joe did his. He knocked it out of the park. I mean he killed it. I wonder if anyone’s life was changed that day?
More than a decade has now passed. A lot has happened to me related to living on purpose, which over time I’ll write about here, but for now, here’s what living on purpose has done for me and what I believe it can also do for you.
1. Provides direction
Living on purpose gives us direction, no matter what. Let’s face it, life happens. From laziness to tragedy to temptation, there are so many things that can derail the purpose train. If you believe you’re living purposefully, don’t trick yourself into believing you always will. Again, life happens, but purpose-driven life always give us a home to return to where we can re-center ourselves and get moving again.
2. Accomplish more
Even living with a calling takes work. After all, we’re human. We get distracted, lazy, negatively influenced or a litany of other things that pull us away from our God-given calling, however, when we’re cranking on purpose, we accomplish a lot. I’ve found that when working to achieve a higher calling, we get more disciplined in all areas of life, which then begin to build upon one another. Financial begins to feed social which feeds spiritual which feeds family and so on. At that point, we create near-unstoppable life momentum.
3. Builds confidence
People feed off productivity, especially when it’s something we value or feel is important. When life stops happening to you and you start happening to life, the natural by-product is increased confidence.
4. Keeps you energized
We all know people who just seem down in dumps constantly. Eeyore from Winnie-the-Pooh books pretty much sums up this person. Perhaps you are them. On the other end of the spectrum are the Tiggers of the world. Sure, there are plenty of happy, bouncy people who aren’t living on purpose, but people who do are energized all the time. They’re positive, optimistic and hopeful. Even introverts who are living purposefully are Tiggers on the inside.
5. Helps you fight when life happens
As I said above, life happens, even to the best of us. Life happened to Jesus. Life happened to his disciples. Life will happen to you, too, if it hasn’t already. One of the greatest pleasures of living is sharing the world with spectacular people who bring amazement and wonder to our lives. It feels great when we’re trucking along, living out our calling, helping people and then a parent gets Alzheimer’s disease. Cancer strikes your spouse. Your best friend gets killed in a car accident. Worst of all, a child dies.
Life happens. When it does, you need more than Saturday morning golf with your friends or book club or running or even the confines of church to help strengthen you. Living on purpose gives you fight because it gives you hope, even when you’re so far down you question whether your purpose is even real.
Question: Are you living on purpose? How has living this way benefited your life?