I’ve always admired people who operate with a sense of clarity and focus. They seem to have a clear grasp on what they do, why they do it, and the difference they hope to make in the world. For a long time, I believed those people were the lucky ones. They had a divine sense of their purpose. They never doubted, questioned, or wondered if they were doing the right thing, in the right way, and at the right time.
One of my mentors challenged me in my thinking about this. He explained confidence and purpose don’t resonate from a job, title, paycheck, or authority. It comes from a place deep within. The people I admired understood how to put their purpose into action.
This released me from my current thinking and challenged me to approach this subject differently. Action is what creates clarity and purpose. I had it all backwards. The magic—if you will—was not in the knowing but the doing. This changed everything.
ACTION CREATES CLARITY OF PURPOSE.
I believe there are many people waiting for everything to line up just perfectly in hopes they can find significance, purpose, and meaning. They are hoping they are “next in line” for the opportunity to discover their divine design that results in some form of divine applause.
My challenge to students, leaders, and those whom I mentor is this: What are you doing today to unleash your limitless potential? If you’re not taking micro-leaps in your relationships, conversations, and commitments today, you won’t be ready or prepared to take the mega-leaps life will present you during different seasons of your life.
LET ME SUGGEST SEVEN WAYS YOU CAN PUT YOUR PURPOSE INTO ACTION:
1. Describe what living life on purpose means for you. It’s easy to let ideas just roll around in our heads and never take the time to clearly articulate what you mean, intend, or desire. This is an incredibly clarifying exercise that will focus your thinking.
2. Determine what you want to achieve in the next 12 months. If you don’t know where you’re going, you won’t be able to determine what direction to head and if you’re drifting off course or not. Make these specific, actionable, and measurable. That way you can easily determine when you’ve achieved them.
3. Outline what needs to change for those things to be true in your life. Growth always requires change. It starts with you. If you’re not willing to change, you’ll severely limit your ability to discover your purpose and put it into action.
4. Look for one opportunity every day to do something uncomfortable, unfamiliar, and maybe even a little out of reach. Curiosity is what keeps pulling us toward what we don’t yet understand, know, or believe. This is a key characteristic of those who experience success in life.
5. Keep a record of your experiences, observations, questions, and progress. It may not fit into your workflow today, but there are many ways to achieve this. You don’t have to use a leather-bound journal and a quill pen. Just make a point to record your experience and what you’re learning for 30, 60, or 90 days. Then reflect on your notes from time to time. You’ll be surprised at what you learn about yourself.
6. Read a biography of someone famous who accomplished or achieved remarkable things. Those who really accomplish meaningful things have a depth of understanding about purpose that anchors them even amid significant challenge and seemingly insurmountable odds. They aren’t that different from you. They just kept pressing forward.
7. Find someone who will hold you accountable to put into action what you commit to do. Whether you accomplish this through a more traditional mentor model or not, enroll your spouse, boss, pastor, or friend to make sure you make good on your commitments. When you don’t have to account for your progress, it’s easy to let yourself get away with excuses and flawed logic.
Putting your purpose into action doesn’t have to result in quitting your job, moving to a new country, and living wildly different than you do today. It might. But that will not be the case for the vast majority of people.
PURPOSE IMPACTS EVERY PART OF YOU.
If there is one more thing I would add is purpose doesn’t simply end with your job, vocation, or career. Purpose is something much larger than that. It encompasses every aspect and dimension of who you are. It is sourced from the essence of your personality, ambition, and drive. It’s embedded into your DNA.
That means when you put your purpose into action, it will have an impact on you, your career, your family, your friends, and every other dimension of your life. Action creates change. The desire to change isn’t enough. It’s only when you find the courage to put your purpose into action will you release the power and potential within you to transform yourself and the world in a unique and specific way.
You have the personal power right now to put your purpose into action. No one else can do this for you. It's part of the journey you must make alone. But if you are willing to take the journey and put your purpose into action, you will find the strength, clarity, and focus to make the life you've always dreamed true.
REFLECT: What steps are you taking today to put your purpose into action? How do you need to grow in the coming weeks and months? Who needs to be part of your accountability system to ensure you continue to move forward toward your destiny?