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Live on purpose – Editorial by Bryan Golden

Posted on Sunday, March 4, 2018 at 7:00 am

Are you living on purpose or by accident?  When you do something on purpose, your intentions are clear, your actions deliberate, and your goals are specifically identified.  You know what you want, have a specific plan to get it, and take the necessary steps to obtain it.

If you are not living on purpose, your life is based on chance, things happen by accident, and you have no specific desires that you are willing to act on.  You are drifting aimlessly.  Wishing and hoping alone have little impact on the results achieved.

People without purpose are ineffective at obtaining specific goals.  Consider these examples.  A baseball pitcher throws each pitch in a haphazard direction with no regard as to the person at bat.  An author sits at a computer hitting keys randomly.  A chef uses whatever ingredients are on the shelf and mixes them together in a bowl without having any idea of what food is being prepared.  A teacher has no lesson plan but instead talks to the class about any topic which comes to mind.  A carpenter cuts his materials without measuring or looking at the plans.  During a race, a marathon runner travels down whatever streets look interesting.

None of the individuals in these examples are going to accomplish anything.  There is no purpose to their actions.  Unfortunately, too many people drift through each day in this same purposeless manner.

Living on purpose requires specific detailed goals and timeframes.  You have to identify where you want to go and determine when you want to get there.  General objectives such as being happy, being independent, having a good job, or being in a satisfying relationship, are all too vague.

Happiness is a wonderful objective.  Obtaining it requires a detailed understanding of exactly what makes you happy.  Can you make a list of each component required for your happiness?  Be specific.

What do you want in a satisfying job or occupation?  What type of work do you want to do?  What type of boss would be ideal or do you prefer to work for yourself?  What size company would be ideal?

Regardless of your destination, the more detailed your objectives, the more purposeful you are.  Visualize each goal as if it were real.  When you do this, your sense of purpose gives you laser like focus.

Examine where you are right now.  You may be surprised how many of your current circumstances have occurred by accident.  This is OK if you want whatever you have gotten.  The problem is that the results of this approach are unpredictable.

Concentrate on your objectives.  Maintain a constant mental image of every aspect of your destination.  Imagine how you will feel once you arrive.  Formulate the steps necessary to get you there.

In order to live on purpose, you need a purpose.  Knowing your purpose gives you a specific objective to work towards.  But what can you do if you can’t identify your purpose?

Understanding your strengths, weaknesses, likes, and dislikes, will help you identify your purpose.  If you were independently wealthy right now, how would you like to spend your time?  The answer to this question provides insight into what is really important to you, which leads to your purpose.

If you are not living on purpose, today is a great day to start.  As you know, time goes by too fast.  Don’t spend your time drifting aimlessly.  Chose a purpose that’s important to you now.  You can alter your purpose at any time.  This puts you in the driver’s seat of your life so you can reach your destination.

NOW AVAILABLE:  “Dare to Live Without Limits,” the book.  Visit or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at or write him c/o this paper. Ó 2015 Bryan Golden