“Purpose is what gives a life meaning.” Charles Perkhurst
It’s days like today I am extremely thankful for being fueled by purpose. Why? I’m tired. Yet I am still motivated and even passionate about the day. Why? Because I’m pursuing my purpose. Of course I need to stay on top of my attitude, but the exuberance to live is still there. When I got out of bed and stumbled my way downstairs my first thoughts had me thinking about being tired, but my second thoughts had me thinking about my dreams, goals, and purpose for living, and those thoughts overwhelmed my thoughts of tiredness.
Five years ago I wanted to live a life of purpose but I didn’t know how to do that. In fact. I’ve always had a sense of my purpose. I’ve always known my life was supposed to count for something. I’ve not been one motivated by the pursuit of the mighty dollar or material possessions but by impacting the lives of people. I suppose that is why I was a teacher for four years, been on three overseas mission trips, and have poured much of my life into the lives of others through youth ministry and coaching. Yet, I still struggled knowing how to get from point A to point B.
For some reason I started thinking about people without hope and even those who commit suicide. I looked online at some statistics by the American Association of Suicidology. One statistic that stood out was the age of those most likely to commit suicide. Men between the ages of 45-54 have the highest suicide rate. Perhaps it’s because these people realize, after what seems a lifetime, they have been working, struggling, and pursuing things that have no meaning. Without realizing it, not knowing one’s purpose for their life leads them to make a life-ending decision. Stephen Covey describes a philosophy called “logotherapy” by Nazi prison camp survivor, Viktor Frankl. “Many so-called mental and emotional illnesses are really symptoms of an underlying sense of meaningless or emptiness.” Once this condition takes hold of a person, often times they simply give up on life. We have heard of the “mid-life crisis.” Personally, I believe the mid-life crisis is the result of someone who has taken a long, hard look at their life and realized they didn’t achieve the things in life they had wanted. Or perhaps they achieved what they wanted and ultimately realized it provided no fulfillment and had no purpose. In other words, they realize they have wasted their lives on meaningless pursuits.
A person who realizes their life has no meaning can lead them to make a couple of decisions. First, whether they achieved their dreams only to discover they had no meaning, or they never achieved their dreams and are frustrated, both feel unfulfilled and empty. If they are not able or are unwilling to discover their God-given purpose, then they slip into a state of hopelessness or regret. It may even be possible that people have reached out to them and offered a “way out” but have already quit on themselves being too engulfed in despair. I don’t want to go too deep into this group, but I believe they make up many of those 45-54 year olds that end their lives.
But the choice of the successful is to change and decide to pursue those things that make for a meaningful life. They adjust and find a means to reach their goals and dreams and live a life of purpose. They aren’t afraid to ask, “Why did God put me on this planet?” The end result, a life of fulfillment, purpose, and legacy, is more important than the vehicle that takes them their. These people are not afraid to ask the “tough” questions and have the resolve to do what is necessary to grow, learn, change, adapt, and win in life. They don’t give up or quit; they push on to find answers to the tough questions.
The last couple of years of my life in many ways have been the most difficult. My family has had to overcome financial, health, and relational obstacles, as well as make tough decisions on how to move forward, giving up the comforts of today in order to receive the excellence of tomorrow. YET, they have been some of the most fulfilling and exciting years of my life as well. I wake up every day with a fresh sense of hope because I absolutely know without any doubt that I am on the path to fulfill my purpose and my dreams. Earlier I said I always knew I had a purpose; I just didn’t know how to get from point A to point B. Now I know. Together with my wife and kids we daily work on improving ourselves and consciously make decisions that will impact our future. We serve and love people and help them to live the lives they’ve always wanted. We read great books on marriage, parenting, finances, leadership, freedom, and faith. We hang out with the most amazing people who also strive for excellence in their lives. And we listen to life-changing, mind transforming, and motivating information that is a constant reminder of the life that will be. Then we implement all this wonderful truth into our lives. I just can’t imagine a better way to live!
There was a time in my life where I would have wanted to crawl back into bed and hide from the day, but couldn’t because of my job and the demands of others dictating to me how to live my life. So I would have had a lousy attitude throughout the day, worn a frown on my face, and probably would have taken it out on either my wife, kids, or co-workers. But instead, I couldn’t go back to bed because I am rejuvenated with the hope of winning the prize. Despite my tiredness, I am eager to get on with my day. I remain passionate about living a life of purpose. I wanted to get up and press on towards the high calling on my life. I’m living a life of purpose.
If you have not discovered your purpose in life, or are not sure how to fulfill your purpose in life, then I invite you to check out the LIFE business. It’s not for everyone, of course, but it is for everyone who chooses to leverage it to live a life of purpose. After all, there’s no better way to live than to live for your purpose.
“The successful person has the habit of doing the things failures don’t like to do. They don’t like doing them either necessarily. But their dislike is subordinated to the strength of their purpose.”