Is Lack of Purpose Hurting Your Potential?

3 reasons why you need to discover your purpose and what could happen if you don’t.


In 2002, Christian Pastor Rick Warren wrote a book called the Purpose Driven Life. The book immediately went to the bestsellers list, topping the Wall Street Journal and New York Times lists for 90 weeks. It eventually went on to sell over 30 million copies, a feat seldom seen for any motivational type books, let alone a Christian book.

Regardless of your beliefs about faith, there is something about the title of this book that so consumes us as humans and perhaps explains it’s phenomenal success…. purpose.

Everybody at some point asks themselves what the purpose of their life is, yet I meet so many people who simply do not have a clear idea of what it actually is… Their why for doing the things that they do.

Why does PURPOSE matter? 

[tweetthis]Knowing your purpose is essential to success in your personal and professional life…[/tweetthis]

Knowing your purpose is essential to success in your personal and professional life… Regardless of what success looks like for you, doing it just for money, or just to pay the bills can be an effective motivator for a time, but sooner or later even these primary drivers lack substance in the long term.

Lets face it, most of us at some point have been in a job for the money or to pay the bills yet we’ve hated every minute of being there… Dreaming of a time that we could be doing something we “truly” love.

Here’s the rub… work without meaning is well just that, work… But the flip side of that is; even the most mundane of jobs when done by someone who believes it is their purpose, can become an insatiable passion…


[tweetthis]work without meaning is well just that, work…[/tweetthis]

The trouble is; so often we are locked into careers, businesses and jobs that have long since lost their meaning and rather than reaching out towards our full potential and living a life that leaves a legacy for others, we spend our time and energy just running the clock down to a time when we can do something we really love (after we retire)…


Why is the Why so important?

So why is knowing your purpose so important?

1. Knowing your purpose, helps you to make choices and decisions now that will influence and shape the future you are working towards… It’s nice to have goals and dreams, but if we don’t fully understand why we are heading towards that destination, we will not always take the chances or opportunities that lead to our destiny. Competing interests, priorities and other people’s agendas will always crowd out the decision making of a person who does not know their purpose.


[tweetthis]Knowing your purpose, helps you to make choices now that will shape the future [/tweetthis]


2. Knowing your purpose will also help you assess if the direction you are heading is actually the best fit for you. Just because you’ve got a dream or a goal to achieve, doesn’t mean it is a good fit for your personality, gifts, and stage of life. Challenging your goals / dreams and asking yourself the hard questions about why you’re chasing them will help you assess the long term viability and satisfaction that they can bring. As the old adage says’ “there is no point reaching the top of the ladder if it’s leaning up against the wrong wall…”


[tweetthis]no point reaching the top of the ladder if it’s leaning up against the wrong wall…[/tweetthis]

3. Knowing our purpose pushes us from our comfort zone. If fear of failure or fear of loss in security are the only whys that drive you, you will always play life safe and will miss the opportunities to grow and stretch to your full potential. Knowing your bigger purpose, the thing that is bigger that your own personal needs or fears will give you the courage to step out beyond your comfort zone. With each step you take outside your comfort zone you will push back the limits and the boundaries of your fear. With each step beyond the safe zone, you will step closer to living in your full potential.


[tweetthis]each step you take outside your comfort zone pushes back the limits of your fear.[/tweetthis]


So what’s your purpose. Your why that keeps you going? I sum my why up like this: To live a life helping others reach their full potential. It’s broad enough to encompass a range of my skill sets and passions but specific enough to help me stay on track with my goals while still pushing me beyond the safe zone of my own selfish fears.

With every opportunity, or decision I make, I ask myself; is this step going to help others reach their full potential? If I can answer yes to that, then it gives me a clearer step forward. Under that I have some more specific whys that relate to my skill set, family desires and personal aspirations, but they are all ultimately framed around this one simple life statement.

My challenge for you: Can you state your life purpose simply and succinctly? Does it give you a why for what you do that is bigger than your own personal feelings or desires?  If not, take some time to think through your purpose. Your why and right it down. Filter all of your activities and aspirations through it and ask yourself “what needs to change, what can stay the same…?”


Comment below and let me know how you went.


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