Purpose changes your life.

October 15, 2013 Motivation


Ever get that feeling that you are stuck? That nothing that we do matters? It’s because you are living life without a definable purpose The difference between life with purpose and life with no purpose is that with a purpose, actions are means to an end whereas without purpose actions are inconsequential.
1) Without purpose, our actions become ends in and of themselves.
2) The more purpose we have in our life, the more significant each of our actions is an
3) Since our life is made up of actions, the more purpose in our life, the more our life matters.

To understand the difference between actions as means to an end versus actions as ends in and of themselves, think of someone who has an early morning flight. Regardless of what time a person went to sleep, he will get up on time for his flight because not waking up (the means) will prevent him from achieving his greater purpose (making it to on time to his flight) and will therefore supersede his immediate desire (to sleep in). Waking up mattered.Conversely, if he had nothing to do and nowhere to be (no purpose), his actions would have no consequence making his action (sleeping in), an end in and of itself.

Making a flight cannot be a life changing goal. To see how a goal can change someone’s life, think of someone who aims to lose 25 pounds.
He can only eat certain foods, and this affects where he shop since certain foods are at certain places. He must also be more cognizant of where they eat and what they eat.
He must also exercise. He must budget time to exercise so: If he works out before work he must go to sleep earlier to wake up earlier which affects what he chooses to do in the evening. (plus losing weight is also dependent on proper sleep patterns).
Exercise also costs money. That can be as little as buying shoes for running and dumbbells for free weights or as much as purchasing exercise machines and hiring a personal trainer. For most of us, this means that we have to find a way to finance our exercise plan. We may have to work harder (which will affect our work)and/or we may have to cut other expenses from our life (which affect spending on other things).

I think the point is clear. Trying to realize just one modest goal intersects so many parts of your life that it makes each of your actions meaningful. But when our actions are ends in and of themselves, we get trapped by inertia – because these actions serve no other purpose than to fulfill our immediate desire.

Knowing that your routines on a daily basis are actually contributing to some ultimate goal will make every action feel far more meaningful because it will bemore meaningful. As we said in last week’s article “The Stonecutter’s Credo”, it is not the content of your actions but the consequences of your actions that make you more inspired. Are they means to an end? Or are they an end in and of themselves? How to define a purpose is something we will cover next week.