“The man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder – waif, a nothing, a no man. Have a purpose in life, and, having it, throw such strength of mind and muscle into your work as God has given you.” ~ Thomas Carlyle
Your purpose in life reflects your ability to derive meaning from your life’s experiences, as well a your ability to make focused and intentional decisions. Most people have faced circumstances that made them feel purposeless at one time or another. This point may have come after the freshness of a new job faded away or after the excitement of a new relationship wore off. You start questioning whether or not that part of your life, or your entire life, has any meaning. It’s like you’re trying to run on a dead battery. You can’t start. You can’t turn over your engine and take any action.Instead, you sink into feelings of anger, fear, guilt, and sadness. People that fail to regain their purpose of living eventually stop feeling anything. They enter a state of apathy, which is a breeding ground of illness and death.
So, are you living an urgent life or an Important Life?
Too often the need to make money (urgent) wins out over the desire to build something we’re proud of (important). Too often the urge to find a way to lose twenty pounds in six weeks (urgent) wins out over becoming the type of person who doesn’t miss workouts (important). Too often the craving to be noticed or appreciated (urgent) wins out over the ability to be present and satisfied (important).
If you want to start living an important life, then choose a clear purpose for yourself. When you have the courage to say, “This is important to me and I’m going after it,” you don’t fall into the trap of living the life that other people expect you to live. A specific goal or purpose gives you direction and prevents you from being sucked into a whirlwind of time–consuming, unimportant tasks.
Nothing worth working for will ever seem urgent. That’s the nature of important goals. They don’t demand attention right now. They require a sense of purpose, a clear direction, and consistency over the long haul.