The Oxford Dictionary defines purpose like this: The reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.
I bet you could have guessed that; right? Now the textbook definition is of record. May I ask a question? How do you live life with purpose?
To live with purpose is to live intentionally. It means to spend time doing the things most important to you. What is important? Family? God? Church? Money? Education? The list can go on without end. Pick 6 or 7 important things and jot them down.
Did you do it?
Now, who is important? Parents? A spouse? Significant other? Kids? Friends? Colleagues? Someone else?
Jot them down.
Where these lists intersect is where you are most alive.
I suggest living intentionally is doing as many activities as possible with the people who matter most. Agree or disagree? Don’t be shy, let me know in the comments.
What’s stopping you from living intentionally? I bet it’s…
Do any of these sound familiar?
1. Problem: Smartphone notifications. The best conversations and interactions get interrupted by a ding, a chime, a ring. We yell at kids for interrupting a few times, but the smartphone interrupts in unending beeps and buzzes, and we hold it tighter than the hand of a loved one. On average a person now checks their mobile phone 150 times every day.
Solution: Turn off all non-essential notifications. I must be kidding; right? Nope. I turned off all notifications nearly two years ago. I haven’t had a house phone in 10 years, and I leave my cell phone on silent–always. How do I function? On my terms. Sometimes I leave voicemail full so no one can leave a message and I don’t have to waste time listening to messages I don’t want to receive. For the love of God, if you are family or a friend please don’t leave me a voicemail. Voicemail is for strangers. If you are in my contacts I’ll see that you called and I’ll call you back … if I want to. If it’s important, send me a text and say I really need to talk to you. You have decent odds that I will respond in a timely manner. If you want my attention on social media tag me, otherwise, I may never see it. When I check in I’ll receive a notification.
2. Problem: Email. When email is always on it sucks the life, productivity, and purpose out of you. Your purpose is lost on what comes into your inbox. The task manager comes to you instead of you controlling the tasks to complete each day.
Solution: Batch check email. When we look at highly productive people like Michael Hyatt we see why the habit of checking email only twice/day is promoted. Schedule your email processing. What if you only checked email shortly after you set down to work, and near the end of the day? Your days will have more purpose.
3. Eliminate Clutter. Complete small tasks immediately. Clutter finds you. Mail and bills pile up. Life becomes complicated to maneuver when clutter happens.
Solution: Don’t let mail pile up. Just do it. Toss junk mail. Have a small go-to spot for bills and essential papers. Better yet, receive bills via email. You can find them quickly when necessary. Don’t check the physical mailbox every day. I hate checking the mail. It means I have something to do. Check mail every 2-3 days, and be ready to deal with it upon receipt. Lately, I don’t keep greeting cards. Sure, I have special mementos from the kids with handprints. School papers, tax papers, everything else gets scanned and goes to Dropbox. Complete short tasks immediately. If it only takes a minute be like Nike and “Just Do It”. It isn’t worth the mental anguish that you’ve left something undone.
4. Keep a to-do list. If nothing else happens today these three things must happen. Write them down in the morning and let them focus your purpose for the day. No matter what else happens these things get done–today. It’s best to get to these items first, as early as possible. At the end of the day review your list and celebrate your accomplishments.
Dr. Stephen Covey had it right. You have to put the big rocks in first. Set out to accomplish the things that matter. Begin with the end in mind.
You set the purpose of your life. Take charge of it. Do you play the game of life with purpose, or does life play you like a pawn?
Want to tip the scales in your favor? Visit www.wetalkhealthy.com and begin walking with purpose today.