~ Adapted from John C. Maxwell’s new book Intentional Living
I’m convinced that most people want to live a life of purpose.
The vast popularity of Rick Warren’s book The Purpose-Drive Life was in part based on this desire, which became evident when millions of people bought the book.
Rick writes, “Humans were made to have meaning. Without purpose, life is meaningless. A meaningless life is a life without hope or significance. This is a profound statement and one that everyone should spend time pondering. God gives purpose. Purpose gives meaning. Meaning gives hope and significance. There is awesome truth contained within that logic.”
Just think of the difference knowing this message would make to a young person just starting his or her life. When I read Rick’s book, it was an affirmation of how I have lived. I got so excited about it that I wanted to buy it and give it to every twenty-year-old I knew. Purpose empowers significance.
Everyone Has a Why
I believe every person has a why and has the ability to find it. Do you believe that too? If not, are you willing to accept the idea? If you haven’t already found yours, I believe you can. Why am I convinced of that?
- Every person was created to do his or her part to better mankind. That includes you!
- Every person has talents that will help them better mankind. That includes you!
- Every person is given an opportunity to better mankind. That includes you!
- Every person has a purpose for which he or she was created. That includes you!
- Every person must look within to discover his or her purpose. That includes you!
Maybe you already have a strong sense of your why. If so, you already have a great head start on your significance journey. However, if you’re like most people, you would be grateful to have some help figuring out your why. I want to help you with that.
Ask Yourself a Lot Of Questions
The process begins with questions. I love to ask questions. They have unlocked more doors of opportunity for me than anything else I have ever done. So I ask questions in any and every kind of situation. And then I listen to the answers. That’s where learning begins to happen.
The first question you must ask yourself is this: How can I add value to others? If you can quiet yourself enough to listen for that answer from within yourself, you will begin to understand your why. I have to tell you that this question has been the foundation and driver of every significant act in my life. Did you get that? Having a life that matters comes from the ability to add value to others. This is where significance starts. Let that idea stir within you while I show you more specifically how to find your why.
Start with One Word
Another way to help you discover your why is to focus on the core of who you are and see what grows from that. In his book Aspire! Kevin Hall writes, “The first thing I do when I’m coaching someone who aspires to stretch, grow and go higher in life is to have that person select the one word that best describes him or her. Once a person does that, it’s as if he or she has turned to a page in a book and highlighted one word. Instead of seeing three hundred different words on the page, the person’s attention, and intention, is focused immediately on that single word, that single gift. What the individual focuses on expands.”
What is your one word? What best describes you? That single word may inspire you, focus your attention, and help you to understand your why. Where will that one word take you? How does it relate to adding value to others? Why is it significant?
Keep that one word in your mind as you go about your day in the coming weeks and see where it leads you.
– John C. Maxwell
Kim D. Moore
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