16 Signs that you are living purposefully

​Living purposefully is one of the most effortless but enjoyable experiences which you can enjoy in life. When you are living purposefully life just flows. Like flowing water, you effortlessly adapt to any obstacle which is placed in your path. You carve out your own path for life as you pass peacefully through. There are times when things can become turbulent and you can fall off purpose but with a small amount of conscious effort, you can usually guide yourself back until you are living purposefully once again. It may take a little time and effort to find your purpose but once you do so, and you choose to live your purpose, the benefits are beyond measure.

​Live With Purpose Checklist

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16 Signs that you are living purposefully

​The following tips will enable you to identify whether you are living purposefully or not.

1. You build supportive relationships

artist living purposefully

Traditionally, we build friendships based on proximity. Social psychology shows us that we tend to have a greater fondness for those whom we spend more time with. We often build these friendships at a young age but as we change and our lives change, these relationships fail to change with us. As a result, we can end up spending a great deal of time with people who no longer support our growth as human beings.

When you are living purposefully, you understand the need to evaluate relationships to ensure that they are mutually supportive. It is not just about what others can do for you, it is also important that you be able to help others. The objective is not to kick old friends out of your life (unless it is absolutely necessary); the objective is to organise your priorities.

Relationships have a double spiral effect. The right people will lift you up and help you to achieve your goals and objectives. However, if you surround yourself with the wrong people, they will pull you down and hold you back from achieving what you want to achieve.

​Key Point

​Surrounding yourself with the right people, those who will support you, is a giant step towards fulfilling your purpose and achieving your goals.

​Living your purpose

​If you would like to identify your purpose and, learn how to live your purpose, check out the 'Living Purposefully Course'.


2. You take responsibility

be hppy living purposefully

​When you are living purposefully, you do not run away from your problems. You do not blame others for what has gone wrong in your life. You accept full responsibility for the results which you achieve. When you don’t get the results you desire, you identify the changes that you can make and put a plan in place to make those changes.

Too many people confuse responsibility with blame. Blame suggests that you deliberately set out to ​achieve the unwanted outcome, you have achieved; that you deliberately, or negligently, screwed up. But responsibility is not about that. It is about finding the best way forward by identifying what went wrong and, correcting it.

When you get a bad outcome, you will usually have contributed to the problem in some way. This is ok because when you identify your contribution; you know that by doing something different, you can achieve a better outcome next time.

​Key Point

​Taking responsibility is not to be feared. It is a positive course of action which will allow to create the life you want, far quicker that blaming everybody else ever will.


3. You are authentic

brilliant mind living purposefully

​You know who you are – your purpose, your values, your principles and your goals. You dedicate your life to pursuing these. When conflict arises or difficult decisions need to be made, you do not bow to the pressures of others. You consult your own conscience and you take what you believe to be the best course of action. One of the mottos by which I live my life is:

‘Do what you believe to be right and accept the consequences’.

​There is only one expert in your life – you! You are the only person who has access to all the information about your thoughts, decisions, actions etc. Others, like me, can offer some thoughts and advice but ultimately, you still must be the one who decides what is right for you.

You weren’t meant to live your life on other people's terms. Being authentic is fundamental to living purposefully because you start living from the inside out; shaping your world to meet your needs.

​Key Point

​Living purposefully and enjoying a happy life requires that you take charge of your own life. You make the decisions, living true to who you are and, expressing your own authenticity.


4. You put your own needs first

carve your name living purposefully

If you want to be in the best position to help others; you must first ensure that you are the best ‘You’ that you can be. Living in a constant state of sacrifice, where you always put the needs of others first, is both unhealthy and unviable.

If you focus on continuously growing as a person, you will constantly be developing new knowledge and skills which you can use to serve others, while also achieving your own goals and objectives.

Ensuring that your needs are met and, you are the best you can be, is not selfish. It is a sign that you care about you and, the world around you When you are at your best, you are better able to help and serve others. They benefit from you taking the time to care for, nurture and, develop yourself.

​Key Point

​When you don’t put your own needs first, you are not living purposefully because you are not allowing yourself to be all you can be. It is not just you who loses out when this happens. You are not able to give your friends, colleagues and loved ones the support they need so, they lose out too.


5. You keep moving forward

chickens eagles living purposefully

Living purposefully focuses on growth and improvement. To do this, you must keep moving in a forwards direction. Everybody has unpleasant things in their past but as Tony Robbins said:

‘The past does not equal the future, unless you choose to live there’.

So, rather than dwell on the past, you must focus on building your future. If you find yourself dwelling on a past incident, ask yourself these questions:

  • What is the lesson here? Then implement the lesson and move on.
  • Who do I need to forgive here? It may be you or it may be somebody else that you need to forgive but if you are harbouring any bad feelings, you need to let it go and move on.

​Remember that when you are hung up on the past, you are living in the past. You can’t take action in the past as it is gone so, you are not going to be able to change anything about it. Do what you need to do to let it go and move on.

​Key Point

​When you don’t put your own needs first, you are not living purposefully because you are not allowing yourself to be all you can be. It is not just you who loses out when this happens. You are not able to give your friends, colleagues and loved ones the support they need so, they lose out too.

Remember that when you are hung up on the past, you are living in the past. You can’t take action in the past as it is gone so, you are not going to be able to change anything about it. Do what you need to do to let it go and move on.

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6. You don’t let fear of failure put you off

door closed living purposefully

​When you are trying new things, you are always taking a chance. Naturally, you may experience a little fear of failure but when you are living purposefully, you understand that as long as you achieve a result you can learn from it. If it is not the desired result, you can make the necessary changes and try again. Failure only arises when you have no result to learn from i.e. you didn’t even try.

When you are passionate about something and driven to make it happen; you don’t just take pleasure from your achievement. You take immense pleasure from the learning and personal growth which take place along the way.

Learning, personal growth and personal development are key components of living purposefully. Fulfilling your purpose in life requires that you learn, develop and grow to meet the challenges that lie before you.

​Key Point

​Life really is about the journey, not the result. As such, you must realise that there is no such thing as failure. It is all just setbacks and feedback along the way.


7. You understand that you cannot buy happiness

find your purpose living purposefully

​You no longer chase money because you understand that money cannot buy happiness. To live purposefully is to live with happiness. Of course you will still want to be paid appropriately for your work but it is the work itself which takes priority, not the pay check.

Remuneration is something that is received because of the work you have done. It is not the purpose of the work. When you are living purposefully, you realise that even where the work does not naturally meet your purpose, you can bring your purpose into the work. This allows you to take real pleasure from all that you do.

​Key Point

​The real value of your work comes from what you put into it, not what you take out of it. You can easily bring your purpose to any work that you must complete.


8. You are more decisive

greatest thing living purposefully

​It is easy to waste time overanalysing things but you no longer do that. You are crystal clear on what you want and what you are trying to achieve which makes decision-making a much easier process. Something either serves your purpose or it does not.

Think about it for a moment. If you do not have a clear idea about what you want or, what you want to achieve; how can you possible decide on the best course of action to take. You can’t because you have no clear criteria to make the decision.

Indecisiveness doesn’t come from having too many options. It comes from having too little clarity. When you are living purposefully, your purpose gives you the clarity you need to make the important decisions.

​Key Point

​Your purpose gives you focus and clarity. In turn, this means you have the criteria you need to make the right decisions; allowing you to move forward with confidence.

Indecisiveness doesn’t come from having too many options. It comes from having too little clarity. When you are living purposefully, your purpose gives you the clarity you need to make the important decisions.

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9. You don’t wait for perfection

lamp lifeboat living purposefully

​Perfectionism kills confidence, productivity and performance. If you wait for the perfect moment before doing something; you will never do it. There is no such thing as perfection. Things can always be improved. Rather than wait for perfection, you know that it is best to get to work, do the best you can and if necessary, make adjustments later.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest problems in modern life. With the advent of social media, people have begun to feel more pressure to get things just perfect for fear of being judged or ridiculed. People see more of our lives and, tell us more about their lives. This leaves us feeling the need to keep up.

But most of what others tell you about their lives is either embellished or, a straight up lie. Perfection is neither possible nor necessary. Instead of pursuing perfection, just do the best with what you have available to you in that moment. You can always improve on it later, if you need to.

​Key Point

​When you feel the need to be perfect, you are not living purposefully because you are not being motivated from within. You are instead being motivated by what you fear others may think or, how they may respond. This is pointless because you can never please anyone anyway.


10. You don’t compete

strong purpose living purposefully

​You pursue supportive, collaborative relationships which are aimed at achieving mutual benefits. You do not feel the need to compete with others. Success in life is not about doing better than other people, it is about being the best that you can be.

When you understand this, you realise that each person is unique and there is sufficient opportunity for us all too live happy, healthy and successful lives. Therefore there is no need for competition, comparison or jealousy.

Also, when you don’t feel the need to compete, you eliminate a great deal of perfectionism because you no longer fear what others may think. In fact, you know that should you need it, you will be able to get help and support from others. This type of outlook makes living purposefully so much easier.

​Key Point

Living purposefully is about support, collaboration and cooperation. This is the antithesis of competition. Competition is often just something that others create to help themselves feel good about feeling bad.


11. You set the standards for yourself

why living purposefully

​You set the standard at which you wish to live and work. Others may choose to adopt different standards; that is their prerogative. As an authentic person, living purposefully, you will not allow anybody to lower your standards.

Your life is your game. You set the rules by which you play. We each set our own rules. Sure, if you break somebody else’s rules by behaving in a way that they don’t like, you may face some consequences e.g. they fall out with you. But that still doesn’t mean that you must adopt their rules.

Alternatively, others may hold you to lower standards than you hold yourself but that should never be a reason to drop your standards. When you approach the end of your life and, you look back, you won’t judge your life by other peoples’ criteria. You will judge your life by the standards and criteria you set for yourself.

​Key Point

​Living purposefully is not just about deciding the direction of your journey. It is also about deciding the rules and standards you will apply to every action you take to get there.


12. You live by your values

blows aimlessly living purposefully

​Values are one of your conscience’s ways of communicating with you. They set guidelines for how you might like to behave. When you act in accordance with your values, you will be much happier for it. When you act in conflict with your values, you will experience inner turmoil.

When you live by your values, you have your inner guidance system. This gives you the criteria and the wisdom to make key decisions, in a manner which serves your needs. You no longer need to gauge other people’s opinions and views because they can’t really make the big decisions for you.

When you use your values to make the decisions, you know that you are being true to you so, you will be able to remain content that you did the right thing; even when things go wrong.

​Key Point

​​When you are clear about your values and you place your faith in those values; it really is like an internal GPS system telling you which way you need to turn and, pointing out any potential problems which lie ahead.

When you live by your values, you have your inner guidance system. This gives you the criteria and the wisdom to make key decisions, in a manner which serves your needs. ​

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​Values based living

​If you would like to idenitfy, prioritise and define your values, 'Values Based Living' will help you do so.


13. You don’t feel the need to explain yourself

wishes living purposefully

​You understand that each person is unique and they must live their own purpose. You do not require others to explain their choices and you feel no need to explain yourself to those who do not understand you.

Remember that living purposefully means that you are:

  • ​true to who you are
  • pursue your own goals and objectives
  • ​live your life as you see fit
  • check
    do the best you can in all that you do

​When you do these things, you realise that you do not need anyone else’s permission to live your life as you see fit. Others can have their opinions and judgements but that is none of your business. You don’t need their approval and, you don’t seek it.

Of course, you also recognise that others have the right to live their lives as they see fit. They do not need your approval so, you don’t waste your time judging them.

​Key Point

​Living purposefully allows you to choose your own path and, follow that path. The only one who loses out if you go astray is you so, why should the judgements of others stop you from living your way.


14. You appreciate

ny speck living purposefully

​When you live purposefully, you see the beauty in life. Not just the big moments; you see the beauty in the small moments too. You take the time to appreciate each of these moments. This is the true wealth in life.

When you are not living purposefully, you are completely disorganised. As you have no clear direction, you end up doing a little bit of everything, without really getting anywhere. As you don’t seem to be making progress, you may struggle to see anything to be grateful for.

When you are living purposefully, you don’t just know what to focus on. Just as importantly, you identify all the things you don’t need to be focusing on. With fewer things in your life; which are of more value and importance to you; you are more grateful for everything that comes your way.

As you see more things to appreciate and, you take the time to appreciate them, you are going be happier, healthier, more confident and more successful.

​Key Point

​We all have things in our lives for which we should be grateful and appreciative. However, when you have no clear sense of direction, your life can be overcrowded leaving you unable to identify those things you should be appreciative of.


15.You banish worry and guilt

purpose to serve living purposefully

In his book 'Your Erroneous Zones: Step-by-Step Advice for Escaping the Trap of Negative Thinking and Taking Control of Your Life', Dr. Wayne W. Dyer correctly describes worry and guilt as useless emotions. Guilt is living in the past. It is wasting time thinking about things which you cannot change.

Worry is equally useless. It requires you to spend time getting upset about things which might never happen.

Rather than be bogged down by either of these emotions, you know that it is better to focus on the best course of action that you can take. You trust that you can handle anything that comes your way and because you have built supportive relationships, you know will be able to find people to help you, should you need it.

​Key Point

​​Living purposefully allows you to stay living in the present, focusing on what you can do in the here and now. The present moment is the only time you can take positive action so shed the guilt about the past and, the worry about the future.

​Live With Purpose Checklist

I have created a FREE Checklist to help you determine whether you are living with purpose, or not.


Click Here to Get Your Copy


16. You are more focused

find your mission living purposefully

​You know that you cannot please everyone so, you don’t even try. You know what your purpose is and you focus on pursuing it. If people require help that lies outside of your area of expertise, you will confidently point them in the right direction rather than make a botched job of trying to help them.

This really is where the true value of living purposefully kicks in. What we fail to notice is that a great deal of our unhappiness comes from things and people which shouldn’t be in our lives in the first place. When you realise this, you see that getting more focused allows you to remove anything and anyone who shouldn’t be in your life; thus, boosting your happiness.

Living purposefully gives you that focus and sense of direction that you need to cut out the things and people that do not add value, while allowing you to give more time and attention to those that do.

​Key Point

​​Living purposefully allows you to stay living in the present, focusing on what you can do in the here and now. The present moment is the only time you can take positive action so shed the guilt about the past and, the worry about the future.

​Living Purposefully

​Living your purpose is a wonderful way ot expressing yourself and, being true to who you really are. You can learn to identify your purpose and bring it in to your everday life with the 'Living Purposefully' course.


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​Conclusion

Living purposefully is effortless living. You become so certain of who you are and what you are trying to achieve; you can make difficult decisions with consumate ease. You feel a great deal of certainty about your life and you trust in yourself, even during the most difficult times. Living purposefully brings meaning and joy to everything that you do and a greater sense of fulfilment upon the completion of each task. The 16 points, listed above, will help you to determine whether you are living purposefully or not. If you find that you are not living purposefully, you may want to ask yourself – ‘what is the ​my life purpsoe?’

Image credit: Carlos Zuniga Garate