Friday, May 30, 2008


A great man once stated rightly that your future depends on many things but mostly on your defining purpose.”

Purpose can be defined as an intention; an aim or function of something; a reason for doing something. However, a second definition is that of “meaning; satisfaction; the ability to plan something and work effectively to achieve it; determination.” The latter holds a better explanation for today’s post.

My analysis of purpose, meaning or aim, is that of one big picture with smaller pictures stemming from the big picture. The big picture is defined with such questions as “why am I alive?”, “what do I hope to achieve at the end of my existence on earth?” Other smaller pictures that can be seen within this big picture will then include, what I hope to get from my present job, daily goals, what can be achieved from raising the kids using my current methods, etc.

No man wants to be reckoned with as being a failure, even in things termed “negative” going by societal norms and values. A man with purpose is more likely to have a plan, (together with the desire to see it through), and a man with a plan is more likely to succeed. Dr Rison Maden took stated it thus in his quote that “a man who succeeds has a programme.” But of course, without a plan or goal, I doubt if I would recognise success if it came stumbling down my path. It will just be seen as one of those things that happen, not an achievement per se.

Life can be quite a drab by the time it falls into a daily routine of “wake up- go through the day (work, sleep, food, etc) – end of day” if one does not have an aim or a mental picture of what is to be achieved by these activities. It becomes a boring and monotonous task.
When this is the case, the desire to quit living can take on an appealing look and may sometimes overpower the will to live. Then contemplation of suicide becomes a possibility. This mirrors a German quote that says, “What is the use of running, if you aren’t on the right road?” However, some people will run ahead regardless. Such grow old to find out they actually went through life without achieving anything… nothing to be remembered for!

Generally, one feels more zest and in a better position to take up challenges when one faces the day with purpose and a well mapped-out strategy to go with it. At least, this is what I have noticed in my few years of existence on this planet.

Where purpose is not known, abuse is inevitable. A life without purpose will be prone to unhealthy habits such as drugs, risky sexual practises and wrong eating habits.

The good news is that, it is never too late to seek out and redefine purpose. You can start NOW to re-evaluate your life then seek out something, a cause you will be willing to live for. The question “what do I want to be remembered for?” may be of help.

Some people once had purpose, and their life had meaning until they lost something or someone. I have come to discover that if the big picture is something indestructible, say a belief (like faith in God) or a cause, smaller sub- purposes will always be sustained. As Christians say, “build lasting treasures where moth and dust does not corrupt”. That way, despite temporal losses and set back, there will always be hope and something to live for. For example, an individual may decide to join in reaching out in volunteer work to HIV positive individuals after loosing a loved one to AIDS.

A purpose driven life is a life, beautiful to behold. It indeed is a life worth living. Go find purpose and the strength to succeed in all you do.

NOTE: The world stands aside to let one pass, who knows where he is going.
-David Jordan



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