January 30, 2022
Back to “rambling” on Sundays, I mean.
You can check out the full archive of all my previous Sabbath Ramblings posts here, several of which culminated in my book Fit Soul and many others that have served as material for my upcoming book Endure.
If you weren't a regular reader of my previous ramblings series, I'll quickly fill you in: these weekend articles tend to be highly spiritual in nature, and usually focus on motivation, life improvement, soul fitness, and many other topics that, I think, are arguably more important than, say, physical or mental fitness. After all, your soul is the one part of you that will go on to live in eternity, for better or worse, long after your body and brain have faded away.
So today's article is about purpose and purpose statements for life, which in my book Boundless: Upgrade Your Brain, Optimize Your Body & Defy Aging, I describe as “my most potent tip for increasing your energy vibration and the vibrations of all people around you.” In the book, I told you that it is crucial to…
…identify your purpose in life and enable yourself to achieve that unique purpose to the very best of your ability, all while loving God and loving others as fully as possible with that purpose.
See, when it comes to being happy and living a long time, it’s not your 48th ayahuasca trip, relentless pursuit of six-pack abs, crushing a new workout personal record, finally discovering the perfect diet, engaging in free-wheeling polyamory and open relationships, or any other recent infatuation of the health, wellness, and longevity movement I have witnessed so many times.
All flesh and blood are like a plant that eventually withers and dies. Just look around. The fastest track athlete will eventually be defeated by muscle loss, neural degradation, and arthritis. The most beautiful supermodel in the world will not be on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue when she’s ninety-seven years old. Even wealthy, powerful CEOs who can throw money at nearly every problem eventually get betrayed by their bodies and die.
Yep, we fade. We wither away. As 1 Peter 1:24 in the Bible says: “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall.”
What is in fact contributing most to your energy vibrations at any given moment isn’t your beauty or your fitness or your accomplishments, but your soul. Therein lies your ability to be, as the title of my last book alludes to, truly boundless. I even have a tattoo that I emblazoned onto the skin of my shoulder when I was just 20 years old. It’s the Japanese Kanji symbol for Ki: which is also known as chi, soul, spirit, chakra, and prana (this is why I named my supplements and nutrition company “Kion“). It is the invisible, boundless life force that flows through all of us. Caring for this all-encompassing energy of my body and fueling it with the spiritual disciplines and union with God is how I now live my life, how I begin every morning, and how I end every evening.
See, true and lasting happiness is not achieved by external circumstances, nor your thoughts, nor your intentions, nor even your feelings, but rather your soul. In his book Soul Keeping, author John Ortberg defines the soul as that aspect of your whole being that correlates, integrates, and enlivens everything else. He writes that we all have two worlds: an outer world that is visible and public and obvious, and an inner world that may be chaotic and dark or may be gloriously beautiful.
In the end, the outer world fades, and all you are then left with is your inner world.
But ironically, the more obsessed we are with ourselves, our fitness, our cognitive performance, our finances, and our food, the more we tend to neglect our souls. When your soul is not centered and in the right place, you tend to define yourself by your accomplishments, your physical appearance, your title, or your social circles and friends. But then, when you lose any of these attachments, you tend to lose your identity. I’ve experienced this myself when I’ve gotten injured, sick, or had a poor race or workout and subsequently felt like I was losing my happiness and transitioning to a lower level of energy vibration because I was losing my shaky identity as an “athlete” or a “healthy person.” Suddenly the emptiness of those shallow pursuits became distinctly magnified.
Perhaps this is why one of my favorite Bible verses, Mark 8:36, which I first introduced to you in the introduction of this book, says, “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?”
So how do you connect with and care for your soul? I’ll tell you how.
You must ask yourself: What is the core part of you that you want folks to talk about at your funeral?
In other words, what is your purpose?
What Is Your Purpose In Life?
If you’re not clear on what your purpose actually is, I recommend that you ask some people who know you pretty well, such as your immediate family or close friends, to describe to you why they think God placed you on this planet and what the unique skills and talents are that seem to flow naturally from you.
Ask them what they think should be written on your gravestone. Ask them what they think your unique purpose is. I’ll hazard a guess that it’s not that you were the best exerciser, or that you ate an amazing, flawless diet, or that you had gorgeous skin, or that you made oodles of money.
But you can’t stop there. It’s not enough to simply identify your purpose (a process I'll teach you how to do shortly). To truly connect with and care for your soul, you must also connect with your inner self, and ask yourself this one question:
“What aspect of my life can I change today that will allow me to care for my soul so that I can identify and achieve that purpose?”
Maybe it begins with a meditation practice. Maybe stepping into a church. Maybe mending a broken relationship. Maybe stopping to breathe and be present. Maybe dropping a relentless pursuit of a better body and brain and, instead, realizing that your approach has been horribly skewed and that to truly achieve deep, meaningful satisfaction in life, you must begin to care for the most important part of you that will exist for eternity and begin to share that discovery with the rest of the world by living your entire life based on your core purpose.
No matter what it is that must change, you’ll find that you must often radically change your environment to radically change your habits. This might mean staying in bed an extra ten minutes to read your Bible or complete a gratitude journal, ditching the evening Netflix binge to spend time with God or your family, and taking a weekend day of rest and recovery to go and volunteer at a homeless shelter, neighbor’s garden, or soup kitchen rather than going on a 2-hour hike, playing catch-up with phone calls, or doing back-to-back workouts (an all-too-common Sunday habit of many of the fitness enthusiasts with whom I OFTEN hang).
So let me ask you this: What is your purpose? And how alive is your soul so that you can identify and fuel that purpose?
Now, take a deep breath in through your nose, and out through your mouth.
Sense your spirit.
Sense your soul.
It’s there. It may be shriveled up and dry and neglected but it’s there, ready for you to grow and nurture it. Take one more deep breath in through your nose, then smile and breathe out. You are an amazing soul. You are here for a purpose.
Are you now convinced that having a purpose is of pretty significant importance in your life? If so, and if you still need help identifying or developing your purpose and your personal why, then keep reading.
How To Find Your Purpose In Life
So now we get down to brass tacks. How exactly do you identify your purpose in life?
I've studied up on this quite a bit, and there are plenty of purpose-finding materials and resources I've thoroughly read and reviewed, with some of my favorites including:
- Claim Your Power by Mastin Kipp
- Limitless by Jim Kwik
- Personality Isn't Permanent by Benjamin Hardy
- The Values Factor by John Dimartini
- Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper
- True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership by Bill George
- The Lifebook Course by Jon and Missy Butcher
- Websites such as Life Purpose Quiz, TheWhyStack.com, StartWithWhy.com, and WhyInstitute.com
Gee. That's a lot of content about purpose. So do you now need to drop everything and spend the next three months of your life reading all that?
You'd probably come out the other side a better, more purposeful person.
But one area in which I think I can do you a convenient service is to succinctly distill into a few key tips what I personally learned from each of these books and websites, and what I see as recurring themes in most purpose-finding literature and resources like those cited above. I can guarantee that if you use the following steps and tips outlined below to identify your life purpose, you'll have harnessed 80% of the goodness from those resources above and be left with the option to delve into them in your own free time if you so desire.
So here we go. I recommend that as you read the steps below, you sit down with a journal and jot down your replies with a pen or pencil and paper. If you’re reading on an e-reader, you may even want to print this article and tuck it into a journal so you can step away from the computer, e-reader, or smartphone and into a different set and setting with few connections, distractions, and notifications as you complete these exercises.
How To Find Your Purpose In Life, Step 1: What did you like to do when you were a kid?
You were born with a unique set of skills and talents; things you tend to be good at based on the way your brain is wired, the way your genetics are assembled, and the way your body is built. As a result of these nature-based traits, along with nurture-based influence from the family and households you grew up in, you likely tend to enjoy and be good at specific activities.
For example, I grew up absolutely loving reading books; writing stories; learning via documentaries, courses, and movies; teaching what I learned to others; singing songs; speaking in front of people; creating art and new ideas; and competing in sports and other games, such as chess and video games.
So my own personal purpose statement was, until last week:
…”To Read & Write, Learn & Teach, Sing & Speak, Compete & Create In Full Presence & Selfless Love, To The Glory Of God.”
See how that purpose statement weaves in many of the same activities that I loved when I was a child? Those are the activities that still ignite my joy and put me into a state of flow. Prior to that, my purpose statement was: “To Empower People To Live A Joyful, Fulfilling & Adventurous Life.”
If you're a bit foggy about what you were actually like and what you enjoyed doing when you were a little boy or a little girl, then, if your parents or relatives who were close to you at that time are still alive, invite them out to dinner or a coffee. When you sit down with them, ask them one question:
“What was I like when I was a kid?”
That's it. Then prepare to sit back, listen, and take notes.
How To Find Your Purpose In Life, Step 2: What puts you “in the zone” now?
In the field of psychology, a flow state, also known as “being in the zone,” is a mental state in which you are performing an activity in which you are fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, enjoyment, and presence during the process of engaging in that activity.
For example, if I sit down in front of a blank Word document on my computer and begin to write, my concept of time vanishes. I'll write for hours. Words just flow out of me. I don't think about food or drink, and I'm often oblivious to everything else going on around me, even if I'm in a busy coffee shop. I've always been wired that way. My wife, on the other hand, absolutely detests writing and would rather walk on a bed of nails than pen an essay. However, if you plant her in front of a blank canvas and give her a set of paintbrushes and a bit of oil or watercolor, she'll absolutely bloom with joy as she paints for hours on end, entering her own “zone” with a satisfied smile on her face (I, on the other hand, tend to painfully cringe as I forcefully attempt to “make art happen” on a blank canvas).
So what puts you in the zone at this point in your life? Writing? Art? Craftsmanship like woodworking or building something with your hands? Gardening? Exercise? Programming?
Identify those activities, and weave them into your purpose statement. I guarantee you'll find a great deal of overlap between those activities and what you enjoyed doing when you were a kid.
How To Find Your Purpose In Life, Step 3: What naturally comes easy to you?
This may seem a bit redundant with the consideration of what you enjoyed doing when you were a kid and what puts you in the zone now, but it's important to take into account because if your purpose statement is built around those activities that naturally come easy to you, you'll be highly self-actualized as you live out that purpose statement. Self-actualized people are those who are significantly fulfilled, driven, and joyful in their day-to-day activities. For self-actualized people living out their true purpose in life, a day of work often feels like a day of play.
And guess what? There's absolutely nothing to be ashamed about if work comes easy to you. Often, we have a belief pattern, perhaps influenced by the traditional so-called Puritanical work ethic philosophy* that a day of work needs to be a day of drudge, drenched in blood, sweat, and tears; and we frequently believe that only at the end of a day of work can we take a deep sigh of relief and “play” (although we're typically so exhausted by the hard work that play is the equivalent of junk food binges, video games, and Netflix).
But, as Mark Twain said, if you “find a job you enjoy doing, you will never have to work a day in your life.”
Others have shared Twain's thoughts. Here's what Stephen King has to say:
“Yes, I've made a great deal of dough from my fiction, but I never set a single word down on paper with the thought of being paid for it … I have written because it fulfilled me. Maybe it paid off the mortgage on the house and got the kids through college, but those things were on the side–I did it for the buzz. I did it for the pure joy of the thing. And if you can do it for the joy, you can do it forever.”
Steve Jobs noted that:
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
Then there's Thomas Edison, who said:
“I never did a day's work in my life, it was all fun.”
You get the idea. Work can just flow from you. When it does, and when it feels like play, that's another sign you're living out your true purpose. Sure, there will be times when you experience what Steven Pressfield refers to as the “resistance”—rationalizing, fear and anxiety, distractions, the voice of an inner critic, and other elements that keep you from creating your authentic art (whatever that creation of art might be)—but this resistance doesn't indicate you're not living out your purpose. It's just a day-to-day temptation we all tend to face: a temptation towards laziness or fear of the unknown, failure, or embarrassment. Learn to identify the resistance to living your purpose, embrace the resistance as a sign that you're engaged in something impactful, then press on (and definitely read Steven's book Do The Work!).
*a quick note regarding the Puritanical work ethic. I don't mean to throw the Puritans under the bus. In the book, “Exploring New England's Spiritual Heritage“, author Garth Rosell describes how the Puritans were actually encouraged to identify their purpose in life with much prayer and reflection, to take into account their natural gifts and inclinations, to seek the advice and confirmation of their friends and family, and to consider the practical needs of the community in which they lived.
Interestingly, those who were gifted for and inclined to “sundry callings” (the equivalent of a blue-collar worker, such as farming, construction, horseshoeing, etc.—which in modern days could be the warehouse worker, firefighter, construction worker, custodian, etc.) must seek to discover which of these callings is “the best.” Similarly, those who were privileged to study in what was called “the schools of the prophets” and at liberty to become school-masters, physicians, lawyers, or ministers were considered to have a special obligation to seek among these available options their very “best calling.”
Regardless of what career was chosen by these Puritans, their callings were encouraged to conform to three basic principles. First, to serve the public good and to seek one another's welfare. Second, to have “gifts of body and mind” suitable to that calling (although they also believed rightly that when God calls a person to a particular task, he will also provide the appropriate gifts to fulfill it). Third, to be sure that calling is from God, by relying upon prayer, the guidance of the Bible, the counsel of friends, the encouragement of the community, and the existence of an open door opportunity.
If that vocation was considered to be homely, boring, or ordinary, they focused upon performing that task nonetheless to the glory of God and the good of others. After all, Jesus himself girded himself with a towel and washed His disciples' feet. If a Puritan was anxious about whether or not their work was successful, they were encouraged to “cast their burden upon the Lord” and to find contentment whatever the circumstance.
So ultimately, while I don't think that work, especially working in our true purpose and calling, needs to be viewed as a daily drudge of sweat, blood and tears, I do agree with this Puritan philosophy that no matter what your work is, it should be chosen carefully according to your unique gifts and the counsel of God, friends, and family, be done in full excellence, with a spirit of love towards others with no complaining, and, finally, should “multiple purposes” be available to one, the best purpose is the one most highly suited to your gifts.
How To Find Your Purpose In Life, Step 4: Summarize your purpose into one single, succinct statement that you can memorize.
This next step will take practice.
Write down all those things you loved to do when you were a kid, those activities that put you into the flow now, and what naturally comes easy to you.
Then connect the dots and try to express all those elements into one single, succinct purpose statement that you can easily memorize.
Again, for an illustrative example, my own purpose statement is…
…”To Read & Write, Learn & Teach, Sing & Speak, Compete & Create In Full Presence & Selfless Love, To The Glory Of God.”
And again, before that, it was…
…”To Empower People To Live A More Adventurous, Joyful & Fulfilling Life.”
Keep your purpose statement specific, precise, concise, clear, and goal-oriented. Write it down. It might be two to three paragraphs at first. Then a paragraph. Then a couple of sentences. Then one sentence. Then that same sentence, simplified. Refine it. Edit it. Write it again. Have no guilt about changing it a dozen times if need be. But you must, must, must make it short and easy to memorize so that you can quickly recall it and rely upon it when the bullets of the matrix of life are flying at you and you need to remind yourself of why you are doing what you are doing.
Finally, understand that your purpose statement can change over time as your passions and personality change. C.S. Lewis, one of my favorite authors of all time, once quipped “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” So your purpose statement during this current chapter of the book that is your life may change in a future chapter of your life. That's OK. Don't feel guilty, flaky, or schizophrenic about that. Be open to change and do so by sitting down with your purpose statement on at least a yearly basis—reviewing it, analyzing it, praying over it, meditating upon it, and questioning it to get clarity on whether it still fully aligns with what your soul knows to be true. Run it by friends and family members to get an objective opinion. Do that the first time you write your purpose statement and continue to do it for every future purpose statement you create.
How To Find Your Purpose In Life, Step 5: Love God & love others with your purpose.
Finally, no matter how good your purpose statement is, it will never be truly fulfilling or impactful if it's all about you.
If the motivation behind and reason for your purpose statement is to make more money, own a better car, have a nicer home, attract successful people, run faster, get stronger or achieve, achieve, achieve, then you'll never truly be happy, and in the end, your purpose will feel selfish, meaningless, empty, and unfulfilling.
Instead, once you have written your purpose statement sentence, you must go forth and love others with your purpose. Bless others selflessly with your purpose. Change the world with your purpose because you love people, not because you want to fulfill Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs or scratch your own back. Follow the Golden Rule with your purpose. Pursue your purpose with zero selfishness and in full love for your fellow human beings, and, trust me, the rewards back to you will naturally come in due time. But the focus of living out your purpose statement should not be on your own happiness, but rather the happiness of others. That's what will, in a way that sneaks up on you without you even knowing it, is what will truly make you happy.
Furthermore, don't just love others with your purpose, but also love God with your purpose. After all, you were created as a unique being in the image of God, and one of the greatest things you can do with your purpose is to wake up each morning and, as one of my trusted mentors once told me, “Do the very best thing that day with whatever God has put on your plate.” By doing your work and living out your purpose each day with supreme excellence, you'll magnify and glorify the mightiest Being this world knows. That's the greatest love and greatest gift you can give back to the Creator who put you here in the first place and bestowed upon you the unique skills, body, and brain you've been blessed with.
One of my favorite preachers, John Piper, puts it this way:
“We are not called to be microscopes. We are called to be telescopes…There is nothing and nobody superior to God. And so the calling of those who love God is to make his greatness begin to look as great as it really is. That’s why we exist, why we were saved, as Peter says in 1 Peter 2:9, “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
So our whole duty in life, therefore, can be summed up like this: Feel, think, and act in a way that will make God look as great as he really is. Be a telescope for the world of the infinite starry wealth of the glory of God.
Ultimately, live your purpose in full love for others and for the magnification and glory of God. I guarantee the impact of your life will be profound if that's the lens through which you see and manner with which you live out your purpose.
Review (But Keep Reading After This Review!)
I realize that's plenty to digest, so I'll stop there.
So now it's simply time to calendar a time with your journal to address these thought exercises:
- What did you like to do when you were a kid?
- What puts you “in the zone” now?
- What naturally comes easy to you?
- Summarize your purpose into one single, succinct statement that you can memorize.
- Love God & love others with your purpose.
If you're curious or troubled about whether you truly have identified your purpose correctly, then consider these words from my friend Brett McKay from his Art Of Manliness article “You Know You’ve Found Your Purpose When…”:
“Your life’s purpose — whether as a profession magnifier, human caretaker, faith promulgator, or cause catalyzer — is essential to find, but can be difficult to discern. You know you’ve found yours when, despite the risk, pain, effort, and mundanity (and no matter the purpose, the mundanity always far outweighs the excitement), you can do naught else but continually return to its trenches.”
Based on all this, I have a challenge for you: spend time over the next day, week, or month identifying, honing, writing, and memorizing your purpose; and then, in a journal, or even better, in addition to that, in a public forum such as social media or at the dinner table with family and friends, write or verbalize your purpose statement for the world to see. Then, as you progress into the next chapter, prepare yourself to discover what the most fulfilling and noble focus of that life’s purpose should be based upon.
My New Purpose Statement (& Why I Changed My Purpose Statement)
I don't think it's a secret anymore that I'm working on a new book.
It's a parenting book, and it's slated for a September 2022 release. So every day, I'm waking quite early and spending around 1-2 hours on this book before delving into my other daily tasks (podcasting, coaching, consulting, advising, investing, research, etc., etc.). After all, in case you didn't hear, we are going through an entire rebrand of Ben Greenfield Fitness. But more on that huge change later.
Anyways, the parenting book involves, in one section, me answering specific questions about my history as a parent. One of those questions is as follows:
What, if anything, from your parenting experience would you go back and change or improve?
Great question. If you're a parent, questions like this are important to ponder, even if your kids are young and your answer involves you thinking forward to things you're doing now that maybe you shouldn't be. After all, Tony Robbins once quoted: “Hell on earth would have been to meet the person you could have been”.
Anyways, here's my answer to that question: in addition to working too much and justifying that work as providing for my family, I wish that I had grasped earlier the concept that while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with having my own big goals, dreams, passions, interests, desires, hobbies and bucket list items, I needed to give myself permission to intentionally include my children in those adventures or to put those items that didn’t directly involve my children “on hold” until their formative years had passed or they were independent and out of the home.
For example, from the ages of 21 to 31 years old, I drank the proverbial Ironman triathlon Kool-aid for the first several years of my sons’ life. As a result, I spent massive amounts of hours swimming, cycling, and running to prepare for monthly competitions in ultra-endurance events, and while I truly believe I did a much better job than others including my children in those experiences—such as carrying them on my back or dragging them on a kickboard during long pool swims, hauling them around in a double bicycle trailer as they munched on snacks and read books in their passenger seats, pushing them in their double stroller a countless number of times up and down the giant hill behind our house, and bringing them to races with me while enrolling them in the mini-triathlons that always occurred the day before my big event—it was, ultimately, a selfish endeavor that involved too many hours spent exercising and not enough hours engaged in quality time with my sons. It’s not as though my income or being able to provide for my family depended upon the sponsorship income or the minuscule checks I’d occasionally receive when winning or stepping onto the podium at those races, so there’s absolutely no reason I couldn’t have paused my Ironman triathlon endeavors for a decade or so to spend more time with my sons during their early ages. There’s also no reason I couldn’t have still scratched my competitive itch by opting for sprint or Olympic distance triathlons and other shorter or faster competitions that involved far fewer training hours.
The lightbulb moment occurred for me when I was a couple of months away from a solo ten-day Alaska bowhunting and fishing trip, and, during a meditation session, the thought crossed my mind that Alaska, caribous, moose, and salmon all weren’t going to disappear anytime soon, and there was no reason I couldn’t take my sons on that same trip when they were fifteen, or go on that same trip myself when I was fifty. So I canceled the trip, bought plane tickets to Hawaii, and took my ten-year-old sons on their first bowhunting excursion for wild pigs and sheep on the island of Kona.
That’s just one example, but the takeaway lesson is this: always be thinking about whether you can delay your big, hairy audacious personal goals until your children are grown up, or (better yet, in my opinion) creatively alter those goals to include your children.
Related to this concept, a new friend of mine named Chad Johnson, a father of eleven children (who will also be featured in my parenting book) teaches to his husband and father coaching clients a principle he calls the Giant Five Framework, in which he lists the top priorities for a father and husband to be:
1) Faith – the foundation stone upon which your entire life is built.
2) Marriage – you and your partner in daily union, “on the same page,” fighting together.
3) Children – an aspiration to raise your children to be all God created them to be.
4) Health – caring for your mind and body by being fit, healthy, and active.
5) Career/Work/Business – use your God-given unique abilities and life purpose to earn, serve, and bless others.
When I discovered this ideal order of priorities for a man who truly desires to be both impactful and fulfilled, I realized that focusing on my children wasn’t necessarily “backing out” on my own calling and purpose in life. Instead, I realized that it is OK and in fact, quite impactful and meaningful, for a man to devote a certain chapter of his life to focus on family and fatherhood, without simultaneously spending that chapter of his life also focused on building a massive business or spending all his energy on career development.
During a dinner I had last week with Chad, he described to me that when his youngest child was nine years old, and he was 51 years old, he realized that even after another decade of focusing on fatherhood, he still had at least twenty years remaining of his life to write books, build businesses, speak around the world, and work more than he might have otherwise had he not been focusing so much on family. This concept resonated with me so much that the next morning, upon meditating on Chad’s words, I changed my purpose statement in life from the previous:
…”To read & write, learn & teach, sing & speak, compete & create in full presence & selfless love, to the glory of God.” or “To empower people to live a more adventurous, joyful and fulfilling life.”
to instead be:
“Love God through prayer and worship, and love my family through preparing and providing.”
Do you see the subtle nuance here?
The former purpose statements are focused upon using my unique skills to inspire the world, teach others, and use my platform to help my followers, fans, readers, and listeners to live full and satisfying lives while savoring God’s creation. That’s all wonderful, but is actually a career/work/business priority, which is technically at the bottom of the big five list!
So after my conversation with Chad and time spent in subsequent prayer and meditation, I got to thinking that when my thirteen-year-old sons are in their formative years of becoming a man, and my wife and I are focusing upon forming a bond that will allow us to go into our later years of life inspiring and helping other couples and parents, preparing and providing for my family should be my top priority—and this means that the rest of the world might just need to wait a little bit for the next chapter of my life, which I can have the patience and trust will be there waiting for me when the time comes.
Furthermore, for me to be able to fully help others in the latter half of my life, which will be something I can do much more of after my sons have grown and left the home, I should also be spending a chapter of my life equipping myself with the full armor of God and adequately preparing myself to, as 1 Peter 3:15 says, “defend the hope that is within me” – and this means a greater priority based on intentional time spent in prayer and worship, even if that means sacrificing time spent on, say, preparing a podcast, writing a book or traveling around the world to attend conferences or give speeches.
So I would invite you to consider your current priorities in life, and whether all the career, work and business hustling you’re focusing limited time and energy upon should instead be redirected towards your spiritual health, family health, and personal health, especially, especially, especially if you still have children who are living at home.
After all, you only have one chance to raise those kiddos.
After all, your business will suck the life out of you if it is first instead of last on the priority list.
After all, at the end of the day, no career success will be meaningful if your relationship with God, your relationship with your spouse, your relationship with your children, or your relationship with your health have suffered or been sacrificed dramatically for the sake of the paycheck.
So now it's your turn.
What is your purpose statement in life?
Should you change it based on the five priorities (that you should probably scroll up and review)?
What comes first for you?
Where are you spending the most time and energy, and what does that say about where your true priorities lie?
Leave your questions, comments, and feedback below. But if you have a husband, a wife, or kids, make those comments quick. Your family is waiting for you to be there, fully present, for them. Talk to you next Sunday.
11 thoughts on “Sabbath Ramblings: Purpose Statements (My New Purpose Statement & Why I Recently Changed My Purpose Statement In Life).”
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Thanks for this powerful article. Best!
You're welcome Steven! All the best to you as well !
Thank you so much for sharing these insights. So much of this resonates with me, and I intend to give these questions some deep thought and prayer. I appreciate how vocal you are about the importance of faith and prayer, and I love the priority order that you listed. You’re exactly right: we only have once chance to prepare our children for the world, and a short time to do it. It all comes down to loving God and loving others — and finding out our unique way and purpose to do just that. Thank you so much!
Thanks for all you do Ben. Thanks for the reminder about what’s most important in life. You are an inspiration to us all. Can’t wait for the parenthood book release!
This sabbath rambling will definitely take a few rereads to digest, but I will be a better person for it. Thank you Ben. You are a giant among men.
Love that these are back!! We need more people like you getting the world physically and spiritually healthy. Thank you for standing firm for God and real health!
So glad that you have brought back Sunday ramblings. I think it is awesome that we get to experience the season of life together as children of GOD. I am starting my season of watching my children leaving the nest to start their new season of life. My oldest daughter gave birth to my first grandson 2yrs ago. I was amazed at how many of my friends could only focus on telling me how I was getting old now that I was a grandpa. I have never felt better in my whole life. Watching him grow and my daughter and son in law start this new season. Of life. Thanks Ben for sharing your journey with all of us.