The accomplishment of purpose is better than profit –African Proverb
Imagine, if you will, being on your death bed – And standing around your bed – are the ghosts of the ideas, the dreams, the abilities, the talents given to you by life. And that you, for whatever reason, you never acted on those ideas, you never pursued that dream, you never used those talents, we never saw your leadership, you never used your voice, you never wrote that book. And there they are standing around your bed looking at you with large angry eyes saying we came to you, and only you could have given us life! Now we must die with you forever. The question is – if you die today what ideas, what dreams, what abilities, what talents, what gifts, would die with you?
– Les Brown
Today, I want to dare you to release the treasure in you. I want to challenge you to live on purpose, to live with purpose and to live passionately purposeful. There was time when I did not believe that I was a very important or valuable person. My life had no real meaning. I merely existed. I felt hopeless, useless, unwanted and unloved. From the age of 10 – 17, I struggled with what is known as an existential crisis. I struggled especially with two questions:
• Who am I?
• Why am I here?
At the age of 10, I was writing on walls: “I wish I was not born.” By age 13, I tried to commit suicide. I took several pills from a bottle, waited to die but incredibly nothing happened. Although I attended church and even got baptized I did not understand my faith or purpose. By age 17 the crisis climaxed, I despised the dawn of each new day and begged God to let me die. I would ask him angrily each day, “why did you give me life? Nevertheless, it was in this state that something amazing happened that changed my life forever and set me on a new path to live meaningfully and to strive for success.
Shortly before turning 18, I had a life changing encounter. A woman and two men spoke into my life. The lady spoke first saying: “God is about to remove your timidity and he is about to launch you into something new. He is going to use you. Get more of his Word.” The men told me that I would be used to help many people, that I would travel to several countries and become a minister. They even named some famous female ministers to give me an idea of how I would be used. They told me God would send me mentors. One of them said that my thinking was too small and that I should think big. He called me a champion. Many other things were said and I have not forgotten them.
At that critical phase of my life I heeded their instructions and started developing the philosophy, habits and thoughts of successful people. The desire for death left me and I became purpose driven. Their words charted me in a new direction. Since that time I have become bolder, speaking to thousands across the world and helping many people to live their dreams and make a difference in the world. I no longer struggle with whether or not I have a meaningful contribution to make in life. I know my life has meaning and purpose. My challenge now is to maximize my full potential.
So let me ask you three key questions:
- Are you living a meaningful and successful life?
- Are you living a life worth living for or merely existing: eating, drinking, paying bills, partying or something more?
- What treasures are within you that need to be released?
I believe what changed my life can also change yours: having definiteness of purpose, that is, having a strong vision that you matter and that you can make a difference in the world.
Here now are three lessons on releasing the treasure in you and they are all connected with purpose.
Lesson 1: Don’t just live, live on purpose
Each year, more than 800,000 people commit suicide – around one person every 40 seconds. They choose not to live. In the 15 to 29-year age group, suicide is the second leading cause of death globally. But one does not have to commit suicide to stop living; one simply has to give up or to waste ones years with things that do not matter much earthly or eternally.
Myles Munroe, world renowned leadership expert, once said: “True leaders are born when you find something to die for… Most people die at age 25 and are buried at age 65…suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Everything in life will change so don’t take yourself too seriously.”
Indeed I was taking myself too seriously. I was taking the comments of those at school and at home too seriously and I gave up. I am grateful it did not work because now life is exciting even admidst the hard days. Tough days don’t last but tough people do.
Again, another quote from Myles Munroe will suffice: “The wealthiest places in the world are not gold mines, oil fields, diamond mines or banks. The wealthiest place is the cemetery. There lies companies that were never started, masterpieces that were never painted… In the cemetery there is buried the greatest treasure of untapped potential. There is a treasure within you that must come out. Don’t go to the grave with your treasure still within YOU.” I dare you to choose today to live on purpose.
Lesson 2: Don’t just live, live with purpose
I heard John Maxwell, renowned author and leadership expert, say in a programme on you-tube recently, that the two most important days of your life are: “the day when you were born and the day you discover why.” What a profound statement! When you discover why you were born, it is then you really start living with purpose.
Purpose, according to Munroe, “is when you know and understand what you were born to accomplish. Vision is when you see it in your mind and begin to imagine it.” Purpose and vision are interconnected. Again, Munroe’s wisdom comes into play: “the greatest tragedy in life is not death but a life lived without purpose.” When we live with purpose, we achieve more. We use our time better. We are able to focus better and give attention to things that really matter. If you don’t live with purpose, you will be living out the purposes of other people and following their dreams or wasting your life.
Living with purpose builds self confidence. It determines where you live and with whom you interact. It affects our habits and choices. It was Benjamin Disraeli, former British Prime Minister who said: “the secret of success is the constancy of purpose.”
Purpose makes you unstoppable. Jim Rohn puts it like this, “when you know the why, the how gets easier.” Purpose is the oxygen that keeps you breathing. It is the engine that keeps the car running. It is that which enables you to be resilient in the tough times. If you are going to release the treasure within you, you must be guided by purpose. I dare you today, to live with purpose.
Lesson 3: Don’t just live, live passionately purposeful
I recently heard a preacher say, “Purpose is the reason for the journey. Passion is the fire that lights the way.” Passion and purpose are explosive when mixed together. Here are some quotes that highlight the importance of passionate living.
“The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.” — Field Marshal Ferdinand
“When you set yourself on fire, people love to come and see you burn.” — John Wesley, Evangelist (eighteenth century)
“One person with passion is better than forty people merely interested.” — E. M. Forster
“There is no greatness without a passion to be great, whether it’s the aspiration of an athlete or an artist, a scientist, a parent, or a businessperson.” — Anthony Robbins
Jim Rohn captured it simply but profoundly: “Give everything you do all you’ve got. That’s the secret of success.” What dream do you need to become passionate about? What vision do you need to pursue passionately? What treasures are within you that need to come out?
It’s Decision Time
Decide today! What is your chief definite purpose for living? Decide today to do the things you are passionate and excited about. Decide today to release the treasure within you. Decide today to put your plans for the future on paper and begin to run with them. Where there is a will, you’ll definitely find a way.
If you like this article, comment, like and share this article but most importantly please live it! Thank you.