It’s fascinating how to go to the next level of something, you often need to let go of what worked for you in the past.
As Marshall Goldsmith put it in one of his books: "what got you here, won’t get you there."
I feel like I’ve been learning that a lot in relation to the question: How do you know if you're living life on purpose?
Traditionally, I think of living life “on purpose” as my actions being aligned with whatever overarching goals I have at the time and as doing what I planned on any particular day.
The direction is intentional, and the task is intentional.
There is absolutely value in that way of thinking and being, particularly if you find that important priorities like your health or your key relationships are being neglected.
But this way of being can only take you so far. Especially if you’re a Christian, there’s a higher and a better way.
This higher way is where doing things “on purpose” has less to do with accomplishing certain tasks and far more to do with making sure that the attitude of your heart is to be aligned with God’s purposes.
Instead of constantly looking to your “stated priorities,” you’re constantly looking to the Lord and to what He has for you. You’re living “on purpose” when you are in the center of His will moment by moment.
Instead of following a plan, you’re dancing with your dance partner. He’s leading you gently and skillfully each step of the way.
This can be such a difficult shift when you’re used to solo dancing. Letting go of control can feel really disconcerting, disorienting and even make you angry and agitated.
Your initial gut reaction can be: This is not how life is supposed to be!
But in time and with practice, you can learn the freedom of being completely present in the moment and confident that you’re living "on purpose" regardless of whether your actions happen to align with any particular goal that you think that you should be achieving at the time. This God-centered approach to time management is at the heart of my new book Divine Time Management: The Joy of Trusting God's Loving Plans for You.
I hope that this insight gives you freedom to let go and to not feel like your life is purposeless even if you don’t see how it’s all coming together right now and to not get frustrated when uncontrollable events happen that take you off plan.
About Real Life E
Elizabeth Grace Saunders is the founder and CEO of Real Life E® a time coaching company that empowers individuals who feel guilty, overwhelmed and frustrated to feel peaceful, confident and accomplished. She is an expert on achieving more success with less stress. Real Life E® also encourages Christians to align themselves with God's heart through Divine Time Management.
McGraw Hill published her first book The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment: How to Achieve More Success with Less Stress. Harvard Business Review published her second book How to Invest Your Time Like Money. Hachette is publishing her third book on Divine Time Management: The Joy of Trusting in God’s Loving Plans for You. Elizabeth contributes to blogs like Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and Fast Company and has appeared on CBS, ABC, NBC, and Fox.