If you've been in the personal development space for a while, you've likely come across many resources to help you discover your purpose.
"Purpose," in those cases, means "that one thing that you were meant to do with your life" or "the reason you're here."
But what does it mean to live ON purpose?
In short, it means to discover and then continuously live according the one thing that you were meant to do with your life. It also means to do what you meant to do, no excuses or explanations necessary.
Too often, we find ourselves explaining why we are or are not doing something. We justify our decisions and our actions to people who have already decided that they do or do not approve of them. We have an innate need for approval, something that is lodged deep in the recesses of our lizard brains.
Climbing out of the depths and choosing to live on our own terms to fulfill our own reasons for being here—THAT is to live on purpose.
And the results of living on purpose?
They're outlined in the manifesto below.
TO LIVE ON PURPOSE: A MANIFESTO
TO LIVE ON PURPOSE ...
... IS OUR GREATEST PERSONAL FREEDOM
... WE MUST BE DELIBERATE & INTENTIONAL IN OUR ACTIONS
... REQUIRES DISCIPLINE
... ADVANCES THE WORLD
... IS TO USE OUR LIVES FOR THE HIGHEST GOOD FOR ALL MANKIND—INCLUDING YOU
Let's break this down:
TO LIVE ON PURPOSE IS OUR GREATEST PERSONAL FREEDOM:
"On purpose" means two things: one, that you meant to do what you did, and two, that you were meant to do something unique to YOU.
The ability to follow our own passions, talents, and unique life paths means that we've thrown off the shackles of expectation from our communities, our society, our families, and ourselves. It also frees us from explanations and excuses—we do what we do simply because we do.
TO LIVE ON PURPOSE, WE MUST BE DELIBERATE & INTENTIONAL IN OUR ACTIONS:
We must discover what we value and fiercely stick to our beliefs. We must distinguish what we hold dear from what we have been lulled into thinking. We must have the courage to go against the grain and do what is right for US—and respect that others may do the same.
This means that we must remove the autopilot and really think about why we're doing what we're doing. And then do so, unapologetically, without imposing our wills on others because they have the right and the freedom to do what they need to do.
TO LIVE ON PURPOSE REQUIRES DISCIPLINE:
We cannot remain in a state of "on purpose" without course-correction. Everybody wants a piece of you—your time, your money, your attention. Without vigilance and dedication to your values, then you may give in and give over your precious resources.
Your discipline, though, creates ease & elegance in your life. As you build habits that support your values, they simply become part of who you are. You no longer need to protect yourself from those that want a piece of you; you affect the world around you.
TO LIVE ON PURPOSE ADVANCES THE WORLD:
When you are no longer acting according to beliefs that are not your own or engaging in work that you are not meant to do, then you are free to makes your best contributions to the world. Your ideas and your creations and your execution are things that only you can bring—and without them, the world is a little less bright.
TO LIVE ON PURPOSE IS TO USE OUR LIVES FOR THE HIGHEST GOOD FOR ALL MANKIND—INCLUDING YOU:
This is my favorite of all of these tenets. Too often, when we think about service, we think outside of ourselves. Yet, we forget that charity begins with ourselves. We cannot give what we don't have, and if we're not filling our own vessels, then we cannot give to others.
To live on purpose—to do what you meant to do and to do what you were meant to do—enriches us and fulfills us at a primal, core level, which in turn allows us to share our gifts, grace, and energy with the world.
By tending to yourself and your own needs, you are also giving your very best to others.