What would you do if you have no plan over the weekend?
Imagine how will you spend your time and what will you do.
Are you going to use your time to improve your knowledge through reading books? Are you going to start a side online business like a blog or a YouTube channel?
Or are you going to spend your weekend doing unproductive things like watching TV, surfing YouTube mindlessly, checking Facebook and Instagram every 30 minutes, or jam your weekend with mobile games?
This is what will happen when you lack a sense of purpose.
When you don’t know what to do, you will do whatever you feel comfortable, convenient, and whatever comes to you.
I love this quote from Larry Winget:
“Nobody ever wrote down a plan to be broke, fat, lazy, or stupid. Those things are what happen when you don’t have a plan.”
Yes, when you lack purpose and you don’t have a plan, you will go through life like a lost sheep, going wherever the crowd is heading.
What Happen When You Lack a Sense of Purpose in Life
In his groundbreaking and best-selling book, Awaken The Giant Within, Tony Robbins explained that living life without a clear purpose is like flowing through the current of life without knowing your direction.
By the way, this book is a must-read for everyone who wants to achieve greater success in life. If you haven’t read it yet, grab it and finish the book this weekend. I strongly recommend you read this book.
Tony Robbins used the metaphor of a river to explain why having a purpose in life is groundbreaking. This is what he said in the book…
Too many of us don’t make the majority of our decisions consciously… in so doing, we pay a major price. In fact, most people live what I call ‘The Niagara Syndrome’. I believe that life is like a river, and that most people jump on the river of life without ever really deciding where they want to end up. So, in a short period of time, they get caught up in the current: current events, current fears, current challenges.
When they come to forks in the river, they don’t consciously decide where they want to go, or which is the right direction for them. They merely ‘go with the flow’. They become a part of the mass of people who are directed by the environment instead of by their own values. As a result, they feel out of control.
They remain in this unconscious state until one day the sound of the raging water awakens them, and they discover that they’re five feet from Niagara Falls in a boat with no oars. At this point, they say, ‘Oh shoot!’. But by then it’s too late. They’re going to take a fall.
Sometimes it’s an emotional fall.
Sometimes it’s a physical fall.
Sometimes it’s a financial fall.
It’s likely that whatever challenges you have in your life currently could have been avoided by making some better decisions upstream.
Yes, life is like drifting through the river.
If you lack a sense of purpose and when you arrive at a junction where you need to make a decision, guess what kind of decision you will make?
The wrong one. Why? Well, because you have no idea where you want to go. You don’t have a clear destination and you don’t know what’s your purpose.
Here are a few reasons having a sense of purpose is important to your success in life…
1. Purpose is the starting point of all achievement
First, the purpose is the starting point of all achievement. Without having a purpose, why do you even start your journey, right?
Think about it, why do you do what you do? Why do you set goals? Why do you dream of achieving success or something better in life?
Everything has a purpose. If there is no purpose, there will be no electricity, no computer, no smartphone, no buildings, etc. Things exist because there is a reason for it.
I started this blog for a reason, don’t you think? The same goes for you, why are you reading this right now? There is a purpose behind it.
Maybe you want to learn how to find your purpose in life. Maybe you want to get motivated. Maybe you see this interesting article on Facebook, and you read it out of curiosity.
Whatever your reason, there is a reason.
Hence, ask yourself, why do you want to achieve your goals? Why do you set them? Your purpose is the starting point.
Without a definiteness of purpose, you will never do what you do.
So, if you want success, you must first develop a strong purpose for it.
2. Proactive VS reactive
When you know why you do what you do, you become proactive. You have a goal and you know your plan. You know what to do to get there.
On the contrary, when people have no idea what they want out of their lives, they tend to become reactive to things.
Instead of making things happen, they wait for things to come to them.
Think about it, if you have no plan for this weekend, how do you think you will spend your time? Well, most likely, you will waste your weekend doing unproductive things like oversleep, binge Netflix, waste time on YouTube or games, etc.
But when you know what you want and you have a plan, you know what to do.
You become proactive. For instance, if you know you want to write an article for your blog this weekend, guess what will happen?
You become proactive and plan for it. Instead of waking up late, you choose to wake up early because you want to finish your article. Instead of wasting time on social media, you do your research for your article.
This is why having a purpose is important. When you have a purpose, you become proactive.
3. Important VS unimportant
If you want to achieve extraordinary success in life, you must develop the skill to differentiate between the important and the unimportant. You want to focus and spend time doing the important task that will give you the most result.
Most people are not successful because they lack a strong purpose in life. When you don’t have a clear purpose, you don’t know what is important and what is not important to you.
Look at all the extraordinary people out there, regardless of whether they are successful athletes or business people, they know what they want.
Extraordinary people know what they want, and they are crystal clear with their goals.
Lionel Messi loves football and he knows that if he wants to get good with football, he needs to train. And that’s what he does.
You will never see Messi spending time on YouTube or learning how to play tennis. This is because he is clear with what he wants and so he knows what is important to him.
Steve Jobs was a man of focus. He knew that if he wanted Apple to succeed, he must focus on just a few core products. In other words, Jobs knew what was important and what was not.
Once, Nike CEO Mark Parker asked Steve Jobs for advice in business, this was how Jobs told Parker (read this article from Forbes):
“Well, just one thing,” said Jobs. “Nike makes some of the best products in the world. Products that you lust after. Absolutely beautiful, stunning products. But you also make a lot of crap. Just get rid of the crappy stuff and focus on the good stuff.”
And in order to identify the important stuff from the crappy ones, you must know your purpose. What do you want to achieve out of life?
4. Your purpose gives you meaning and direction
Yes, by now you should know that your purpose gives you meaning and direction in life. Without knowing what you want, how can you tell if you are going in the right direction, right?
You will never know the decisions you make in life right now is right or wrong until you know your purpose.
Your purpose gives you direction, and your destination tells you where to go.
5. Serves as the source of motivation
Do you wake up with motivation each morning? Do you look forward to life and every new day? Or do you dread them?
Some people seem to be able to wake up with motivation each day and get to work with energy. On the other hand, there are also people who dread to work and wake up feeling bored every day.
Why is this so?
The answer is the lack of purpose. People who don’t have a sense of purpose in life will find life to be boring and aimless. They don’t know what to do and have no idea how to live a meaningful life.
However, when you have a purpose, you know your goals and are working towards them. You have targets and aims to accomplish, and you set out your day with energy and motivation.
This is how great people find their motivation. They know what they want.
Michael Jordan knows his goals and what he wants to achieve in his basketball career, and that’s how he managed to find the drive to go through the training and succeeded.
The same goes for every other successful people out there. Where do you think Elon Musk finds the motivation to work long hours and persists on even when things are going against him?
John F. Kennedy once said, “Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”
You can only be successful when you know what it is that you want. And so, find your purpose and work towards it, and you will be successful.
So, where should you start from here?
Always start with your goals. You can learn more about it from Goal Setting Formula.