How to Know, Live & Love Your Purpose (Part 4 of 4)

The 4 Benefits Experienced When You Love Your Purpose

When you know your God-given purpose and have the courage to live it out, I believe you will love it.

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Loving your purpose is a game-changer. Loving your purpose only comes from knowing it and living it each day.

Disclaimer:  “Loving your purpose is not easy.”

There is a price to pay. However, loving your purpose makes life worthwhile.

What does loving your purpose mean?

I can answer that by telling you something from my life when I didn’t love my purpose. In 2006, I lived in on the Interbay peninsula of Tampa, Florida called South Tampa. I was renting a quaint two bedroom, 1-bath home built in the 1950’s. I loved living there. I had a front yard,  back yard and was a close distance to the young and hip South Tampa party and restaurant scene. This was perfectly for my employment as a district manager with an international broker and marketer of fine wines.

At that time, If you would have asked me how I knew I loved my purpose, I would tell you something like, “that’s obvious.” I was achieving bonuses, earning salary increases, landing key accounts in the my sales territory, gaining company notoriety and kudos from the boss. My Mom telling me that she was “proud of me” also led to me believe I was in my purpose.

While these are not bad things, they were external drivers. It was the internal places of my heart, soul and mind where a void remained. So much so, that through the year of 2006, I began questioning my existence.

The BIG question, “What on Earth am I here for?” Why, oh why, God did you make me like this? What’s the point of my life – to sell more wine, to impress people in my industry, my town or my family?

I was lost, scared and the hope of my life landscape changing was faint. The party scene was stale, there was minimal work-life-balance and I was ashamed of my past, yet remained in the work and party cycle. My relationships revolved around my client base and the living in the South Tampa social scene.

I thought I knew my purpose. It was to make money, spend it while trying to muster enough enjoyment to motivate me to make it again. I thought I was living out my life purpose through sales and management in the wine business. Yet, I was falling out of love with a vocation I thought I would be doing the rest of my life. Faking it became exhausting. Life was becoming pointless.

In 2006, I attended a New Years Eve party held at one of our distributor salesperson’s homes. While walking home early, at 10pm, (missing the ball drop) I began crying. I was mentally processing my life and where it wasn’t going. I walked into my home, went to my bedroom and put a hanger around my neck and started pulling hoping to take my own life.

Obviously, I didn’t take my life that night! In retrospect, I see that moment as God interevening. The Creator God, who made me in His image, said “enough is enough.”

God grabbed me by my collar and said, as he told the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah,

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.”
– Jeremiah 29:11–14

God began helping me to know, live and love my purpose in Him. He created me with and for a purpose. The Creator God, the Almighty God, the all-knowing, all-powerful and always present God, did the same for YOU!

He desires for you to know Him intimately. It is in this time of relationship, as Jeremiah 29:13 states, where He reveals to you the purpose He has just for YOU!

I encourage you to not waste time. Avoid my path so that God doesn’t have to pick you up by your collar. Life takes on new meaning when you love your purpose. It definitely did for me.

The 4 benefits you experience when you love your purpose!

1. You attract the winners

When you are lost, you don’t attract much of a crowd and if you do, it isn’t the right one. Obviously, this is not a place to hone your leadership skills.

On the contrary, when you are loving your purpose, it’s noticeable and people want to follow you. They say things like, “There’s something about her. I am not sure what it is, but she’s going places.” People want to connect to someone going the direction that’s going to lead them to prosperity. As the saying goes, “like attracts like” and since you’re reading this post, I assume you want to be in the winner’s circle.

2. You increase your influence

I must admit that in my younger days, I experienced too many times of being under the influence of alcohol. During those times of being influenced by too many beers or martini’s, I lost my inhibitions and allowing me to do things I may not normally do, like talk to the “ladies” with no fear.

When you are under the influence of your purpose, you lose your inhibitions. The things that might normally hold you back from achieving the plans that God has for you disappear. Fear, worry, procrastination, anxiety and people-pleasing tendencies take a back seat.

The absence of these obstacles allows you to speak more freely about the plans that God has for you. Your influence increases as you tell more people about the cause you believe in, the business or non-profit you are starting or the societal ills you desire to cure. When you love your purpose the world will know and lives will change for the better.

3. You enjoy progress

If you are like me, you love to see things in life progress. It could be a new home you are building or the local pothole being filled. Hey, it is all progress! To you (and to me), progress means your winning.

Loving your purpose allows you to have a clear mind. Clarity provides perspective and perspective enhances prioritization. Prioritization leads to progress. Progress is a life-changing benefit!

4. You are well rewarded

I will never forget the quote from Zig Ziglar that says, “If you help enough people get what they want, you will get what you want.” Loving your purpose has that result.

The God-given purpose we have includes serving others. The apostle Paul refers to Jesus saying “It is more blessed to give than to receive” in Acts 20:35.

Truer words have never been spoken. The rewards for serving others is not the same for everyone, but they do come. Rewards come in the forms of relationships, money, time, gifts and most importantly, a healthy well-being. Try it and enjoy!

All people have a purpose even though some don’t know it. To have a life purpose and not know it is torture. To have a life purpose, know it and not live it is denial. To live out what you think is your purpose and not love it means you need to go back to the starting line. It happens, but that’s for another post.

Question: What would help you love your purpose today? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

What Does Productivity Mean to You?

Understanding Productivity vs Effectiveness

This is a guest post from Nick Snapp.  He’s a friend of mine who is a follower of Christ, husband to his wife, Nazach and a proud parent to his 2 (about to be 3) kiddos. Nick helps people use productivity as a tool for exploring purpose! You can follow Nick on Twitter, Facebook and Podcast.

Productivity is a funny thing.

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I haven’t found a consistent definition of what it means to “be productive.” In fact, before a recent talk I gave at the University of South Florida, I surveyed 44 college students asking them what being productive meant to them. I received 44 different answers!

Here’s a few:

  • “Making the most of your time.”
  • “Working efficiently.”
  • “Having a list of items to complete, and completing them in a timely manner.”
  • “Getting a ton of stuff done in less time so you have more time to do stuff that’s important to you.”
  • “Utilizing every hour of the day to get something accomplished.”
  • “Doing things that I don’t want to do, but did anyway.”

I love the last one.

It’s no wonder we’re all talking about how to be more productive, yet still confused about what the concept even means!

How can we be or do more of something if we aren’t able to define what it is we’re trying to do?

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Why You Should Attend Next Year’s CSN Forum

3 Things I Learned from The Christian Stewardship Network Forum

This past week I had the opportunity to fly to Dallas, Texas to attend the Christian Stewardship Network Forum.  I was blessed by the trip.  The forum was truly that, a forum. We had terrific small group table talk, corporate worship, breakout sessions, fantastic Texas BBQ and we were all able to share and learn best practices to minister to our city in the best way possible. I would also like to use this post to share with you the 3 main takeaways that highlight the WHY you and your church should attend next year.

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Relationships trump programming

There are many stewardship programs built on the host of curriculums available.  Tools like Howard Dayton’s Compass, Andy Stanley’s Balanced bible study, Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University and many others.

I have been leading stewardship ministry at Grace Family Church in Tampa, Florida for nine years.  At first, I didn’t have a clue about how to build and lead a ministry.  I simply applied my relationship-building acumen to grow the ministry.  Since 2007, our #1 curriculum has been Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (FPU).  Our first class had eighteen people and it was also the first time I was learning the material.  Since that time, we have had over 2,000 people attend through on-campus and off-campus offerings.

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How to Win the War on Fear

As my wife and I went on a recent Saturday bike ride, I found myself in fear. Fear of what you might ask? Fear of doing something I have not done in a while. The last time I rode a bike was well over 5 years ago and even then I wasn’t very good.

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While following (not leading) my wife, I began weaving back and forth.  I had one of those forced smiles with some grinding of teeth as I almost careened into pedestrians.  This is not my cup of Saturday tea. Yet, as a man and leader of my household, I pressed on, with some reservation (a.k.a. fear).

Why is it when I think about fear I get directed towards it? Every time I looked at an obstruction that day I felt like my bike was moving towards it and I became more afraid. Why is that? Why is it that folks who are nervous about heights are told not to look down? I think of what Napoleon Hill states in his 1937 book “Think and Grow Rich”, “You are what you think about all day long.”I am getting fed up with fear. The more I think about what I am afraid of (more than bicycling) it becomes a friend. I have enough friends.

How to win the war on fear:
1. Memorize key scriptures that will help you. (My favorite to battle fear is 2 Timothy 1:7)
2. Pray it and speak it aloud each day
3. Do one thing that you fear each day (also known as stepping out of your comfort zone)
4. Celebrate your growth in Jesus each day. Thank Him for growing you.

Just to let you know…I didn’t wreck the bike. I made it alive to write this blog.

Question: What are you thinking about all day long? How do you overcome the fear that can attack?