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.

Image Courtesy of 
DeathtoStock 2016

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?

Continue Reading »

How to Live On-Purpose With Your Finances

Six Simple Steps to Controlling Your Money

Here are some eye-raising statistics on the web when it comes to how people in America relate to money.

Level Up with a Budget that Works!

Where are you and your family in these statistics?

  • 70% of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck in middle-class — 80% in high-income. (DaveRamsey.com)
  • A little less than 1/3 of American families prepare a monthly household budget each month (Gallup.com)
  • One out of every five people (20%) worries that they will never get out of their paycheck-to-paycheck rut. [source: NerdWallet.com]
  • After adjusting for inflation, household debt has grown 15% faster than household income since 2003. [source: NerdWallet.com]

  • 23% of people with a credit card say they have been surprised at least some of the time by their bill. [source: NerdWallet.com]

When I was younger I didn’t have a problem with ambition. My parents wondered if I’d ever graduate high school, but I did. Then four years later, I graduated from The Ohio State University. My problem was that I was foolish and I didn’t want to rely on others showing me what to do. I thought I had the better plan and my plan was always on my terms. In my earlier years, I lacked wisdom and my planning was a theory without any practical application. I didn’t really have a plan, I had an idea of a plan. When we don’t have a solid, practical financial plan we can get caught “skinny dipping in a low tide”. I used to live life in the low tide while forgetting that my clothes were on the shore. Maybe you know what I am talking about and your financial life is represented by the statistics above.

It isn’t necessary to live like the majority, especially not in the richest country in the world. We aren’t entitled to the riches of our land, we must take an active role in staking our claim. Making money is a noble effort because earning wealth is not really about the accumulation of dollars, it is about the building of our character!

Our character grows through experiences including the trials and the triumphs. Did you ever play a video game where the mission gets accomplished by tbe building of your character? In these games, you measure how far the character is growing through the acquiring of XP, or experience points. Such is our financial lives. We all have to start somewhere. To do this in video games, you have to turn the video game console on, pop in the disc and press the start button. Growing in our money management is no different.

So, let’s start winning with money — here’s how to build up those experience points (XP):

  1. Identify the Why you will be doing a written budget Create a vision statement.
    example “I will build and live on a budget so I can have margin in my life”
  2. Determine the time that you and your spouse will create and discuss a budget
    example “Sunday nights at 7pm after the kids go to bed”
  3. List out your monthly income sources (jobs, commissions, child support, bonuses)
  4. List out all your monthly expenses (give, save and spend Categories)
  5. Balance to Zero for the budget month (Spend it all into expense categories)
  6. Review the monthly budget with a mentor, trusted friend, accountability partner or your accountant

It is clear that to win with money we must tell it what to do. We earn it, we manage it and we must direct it. This is what the written monthly budget helps us to do. We must have a family budget for each month. The family battle cry needs to change from “I owe I owe so its off to work I go” to “I will live my life on purpose with a budget that works!”

I used to be in the “chasing my tail” mentality, like many Americans. To remember to not go back there, I review my saved notes from my times of financial struggles and in the times of victorious transition. I like to look back and reflect on where the change occurred in my life. It was when I enrolled in FPU. At that time, I was done saying, “enough is enough”. Once the first class began, it didn’t take long for me to get excited about having a plan for the first time in my financial life. Since 2007, I decided to plan my money in advance through the creation and execution of a monthly budget. The budget saved me from continued financial misery and ruin.

After just 3 months of budgeting, 84% of people say they feel more in control of their money (Dave Ramsey). I could not agree more! From teaching and leading people in their finances, I commonly hear “I feel like I got a raise” or “I am able to give and save more than ever before.” You, my friend, can start NOW with budgeting! You can live now, as Dave Ramsey says, like no one else, so later you can live like no one else. When I first started FPU in March 2007, I had 37,000 in debt. With the help of Jesus Christ in my life, the tools in Dave Ramsey’s FPU program and some sweat equity, I was able to pay those debts off, including my student loan, in 16 months. Fast forward to today, my wife and I create and live on a written budget every month. It has strengthened our marriage, assisted us in raising our little boy and helps us live the life of purpose that God intended!

Question: What is God intending you to do with the finances He provides you? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

How Apple’s WWDC Helps Us Build Dreams and Achieve Them

A while back my wife asked me what my dreams where and I told her I don’t know.  Well, that isn’t true but I have challenges in reconciling dreams that God gives me with what I know as reality.   In Michael Hyatt’s Life Plan e-book, he encourages to see an “Envisioned Future” and analyze the “Current Reality” to determine the necessary commitments to do more than just dream.  He believes it will help achieve!

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Sometimes I get stuck in neutral where I have found an end to my dreaming capacity.  I have found that I need more than the average dose of inspiration.  So, I go searching for that inspiration to get me through the rough patch. Many times, it comes in the form of music, movies, prayer, fasting, sleeping.  Every once in a while, I like to find different ways.

Recently, the source of inspiration was watching the WWDC 2014 keynote address via my AppleTV.  WWDC is the abbreviation for the Apple WorldWide Developers Conference that occurs each June.  Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, gave a marketplace update regarding Apple.  That’s great, but the fun begins when his team demonstrates the latest and greatest technologies. This is the place I start dreaming again.

My wife and many of family and closest friends know me as a person who, at times, needs an intervention from his technology.  While some may laugh at my interest in iOS devices or MacBook computers, I see it as a place to have fun with what some might consider monotonous.  I see it as a place where I can dream.

While technology names or programming languages like Swift, SDK, CloudKit, Objective C, Frostbite, and Xcode don’t hold much ground with me, I sure do like the results of these “techno geek” phrases.  These references bring on the best in mobile and desktop technology that revolutionize how I am even writing this blog post.  They fuel my web page, my phone, my conversations with my family and friends and my dream-building.

At the WWDC, there are around 5,000 attendees and most of them are software/hardware developers.  These folks are there seeing what Apple has to “show and tell” and while they are “ooing” and “ahhing”, they are dreaming.  They are leaning in to see what they can do next and how they can do it.  They are hopeful and they are brainstorming all the ways they can get to the developer table to unleash the power of these dreams.  This is the reason why a LifePlan outlines the current reality and envisioned future — the belief that these things will happen.

So, how do I use things like WWDC to drive toward my goals?  It’s not that much different than what I already do, it is simply used as a way to fan the flame of the passion that God has put into me for Stewardship, Productivity, Leadership and Business.  This makes my heart leap to get on to do the things that I believe I have been placed here to do.  Some people love to run, bike or do push-ups for this same result.  No matter what method I choose and use, this helps me encourage my wife by telling her my dreams the next time she asks.

Question: What dreams do you have today — right now?  What inspiration will you use to fan the flame of hope?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.