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How To Live Purposefully

Nathaniel Branden has created a concept of six pillars of high self-esteem. Today I will explain to you how to live purposefully.

What Does It Mean To Live Purposefully?

Let’s look what Nathaniel Branden himself writes about living purposefully:

“To live purposefully, is to use our powers for the attainment of goals we have selected: the goal of studying, of raising a family, of starting a new business, of solving a scientific problem, of building a vacation home, of sustaining a happy romantic relationship. It is our goals that lead us forward, that call on the exercise of our faculties, that energize our existence.”

Nathaniel Branden

So, What Are Your Goals?

There are some posts about setting and achieving goals on this blog. I have also written the whole chapter of my book about goals.

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Today I encourage you to ask some inspiring questions. Here is one:

What deeply inspires you?

I mean the things that you think would not impress others, but the visions that deeply resonate with your highest values and ideals. Unfortunately, we work on other people’s goals more often than ours.

Some Important Questions

Branden also indicated that people rarely ask these questions (let’s take having successful relationships here):

  • ‘If my goal is to have a successful relationship, what must I do?
  • What actions are needed to create and sustain trust, intimacy, continuing self-disclosure, excitement, growth?’”

All the goal-setting guru agree that if you want to live purposefully, there are two questions that you need to answer:

  • What do you want?
  • What must you do?

Therefore, you need to define your goal, analyse it and prepare an action plan. (More how to set goals can be found in my book.) Branden also reminds you that purposes unrelated to a plan of action do not get realised. They exist as frustrated yearnings.

Nathaniel’s Commands On How To Live Purposefully

Now I will give you some commands defined by Nathaniel Branden about how to live purposefully:

  • Do not live with hope or wish stuff. Do or not do, there is no try.
  • Take responsibility for your goals and purposes.
  • Monitor behaviour to make sure you are living aligned with your values.
  • Pay attention to the outcomes of your actions.
  • Balance living in present with having goals for the future.
  • Match allocation of time to your goals.

How To Live Purposefully

Now I will give you practical tips on how to live purposefully on an everyday basis.

Define Your Life Mission

Brian Tracy states that you need to have one major goal, over all others. This goal is your compass, determines what is your vocation, the real thing you will put your heart into. I will write more about defining a life mission soon.

Set Goals

Once you have defined your life mission, set some goals which will help you to realise it. I have already written some posts about goals. You can read more here:

Take Action

Setting goals, even with the deadline, will not work if you do not take action. It means doing something towards your goal. For example, if you want to start a business, do market research, prepare your business plan, estimate your sales.

Take Baby Steps Forward

It means that you do not have to prepare your whole business plan in one go. You can divide the task into baby steps and do a small thing. However, discipline yourself to take action and be persistent with it.

Focus On One Thing At Time

You can be tempted by multitasking. However, if you share your energy to more than one task, the outcome will be average, not excellent. Also, chances are that you will not finish some or all of the tasks. People who multitask are more prone to procrastinate and be distracted by the so-called urgent things which are unimportant.

Say “No” As Many Times As Possible

It will not be a disaster if you reject your friend’s request to go out for coffee when there is an important item on your agenda. You can also say “no” to your boss if he or she overloads you with work. We too often feel guilty or afraid of other people’s reactions in the case of rejection. But the truth is that the more time you actually say “no”, the more people will respect you.

Sentence Completion – How To Live Purposefully

Living purposefully to me means…

  • having goals,
  • having a mission statement,
  • knowing where to go in life,
  • being focused on the goal.

If I bring 5 per cent more purposefulness into my life…

  • my life will be more organised,
  • I will achieve more,
  • I will be more satisfied with my work,
  • I will be more proud of myself.

If I operate 5 per cent more purposefully at work…

  • my boss will appreciate it,
  • I can apply for promotion,
  • I will be distinguished,
  • I will make more money,
  • I will be proud of myself.

If I operate 5 per cent more purposefully in my relationships…

  • I will be able to define them better,
  • I will know who contributes to my life and who does not,
  • I will define clearer boundaries in my relationships,
  • I will be more satisfied with them.

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In a Nutshell

Today you have learnt how to live purposefully. Firstly, define your life mission, then set your goals and take action to achieve them. Be disciplined in pursuing your goals.

Victoria Herocten

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