How The Principle of the Path Affects Your Purpose
Have you ever been driving and not exactly sure of your final destination? What happens? You increase two un-needed and un-desired results: extra time and stress.
Nothing is more frustrated than vague directions.
Knowing where you are headed ahead of time makes all the difference in where you end up.
I love this quote from Alice in Wonderland:
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” said Alice.
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
Does this describe the direction in your life right now?
A few years ago, I was introduced to The Principle of the Path by Andy Stanley. It was so simple yet so challenging and convicting.
The Principle of the Path states:
Your Direction, Not Your Intention, Determines Your Destination
I know SO many well-intended people who are nowhere near where they ultimately want to end up in life.
Why? The Principle of the Path. Their direction, not their intention, determines their destination.
Once I know why I’m here, I can then know where I’m headed. It gives me direction.
I absolutely love being physically better through nutrition and fitness. I also love being professionally better through planning and productivity.
But this doesn’t mean I will automatically have Purpose in my life.
I ultimately want to be personally better and as a result, I want to make a difference with my life.
I’ve had success, money, traveled, been very privileged in many aspects of my life but I know there is more for my life.
My simplified definition of Purpose is as follows:
“Doing something bigger than me or living for something bigger than myself”
This is where Purpose enters the picture.
Once I know my Purpose, it provides me with direction, lets me know where I’m headed and provides two key benefits:
1. Direction Gives Me Clarity
I don’t want to move and be going in the WRONG direction. And as a result, I often feel paralyzed.
I love what Jeff Goins, author of The Art of Work says in his chapter, Listen to Your Life:
“We all just want ‘to know’ what we’re supposed to do with our lives, for our purpose to be spelled out for us, but that’s not how a calling works. It’s never clear and hardly obvious, especially when you’re starting out. But when you start to take those first steps, when you commit to some course of action, you begin to see what was there all along.”
In the beginning it may not be crystal clear but there is a level of clarity that you’re headed in the right direction. The dust begins to settle, the fog begins to fade, and as a result, the air begins to clear on your direction.
2. Direction Gives Me Momentum
You’re no longer wasting time and just coasting through life.
When you have momentum, you are moving in just one direction and as a result get the benefit of forward motion.
You’re no longer fighting yourself getting pulled in different directions and not only losing momentum, You’re exhausted and frustrated. Been there?
Jeff Goins goes on to say, “Most people waste the best years of their life waiting for an adventure to come to them instead of going out and finding one. They succumb to the status quo and dream of life being different someday. Plagued with indecision, they wait, unsure of the right path to follow. As they wait, they miss an opportunity to live. The only smart choice is to move, to not hold out for a better time and choose a direction now.”
Did you catch that? Choose a direction now. And as a result, the Big Mo will turn your clarity into energy that moves you forward.
Which Direction Are You Heading Right Now?
1. Your Direction is in SEARCHING for Purpose
At this point in your life, you simply don’t have Purpose. I’m not hear to judge or condemn but encourage and guide you.
Your direction needs to be focused on simply and fully searching for Purpose.
This is not necessarily an easy process but one SO worth it in the end.
The challenge here is to no lose hope but focus your energy in searching for your Purpose: doing something bigger than me or living for something bigger than myself.
My hope is the writing on Purpose stimulates a desire to find your Purpose so you can truly make a difference in your life.
2. Your Direction is DEVELOPING Your Purpose
At this point in your life, you’ve either discovered or in the process of developing your Purpose.
It’s beginning to take form and now your time and attention needs to be on the development of this precious gift that is unfolding with each new day.
This is an exciting time because you’re discovering and learning SO many new things about you and what your future could look like. Good for you!
You’ve been “awaken” to something more and no more time is wasted on just existing and coasting through life.
It’s game on and developing your Purpose is where your focus is right now.
3. Your Direction is STUCK in Good Intentions with Your Purpose
You may know your purpose but all of your energy is being wasted on “good intentions.” And as a result, you’re no closer to your final destination of your Purpose.
You can easily tell and even motivate someone with your Purpose but if you were to be completely honest, it’s simply good intentions. It sounds impressive, even compelling.
And the simple reality is you’re no closer to actually achieving the Purpose then the person listening to it! (you just had the idea first)
This message is a wake-up call for you and you know in your heart it’s time to stop thinking and start doing.
IF this is truly a Purpose for you and not just an idea, then it will give you the needed direction and let you know exactly where you’re headed.
You need to confirm this is still YOUR Purpose and if it’s not, just start over.
And if it is your Purpose, re-ignite this passion and get back in the actual direction of Your Purpose.
Purpose will give your life direction. And as a result, it will provide you with clarity and momentum.
Purpose must be developed. It must have forward motion.
But it doesn’t “just happen.”
Remember the Principle of the Path:
Your Direction, Not Your Intention, Will Determine Your Destination.
My hope is you will find your Purpose, develop your Purpose, and it not only affects every part of your life, but also makes a difference in the lives of others!
So, how seriously are you taking this part of a motivated, busy professional who wants to escape their average and embrace better in areas only they can control in their lives?
Only you can determine your Purpose.
Are you searching for your Purpose, discovering your Purpose, or stuck in good intentions right now?