Writing Your Life Purpose Statement

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Be 42% More Fruitful

According to a report in the Huffington Post, you are more likely to achieve your dreams and goals if you put them in writing:

“Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at the Dominican University in California, recently studied the art and science of goal setting.

“She gathered two hundred and sixty-seven people together — men and women from all over the world, and from all walks of life, including entrepreneurs, educators, healthcare professionals, artists, lawyers and bankers.

“She divided the participants into groups, according to who wrote down their goals and dreams, and who didn’t…

And she discovered that those who wrote down their goals and dreams on a regular basis achieved those desires at a significantly higher level than those who did not.

In fact, she found that you become 42% more likely to achieve your goals and dreams, simply by writing them down on a regular basis.

I believe the same is true of continuously writing down your best understanding of your purpose for being on the planet. Using Gary O’Malley’s life discovery model (see last week’s blog post on Life Purpose in a Nutshell), I have been writing and refining my one-page purpose statement since 2004. It turns out to not be a one-and-done exercise for three reasons:

  1. I am continuing to change and hopefully grow.
  2. My circumstances continuously change.
  3. God continues to lead me one step at a time.

How I Wrote My Life Purpose Statement

The initial draft of my purpose statement started with my gathering bits and pieces from the Bible, personal experiences, prayer time, and God’s revelation. It began with three keywords. The first word was abide, which came from John 15:4-5, in which Jesus said,

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

I was very excited about the promise of abiding and bearing “much fruit.” “Abide” means to “stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy): abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry” according to Strong’s Bible dictionary. It became the first word of my purpose statement.

The second keyword, conduit, came from two experiences that occurred on the same day. In the morning I met with my office staff during which there was a conversation about teamwork. I was told that my primary gift was being a “conduit.” I had never heard that word before. That night a friend told me about how I had helped someone get a job. I told him it was like I was only one of many people who were passing a bucket of water to help put out a fire. He said, “like a conduit.” I was stunned.

I later learned that a conduit is “a natural or artificial channel through which something (such as a fluid) is conveyed; a pipe, tube, or tile for protecting electric wires or cables; a means of transmitting or distributing,” according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. As a conduit, I connect people to people through ideas.

Years before I read Gary’s booklet, God presented me with what became my life verses, Ephesians 1:18-19, which begins with, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened…”

The third keyword that stood out to me was enlightened, which means “to shed rays, that is to shine or (transitively) to brighten up (literally or figuratively): enlighten, illuminate (bring to, give) light, make to see,” according to Strong’s Bible dictionary.

Putting together all three of these words became the opening for my purpose statement…

Abide in Jesus Christ always in all ways and be a conduit in Him, so that the eyes of my heart and the hearts of others may be enlightened to know…

What is the hope of His calling, What are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in us saints, What is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might, which He brought about in Jesus. (Ephesians 1:18-19)

To illustrate a purpose statement, here is my recently updated purpose statement which includes:

  • How I am to love God, myself, and others
  • How to abide, connect and engage critical issues in positive and meaningful ways
  • How to lead our family and live well
  • How to serve others
  • How to describe my roles and goals

Warning! My example is NOT necessarily the way you should write your purpose statement. I just wanted to illustrate one of a million ways. Your statement will be different and uniquely yours.

Why Am I Here?

The process of understanding purpose and how to apply it is ongoing. One of my ministry partners told me about a recent sermon series on purpose. Join me to explore more about how God made you on purpose for a purpose. I have finished the first three of these six messages:

We’d love to hear from you! Comment below or send any comments or questions to support@crossroadscareer.org.

Brian Ray has been writing, speaking and connecting people to Christ in the workplace for 45 years. He is Co-Founder of Crossroads Career Services, former Chick-fil-A restaurants VP for Human Resources and Administration, and Owner of Primus Consulting executive search. He has authored Christian resources including Mastery of Leadership, Real Success at Work, and New Job Jump Start. Brian and his wife Kristy live in the Charlotte, NC area.

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