Purposefully, defined: resolute. an intended or desired result; end; aim; goal
Once upon a time, I raced quarter-midget go-carts, I could wrestle with our boys using incredible moves like the full nelson and the scissor hold - lessons learned compliments of my brothers - I played hide and go seek on three streets in my neighborhood - in the dark, no less - back in the good ole days when it was safe to roam the neighborhood in elementary school. I was an adventure!
Using this seemingly unrelated story might seem an odd way to convey my assessment of what living “purposefully” looks like to me. I mean, do I really care if I'm viewed as a fun-sucker? Parenting aside - because that involves an entirely different set of rules - in all honesty, I've come to the realization that I do care how I am viewed. I do care how I make others feel and the impression they leave with after our encounter. Not in a weird life-is-about-me-sort-of-way care, but in the way that I want people to view me, not in light of me, but in light of Who lives within me. I want to represent well!
Pause with me for a sec: Have you ever left a conversation or an encounter feeling agitated, feeling “less-than,” feeling, well, as if the life has been sucked out of you?
I'm not talking about the friend who is in a hard place and rightfully so needs you to lock arms with them and walk the difficult path; I've been there myself when I've had absolutely no life to give. I'm not talking about the occasional times that we all experience where our take is greater than our give. I'm talking about the chronic-choice case...the person who chooses to live negative with the glass half empty, the person who consistently chooses complaint over being content, the person who lives with tunnel me-vision and can’t have a conversation without taking life.
Conversely, have you ever left a conversation or an encounter feeling, you guessed it, better afterwards? Encouraged afterwards? Life afterwards?
Living purposefully, I've decided for me, means living with the “intent” and "goal" of hopefully making a difference in the encounters of life, of being a giver in all of its many forms and not a taker in all of its many forms, in the view of those I know and love best to the view of those that are difficult to love to the view of those I know least.
Living purposefully, I'd love to hear what it means for you...