Purposefulness – the ONE habit that can change your life


I was going over my past articles and I have written about everything from time management to technology tools, podcasts to marketing know-how. Yet, there is a common theme across most pieces – the pursuit of purposefulness.

The Webster Dictionary defines purposefulness as intentional, meaningful, full of determination. In other words, knowing what you want to do. My definition of purposefulness assimilates all of this and also accommodates the idea of proactively taking charge of work and life, in respect to your personal and professional goals and aspirations.

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It is the subtle art of knowing what you want out of life. Then work and shaping all of their components in a single-minded pursuit of achieving it. It is the art of not becoming a product of circumstances, of a life lived in reaction to events.

This becomes especially crucial in the current landscape of information overload. I don’t know about you, but on days I don’t purposefully plan my life and time, I do more mindless browsing than necessary. One thing I've learnt in my struggles with work-life balance, is to be purposeful with how I spend my time.

Purposefulness and work life balance

Often in a flurry of all that needs to be done in life and work, purposeful planning, that takes into account both personal and professional goals, takes a backseat. But research suggests that people who make time for both tend to be more successful.

Purposefulness and mental health

According to Randy Rivet of The Corner Health Center, mindfulness and purposefulness is essential in order to live a more joyful and vivid life. He says that simply choosing to pay attention to the moments that make up your life – taking a shower, eating, brushing your teeth – is purposefulness, and you can practice it at any time and place.

Purposefulness and sense of accomplishment

Purposefulness inspires determination, energy reserves, action-oriented and result-oriented thinking. It helps you articulate your goals and reflect on what is truly important to you. When you are able take baby steps towards it, your sense of accomplishment follows.

I have found that purposefulness in practicality, plays out as a proactive, action-oriented approach to life and work. It gives needs and wants a concrete structure and a voice. Forming mental to-do lists and life goals comes easy.

By helping cut out the fluff, it singularly diverts focus on the need-to-do and the want-to-do. This clarity of vision is the single most important route to a fulfilling life.