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Traits of purposeful living

By Francis Ewherido

Two weeks ago, we discussed purposeful living. Today, we shall look at traits of people whose lives are purpose-driven. They are people with vision on a mission. They never rest until they get to their destination. They work hard, physically and, especially, mentally. They work hard on the opportunities that are available to them as a result of their strength.


But equally important, they work hard to convert their weaknesses to strengths so that their threats can become opportunities. This increases their chances and brings them more fulfillment. It is a lot of hard work, but success is very sweet and certainly better than failure.

Purpose-driven people know the difference between shadows and substance; they know that activity is not accomplishment. These people deal with facts; they do not assume when facts are available.

When facts are unavailable, they hypothesize. They do not play fools. Purpose-driven people do not develop habits they cannot sustain. They do not start what they cannot finish because they plan. They know the differences between wishes and goal-setting and their goals are SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-defined.

They have good reasons for all their actions in life. They also have FOCUS: Follow One Cause Until Successful. They know the value of consistency. They can stand alone, even when every other person is on the other side, because they are sure of their action. They are people of strong conviction; they are meticulous.

Purpose-driven people are in control of their minds. Whoever controls your mind controls your life; youths must be in firm control of their minds. The problem with many youths is that their minds and lives are others-controlled.

Purposeful people also do not procrastinate. They do what needs to be done when it should be done. But they also know the virtue of patience. They know that certain things must take their normal time. A normal human pregnancy takes nine months, plus/minus two weeks. As Donald Trump said, “patience is realizing that things take time, efforts and thoughts.” Louis Leclerc Buffon says: “genius is a great capacity for patience.” When you see Nigerians hurrying on the road and other public places, you just wonder.

A tricycle rider dubiously gets in front of a N17m Lexus Jeep and he feels happy that he has chanced (outsmarted) the Lexus owner; some smartness. Phew, mtchew! Persistence is good. It is going the extra mile. It is the stuff of sterner people, but purposeful people define persistence to suit their circumstances.

They know the door to knock until the skin of their knuckles comes off; they also know when to knock a few times and move on. After all, they have millions of doors to knock. They apply the Pareto 80/20 principle. They have carefully segmented all audiences in their lives. They know the 20 per cent that will give them 80 per cent of their target and spent 80 per cent of their time and energy there. That is purpose-driven persistence.

Humility is a virtue many purpose-driven have. They have undergone a journey of self-discovery and are self-assured and very secure. They are also unbelievably disciplined. They have so much to brag about, but simply stay humble. But it is beyond discipline; they have divine grace. That is where their confidence flows from.

A writer said confidence is about being so comfortable with yourself you focus on other people. Arrogance is about overestimating yourself, trying too hard and focusing on you. Many arrogant people are insecure and their arrogance is armour to protect their vulnerable low self-esteem. Wealth, power and positions do not cure insecurity; self-discovery, truly accepting who you are and inner peace are cures for insecurity.

A purposeful person builds a team. He knows that Together, Everybody Achieves More (TEAM). He realizes that he does not necessarily have to achieve success at the expense of others. Life is not always a competitive sport with the ecstasy of victory and the agony of defeat. Purpose-driven people are also not too proud or ashamed to get mentors to fast track their journey to their destination.

Purposeful people have contentment. Their lives are self-defined, not others-defined. Once they achieve their goals, they are fine. Other people’s accomplishments have no bearing on their self-worth. They are not in competition with anybody on personal accomplishments; they are simply personal-goals driven.

People who are purposeful know the difference between assets and liabilities. Assets are people or elements that add value to your life. They make you a better human being. Anything and anybody that diminishes your humanity is a liability. Do something about such people/ situations.

Purpose-driven people learn life’s lessons. Their failure, for instance, is purposeful and a gate-way to success; some of them have failure(s) as the foundation of their successes. In addition, they are not ashamed or scared and do not feel too old to stop travelling on a wrong road and start all over. They know that a wrong road will never get them to their destination.

Youths who want to be purpose-driven must learn the virtue of delayed gratification, making sacrifices and denying oneself now to have a better tomorrow. It might just be the critical difference between a great life and a regrets-filled life later. So youths, “Write your (purpose-driven) script, then produce it yourself, living the way you want to” (Donald Trump). It is possible.

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