Copyright 2004 by Dr. William G. Covington, Jr.

A sense of purpose gives one an advantage in seeking to see dreams fulfilled. Purpose enables an individual to ralize that a difference can be made that has desirable consequences. Purpose provides the impetus to continue when the challenges get difficult.

Herodotus put it this way: "It is better by a noble boldness to run the risk of being subject to half of the evils we anticipate, than to remain in cowardly listlessness for fear of what may happen." English philosopher Thomas Carylyle (1795-1881) adds that the spiritual dimension is the driving force behind purpose. He writes, "The man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder--a waif, a nothing, a no man. Have a purpose in life, and, having it, throw such strength of mind and muscle into your work as God has given you."

A purpose provides clarity and definition to activity. One is no longer busy merely for the sake of movement, but the energy is focused on results. Purpose is connected with change. A cause-and-effect result is the end product of purpose. Contrast this with a lack of purpose. Stephen R. Covey points out, "unclear expectations will lead to misunderstanding, disappointment."

Purpose is a tool whereby resources can be properly allocated in the planning stage of a project. Tangible and intangible elements can be brought together forming an integral whole designed to reach a certain destination. A sense of mission, purpose and accomplishment keep the system's parts focused on the desired consequences of the effort.

Another thing purpose does is to bring an awareness of the power of living in the "now." Every day lived with purpose is an energized day. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale captured the essence of this lifestyle by advising, "Seize the day, this day and every day that God grants you." Making a difference by having a valid purpose helps you do just that.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Covington has taught at colleges and universities in Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania.