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Aligning With Your Purpose Through Meditation And Prayer

                                                                                                                                    woman needing meditation

Living with purpose isn’t always easy. We get busy, we get stressed out, or we get distracted.

Most everyone experiences this. When it happens we no longer hear that faint but persistent guiding inner voice.

Without a clear purpose and solid intentions to live our life around, it becomes easy to get off course. We have to find a way to make sure we can get back on track and realign ourselves with the purpose we’ve chosen.

A couple of the most effective ways to do this are prayer and meditation.

Spiritual leaders have used these techniques for millennia. But you don’t have to maintain a rigid discipline to experience your own purpose driven life.

Both prayer and meditation allow you to tune out distractions and give you clarity of mind.

Once your mind quiets, you can start to listen to that inner voice. You’ll become clear on the things and you value most.

It doesn’t matter what religion you belong to, or if you belong to one. It doesn’t matter whether you consider yourself a spiritual person or not.

Prayer and meditation can benefit anyone.

                                                                                                                                             angel in meditation

One of the easiest forms of meditation is a simple breathing exercise. You can do this anytime, anywhere.                

You might want to begin the practice in a calm and quiet spot. This will allow you to focus on it and get used to it without too many distractions.

Once you’ve practiced for a little while though, you can use it to calm and clear your mind whenever you need it.

A Simple Breathing Meditation
The easiest type of meditation is focusing on your breath. It will help you tune out mind chatter when you breathe in and breathe out.

Notice how the air feels flowing through your nose. Pay attention to how your abdomen rises and falls, expands and contracts.

If you get distracted or your mind wanders bring your awareness back to your breath.

Start by practicing for 30 seconds to a minute. Over time you can increase the duration.

Give this a try and see if you find it helpful. From there read up on other meditation techniques.

There are lots of great books out there on the topic. Guided meditations and even mobile apps can make your experience effective and enjoyable.

Trust the process. And be patient with yourself.


JohnK 6-24-2017 home page



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Avoid Temptations And Wrong Paths Along The Way

We’ve been talking about living with purpose for quite some time.

By now you’re wondering what you may want to change or tweak in your own life to live with more purpose and intention.

Let’s say you’ve started to incorporate some of the ideas we’ve looked at.

light bulb with purpose

You’re starting to live with more purpose.

Old habits are hard to break and it’s not uncommon to slip back into familiar behavioral patterns. But those habits no longer align with your wish to live with more intention.

Add to that the things and people tempting you to stray from your path.

For example, you may have the best of intentions to live healthier. You want to take better care of your body. But when you walk into the break room at work there’s a big box of doughnuts tempting you.

Or you could be making a real effort to be more patient and understanding with your young children. Even on days when they seem to be pushing all your buttons and testing the limits of that new patience.

It happens.

Life can be messy. There will always be things that go wrong. People can lead us down the wrong path, whether they mean to or not.

The best way to deal with temptations is to expect them. They’re going to show up sooner or later. If they surprise you, you’ll be more likely to give in. If you know they’re coming, you can better prepare for them. Learn from each temptation. Realize that each one you avoid makes you stronger and more determined to stay your course.

Even with the best intention and our guard up against temptation we can end up heading down the wrong path. Life happens and sometimes things are out of our control.

At other times, we may not notice that we’ve taken a wrong turn until we’re well along that wrong path. It’s o.k. It happens. It means it’s time to change course and get back on track.

detour sign with purpose

This is why it’s important to do frequent reviews of what we’re doing.

This helps us see if what we’re doing is still aligned with our intentions, our purposes, and our values. Make sure you take this time for reflection.

Adjust as needed as you go along on this exciting journey of living a purpose driven life.


JohnK 6-25-2017 home page


Image for overheard with purposeOverheard:  “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style. – Maya Angelou

                          ~ Maya Angelou


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Living With Purpose Is About Serving Your Community

When you start to live with purpose you’ll have an eye opening experience. You’ll see that life is about so much more than existing in a tiny little bubble.

Living a full and meaningful life means being part of a community and serving it in a variety of ways. Let’s look at a few of them.


handshake with purpose

Your Inner Circle
The first community you encounter and the one you spent most of your time in is your very own inner circle. This is where you’ll have the most influence when you live with more purpose and intention.

Your family and close friends make up your inner circle. These are the people you spent the most time with. It may also include your coworkers.

This is the community you should focus on first. Start making a difference with the people you’re closest too.

Your Local Community
Your next step will be your local community. It’s amazing how much change you can affect here when you put your mind to it.

Let’s say you want to live a life where you’re more aware of the impact you have on your environment. You shop smarter, recycle and reuse more at home.

From here you can branch out into your local community and encourage positive change. Start a community garden and encourage people to recycle more.

Get involved with communal policy that’s focused on environmental efforts. Join the organizations that are already present within your own local community.

Finding Your Niche In The Global Community
One of the most obvious features of life today is how connected we are. It touches most everyone’s life.

Mass communication, the internet, faster and safer travel. All make it possible to connect with people from around the world.

Companies with global reach let employees connect with team members from different countries. And different cultures.

We may connect online with people who enjoy the same hobby. We do more traveling today than ever before. The result is exposure to different ways of living and different customs. We watch TV shows and movies from various parts of the world. We have in fact become a global community. And that gives us a unique opportunity.

We can live with purpose when we take part in online groups and global efforts.

And the resulting changes affect the worldwide community.

That’s pretty powerful, isn’t it?

JohnK 6-26-2017 home page

You Realize The World Doesn’t Revolve Around You

Much of what’s going on in today’s world requires us to focus on ourselves.

selfies in the world

We’re supposed to look out for our best interest. Compete with others for the best job, the biggest car, and the nicest house.

Media messages bombard us with the call to be self-centered and ego-maniacal

When we start to live with purpose, the people around us become more important. Instead of focusing ourselves, we focus on our family, our community, and even the world at large.

That’s quite a bit of a change in perspective and something that will come over time. The cool thing is that the transition is effortless.

You start with purposeful living and end up focusing more on the needs of your loved ones. This could involve paying more attention to your spouse and kids.

From there it moves toward your extended family and your circle of friends.

You notice feelings of happiness as you work with others. Helping them out feels good. Living a purpose driven life that includes other people who are important to us is a great feeling.

From there it fans out. As you get closer to your kids, for example, you get closer to their friends. You also become more empathetic to the needs of other parents and their children.

Your focus starts to shift from you and your immediate family to your local community. Then it moves to the global community. And that’s a very good thing.


Regardless of our teaching and how much we want to believe it, we don’t live in a bubble. We live in a community that stretches across the entire globe.

Our actions, our purchases, and how we choose to live our lives have an impact on everyone else. We can no longer afford and shouldn’t want to live a self-centered life.

You find that community and co-operation give you a much better feeling. It’s yet another advantage to living your life with purpose.

reaching around the worldYou get to see the world from a different perspective. Not only that, but you’ll also be setting a good example for your children and others around you.

As they see you care about and help others, they become inspired to do the same. That’s pretty powerful stuff.


Your choice to live with purpose can affect hundreds, if not thousands of others and inspire them to do the same.

JohnK 6-23-2017 home page


Image for overheard and the world

Overheard: “Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”
                          ~ Omar Khayyam



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Living A Purpose Driven Life Makes Your Values Clear

Today we look at values. They guide our lives and are like a compass to keep us on the straight and narrow.

picture of family valuesYou learned basic values as a young child. Those values evolved and you adapted them as you grew into adulthood.

Along the way things got a little murky. You may have questioned the values you learned. Sometimes you outright rejected them. But you didn’t set up a clear new system of values in their place.

Making a purpose driven life your replacement system helps your values become clear. You know for sure what’s most important to you.

You may choose family over a big raise or overtime. You may choose working hard now and saving up over instant gratification. You may choose going out and making friends or exercising (or both at once) over sleeping in on the weekend. You get the idea.

When you live with purpose… no matter how big or small those purposes may be… you live based on values. When you look at it and think about it for a minute, those values will become very clear to you.

You’ll learn what’s most important to you. That in turn will be a big help throughout the rest of your life.

When you get clear and defined values it becomes much easier to make daily decisions and choices. With your value compass in place, you only have to ask yourself if what you are doing is aligning with those values.

That in turn makes your life a lot easier. You no longer have to agonize or second guess yourself. Instead, you make your decision and are confident that it’s the right one.

Having a moral compass and set of values gives you a lot of confidence. You know, without a doubt, that you’re doing the right thing and are moving in the right direction.

Between that and the passion and excitement a purpose driven life brings, you’ll feel like you’re on the right path. That takes a lot of stress, worry, and second guessing out of the equation, which is a very good thing.

You’re calm as you move through life. Making decisions, taking actions, and moving along becomes almost effortless.

woman with valuesI’m sure you’ve noticed people around you who have strong purpose and values. They stride through life instead of stumbling.

That’s our intention. And it’s a major part of this 30 Day Living with Purpose challenge. Start paying attention to your own moral compass and values.

They’ll serve you well on this sometimes complicated and demanding path called life.


JohnK 6-22-2017 home page


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When You Live With Purpose, You Don’t Have Time To Worry

frog worries with purposeAre you a worrier by nature? Do you spend your time worrying about anything and everything that could go wrong?

I’ve been there and done that. It’s not the most pleasant or most productive use of your time.

When we worry a lot, it tends to paralyze us. We’re too worried about everything including what’s out of our control and what could go wrong. As a result, we don’t get to the important part of taking action, no matter what the goal or activity was.

The tendency to worry goes way down when we embrace living with purpose. When you know exactly what you want and have the passion for going after it, everything becomes clear.

You know what your first step is and then the next one after that. You get to work and start making progress. You keep going and keep working away to make sure you get done what you’ve set out to do.

In the end, you don’t have time to worry about all that small stuff and that’s a very good thing.

Truth is, most worrying is pointless. It uses up brain space and energy that would be much better spent other places. That doesn’t help you much when you’re busy worrying about anything and everything.

What will help you is shifting your focus, your energy, and your passion. Instead, aim them toward something more productive – your purpose.

woman with purose

When you find your purpose and make it an integral part of your life, you’ll be much too busy to worry. The cure to too much worrying then is taking massive action.

Go and do something that aligns with your purpose. It doesn’t matter what it is. Start with something small that feels safe.

Getting that task under your belt will expose unfounded worries you can push through. It also gives you a sense of accomplishment and that in turn builds confidence.

Confidence is another great weapon against the paralyzing effect of worry. Confident people don’t worry.

With each action you take, you become a little more confident and a little less worried. Build on each success and keep working on your self-confidence.

Keep focusing on why the things you do are important to you and why you embraced a particular purpose.

Focusing on how it is helpful to others is another great tool. This will help you push through and start taking action. That, in turn, builds confidence and decreases worries.

Before you know it, you’ll be too busy to worry. You’ll be taking action toward living a purpose driven life.

JohnK 6-21-2017 home


Image for overheard and purposeOverheard: The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time. 

                           ~ Mark Twain 


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Living With Purpose Makes You A Kinder Person

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You stress out. You work too hard. You run around to meet the latest deadline or pay a stack of bills. No wonder you become less than the nicest person to be around.

What if you changed your focus? What if you lived your life with purpose and intention? Living with purpose makes us kinder…and nicer. Why is that?


Living With Purpose Helps You Focus On Others
Living with purpose often includes other people. It’s about those around you as much as about yourself.

We’re social creatures and we like to work with, interact with, and help those around us. When we make those relationships a priority, we take the needs of others into account.

That teaches us empathy and understanding, which in turn makes us nicer and kinder to those around us.

Living With Purpose Takes You Out Of The Competitive Mindset
What if we stopped trying to keep up with everyone around us? Or stopped trying to compete for the highest paying job? Or the biggest car? Or the nicest house?

We would start seeing the signs that life is about much more than outdoing everyone else. Focusing on relationships, experiences, and helping each other out makes us kinder.

The energy we tend to burn on competition gets re-directed.

Living With Purpose Reduces Stress
So now you’re pulling back from the rat race. Instead, you’re embracing meaningful activities and relationships.

You’re becoming happier. And you’ll see that your stress level goes way down.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not the kindest person when I’m stressed out. I find that when I’m more relaxed and fulfilled being kind is a natural state of mind.

Living With Purpose Increases Happiness
It shouldn’t come as a big surprise to you that you’re kinder and nicer to be around when you’re in a good mood. It’s when we’re stressed out, or feeling trapped, mad and angry at the world that we aren’t so much fun to be around.

To recap, living with purpose does quite a few things to make you a kinder, nicer person to be around. If that’s not a great motivator to work towards a more purposeful life, I don’t know what is.

JohnK 6-20-2017 home page



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Guess What? Money And “Stuff” Don’t Make You Happy

In our last post, we looked at the effect of living with purpose on your spiritual health. And we saw how it relates to living a happy and fulfilled life.

Today we’ll switch gears and talk about things that don’t make you happy.

What doesn’t make you happy is money and more material possessions. In fact, quite the opposite seems to be true.

Now at times a bit of extra cash or more reliable car can decrease your stress and worries. And that does bring a measure of happiness.

But once we have our needs and simple comforts met, something interesting happens.

From there on out, more money and more possessions give us more “stuff” to worry about.

The goal then shouldn’t be to do everything we can to keep up with the Joneses. Instead, what makes us happy is living a purpose driven and meaningful life.

Deep down you already know this. Meaningful experiences trump material gifts anytime.

We remember the fun trips we took as kids. And the great times we had at concerts. A pile of presents under the tree pales in comparison.

There are exceptions. Like the year you got the new bike. But that gift had purpose and meaning behind it.

So boosting happiness and well-being through more money and stuff is not the answer.

Better to first cover the basic needs. Then shift your focus to experiences and relationships. That’s the key to leading a happy and fulfilled life.

Also important is focusing on finding purpose in what we do.

Financial goals are fine. But don’t leave out goals for your relationships and experiences.

Your thoughts might drift toward your next promotion. Or how you’ll afford a new car. But make sure you send your primary thought time and energy to the most important people and things.

Start living with purpose and making a difference. You’ll increase the well-being of people around you.

And you’ll be happier, too.


JohnK 6-19-2017 home page


Image for overheard and purposeOverheard: “God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.”                      

                       – Voltaire


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Living With Purpose Is Good For Your Spiritual Health

Today we look at spiritual health or wellness and the affect living with purpose has on it. Makes no difference which spirituality or religion you follow.

We live in a very diverse society and as a result, some folks will have different beliefs than others. Even within faiths, there are vast differences in beliefs.

believer with purpose

In the end, living with purpose and intention has shown to be beneficial, no matter what your belief.

Having a purpose is a primal human need. We want to feel needed and we need to know that we’re making a difference.

This leaves us feeling fulfilled, happy, and complete. That’s why living with purpose is so important and why it is good for your spiritual health.

The Need To Be Needed
We enjoy it when others need us. We’re prone to sadness and loneliness when we can’t help those around us and make a difference in their lives.

Having a purpose and living with purpose allows us to do that on a regular basis. It fulfills the need to be needed.

The Need To Find Meaning In Life
Another common human desire or need is to find meaning in life. We don’t like to feel like we’re wasting our time here.

Living with purpose gives meaning to each day. That, in turn, makes us feel happier and more fulfilled.

The Need To Have Hope
At the end of the day, even when things seem bad, we need to have hope. Having a purpose means we have a plan and we have something to strive towards.

That’s hope in action.

It is hope that we’ll make a difference. It’s hope that things we’ll make our situation better. And it is hope that we can get ourselves out of the hole we may find ourselves in.

The Need For Values
We also need sound values to live a happy and fulfilled life. Our values are like a compass that guides us along the way.

If you’re a parent, you know how important it is to impart strong values on your children. Without them, they feel lost and insecure.

That can add a lot of stress and unhappiness.

We’re no different as adults. Living our life with purpose by default provides us with a strong set of values to live by.

people with purpose

Living with purpose is good for the mind and spirit. It allows you to live a more fulfilling and happier life and make a difference in the world.

JohnK 6-18-2017 home page


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