Step 3 to Success – Living a Purpose Driven Life

Pillar #3 – Taking steps to be purpose driven.

Once you have begun to take personal responsibility (Step 1) and outline your vision (Step 2), you can think in more detail about steps to take that will get you to your vision.  When you move forward on this journey, and when these steps are in line with your values, you will be living a purpose driven life.

Living a purpose driven life means that you will:

  • Be mission-focused (so that you take actions that are regularly getting you to closer to your vision)
  • Review Roles (to understand the roles you play in your life such as being a parent, child, spouse or partner, a professional, etc.)
  • Set Goals (to know what you want to accomplish so that you do not live with regrets)
  • Organize and Plan Weekly (to schedule and prioritize your calendar to be in line with your mission, values and goals)
  • Evaluate (so that you are regularly determining if you are living with purpose)


Let’s focus in more detail about what this means.  When you can state (and verbalize) your vision as well as determine what is important to you, you are in a position to live with purpose.  This will result in feeling good about your day-to-day life.  First ask yourself, ‘What is my ultimate goal in life?’  Many people say it is to be HAPPY!  Even if your ultimate goal is not to be happy, one way to determine what is important to you is to ask what will make you feel good?  Those actions, beliefs and feelings that make you feel good are what will provide you with a purpose driven life.  So, what makes you happy?  Is it being with certain people; listening to specific music; being involved with a particular activity?  Thinking about what makes you happy and what is important to you can help you outline your vision.

As you better define your vision, values and what is important to you, you can look at your day-to-day life to determine if you are living the way you want to live.  It is helpful to look at your schedule to see if you are prioritizing things as per what you value and what is purposeful for you.  For example, Stephen Covey’s priorities matrix helps with determining strong time management steps you can take.   Another approach is to “review your checkbook and your calendar to see where you spend your money and your time”, as per my friend and business & life coach, Margo Geller.

Another approach is to not only look at where you spend your time and money, but to think about how you feel about where you spend your time and money.  Kate Northrup, financial freedom expert, speaks about your mentality around what you are spending your money and time on.  For example, are you living from an abundance mindset or a scarcity mindset?  Are you grateful for what you have?  Kate reviews her financial statements regularly and critically looks at each line.  She reviews the money and time that she spends doing work, going to lunch with friends, paying bills, etc. and determines if these events help make her feel happy or not (even down to being thankful to the electric company for giving her lights).  This helps her to determine if she wants to continue to spend her time and money on these events, these services or to continue to spend time with these people.

Taking a pause and looking more closely at what is important to you and then assessing what you are doing every day will help you to determine if you are living a purpose driven life.  An easy first step is to get out your calendar or a financial statement from last month and determine how you feel about everything you did or spent money on last month.  Was is purpose driven?



Jeanne Ward is a Consultant and Personal Strategist who brings her knowledge of psychology, strategy and personal fulfillment to her current work. Jeanne started her career by helping mentally ill inmates to ‘get their lives back on track’ as they integrated back into society from jail in NYC. She leveraged this experience with a Social Work degree to manage teams who were supporting people trying to move back into the workforce. She later lived in Atlanta, GA and Frankfurt, Germany where she began consulting with nonprofit organizations to guide them on their strategy, volunteer development, and organizational development as well as to support the development of their leaders and board of directors. After the jolt of a divorce, Jeanne found herself doing a lot of soul-searching. Digging deep, she arrived at a new-found appreciation for herself and the world around her. This journey taught her that when we start with improving ourselves, the benefits multiply. Jeanne realized that her strengths of strategic thinking, relationship building, and implementation planning could be combined into her ongoing passion of personal leadership. Hence, her personal strategy work was born. Jeanne helps men and women between the ages of 35 and 55 who are fed up with their corporate jobs to create fulfilling professional and personal lives through the development of a personal strategic plan. This work ensures that her clients identify their professional and personal goals as well as create a plan to make those goals a reality. Jeanne is also the Executive Director of the Atlanta Road Trotters Kid’s Running Club, a nonprofit organization that provides a platform for children to build a foundation of running health and fitness which leads to a better connection to the organized running community as well as a strong foundation of Discipline, Self-Esteem, Respect and Team Work. She has also co-authored a workbook on networking, founded and organized the National Association of Social Workers-Georgia-sponsored ‘Social Service Career Network’ and organized a summit for the National Alliance for Mentally Ill attended by over 100 organizations from 6 Atlanta counties. Previously, she sat on the board of NASW GA as their Secretary as well as on the board of NAMI GA/DeKalb as their Co-President, was a senior consultant for the Georgia Center for Nonprofits and helped to run a capital campaign for an independent school. Jeanne has an MSW from Hunter School of Social Work (City University of New York), an MA in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice (City University of New York) and a BA in Psychology from Emory University. Jeanne lives in Atlanta with her ten-year-old son.

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