The Purpose Driven Life

posted on 2004-10-21 at 00:31:34 by Joel Ross

I started reading The Purpose Driven Life a few days ago. The idea is that you read one chapter per day, and only one. Why? You have time to think about you've read for a day. Each chapter is roughly 4-6 pages, and it's 40 chapters. Even I should have the time to make this happen. My wife is doing it with me too - that way, we can share our thoughts about the book.

For those who don't know, it's a Christian book. I'm a Christian, and proud of it. But that's not the purpose of this post. The things in this book, while they definitely have a "Christian slant," relate to everyone.

For example, today's chapter was about what people are driven by, and how life can be better once you discover your purpose. Regardless of how you discover your purpose, Rick Warren's points are good. When you have a purpose, you have:

1. Meaning. This relates to more than just life in general. Think about your work life. If what you're supposed to be doing isn't clearly defined, it's hard to get things done. Having a narrow focus allows you to get stuff done, giving what you do meaning.

2. Simplicity. Again, I'll relate it to work. If you have a narrow focus, you know exactly what tasks need to be completed, and what tasks aren't worth the effort. This simplifies what you have to do in a day, and gives you reasons to say no. Isn't this one of the tenets of Extreme Programming?

3. Focus. I think the above explanation applies here too. It allows you to focus on a task.

4. Motivation. Knowing what has to be done and having a clear vision of how to do it is motivating. When I know I have a day in the office that I can sit down and crank without interuptions, I'm motivated. Seeing the results motivate me too.

His last point primarily applies to Christians - having a purpose prepares you for eternity.

Here's a question to ponder (from the book). What would someone close to you say your driving force is? What do you say it is? Those are tough questions to answer, and ideally, you would like others to see the same driving force you see. But is it?

I'll probably post about the book as I think about each chapter, and have enough to make a post about it. A friend of mine who recommended it said it changed his life and the way he approaches every day. If that's the case, then you'll probably see a lot more about it!

Categories: Personal