1. Does every thought you think have a purpose? Some thoughts are too noisy to find a clear destination. Others aimlessly loop around. Purposeful thoughts go somewhere, and their path is mindcoolness.
2. Does every item you own have a purpose? Go through your home, look thoughtfully at every single piece of stuff, and say: Does this thing serve an important function? If it does not fulfil a positive purpose, throw it away. You need less stuff than you think, and clutter is anti-purpose. Don’t let purposeless stuff dilute your purposeful life.
3. Does every hour you study have a purpose? Studying for a good grade or social approval is a weak purpose. Learning for the sake of learning only accumulates knowledge—mostly disjointed knowledge, knowledge disjointed from an ardent desire to understand. Learning with purpose means to study a subject with a burning question in mind. If you have one well-formulated question you are dying to find an answer to, you study with purpose.
4. Does every word you speak have a purpose? Every word you utter in vain weakens the impact of all the words you speak thenceforth. Every word you utter to break silence breaks also your silence within. Purposeful speaking is born from careful listening.
5. Does every purchase you make have a purpose? Most purchases are made to feed the capitalist cow, whose milking is other people’s purpose. If you purchase with purpose, you purchase not to consume or to own, but to enhance life quality. Yet beware of illusory enhancement! The conveniences we acquire often estrange us from our true nature. Even if they promise to make life easier, we shall consider: Is it our purpose to live—easily?
6. Does every book you read have a purpose? Life is too short for books you read only because they are on some list. Do you read books because you want the knowledge they hold, or because you need the knowledge? If you don’t need it, don’t read it. And if you do, read it slowly. That’s reading with purpose.
7. Does every meal you consume have a purpose? Eating for pleasure serves a fleeting purpose. So does eating out of boredom. And eating out of convenience—what a failed purpose! A purposeful meal makes you healthy, strong, and happy.
8. Does every action you take have a purpose? Blind activity, restless busyness, and doing for doing’s sake are empty and futile. Purposeful action gushes out of an abundance of will—with a vivid conviction of what you truly want to do. Your True Will is what charges your actions with purpose.
9. Does every emotion you feel have a purpose? The spark of happiness is one of the many purposes of emotion, but dare to think beyond positivity. Emotions can also have the purpose of goal achievement, of social connection, and of experiencing primordial life. Purposeful emotions are the fabric of meaningful human experience.
10. Does every breath you breathe have a purpose? A breath has purpose if you are aware of it; that is the secret of mindfulness. Its purpose is even greater if you are grateful for it. A mindful, grateful life is a life lived with purpose.
Purpose is not just about doing grand things, but also about doing little things with grandeur.
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