What Does it Mean to Live Purposefully?

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "High Performance Habits" by Brendon Burchard. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What does it mean to live purposefully? What are the four elements of purposeful living?

To live purposefully means to pursue things that hold personal meaning in in your life. There are four elements of purposeful living: enthusiasm, connection, satisfaction, and coherence.

Keep reading to understand what it means to live purposefully.

How Do You Live Purposefully?

To live purposefully means to invest time and energy into things that hold personal meaning in your life. It also means saying no to trials that don’t align with your passions or feed into your long-term goals. For example, if you are passionate about health and fitness, training for a marathon would be worth your time. While other challenges such as learning to cook or building a computer may be interesting, they don’t hold personal meaning in your life and, therefore, shouldn’t be focused on.

Four Elements of Purpose

According to personal development trainer Brendon Burchard, there are four elements of purposeful living—enthusiasm, connection, satisfaction, and coherence.

  • Enthusiasm: Take up challenges that you are excited about. When you are enthusiastic about the work that you are doing, challenges will feel more rewarding and fulfilling. 
  • Connection: Social isolation often leads to a lack of purpose. Surround yourself with people who will support your dreams and challenge you to get out of your comfort zone. 
  • Satisfaction: Satisfaction is made up of three factors: passion, growth, and contribution. If a challenge consists of all three of these factors, you will likely get satisfaction from working on it.
  • Coherence: When thinking about taking up a challenge, think about how it aligns with your long-term goals. For example, if your long-term goal is to have your own art gallery, investing in courses in art history, color theory, and medium technique would be sensible challenges to invest your time in.

What Does it Mean to Live Purposefully?

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  • The 6 habits that high performers have
  • How being a high performer is about more than one big achievement
  • The 3 traps that can foil you, even if you're a high performer

Darya Sinusoid

Darya’s love for reading started with fantasy novels (The LOTR trilogy is still her all-time-favorite). Growing up, however, she found herself transitioning to non-fiction, psychological, and self-help books. She has a degree in Psychology and a deep passion for the subject. She likes reading research-informed books that distill the workings of the human brain/mind/consciousness and thinking of ways to apply the insights to her own life. Some of her favorites include Thinking, Fast and Slow, How We Decide, and The Wisdom of the Enneagram.

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