Is Your Life Purpose Your Priority?

Joyce Shafer

Joyce L. Shafer

So many people are seeking to learn what their life purpose is so they can feel . . . on purpose. What if there’s more than one way to look at this?

Some believe life purpose is that One Ultimate Reason they’re here, that is, the one thing they are supposed to be doing; and some believe they have more than one life purpose, that it’s okay to focus on one until they take it as far as they choose, then focus on the next one. Both beliefs are correct because we are not all alike, so one size (way) does not fit all.

Another definition of “purpose” is “intention,” meaning, what you intend (are determined) to experience and live.

Many like to think the “burden” of choice about life purpose comes from elsewhere, that God, or whatever word they or you use, assigns our life purpose to us. Maybe. But what if your life purpose is what you intend it to be—that the right to choose was given to you? What if your life purpose is your heart desire or desires—known by Source, God, etc.—and what you need to fulfill it or them is supplied to you by Source, God, etc., including skills and talents fueled by your desire to express them—and the intention (determination) to make them your experience and reality is up to you? This would mean your life purpose is to make use of this gift of life and decide what you desire to experience—what would fulfill you (as many experiences as that includes), set your intention, and take action.

If you think of purpose as chosen intention (and determination) and this feels challenging, here’s a question: How are you currently using your time and energy?

“In the absence of clearly-defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it.” –

Robert Heinlein

Heinlein’s quote has merit; and we can call that trivia “busywork,” which may be important stuff but not the most important stuff, and is different from productive work, which is actions on goals that produce desired results. Daily trivia happens, but it isn’t our life purpose. Doing what we detest or staying unhappy isn’t either.

Here’s something that might simplify this. What if the quote read this way instead: In the absence of clearly defined priorities, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it?

Does that create an “Aha!” vibration in you? It’s just a word, but sometimes a different word can create a needed shift. The word “goal” (and even “purpose”) can feel intimidating to some, whereas the word “priority” perceives and addresses the desired outcome and the steps that lead to it as two parts of one significant whole—a purpose.

It’s far too tempting to believe filling our time with busywork activities that don’t create our most desired outcomes must mean we’re being productive or on purpose. But productivity creates desired results for our priorities. We have something to show for our effort and time investments. (This “false productivity” also applies to spending more time and energy talking about what we want, or complaining, rather than taking right action.)

Is there any busywork or trivia you can (or should) eliminate? Routine stuff has to get done; but does it have to get done instead or ahead of your priorities—your purpose—set for each day? Prioritizing your actions to accomplish your intentions can apply to anything—work, relationships, etc.

Perhaps post that quote on your wall, with “priorities” instead of “goals” in it, and glance at it whenever you are about to aim your attention at something and ask, “Is this a priority of my purpose, my intention, or is it trivia? Is doing this now the best use of my time and energy?”

When you take focused action on what you intend, Source is more easily able to supply what helps you make it happen—because this demonstrates you’re ready to allow your desired outcome to come to you. Your action quotient amplifies your attraction quotient. This doesn’t mean you work 24/7, it means you take appropriately focused action. Prioritize and focus deliberate segments of time on what you truly desire. You want to receive desired outcomes, not more trivia. This allows you to set yourself up to get and live what you intend.

Instead of seeking what your life purpose might be (you already know which skills or talents make you feel alive), aim at your chosen intention to use these in ways that fulfill you. You’ll feel on purpose.

You’re welcome to reprint this article as long as you use my complete bio.

Practice makes progress.

© Joyce L. Shafer

You are welcome to use this article in your newsletter or on your blog/website as long as you use my complete bio with it.

Joyce L. Shafer is a Life Empowerment Coach dedicated to helping people feel, be, and live their true inner power. She’s author of “I Don’t Want to be Your Guru, But I Have Something to Say” and other books/e-books, and publishes a free weekly online newsletter that offers empowering articles. See all that’s offered by Joyce and on her site at



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