Clarity of Purpose and Direction — the First Step Toward Success

Clarity of purpose and direction is one of the keys to career and life success in my Common Sense Success System.  I discuss it in detail in several of my books: Straight Talk for Success, Your Success GPS, I Want YOU…To Succeed, Star Power and 42 Rules to Jumpstart Your Professional Success. 

To develop your personal clarity of purpose you need to do three things.  First, define what success means to you personally.  Second, create a vivid mental image of you as a success.  This image should be as vivid as you can you make it.  Third, clarify your personal values.

The other day I received an email from Brad Swift of the Life On Purpose Institute (   Brad made a great point about clarity of purpose…

“Taking a bold standing for living on purpose starts by knowing your purpose with crystal clarity — knowing it so well that if someone woke you up at 3:00 in the morning and asked you what your life purpose is, you’d be able to tell them.  And if someone who knew you well heard what you said, they’d realize that your life was a true and authentic reflection of that purpose.”

Brad makes two great common sense points here.  First your clarity of purpose has to be deeply ingrained in your psyche.  It has to be part of who you are.  Second, you have to live your clarity of purpose 24/7/365.  This takes commitment; commitment to determining your life’s purpose, and commitment to living it.

Several years ago I decided that my life’s purpose is to help others create the successful lives and careers that they want and deserve.  I realized that I take immense satisfaction out of seeing others learn, grow and succeed.  In another life I might have been a teacher or athletic coach.  In this life, I help people succeed in business.

If you were to wake me at 3:00 in the morning, shine a light in my face and ask me for my life’s purpose, I’m sure I would say, “helping people create successful lives and careers.”  It’s that much a part of me.  My elevator speech begins, “Hi, I’m Bud Bilanich, the Common Sense Guy; I help people create successful lives and careers by applying their common sense.”

What is your purpose in life?  Is it deeply ingrained in you?  Have you even thought about it?  Clarity of purpose and direction comes first in my successful model.  I always suggest to my coaching clients that they think of their purpose as their mission in life – why they are on this earth.  I suggest they think of their direction as a medium term goal – something that they will accomplish in the next five or so years.

For example, as I’ve said, my purpose is to help other people create successful lives and careers by applying their common sense.  My direction has changed recently.  My vision for the next five years is to build an internet based coaching and career development business. 

 That’s where I’m going.  It’s also why I write this blog.  It’s why I publish my ezine.  It’s why I’ve begun sending my subscribers daily “Think, Act, Succeed” quotes.  It’s why I’ve begun podcasting.  You can check out my new podcast at  It’s why I crated my common sense success system.  You can get a free 90 minute DVD that overviews it at

Your direction defines what you do every day.  It should reinforce your life purpose.  Clarifying not only you purpose but your direction helps get you to the second of Brad Swift’s points; “If someone who knew you well heard what you said (about your life’s purpose), they’d realize that your life was a true and authentic reflection of that purpose.” That’s why I think that while clarity of purpose is important.  Clarity of direction is equally so.

Clarity of direction helps you determine what you are going to do every minute, every hour, every day.  If your direction is congruent with your purpose others will notice.  More important, you will be living your purpose and creating the successful life and career you deserve.

The common sense point here is simple.  Successful people clarify their purpose and direction in life.  They have a clear understanding of what success means to them and an image of themselves as a success.  Everything they do is consistent with their clarity of purpose.  They look forward and decide where they want to be.  Their day to day actions all help move them closer to their vision of success, and are consistent with their clarity of purpose.  When you clarify your purpose and live it, you will hardly ever procrastinate or find yourself going off on tangents.  You’ll be laser focused on living the life that is important to you.  What’s your clarity of purpose?  Are you living it?

That’s my take on clarity of purpose and direction.  What’s yours?  Please take a few minutes to share your thoughts with us.  As always, thanks so much for reading.


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  1. Brian Wingfield says:

    Happy new year and thanks for the great post. Please keep up the good work.

  2. Thanks Brian:

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