Live Your Life on Purpose

Being a career mentor, I’m always on the lookout for career advice. A couple of years ago, I saw a great little video on Huffington Post that had some interesting career success implications. It was of a baby seal being released into the wild after it was rehabilitated at the Island Wildlife Natural Care Centre in British Columbia. It had washed up on shore and was dehydrated. You can see the video at

The little fellow seems confused at first. “They’re letting me out of this cage? I felt safe here. But wait a minute, that’s the ocean. That’s where I’m supposed to be. I better get going before they put me back in that cage.”

In and of itself, I think the video is pretty cool. But as I’ve said, there is some career advice here too. It’s pretty simple. Just like the baby seal, do what you are meant to do. Follow your purpose. Tweet 3 in my career advice book Success Tweets says in part, “Think of your purpose as your personal mission; why you are on this earth.” Once you figure out purpose liveit daily.

For our purposes here, I define the phrase “your life purpose” as follows…

  • Your reason for existing.
  • Your passion.
  • Why you are on this earth.

This isn’t always easy to discover.

If you’re young and still trying to figure out your purpose, don’t worry. It takes time. That’s why I always tell people to be open to new ideas and thoughts, as you never know what you might pick up.

If you’d told me when I was in high school that my life purpose would be to help others succeed, I would have laughed. It took several courses in college and a year of service as a VISTA Volunteer for me to figure it out. That’s when I began my career in the human development field.

Your purpose needs to come from deep inside you. It is unlikely to change over the long run. It is you. I’ve had lots of different jobs in lots of companies and have been self-employed for over 25 years. Through all the changes, one thing has remained constant – my desire and passion for helping others succeed. In my heart of hearts, I know that I am on this earth to help others navigate the ambiguities of life in order to reach their goals. That’s my purpose.

The seal knew his purpose was to be wild in the ocean. He took off to fulfill it as soon as he realized he wasn’t going to be put back in to the cage.

Here is how I define my purpose in life…

To help others achieve the career and life success that they want and deserve by applying their common sense.

It hasn’t changed since I was 23 years old. My purpose reflects who I am and why I get up every morning. It’s what’s right for me. I feel satisfied when I’m pursuing it.

What’s right for you? What is your passion? What is your reason for living? Why are you on this earth? What is your purpose?

If you can’t answer these questions with a great deal of certainty, you need to do some work. Think about them. Think about the times when you have been most happy and fulfilled. These memories will give you some very good clues as to what you should be doing with your life. If you can’t see yourself running towards this purpose – just like the seal ran to the ocean – maybe it’s not the right purpose for you.

Ask yourself a simple question at the end of every day. “Did the things I did today support my life’s purpose?”

If you answer, “yes,” you’ve had a successful day. If you answer “no,” think about what you can do the next day to get back to living your purpose.

The career mentor point here is simple common sense. You have to define your clarity of purpose in this life. It’s your reason for living, why you are on this earth. You may be like that seal who ran for the ocean as soon as he realized he was free to do so. You’ll know your purpose instinctually. Or you might have to search for it. As a young guy I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I just knew I didn’t want a life in the little steel town where I grew up. I had to search for my purpose, and when I found it – helping others create the life and career success they want and deserve – I threw myself into living it wholeheartedly. If you know your purpose, pursue it passionately. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. When you do, pursue it passionately.

That’s the common sense career advice I found watching the baby seal get released into the wild. What do you think? Am I crazy, or do I have a good career success point here? Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment. As always, thanks for reading my daily musings on life and career success. I appreciate you and I value you.

Your career mentor,


PS: If you haven’t already done so, you can download free copies of two of my career success book, Success Tweets and its companion piece, Success Tweets Explained, a whopping 390 + pages of common sense career advice explaining each of the common sense tweets in Success Tweets in detail. Go to to claim your free copy.

Live YOu

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