The Four Criteria of Purpose Projects

And now for another stop on Life on Purpose: Six Passages to an Inspired Life Blog Book Tour. The book has already “toured” through about 20 wonderful blogs.

I’ve been following Brad Swift and his work at Life on Purpose Institute for a couple of years, so it was a nice surprise to get an email from the publicist of his book asking me to join the blog book tour.

Dr Swift’s book is packed with information and processes to help you understand what a Life Purpose is, and clarify yours. And there are some true gems hidden in that information.

Where the book truly stood out for me was at the beginning and the end. Brad lays a strong foundation for a journey into a purposeful life by laying out The Top 10 Benefits to Knowing and Living Your Purpose. From Focus and Passion to Grace and Flow, when I read these benefits, I got truly jazzed about clarifying and deepening my purpose even more.

I especially resonated with benefit #6 – FUN! For this one Brad quoted a line from the movie Bagger Vance: “God is happiest when his children are at play.” I love that!

But one of the most powerful insights from the book came near the end when Brad discusses Purpose Projects and gives four criteria to check if a project is, indeed, one with Purpose.

The four criteria are:

1. It is satisfying and fulfilling.
2. It is in service to others.
3. It is based in love, not fear.
4. It is the context and vessel that holds and shapes your life.

These criteria have been a great help to me as I streamline my life and weed out projects there are not purposeful. Applying these criteria to existing projects is simple. And the feedback, in most cases, is instant.

Try it.

While there are some great insights and powerful tools in this book, I do want to mention two things that got in my way when I was reading it.

First, I agree with Nneka that the fictional couple that Brad follows through the process of finding and creating a life on purpose was not compelling for me. (Honestly, I skipped over most of those sections).

And second, I sometimes found the transitions from Brad’s description of a concept into the exercises to be too abrupt. There were several times that I was happily reading along, wanting and expecting a more complete description of a concept or process when I suddenly found myself in the middle of an exercise.

One last thing that is worth mentioning. Brad sprinkles inspiring quotes throughout the book which I found very helpful. Here’s one that I particularly enjoyed:

When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all of your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive and you discover yourself to be a greater person than you ever dreamed yourself to be.

Patanjali, Indian Philosopher.

The bottom line: If you want some inspiration and practical tools for finding and living a Life on Purpose, this book may be just what you’re looking for.

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      3 Responses to “The Four Criteria of Purpose Projects”

      1. Adam Kayce : Monk At Work on June 21st, 2007 9:21 am

        I haven’t seen the book yet, but I’ve heard of Brad’s work… and that is such a great Patanjali quote, I may have to pick it up and see what other morsels are inside!

      2. Edward Mills on June 22nd, 2007 11:54 am

        There are definitely a few morsels to be found.

      3. The Secret How To Get Over A Break Up on October 16th, 2007 4:02 am

        […] you have to figure out by yourself. I can only give you some tips on how to find it. There are some good books on that […]

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