Working for a Bigger Purpose

This is a guest post by Jon Gordon. He is a sought-after speaker and the author of The Energy Bus, Soup, and his latest release The Seed: Finding Purpose and Happiness in Life and Work. Please visit the book’s website to learn more and for a details on a special offer. You can read his blog and follow him on Twitter. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

What if work wasn’t just work? What if work was a vehicle to live and share a bigger purpose?

A Man Standing on a Pinnacle - Photo courtesy of ©, Image #7112779

Photo courtesy of ©

I believe there’s a flawed perception in our society that in order to live a life of purpose we have to leave our jobs and go solve world hunger, feed the homeless, move to Africa, or start a charity.

While these are all noble, needed causes with many who are called to do these very things, for others of us our bigger purpose can be found in the here and now, in the jobs we have, right under our noses. And when we find and live this purpose, it will provide the ultimate fuel for a meaningful life.

You may not build libraries around the world, but you can find the bigger purpose in reading to your children. You may not feed the homeless every day, but you can nourish your employees and customers with a smile, kind word, and care. And while you may not start your own non-profit organization, you can begin a charity initiative at work. After all, “charity” means “love in action.”

You can make a difference every day and touch the lives of everyone you meet. While these people may not be starving because of a lack of food, you can provide them with a different kind of nourishment that will feed their souls (and feed your own in the process).

Here are a few examples:

  • I heard of a janitor who worked at NASA. And even though he was sweeping floors, he felt his bigger purpose was contributing to put a man on the moon.
  • I met a bus driver who knows his purpose is to help kids stay off drugs.
  • I met an administrative assistant who has become the Chief Energy Officer of her company.
  • I received an email from a man in the mortgage business who sees his job as a way to help couples save their marriages by keeping their homes.
  • I know a Popeye’s Chicken employee named Edith in the Atlanta Airport who makes thousands of air travelers smile each day.

The list goes on … ordinary people with an extra-ordinary purpose.

In any job our purpose waits for us to find it and live it.

I can’t tell you what your purpose should be, but I can tell you that every one of us can find a bigger purpose in the job we have.

I can tell you that every job, no matter how glorious or boring it may seem, will get mundane if we let it.
Purpose keeps it fresh. And when we are filled with purpose, we tap into an endless supply of energy.

Don’t wait until you go to Africa to start living with a mission. Don’t wait until the weekend to feed people who are hungry. Bring your mission to work, start working for a bigger purpose and nourish others in the process.

I gave away 50 copies of The Seed: Finding Purpose and Happiness in Life and Work. To qualify, my readers had to comment below. You can find the list of winners here.
Question: What is the bigger purpose for which you are working? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
Get My New, 3-Part Video Series—FREE! Ready to accomplish more of what matters? 2015 can be your best year ever. In my new video series, I show you exactly how to set goals that work. Click here to get started. It’s free—but only until Monday, December 8th.

Get my FREE video series now!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.

  • Uma Maheswaran S

    As a budding professional, I love to visualize the bigger picture in my life. A life more than making both ends meet. A life more than striving. A life beyond horizons. As an auditor, I dream and work towards mitigating the white collar crimes in our day to day life and make this world a fair place to live by. I would like to lead a life that would be an illustration of — No more disenchantment; No more dead ends; No more after long thoughts; No more misfits; No more feeling lost; No more aimless vagabond style nomadic life. As I try to change and refine myself, I feel I can make a difference every moment and opportunity and touch the lives of every person I meet.

    • Anonymous

      Great hopes. I believe they can happen through you. 

      • Uma Maheswaran S

        Thanks Sundijo!

  • Joe Abraham

    I like your statement: “In any job our purpose waits for us to find it and live it.” That’s perfectly true. As a speaker, I found that my purpose is to motivate my audience to live better lives as God has designed for them. 

  • jonstolpe

    I’m an engineer by background and an operations manager by title for a construction company.  Over 17 years in the industry is more than enough proof that construction workers need God.  My hope is that I can point co-workers and colleagues to God.  I’ve always believed that our workplaces are mission fields.  Working with integrity and providing a solid example can be a powerful tool for those we work with every day.

    • Jon Gordon

      “Workplaces are our mission fields…” so very true. When I wrote “The Seed” that sentiment was a major inspiration. Sometimes we dream of making a difference elsewhere but quite often God has planted us right where He wants us so that we can make a difference where we are. Every day we have that choice.

    • Awais Ahmed
  • Khumaloish

    I totally agree with this post! it actually reminds me of an article I wrote myself that talked about reaching to people where one is. In the article I talked briefly about how one does not even need a single cent to make a difference in someone else’s life. I further made an example of someone who sits behind a desk, say a secretary, and keeps smilling at people coming to seek her services. That, to the recepient of the smile, surely goes a long way. Consequently, with just a smile a life has been touched! Such acourse, that of being the difference in someone else’s life (right where I am), is the very “Great Purpose” for which my life has been dedicated. “one life a day” is the motto that propels my engine to the success of this purpose. God bless

    • Jon Gordon

      Thank you and the One Life a Day idea is a great one.

  • Scott

    As a pastor and therapist, my larger purpose is two-fold. First, I companion with others, providing guidance as they find their way on life’s journey. Second, I purpose to live into each of life’s moments being as fully present insofaras I willingly offer myself to the process. Thankfully, your post helps my focus on such things.

    • Jon Gordon

      Glad to hear it Scott. Thank you.

  • Joey Espinosa

    My wife and I know that God’s adventure for us involves working with children. We’ve done it with our own kids (of course), as volunteers in our church, and me coming on staff as a Children’s Pastor.

    Now, we’ve just moved to the most under-resourced and impoverished county in our state. I work (and she volunteers) with the Boys & Girls Club. It’s been challenging, and rewarding. Even with all the difficulties, I know that this is where we need to be.

    You can read more about this area and what we are doing here:

    • Jon Gordon

      Joey that is outstanding and congrats to you and your wife for following God’s lead. For some God calls to GO, for others God wants them to simply make a difference where they are. Each one of us has a unique journey. So glad you are pursuing yours!

  • Marta Perenc

    The biggest purpose for which I am working is to become a better colleague, coach and “go-to person” wherever I work. I started as an office administrator at the current company and through my hard work I was promoted to an HR specialist. Being an expert in my field and thus supporting my colleagues makes me proud of who I am, and energy to work on my credibility every day.
    “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”
    ~Johann Goethe~

    • Jon Gordon

      Excellent Marta. It really is about being faithful with the little things, working hard, doing the most with what we have, and being faithful.

  • Leah Adams

    I really believe that our main purpose on this earth is to  make Jesus known. I seek to do that through my speaking and writing. I still work a couple of days a week as a pharmacist and although I don’t particularly enjoy that work, I do recognize that it is a platform for me to share Jesus. So, I seek to love on people and be Jesus to them at the pharmacy.  And as anyone who works with the public knows…there are TONS of opportunities to show the love of Jesus to them…and the patience of Jesus….and the forgiveness of Jesus……and the mercy of Jesus…..well, you get the idea, I’m sure.

    • Jon Gordon

      You make a perfect point Leah when you said, “I seek to love on people and be Jesus to them.” Every day we get the opportunity to example our faith by what we say and what we do. It doesn’t matter what job we have or which mission field we work on… it just matters that we do it with excellence as if we are working for God (because ultimately we are).

  • Robert Ewoldt

    I’m an accountant that helps the church remain fiscally effective in a recession.

    • Jon Gordon

      And thank you for doing so! Your work matters!!

  • Djw1500

    My purpose in life is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever…. In all things and in every way..
    David Willimas

    • Jon Gordon

      Right on David… ultimately that is and should be the purpose of every believer. Can you imagine what the world would look like if every believer lived it out in their daily interactions? Wow. The world would be changed (and each one of us can help that to occur).

  • Scott Lippmann

    Thank you for your timely blog.  You have “hit the nail on the head” with me, as I am in the midst of deciding on a new direction for my work life.  I have, in fact, traveled to Africa as a short term missionary which was life altering for me – it made me question my priorities and what direction my actions, finances, attitudes and passions should be taking.  

    For me, it took a trip to Africa, however, you are absolutely correct that we can become “purposefully purposeful” right at home, and probably have a greater effect on a larger number of people in the process.  America has become so “now” oriented – fast food, instant gratification, fast paced lifestyles, speed dating, news in real time, etc. – that we have lost sight of the notion that to make a real difference, we should be having a positive effect on others’ lives rather than our own and in doing so, discovering our true passion(s) in this transitory life.

    Thank you again for sharing your insights. 

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks Scott. So glad it helped.

  • Patrick Gallagher

    I feel good about working at a university and being part of how faculty and students use technology to advance themselves.

  • SC “D”

    I had a similar experience with a gate attendant at Disney. I guess it’s all about context and perspective. Great post!

    • Jon Gordon

      Yeah, perspective changes everything. Thank you for the kind words.

  • Joanne M. Bush

    The bigger purpose for which I am working is to help my pastor fulfill the vision that God placed in his heart 36 years ago.

    • Jon Gordon

      Love it!

  • Flowsource

    We all have the ability to plant seeds in the lives of others. We should pray, asking God to put us in situations where we have the opportunity to share our lives and our faith.

    • Jon Gordon

      And taking that one step further… when we pray, also asking God for the strength and courage to actually share when He puts someone in our path.

  • Douglasreed28

    The bigger purpose I am living for is people. Being a pastor is all about being for people. I’m for their hopes, dreams, and passions. Love seeing people grab a hold of destiny!

    • Jon Gordon


  • Bjones2

    I am working for the bigger purpose of helping spread the gospel to my employees.  I work as a production manager in a plant that employees 80 people in East Tennessee.  It is my job on a daily basis to make sure the decisions made help these men and women go home with a paycheck and a sense that what they built today is going to help someone tomorrow.  We are in the pallet business yes but more important than that we are in the business of making sure 80 families are given the chance to live the american dream.

    • Jon Gordon

      That’s great! You are living on purpose and being intentional which is very admirable. No doubt that you are sharing the gospel by showing these people how much you care. Love God, love others.

  • Patrick A. Breck

    Great post. As a remote employee it often takes a bit of extra effort to stay focused on my purpose and avoid feeling disconnected from the rest of the office staff. 

    • Jon Gordon

      Good point Patrick. As a remote employee it can be challenging at times but if you try to stay aware of your contribution to the bigger picture, it makes it much easier.

  • Margot

    I’m working – at work, at home, at life – to make sure that every single person I come into contact recognizes their intrinsic worth; feels valued and valuable.   

    • Jon Gordon

      Great goal Margot!

  • Emerson A.

    As a recent grad, currently working in IT, I’m praying that God reveals that to me…

    • Connie Brown

      I love your honesty. God answers prayers such as yours in his time. You’re uniquely gifted for a purpose.

    • Jon Gordon

      He will Emerson. Have faith, stay connected to God and seek His direction. He’ll give it. Sometimes we over complicate it and expect it to be something HUGE and grand. Sometimes it is but other times it’s subtle and simple.

      • Dylan Dodson

        Very true.

    • Blog Sphere

      He will…may not be all at once, but HE WILL!!

  • Micah Green

    As a believer, I know that my ultimate purpose is to glorify and honor God.  I work at a Christian university that offers online programs, and I hear so many testimonies of how our university is helping people to minister in the areas to which God has called them.  In the words of a former boss, we are equipping those in the church to use “beans, bullets, and bandages” in ministering to the world around them-whether that is in an office, in the pulpit, in a hospital room, or in the classroom!

    • Connie Brown

      That “bullets” word doesn’t seem to fit ministry.

      • Joe Lalonde

        Connie, I can see the word “bullets” fitting into ministry, especially since it is followed by the word “bandages”. Christ’s words can pierce the soul like a sword(or probably like a bullet in modern times).

        Micah, thanks for the post. I really like the three words chosen. As we are called to feed the hungry(beans), pierce the heart and soul of others with the Word of Christ(bullets), and mend and heal the broken hearted(bandages). Keep on with the great work.

        • Connie Brown

          I see your point.

          But, I must confess I don’t like the imagery of bullets, the imagery of surgeon knifes that C.S. Lewis uses makes more sense to me. Bullets sounds like a Christianity that approves of the crusades (yes, I know, they didn’t have bullets then).

          I having been reading Blue Like Jazz lately and the crusades was a topic of embarrassment.

          I admire Micah’s mission purpose, and the alliteration of the phrase, but I find the imagery of bullets troubling. IMHO.

          • Joe Lalonde

            Connie, thanks for sharing your view on this. While I’m not sure why he used those three words, I’m wondering if it had to do with all three words beginning with the letter B? And a better word may have been surgeon’s knife but it would not have fit in?

            As for the crusades, it’s an interesting topic with lots of varying viewpoints.

          • Connie Brown

            Maybe “sustenance, scalpels and swabs”  would work?    ; )

          • Joe Lalonde

            That could work.

  • Douglas Anderson

    My bigger purpose is to help people come to a place where they can forgive those who have hurt them.  Unforgiven is a ravaging relationship and people’s lives.  We cannot forget that forgiveness is not for the person being forgiven, it is for the person who forgives.  They are set free.

    • Jon Gordon

      The world certainly needs more forgiveness.

    • Blog Sphere

      Douglas, praise God for your heart.
      There’s a song that has been a great help to me working through my bouts of  unforgivenes… it’s by Keven LeVar -A Heart that Forgives. Here is a link to his site…wait about 2 minutes and the song come up after advertisement.

  • Rickkmac

    Understanding that my place of work is a calling from God to use my talents, natural giftings and learned skills, in a purposeful way makes going to the job a meaningful experience. I have a reason to get up each morning and head off to work looking for how God will use me tom touch others wi a smile, kind word and helpful hand. Purpose waits for us to do “charity.”

    • Jon Gordon

      Well said. “How God will use me” is the point. We must be open to Him using us where we are, no matter what. His plans are always better than ours.

  • Paul Coughlin

    Michael, Jon, I loved this post. A while back I came across a blog article which listed as the number one regret of the dying as “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself”.

    Who we are is so much more than what we do. But what we do, when aligned, can be a direct expression of who we are.

    In coaching, there’s an NLP principle called ‘Logical Levels’. At the bottom is environment, and it moves up through action, behaviours, capabilities, to values, then identity, through vision up to purpose. When we ‘align’ ourselves and integrate the different levels, Our purpose and our vision inspire our values, which inspire us to cultivate skills required to live a purposeful life, take right action, and actively play a part in creating the environment which will support the vision and the purpose.
    At the end of our days, when we ask the question “Have I lived a good life”, more often than not, we are asking if our life was of value, not just to ourselves, but to others, and the greater good. Was it a life of purpose..

    Aligning our actions to our vision and purpose is a pre-requisite of living a purposeful life, a life which is true to yourself..

    Fantastic article, thanks again,

    • Jason Fountain

      Paul, nice summary. The only life worth living really is a life which to true to yourself.

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks Paul. Really glad you liked it and agree with what you said!

  • David Mehrle

    The bigger purpose that I live for is to connect people to the one thing that will change their life more than anything else. Helping people develop a relationship with Jesus and to find His purpose for their life.

    Everything else just doesn’t last forever.

  • Eric Stone

    What an awesome post! I often ask myself if my sole purpose was to give that upset customer a renewed sense of calm today, or was it the shared smile with a stranger standing in a long line waiting on a cashier, etc.

    I often refer to this as the “ripple” effect – just like a small pebble can make big ripples in water, so will small acts ripple into larger goodness and blessings.

    • Jon Gordon

      Exactly Eric. You never know. Something that may seem so simple to us could be a HUGE ripple impact in God’s plan. He puts us there for a reason and then gives us the choice.

  • Msvada

    I am 65 and have kown  since I was 12 that I should be in ministry and music.  I love to play and am fulfilled in helping people find Jesus as Lord as well as encouraging them to be more than they thought they could be by doing new things.  It’s a wonderful life.

  • Beamunchkin

    My purpose is to let each person I encounter be in the moment with me, by acknowledging them with a smile, direct eye contact, conversation. I believe that everybody is longing to be noticed and appreciated. Everyone needs to know that they matter. Doing this also brings me into their world and I have learned so much from these brief encounters, things I never would have known. It might be about gardening, what someone’s weekend plans are for some new experience, or that they are writing a book.  It gives me a chance to learn about others and then be able to thank them and pray for them.

    • Jason Fountain

      I agree that the “easiest” thing we can do to live purposefully is to be fully “present” when we are interacting with other humans. There is something magical about giving someone your undivided attention.

    • Jon Gordon


  • Wallflower27986

    Thank you for sharing.  You have stoked my fire this morning and I will never again be the same.  I now see the reason I am here.  What a gift!!!  Thank you so much.  May God bless your walk.

    • Jon Gordon

      Love hearing that! Thank you.

  • Cliff Carmody

    This has been a challenge for me for a long time….how do find balance and purpose in my personal and professional life!  I am working hard to continue my development as a “servant leader”; to become much more intentional in the way that I interact with my family and loved ones; while at the same time, focusing on serving those I work with while performing my responsbiliites as an executive – a work in progress!

    • Jon Gordon

      Cliff… what you struggle with is very common so first know that you are not alone. I meet and speak with business people daily who share your challenge. If I may, I’d first suggest that we can’t compartmentalize purpose. It’s not a “personal” or “professional” thing. Sure, we might have purposeful goals in each area but purpose transcends any division of the two. I’m not sure what your purpose is but it sounds like the “servant leader” idea is one you’re aware of. Perhaps you are living your purpose simply by living and leading others by being the best example you can be. That’s extremely admirable and the exponential impact of that done well can change the world.

      • Jennymack

        wow what a great statement, “Perhaps you are living your purpose simply by living and leading others by being the best example you can be……

  • Clark

    I am at the pont of my journey that I am seeking God as to my next step. Just this morning in my time with God and praying, I realized that as Elijah had mentored Elisha and Paul had mentored Timothy, I am to the place in my life that I need to be deliberate about mentoring the next generation and somehow touching those I come in contact with in a positive way. If not now, when?

    This year I have been addressing and overcoming a generational curse of negative thinking. Being a recovering “negative thinker”, I admit to having spent way more time looking at the challenges rather than the opportunities God was presenting. I was able to point out the flaws, the reasons why not, the hesitations – but in recovery, I now realize I was squeezing God, faith, and abundant living to the point of my emotional and spiritual defeat. Life circumstances seemed to consume me rather than accepting that “stuff happens” and look to the bigger picture of what God has in mind. 

    Seems like putting these two revelations together, this new book by Ron Gordon may be a very timely read!

    Michael, thanks for your blog and your generosity!


    • Robert Ewoldt

      Clark, thanks for this comment… there are so many times when we tend to
      think negatively–about ourselves, and about those around us–and we don’t
      see the purpose that God has for us in the situation.

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks Clark!

  • Jviola79

    I loved this post!!! Yesterday was my last day of “work” for this school year. I am a stay at home “Mimi”, watching my now 3 yr. old granddaughter so her parents can work FT. It touched me deeply when I read…”You may not build libraries around the world, but you can find the bigger purpose in reading to your children” That is truly when it hit me that in watching my granddaughter & investing in her, I may have contributed to her becoming….a botanist, a bird watcher, a chef, a reader, a storyteller (she LOVES telling a story), which means she may become a writer!!! The possibilities are endless. Thank you for opening my eyes to see that there is so much more to what I do each day, to what we each do each day. It made me think of Col. 3:23 – “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, working for the Lord, not for men.”
    And thank you Michael, for featuring guests every now & then. What a blessing to find authors I would never have opportunity to hear about! You bless us in many ways!!!
    Have a great day!!!!

    • Robert Ewoldt

      There is so much value in teaching young children about Christ… thanks for
      doing this with all your heart!

    • Jon Gordon

      So glad the article spoke to you and yes, THANK YOU to Michael Hyatt for allowing the opportunity. You are a Seed Planter and you are making a difference!!

  • Anonymous

    Sometimes it is hard to see the bigger purpose when you are in the midst of it all. But as a student, I can tell you that my bigger purpose is to become the best at what I want to do. To soak up my 4 years of knowledge and learning and use it towards my future career. I’m working to become the best me I can be.

    • Jon Gordon

      You’re right and that is why it’s very important to do the best we can do where we are. I often talk about “The Root and The Fruit.” Sometimes people focus too much on the fruit and the tree dies but if we focus on the root then the fruit will always be rich and ripe.

  • Cc

    I’m working for my families future

    • Joe Lalonde

      CC, that’s a great thing to be working for.

  • Josh

    I am using my knowledge of finance and the lending industry to counsel people whom are in the midst of foreclosure with the goal of walking beside them in a tough time, validating their existance and purpose, while trying to keep them in their home or help them transition to new forms of housing. I hope to use this knowledge and experience in the near future to start offering micro-loans to the working poor.

    • Jon Gordon

      Wow. That’s great Josh. Love it!

  • John Richardson

    I agree with you, Jon. Our purpose in life starts right where we are. We all have the power to make someone else’s life better. It might be a smile, a kind word, or a helpful task. And we don’t have to go to some foreign country to practice that. I love what Dale Carnegie says…

    “If you want to be happy, set yourself a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes. Happiness is within you. It comes from doing some certain thing into which you can put all your thought and energy. If you want to be happy, get
    enthusiastic about something.”
    – Dale Carnegie

    So the next time you are in a restaurant, give a compliment for good service, and leave a good tip. When you meet someone for the first time, be interested in them. When you encounter someone who is down, give them encouragement. It’s the little things we say and do that make all the difference.

    • Jason Fountain

      John, good points. I agree that it is int he simple moments where we find the most joy from life.

    • Jon Gordon

      Well said John. Little things add up to big things.

  • Anne

    Teaching, helping others discover, encouraging people to think. Sharing a laugh.

  • Austin Lee

    I relieve pastors of the burden of managing their church’s finances so they can focus on casting the vision and leading their church.

    • Robert Ewoldt

      Austin, this is very much needed!

  • Kenny

    I totally agree with this idea that we all have a life purpose.  I am part of a volunteer group that works in our schools to encourage the students to pursue their dreams, and to apply themselves in the classroom, in taking a more rigorous course of study.
    But in all ways we can identify ways to have a life of purpose, by taking time to give ourselves away to others.
    I would enjoy being encouraged by reading this book.

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks Kenny!

  • Tina

    One of my greater purposes is to be aware each day that as I go about life, my children, both under 6 are watching. I am aware that I am shaping their lives and giving them access to who Christ is by what they observe their mum, me, doing and saying! I live each day, hoping I am building a platform, a platform for them to take faith leaps from as they journey through their lives.

    • Jon Gordon

      You’re so right Tina. Your children ARE watching and so is everyone else that you come in contact with throughout a given day. I think too often we discount the influence that we have even in casual connections. Thank you for being a champion for what is right.

  • Dick Savidge

    Michael,  This is right on.  In our world today, I think the meaning & purpose question looms large.  Thanks for your compelling thoughts.

    • Jon Gordon


  • Diego

    At my work I help people to identify their own personal talents and develop them to their full potential inside their companies and their works. My mission is helping to “Put the right person on the right place” giving people the opportunity to be more productive and satisfied on theirs work.

    • Jon Gordon

      Love it!

  • Jim Fitzgerald

    I work in customer service, but it is more than “problem solving.”  I work hard trying to find ways to make people smile and enjoy our interaction.  Work is not about me, it’s about others.  If I can ease frustration, anxiety, fear, I feel I have made a difference in their lives on that day.  Many times, the same person will speak with me again in a few days, and I try to do the same.  Living in a small town, it’s hard to make a worldwide difference, but I can make a difference in the people who live here.  Smile, volunteer, greet by looking eye-to-eye, show people you care, that makes a difference in their lives.

    • Jon Gordon

      Great perspective Jim. You sound like a optimist. You see the good and see the opportunity in each situation. Opportunity is always there, it’s just if we choose to see it and then act upon it. Well done.

  • Bob Dillon

    Working as a middle school principal gives me a chance to shape lives and change generational poverty in familes.

    • Jon Gordon

      For generations to come! I value educators a ton and do a lot of speaking to educators around the world. I firmly believe that Positive Kids become Positive Adults and it’s the responsibility of each of us to help that be so.

  • Chris Cornwell

    I’ve learned a lot about this over the past couple of years. I find myself mad at God sometimes because I am not “doing ministry full-time.” Then I am reminded, by things such as this post, that even outside of my church staff position, I am doing ministry during my full-time job by simply loving on and serving people the best way I know how, with the mind of Christ.

    • Robert Ewoldt

      Amen, Chris! God needs people to be teachers, lawyers, doctors,
      accountants, engineers, too!

      • Chris Cornwell

        Absolutely. So true. Even though I struggle with it at times, I wish
        everyone thought this way.

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks for being honest Chris. Yeah, I think it’s easy to confuse “ministry” as a vocation with “ministry” as a mission. Ministry doesn’t just happen within the 4 walls of a building… it’s way bigger than that. Ministry is simply our choice to put others first, serve them, love them, care for them, and be a guide post that points them back to Christ. We can do that regardless of where we are, where we work, or what the title is on our business card.

      • Chris Cornwell

        Thanks Jon. It’s amazing what God can accomplish and the Kingdom work
        we get to play a part in when we stop thinking about ourselves first
        and thinking of others.

  • Tom

    To lead my staff by example in serving others in a healthcare environment that allows for their diagnosis and recovery.  Many opportunities on a daily basis to show God’s love to patients, physicians and staff! Thanks Jon for another great post.

    • Jon Gordon

      Thank you Tom for making a difference and living and working with purpose!

  • Pamela Hamza

    I share this with my children regularly – Our greater purpose is to make Jesus known to others through whatever avenue He has called us to. As a homeschool mom to three future employees, they know that we have been praying for the job the Lord has for them. We prayed that they would know their career choices early so that we could help them prepare and direct them in the best course of study. As I’ve struggled wondering “what about me?”, the Lord has shown me my purpose is to be the support and encouragement for my husband and children. . .and blog posts like this confirm it. Thank you!

    • Robert Ewoldt

      Pamela, thanks for your commitment! I’m so thankful for what my wife does
      in this way.

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks Pamela.

  • Ken

    In 1992 I started a job after being out of work for 7 months. I worked for the City as the Nuisance Abatement Officer. Job responsibilities included enforcing City ordinances which included trash, debris, weeds and abandoned vehicles. Just a job until something better comes along, I thought. Now it is a career and a personal mission. During the last 19 years I have seen changes in our community of 30,000 for the better. Lives of people changed and their neighborhood changed. I learned about the Tipping Point and watching neighborhoods transform from sliding into disrepair into a nicer neighborhood. I have had the opportunity to speak at a national and state conferences and several neighborhood associations. Our department has grown from just myself to a department of 5 people.. This job has turned into a bigger purpose for the community and myself.

    • Jon Gordon


  • Dylan Dodson

    Still I still have a year left in college, my main goal is to be a light to Jesus to those on my campus.

    • Jon Gordon

      Great Dylan! Be the light and share it with others.

  • David Adeola

    The bigger purpose I’m working on at the moment is caring for Aids Orphans in Africa and I have adopted 10 children (aids orphans) and caring for them BUT I seek out each day what I could do to make someones life better.  I have to admit I’m not in a full time job but find it impossible to achieve my purpose fully by being in a full time 9-5pm job! Very good article and thoughtfully written.  I will tweet and put on Facebook as well!

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks David.

  • Tina

    One of my greater purposes as a working mum is to be aware that my actions and words give my two children both under five, access to who Christ is. I enjoy living with the awareness that I am building into my kids lives, a platform on which I pray they will both take many faith leaps:)

  • Ellen

    I couldn’t agree more with the article. I’m a Respiratory Therapist and really feel that I’m living my purpose, but I didn’t really know it in the beginning. A few years ago I donated a portion of my Liver to my sister and so I spent some time in the hospital as a patient. It was then that I saw how my patients lived and felt. I was now on the other side and when I went back to work several months later I made it my mission to provide the best care I possible could. This really has made a huge change in my life and I hope the lives of the people I treat.

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks Ellen. So glad to hear and to know that you are living it out!


    If you have a chance see  – a way to holiness through daily work and through the ordinary circumstances of our every day lives!

  • GregW

    Working in the medical field, I have a great opportunity to make an impact on Doctors, Administrators and Nurses in one of the largest Medical Colleges in the World.  The bigger purpose for which I am living is this:  Not to simply work for a living, but make an positive IMPACT to those around me that I work with each and every day.

    • Jon Gordon

      Love it!

  • Jim Meldrim

    Living with a purpose each day transforms your work and life! Mine is “to connect people to truth and relationships that allow the to experience God’s best for their lives!”

    • Jon Gordon

      That’s great Jim!

  • Randy

    Great post Michael and thanks Jon.  You can also make a difference in the lives of others through a simple blog by using your writing gifts.  Well done guys!

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks Randy. Everything we do is an opportunity to influence others. Thankful for the opportunity to do it.

  • Pingback: A Good Read… (061711) « A Good Read… « Ed Ruff()

  • Gail Derreberry

    As Resource Director for The Creel Institute and a Creel Coach, I walk alongside organizations and individuals to help them discover their purpose; to be Salt and Light on the streets.  Soon, The Street Works Tours will begin.  These day tours are designed to encourage, influence and equip Christian business owners and servant leaders to review and edit decisions and activities based on a larger understanding of God’s defined purposes for their lives and work.

  • Charissa Greer

    My bigger purpose is to be practical in my daily living with Christ.  This shows ones who do not know the Lord that not all believers have their heads in the clouds, but are grounded.  By being transparent and a solid employee, coworkers have begun to develop a trust with me. I may not be the CEO, but I believe I am making a difference in the way God sees fit for me, even in my cubby.

    • Jon Gordon

      Love it Charissa. You don’t have to be a CEO to make a difference. You’re influence and example is key. You made a great point too about building trust. Trust is key!

  • Matthew Gross

    Let ne take a minute to be honest and not blow smoke in your eyes. I hate my job, everyday I wake  and convince myself that I need to go to work and I pray to just make it through the day without walking out and going home. However I know I am there e a light in the dark and to be posative. The one thing is that I dont complain or bum around at work I smile, laugh with the guys (even clown on them), keep a positive professional attitude and do my job to the best of my ability. It’s on the inside that  am miserable (be my wife and I) I work for the Gouvernment and I am also in the Nationanl Guard, I have been in military for 10 years. I want to follow my childhood dream but the has not opened yet.  So my purpose is to be a light in the dark and provide for my family, I also need to make sure my heart and attitude are correct and realize God has blessed me with this job and when he is ready he will open the door for me to follow my dream. Thank yr reminding me of that this morning.

    • Jason Fountain

      Matthew, you should read Jon Acuff’s book “Quitter.” He talks about how to follow your dream WITHOUT quitting your day job. It’s an inspiring book.

    • Connie Brown

      Thanks for sharing honestly. As Jason wrote, Jon Acuff’s book “Quitter” may have useful information about staying in your day job while working toward your dream job. God has a purpose and hope for you, even today.

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks for being honest Matthew. I would never suggest to someone that they confuse purpose or doing their best where they are with being in a job they hate. If you hate it there is a reason and you need to assess that and make some real decisions. When you are living your purpose you will have peace, happiness and joy. It’s admirable of you that you are making the most of a not so great situation but in order for a Seed to grow it must also be in fertile soil. I can’t say what the specific answer is for you but if you HATE it then you might need to reevaluate.

  • Jonathan Hasson

    My bigger purpose is to perform my best as a Father and in my job with the gifts and talents afforded me, glorifying God in any way I can.  But, oh my, what a challenge!  Leading a group of 60+ professional and craft workers can be a daily blessing, but also a daily grind.  Lately, it seems as if the joy is being sucked out of me daily.  This post is a nice little pick-me-up this morning.  Thanks.

    By the way, would love the book too!  Thanks.

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks Jonathan.

  • Lori

    A bigger purpose – leading a life with meaning.  Adding value to others.

    When my husband, Robert, and I were married 25 years we went away for a week.  During that week we reflected on the past 25 years and then created a plan for the next 25 years.  (to take us to 50 years married)  We wanted to make a difference in our world, and make sure the years ahead had focus.

    God has blessed us with a wonderful relationship, so we came to the conclusion we’d like to spend the next 25 years encouraging other husbands and wives, so their relationships can have a positive impact on the world – that husbands and wives in leadership are a positive driving force in community and country. 

    Our first priority is to live in a way that shows what we value – so Robert and I have trained to counsel couples in the Prepare/Enrich program, and I’m working through the American Association of Christian Couselors “Marriage Works” program and Robert is becoming a John Maxwell Leadership partner (coach/speaker).

    Bottom line – our greater purpose is to bring honor (back) to role of husband and wife. 

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks Lori.

  • Connie Brown

    As a writer, I’m working to communicate God’s truth and love through my writing. Some times this is in your face, sometimes it is a soft breeze.

    As a wife, mother, nana, daughter, sister, friend, I’m working to share God’s love as I live authentically.

    So, basically, I’m working to be a clean vessel, in words or actions, for God to use to reflect something good.

    • Jon Gordon

      That’s great Connie. Thank you!

  • Miriam Jacob

    I like to live a life of purpose. My bigger purpose is found in the here and now of everyday life. When I find and live out this purpose in my daily life, it provides me with the ultimate fuel for a meaningful life. I firmly believe that I can make a difference every day and touch the lives of everyone I meet with a smile, kind word and care. This is “love in action.” I am an ordinary person with an extra-ordinary purpose in life. A profound sense of purpose keeps my life focused and well-oriented. When I am filled with purpose, I tap into an endless resource of energy. I live with a mission in life. I bring my mission to
    work as I start working for a bigger purpose to nourish others and give them a new purpose in life. I believe in the extraordinary power of Christ to transform people’s lives. Jesus gave me a new life and love. I want to pass it on to others. “In Him we live and move and have our being.” I want to spread the love of Christ across the world. This is the bigger purpose for which I am working.

    Miriam Jacob

  • Bill

    I’m one of those baby boomers who God has blessed with talent and treasure but it seems not much time. So I have to make the most of the waking hours I have. I’m still working in corporate sales for a large firm that puts me in contact each day with many professionals. Some believers, some not. My goal is to show them Jesus and earn the right to talk to them about what He has done in my life. As you and John Maxwell have said before, everything comes down to relationship and common ground. Get there first, talk to them about what it means to have freedom in Christ, then let the Holy Spirit take over. It works, I’ve seen the results. So, I hope the Lord allows me to continue doing this, one on one, in whatever situation He determines, until He decides it’s time to take me home.

    • Jon Gordon

      Well said Bill. If we treat people like they matter then we matter to them… and when we do, we earn the right to share a greater degree of influence. It’s all about being intentional.

  • Megan Strange

    If you don’t believe their is a bigger purpose or an eternal value on all that we do…why even get out of bed in the morning? God has given us a set number of days and a predetermined number of intentional situations to use for His glory and the good of others.

  • Adam Parker

    I’m a chemical engineer working in the Process Safety field.  I have come to see my job as ensuring that every employee in this plant goes home every day the same way they came in.  We work with many fairly dangerous chemicals, and if we lose sight of that danger, we can seriously injure or kill people.  Beyond that, I see my work as spending my energy to ensure that the surrounding community sees our company as a blessing and not a curse.  We do, as they say, work at our communities request.  They can make us leave at any time!

    When i first started engineering, I was really just trying to make money at it, but I have found purpose in this small way of helping protect and serve people that I don’t know, that aren’t even aware that we are working to protect them.  It’s a very satisfying position, :)

  • Joseph

    Well, I work in a tough environment. There are a lot of bad attitudes,hatred and anger where I work. It’s not only employee’s vs company it’s also employee vs employee. See, I work in a union which is tough. I try to be as positive as I can around coworkers because I want to be a light there. I use to want to get out so bad but now I wait on God to open a door, and until he does I will be the light with my positive attitude, love, generosity, kindness, and value of others

  • blessings gundani

    As a motor mechanic i believe my bigger purpose is to preach the good news to the lost souls whose cars i work on day in day out and also make sure those vehicles are mechanically fit enough for them to move around doing good.

  • Greg F

    I work at a church and until recently I was thinking I could potentially have a greater impact in people’s lives if I had a “secular” job.  However, I now see how God has called me to help others realize their potential and live out their design and as a result, “my impact” in the community can have an exponential reach.

  • Tom

    As usual, your thoughts on a greater purpose serve as a great way to start the day. As a minister, I find it is very important to stay focused on the bigger purpose, otherwise the “business” of church can bring you down. Thank you. 

  • Michael Ballai

    Showing people the truth from God’s Word that they may receive the Living Word and accept the Messiah as Lord and Savior.

  • Roberto Padron

    there are so many different answers I can give you on this topic of purpose! First, my number one purpose is to living my live out for God. Each day I make a conscious effort to enhance and to deepen my relationship with Him. This answer can be consider by many as something generic but the that is the honest truth! I really make an effort to manifest his love for me and express it to others, having an open door policy, nit just invivting people for dinner, rather, to get them to participate in family community. And lastly, to be a good Father to my children. Often, I ask myself, I’m I doing enough, and what does it look like to them. I may think we’re doing a good job (I’m always home, we have dinner everyday together, we have family time, we do devotional) I spend a amount of time dedicated to me kids and to my wife. But the questions remains: I say I love them, but do they feel Loved?
    Thank you for this post. Read it this morning and I feel that a challenged has been set, challenged accepted!
    thank you 

  • Claudia Volkman

    The bigger purpose I have for my work is to impact the lives of others in a positive, faith-building way – using my time and talents to build the kingdom of God.

  • Anovelsource

    I work in a group home that serves teenage girls in foster care. They don’t have a lot of experience (at least good experiences) with someone who truly acts like a loving & devoted mom to them. My purpose even though it breaks MY heart when they leave is to open my arms & my heart wide open to these girls – to show them that some moms do truly care. My purpose is to pray for these girls every day as no one else probably is – it’s to teach them how to pray themselves also. My purpose is to expose them to church; to reveal a loving & compassionate God who has not forgotten about them. I like my purpose. I love my job. Thank you for helping me to focus on what I do like today!

    • Connie Brown

      I’m so glad you serve the needs of these teenage girls. There were people like you in my life as I grew up. I praise God for your caring heart and life. God can make a difference with the help of servants like you.

  • Jeremy Burroughs

    I love Jon Gordon’s message. It reminds me of a security officer I worked with at an alternative middle and high school for youth who’ve been expelled (I worked as a school psychologist there). She served as a mother figure to many of the young men and women who came through that school. Every student loved her, came to her for advice, brought her Christmas gifts, and showered her with hugs when they left. Her purpose was so much larger than her job function. When we live for a purpose or calling that is bigger than ourselves (which for me is to see Jesus Christ glorified), we live in peace. There is less striving because the focus has shifted off of us and onto our purpose. Thanks for sharing Michael and Jon!

  • Jbrighi

    Growing up I was called names for my skin color. I shamelessly was embarrassed to be Hispanic, now as an adult, I get compliment after compliment. I also went to a catholic school where only 3 black students attended and the rest white. Today I teach 80 miles southwest of where I grew up and teach in a 94 % poverty with the majority black…and guess whose kid I had last year….YEP…one of the 3 black students (who attended my school 20 years ago) daughter. My purpose is to teach students of all color to learn to love each other equally nag guess what…I LOVE IT :)

  • Erika

    I am a listener. I do other things like encourage women to follow their dreams but I know my purpose is to listen.

    • Connie Brown

      Listening is a powerful tool for caring and freeing others.

  • Phil McCarn

    I am starting to see that the marketplace is as critical a mission field as any…and in some cases in greater need for the gospel.

  • Phil

    I’m beginning to see that the marketplace is as big a mission field as any other…and in some ways more depraved.

  • Rob Sorbo

    I help missionaries get the funding they need to reach the world for Christ.

  • Michael Deutsch

    I am seeking to make a difference in the lives of other people because God made a difference in my life.  My dreams are unfulfilled as of this time.  As a pastor the simple answer is the first answer, but it’s multifaceted because there are personal as well as professional ‘bigger purposes.’  Hopefully I will fulfill the greater purpose God has for me, which ultimately is to demonstrate His love to all people.

  • Toby Mueller

    The bigger purpose which I am now working for is raising my two adopted Chinese daughters. After many years of working in pharma drug research as a human genetics research scientist, my wife and I adopted our first daughter. It was out of love for our daughter but it was also a mission to save a life. During the adoption process, I felt led to “retire” and become a stay at home dad. Though not as glamorous as working with DNA from drug trials, being a stay at home father of two has many glamorous and not so glamorous moments. My bigger purpose is to now raise these two girls as best as I can to acheive their bigger purpose.
    God’s purposes are greater than man’s even though sometimes we don’t understand them at the time.

  • Zoofolks

    This is exactly the question I’m asking in this moment. After more than forty years as a “professional” Christian, I find myself working two slightly-more-than minimum wage jobs. What is God’s purpose for me in these places? One…to teach me humility and the reality that uloading trucks can be holy because Jesus is there. Two…to build credibility with my co-workers OVER TIME and to be sensitive to the Spirit as to when to engage with them in deeper ways. Third…to demonstrate to others who are unable to find work based on training, experience, education, etc, that worth is not based on income or supposed job status but on the Imago Dei, God’s view of me and who I am as his child.

  • Lauren

    I’m a stay-at-home mom.  Such humble work.  Such a thankless job — not only by my  dear children who have no idea of the selfless love I have for them (they won’t understand until they have children of their own), but by the world, who I perceive looks down on me because I didn’t “really become Someone” in life.  I have a talent for writing (I have written my first novel and do hope to someday be published).  I can sing (I once dreamed of a life on Broadway).  I majored in Fine Arts in college and thought I might become a famed artist.  All worthy goals…. but the real reason I exist?  I exist to help others “become Someone” in life.  I am a strong, talented, passionate woman raising daughters, three future women with their whole existence on the horizon of possibility.  I used to think I had to become somebody to be Somebody, thought I needed to think BIG in order to be Big.  Turns out, all I needed to become was a mother — and in doing that, I realized I was doing the biggest thing ever.  I am pouring the world of all that possibility back into the hearts and minds of my three spirited, intelligent, brilliant and beautiful daughters, empowering them to be anything they want to be: astronaut, artist, dancer, and yes mother.  I’m living out a purpose much greater than any thing I could have imagined, one that will spread out from generation to generation, mothers to daughters to granddaughters.  Wow.  That’s Something.

  • Anonymous

    The bigger purpose for which I am working is to model and lead communication strategy for an evangelical denomination in such a way that more people connect to mission and to each other.  Right now we are more disconnected than connected.  I’m helping lead toward a greater sense of connection to both mission and community.  More importantly, I’m trying to lead my family.  I have a 13-year old daughter struggling to find her identity as a young lady and as a follower of Christ.  My greater purpose is to breathe into her vision to what her life could be as she learns to give herself to the Lord.  The first is big.  The second is even bigger.  

  • Lauramckeane

    I have been questioning this for days…I manage a dental office that primarily serves Medicaid patients, I won’t question it anymore..thank you! I had the privilege of listening and having Jon Gordon autograph my ‘Energy Bus’ book at the Women’s Council of Realtors meeting, loved the guidance!

  • ameyer12

    I work in higher education. While I enjoy working with students, I am finding that my bigger passion and interest is in working with staff. I have spent the last year supervising a staff of 12 people who have had some rough times over the past three years. It has been very fulfilling to lead the staff through a difficult year of transition and to see the bonding that took place within the group and the growth that took place within many individuals. As a group, everyone is stronger now than we were a year ago. I like to think that my leadership played a role in this development. To what extent it did, I will never know. Yesterday, someone told me that they all hated me one year ago because no one knew me. But as we all got to know one another, a common bond was formed. As the trust grew, so did our contributions to the students and to the campus community. We are all very well connected now. This was one of my first real leadership experiences. I am realizing how much I enjoy helping people feel good about the work that they do because work is such a substantial component of our lives.  I think this is my calling…

  • Elaine Ross

    I am a 68 year old woman who is determined to live life on purpose.  I deliberately want to resist the path that many my age want to take — which is —– a life of comfort and ease , settling for status quo,  talking about my health, and just sitting in my recliner.  I want to be about others and not self.  There is more to life than me and mine.  I am on the lookout for ways to serve. I am not talking a works mentality, but just  being about mission and purpose.  

  • Cyndy

    Love fulfilling the bigger purposes in my life.   My husband and I did ministry for 2 very large ministries for over 10 years, plus we pastor an independent youth church for over 10 years with a charter high school.  Loved it, but the Lord lead me 10 years ago to go into the travel business.   I really enjoy helping people fulfill their dream vacations and bring families together for trips, but most of all I love helping pastors go on vacation because some never have taken time to enjoy themselves.  I didn’t understand the bigger cause but God promised me, “I will show you when it is time!”  God always has a bigger cause! 

  • Rick Cruse

    This is the precise question I’m wrestling with right now. After more than forty years as a “professional” Christian,” I find myself providing for myself and my wife by working two slightly-more-than minimum wage jobs. I’m learning that even unloading trucks is holy work because Jesus is there. I’m learning that I must build credibility over time with my coworkers before daring to speak into their lives. I’m learning humility, that worth is not based on the status of my title but on imago Dei and my place as God’s child. I’m also demonstrating that downward mobility is okay and that we can be content with less.
    Rick Cruse

  • Brook_Jenkins

    Although I am the Director of Information Technology, my bigger purpose is to prepare my 2, beautiful teenage children to become caring, compassionate, meaningful contributors to society in the years to come.  I help prepare them by providing a wonderful home, educational opportunitites, home-cooked meals, lots and lots of conversation and belief in them!  I can provide them with these things because of my wonderful job and dedication to my role as Mom! 

  • Anonymous

    This is a good question, and I don’t have an answer. I am an IT manager, and if I do my job right, then 140 other people get to do their job. It doesn’t feel especially spiritual, though.

    • bethanyplanton

      You said that when you do your job, 140 other people do theirs. So by doing your job, you help others have a job and have a future and a hope. 

  • T Benton

    Thank you for your post – it comes at an interesting time for me where I have been asking myself this question in various different forms – I keep telling myself there must be something more meaningful I could be doing with my career.  In my church life, my wife and I are focused on a mission of helping couples have great marriages and are effective as parents.  At work… still looking for my mission.  Hopefully your thoughts and book will help.  Thanks again.

  • David Gould

    I am a social worker (graduating at the end of the year) working with homeless people, with mental illness, drug addiction, family breakdown and trauma in many cases.  I really want to bring spirituality into working with clients, to work more holistically on the physical, mental and spiritual tools available to aid recovery and the acquisition of meaning and value in life. 

    I am also a Russian Orthodox subdeacon, and my personal big picture is starting theological studies, and working to see our tiny parish which has no priest come back to life.  I am also a husband and father, and want physical and spiritual healing and health for my wife who has cancer, and who wants to ensure that I do all I can to care for them with love.

  • Pdenglert

    Everyday, I help future leaders realize where God has called them. A teacher can inspire your child. In the midst of challenging circumstances, we know people who receive counseling from trained professionals. As you surf the web, you watch well produced videos and take notice of intricate graphics. Even further every Sunday, we all come in contact with the presence of God, because our pastors spend time preparing and praying for God’s leading.

    I serve students, parents, mentors, ministers, and educators as a college admissions counselor. All the applications, college fairs, and campus visits act as a reminder that these potential students will share the Gospel as teachers, psychologists, graphic designers, pastors, and even more professions. You will come in contact with these leaders who will one day effect your life.

    Christian College Admissions is far more than recruiting. Students start making adult decisions about their talents, creativity, and where God will lead them. I have the opportunity in the seemingly small and tantalizing questions to provide them with the framework that will help them become the person God has called them to by. 

  • Gerrywiley

    Thanks for you encouraging comments and thoughts.  I have been a high school guidance counselor for 30+ years.  As a Christian, I’ve believed my “bigger purpose” is to show others the love I have been shown.  Some students and parents are easy to show that love to, others not so much.  When students (or parents) come in upset or frustrated with a teacher or the school I try to remember my bigger purpose is to love them and treat them like I would want my son or daughter to be treated.  It seems to make a great difference even when I have to say “no” if they feel valued and listened to.  By the way, I love my job.

  • Kelsey Hill

    Sometimes I have a hard time finding much of a purpose in my current work.  I always figured that wherever I worked would be my “mission field” — that like you said, I didn’t have to necessarily go to Africa or stop world hunger in order to be following God’s will.  But sometimes I still think that would be easier than knowing how to love people around me at work on a daily basis, and showing those same people that love comes from God.

    So, my purpose?  I guess to shine God’s light.  Am I doing that every day?  Probably not, but I’m working on it.

  • Jackie Anderson

    At a very new management job in residential care for the elderly, helping people live well until the end.  Facilitating the younger generation to serve this generation well.  
    My goal, health and hope to and through generations.

  • Cpickerel

    I am a Administrative Assistant, and my bigger purpose is to fine ways throughout my day to bless people.  Whether it is the people I work with, or clients who come into our office, or even my own family and friends.  Finding ways to be a blessing right where I am.  

  • Scott F

    I can relate with Jon. We are always looking for our bigger purpose when it might very well be staring you in the face. Being a great parent , a productive employee, a loving and supportive spouse may be your bigger purpose. 
    We need to listen to the still small voice of God. 

  • scott

    thank you for that post my job i carry people to dyalysis and doctors appointments. i do not make a lot of money but i have the opportunity to touch other people and make a difference in there lives.that has become mypurpose in life as well as on my job to touch every individual i come incontact with.

  • Gtdarnell

    To show people I meet a positive Christian example.

  • Kay Camenisch

    I am committed to helping people overcome the bondage of anger so they can walk in the love of Jesus Christ.

  • Rbodenstab

    One of my life purposes is to “resource others with the things that they need to accomplish their task, work or goal  so that they have all that they need to do the what God has called them to do.”  I see every relationship, every opportunity to share, every connection to help other find what they need as a purpose to SERVE Christ, by serving others.  This purpose has worked well for me in the restaurant business, in retail sales, in Christian education…with family, friends, and yes, even with my enemies.

  • Andy Atencio

    Michael, thank you for bringing another great guest post to your site. Jon has touched on a topic that I have been wrestling with now for some time. I am struck by the level of self-awareness in your readership, and wish I had the level of clarity about my purpose that they all seem to share. So I guess I will be the first to say that I currently struggle for the understanding of my current purpose. Where I currently am in my career does not provide fulfillment to me in that fashion. I have currently resigned myself to understanding that it is important for me to be supportive of my peers. I addition the job I currently have provides me the flexibility and financial where-with-all to be the father I want to be for my kids. So right now my purpose is to get financially right and be the father and husband and friend that God wants me to be. As for work purpose, I am still working and praying for that…

  • Rich

    I work as a professional fundraiser for my church which supports some remarkable universities and humanitarian efforts throughout the world. I have three purposes in my work. First, I help donors fulfill their dreams and experience the joy of giving in order change lives and save lives through their giving. Second, I help those whose lives are saved or changed through these donations. Third, I’m building the kingdom of God and helping Him to bless his children who are in need.

  • Hope Reed

    As a stay at home mom I would have thought I had my purpose set years ago. Yet it has only been in last month or so that I have found clarity in the role God has placed me. I now know that my purpose is to make disciples of Jesus Christ who will then make more disciples.  Now that the Lord has put words to my mission I am working with Him to further define that for me and my family. Thanks for this post. I am encouraged by your vision and would love to share it with others. Blessings, Hope

  • Tammy Helfrich

    Love this! I think that if more people learn to understand this, we will see real change in the world. I am learning to embrace this every day, and I feel compelled to lead and teach others to do the same. You can make a difference where you are to the people around you. Great post!

  • Joe Lalonde

    Jon, great post on the site. It really stirs up emotion in me. To answer your question, I think my bigger purpose at work is to help the company succeed. Whether that be by ensuring that our systems are up and running properly, the boardroom is running for board meetings, etc… Without some of these little things, business would not run as smooth as it should.

    As an aside, I love the pictures that are posted in the blog posts. They stir a feeling in me for something bigger and better. It’s something that encourages me, so thank you once again.

  • Barb_mair

    Michael Thank you for sharing this. 
    I am the lone female in a very male dominated business, and I love my job.  Although I was not likely the friendliest, most open person originally, I have made an effort over the past year to look for the good in every one and every situation. By doing this I have a more enjoyable work enviroment and working relationship with my co-workers.  I am not really sure what my bigger purpose is but that will be the next step in my journey. Thank You.

  • Ken Morrow

    I pray daily to be the every day delivery agent of miracles to people I encounter. I tell God daily I am available to be used. Some days I am. That is purpose!! PTL

  • Pingback: Don’t wait, live your mission today! | FireGroundWorks()

  • Anonymous

    Calvin one said that our work is a calling.   I have come to realize more and more that our work is a misson field.  Look at the ministry of Jesus.  He enegaged people in the everyday life.  He meet them where they were in the everyday work that they were doing, not based on his agenda or at a convenant to him.  To me that is what provides purpose in what I do everyday.  I get a chance to meet people where they are, in the midst of thier lives, and I get a chance to touch them and show them the presence of Jesus in their life.  Michael thanks for this guest post.  Jon thank you for reminding us that ther is more to what we do than just doing it.

  • Dale Schaeffer

    The bigger purpose I’m working for is to see every follower of Jesus Christ bring the fullness of the gospel to bear in their sphere of influence.  This means leveraging their influence to participate in the kingdom of God right where they are working and living.  To help them know that their work in education, city management, labor or at home is as significant as any work they do “in the church”.

  • Linda Latina Bruell

    I work for a children’s picture book publisher. I am a huge advocate of reading to your children and feel like I have a vested interest in the type of books we publish. I love when they have meaning and I make sure all the children in my life always have a book to read! I am known as the “book aunt!” They all know that come any holiday, they will be getting a book from Auntie Linda!

  • Jeff Tomlinson

    I am not familiar with the author, but I like what I am reading!  My purpose as a pastor in the local church and an online instructor of other students heading for ministry is to help the people of my congregation and the students I teach to recognize that our relationship with God is primary and out of that primary relationship one can discern, discover, and develop purpose in life. 

  • Jeremy

    The bigger purpose was the first thing I read, even before reading the blog I began to think about the life Jesus lead. He always made reference to doing His fathers business, or did what He heard the father telling him. We know that he came to earth for one bigger purpose, to redeem man. I see that He didn’t loose sight of his purpose even when there were storms, death of friends, dirty looks and hard words from religious leaders or even torture. He even said to Peter get behind me Satan. I want that same conviction of eternal purpose to over take my life.

  • Dale Kleinheksel

    The bigger purpose I am working for is to bring honor and glory to the name of Christ in all that I say, do, and think.

  • Samuel Stone

    The bigger purpose for me at this moment is Spiritual Formation of myself and those who I can help because without a well formed spirituality, whatever I do can be either self-serving or ineffective.   For example, a spiritually immature person fighting against injustice will bring about another form of injustice.  In our history, Communism is a good example.  With all the great purpose and intention to stand for the poor and the oppressed, it became the very evil force it fought against.

  • Jenni

    I have reached the pinnacle of my career at my current school.  To advance any more I would have to take another position at a different school.  I love my school and have no desire to leave.  People don’t always understand and ask, “Why don’t you want to continue to advance your career?”

    It isn’t about my career.  It is about the students at my school.  They need me as much as any other students in any other school.

    It is also about my son.  I am a single mom and while the title on my name tag says Assistant Principal, the title on my heart says Mama.  My job is to raise him to be a contributing member of society and to help him make the world a better place.

    I may not ever do anything amazing per the definition of other people, but I am helping lay the foundation for other people do amazing things one day.   

  • Missi

    I have been a stay-at-home mom for eighteen years now. I hear of many who travel far for missions and I fully support it although I’ve strived to make my very own neighborhood my mission field. Loving where God has placed me in this very season of my life. I really enjoyed your article. I want to be a CEO! The Chief Energy Officer of all I do!! To live a life of be pleasing in the eyes of Christ no matter where I am or who I am talking to!

  • Vgrant

    The bigger picture for me is to see God in the details of life…in a smile, through a relationship, watching children play together, enjoying dinner with your spouse or family, or watching the sunset or the sunrise. For a very task-oriented person to see God in the details and in a relationship is the Bigger picture for me. 

  • Mark

    Thanks for this.  My deeper purpose is to help people do exactly what this book seems to be saying.  As a pastor it is my constant role to not only help people find Jesus, notice Jesus, but live for him in whatever role they may have…farmer, stay-at-home-mom, retiree, etc.  It is fun to have people recognize that joy and mission in their life.

  • levittmike

    When we are in our own fish bowls, we long for more.  We see other people thriving in their various careers, and we often are jealous of their happiness. 

    We all can have that same happiness in our work, as soon as we remember whom we work for.

    I praise God for the ability to work.  There are many that cannot work, due to physical or other restrictions.  

    We are so blessed, so my prayer for all of us is to find what God is calling us to do, and do it right now.


    • bethanyplanton

      The grass does seem to be greener on the other side sometimes. 

  • Ben Hoerr

    Over the last 30 years, I’ve been committed to helping people “find real life.”

    • bethanyplanton

      That is awesome. I would love to hear some of your stories. 

  • Erinshawver

    I am currently an A/R manager with a passion for student ministry BUT the bigger purpose of what I am currently doing for work is that I get to shine the light of Christ in the office where I work no matter how mundane the day may be. I have an opportunity to be the one in the office that is different, not allowing stress to take over and in turn showing others the love and strength of Christ. And in doing this I am in worship with the Lord in my work and throughout my day!  “Laborare est orare; orare est laborare.” Colossians 3:23-24 

  • bethanyplanton

    I love how many of the posts the last week or so completely go hand in hand. From the one about working under bad bosses to the quote up the other day to this one, it really all is the attitude you have. 

  • bethanyplanton

    I work for a nonprofit organization so you would think I should feel like I am making a difference pretty much all the time, but since I work in the stateside office I do not get to see as much of the difference as the team actually on the field. But I do know that each time I promote our child sponsorship program or send out reminders to our sponsors that it is giving hope to the children our team in Kazakhstan sees often. My position really connects this side of the world to Kazakhstan, and it is AWESOME!!!

  • Pingback: (Extra)Ordinary Purpose | Southern Adventuress()

  • Jgarcia628

    I know my purpose is to share knowledge with those that cross paths with me. Many people I meet quickly share a pessimist attitude about their lives. I love to share optimism, and encourage them to live their dreams. I am a chief energy officer.

  • Carina A. Wyant Brunson

    Just the other day I realized I am happy where I am at. I have always felt I want something more whether is be a better paying job or something that would give me more opportunities. After doing an interview with a very humble and spiritual artist, the light bulb lit up, that I am doing what I want to do…. I just need to go out and find more interesting stories, more inspiring people. I can make a difference by just sharing the inspiration of others. I love doing feature stories because of this…. I have more freedom of expression when writing such stories.

    I learned during a leadership class while getting my degree in Communications that a simple word to a coworker can go a long way. I have that a priority at work and I have seen the difference in how I communicate with my coworkers, and how they communicate with me because of how more open I am with feedback. My reward is a pleasant work atmosphere.

    At home – we teach charity above all. My third child just donated her hair to Lock of Love after seeing an older sister do it twice. We just donated a bunch of old clothes to the Ronald McDonald House Charities as well. We help out with cancer fundraisers and other things that come up throughout the year. My kids get enjoyment from these activities and it truly makes them, and me, happy to see that they are giving back to something.

  • Ryan K

    Sometimes I feel the need to figure out what that perfect job is in my future and how I can get there. This post reminds of the need to find purpose in what we are already doing (e.g. janitor at NASA). There may be a job out there for all of us that is designed for us, but finding purpose in our current job helps give us the energy to pursue and prepare for our future ideal job. Learning to love today and pursue a better tomorrow is more valuable than hating today and hoping for a better tomorrow.

  • Brett Gracely

    I can’t agree more with the reason and sense of Jon’s post. Work is not something to be avoided, but to be entered into for the purpose of being a co-creator of good with and through God. My bigger purpose? Two that I strive daily to integrate into a cohesive whole. To be the husband and father that my own father was not by the grace poured out on me each new day. To serve the people of my community in all of the connections and manifestations that I enjoy through the profession of sustainable water resource engineering practice.

  • David Grissen

    My calling in life is to create ways that others can be mobilized into effective charitable work.  I’ve done that by creating teams that can work together on common objectives — on college campuses, behind the Iron Curtain, in a large metro area, in emerging countries, and now to provide care for international workers in hosted centers.  That’s been my (our-wife, Sheri) calling.  But I agree with Jon on his point that every person has a calling and can find purpose right where they are.  It’s an enlightening exercise to take some reflection time to consider how “my life is already being used to influence people right where I am.”  Putting that discovery into a statement can bring focus, hope, and motivation to my life.

  • Jerry Webb

    This is an interesting thought in light of the upcoming celebration of Father’s Day. It’s easy to say that one is “dad” or “father.” Dad earns a paycheck to meet family needs, takes care of the house, fixes the car, and so on. But there is a bigger purpose. Dads serve as the family compass by leading toward loving relationships, spiritual vitality, and emotional health. My bigger purpose for my children and grandchildren is to parent them in a way that frees them to become responsible adults that make a positive contribution to family, church and society.

  • Wattafw

    Although I travel internationally and serve in other countries, I am reminded that my daily life in the U.S.A. is important. For me it is in reverse to remind myself of the importance of my daily life and impact here. I purposely hang out at the coffee shop, try to build relationships with my neighbors and do what I call, “be faithful” in my everyday life. For where ever God places me in this world, I am to build relationships with those around me. Isn’t that what Christianity is all about, relationship?

  • Jeff Asher

    Like most preachers there are days when I have to go mow the lawn in order to tell if any progress is being made. But, there is always that day when either a troubled boy becomes a man and steps out to really life a life of faith, or that young couple finally realizes that what you have been teaching and counselling them concerning marriage does work and their relationship blossoms. It’s not about the sermons, the classes, the appointments and engagements, it’s about God using you to perfect people in Christ.  That’s the bigger purpose which even we preachers often lose sight.

  • Sophia Dare

    Hi Jon! Thx for the article! I am in the middle of building my new site “Your Significant Life”. I am a Marketing consultant and seek to help others unveil and discover their inherent gifts, talents, and abilities. What sets them apart and helps them SHINE, as an individual or business. When we are confident in that, then we cannot help but impact others! I also have a tremendous purpose and ministry with the wildatheart boys I live with. Never adull moment! I so love your topic and look forward to reading the book, whether by gift or by purchase.
    Thanks to you both for posting.
    Sophia Dare

  • dpyle

    A wonderful, thought-provoking post! As a legal secretary surrounded by those enamored with a love of worldly things, the bigger purpose God has revealed is the insight He gives me here to remain plugged into the world instead of retreating into the proverbial Christian bubble. Over the 20 years He’s had me in this profession, God has cultivated my writing and communication skills. In 2007, I started a teaching/Bible study ministry to inspire women to love and live on God’s Word. It’s exploded into more than I could have possibly imagined. But God had to show me to be content and relax in this profession to prepare me for the next. Woo Hoo!

  • Michael

    What would be The Seed for the unemployed?  Joy does not come from the paycheck or the material reward, but from the passonate pursuit of the goal. Sometimes my family or students will ask me why I am emotional about a particular topic. The question is confusing to me.  Something has stirred the emotional pot inside of me. The higher purpose of my life was touch by recent events and it may cause a passionate response. As a parent and educator, I reach a personal ‘high’ when I recognize that my student (or child) descovered something positive and true about life from one of my lessons. The joy is all mine. Others amy not recognize my joy and confuse my passionate response with other emotions. The job is not my purpose, making a difference (even when other may not see it) is.

  • Karen Osmond

    I just finished a temporary job at a greenhouse.  Although I simply watered and cared for plants each day my purpose for being there was much larger.  Several of us were drawn together because we were all Christians.  During the first two months each of us had to deal with the death of a family member or close friend.  My calling is t0 be in full time ministry.  My purpose  in any job while I am working towards that calling is to bring my best everyday, letting God’s light shine through me whether I am watering plants, selling clothes or working at my local church.

  • Jaima

    I totally agree. We can do so much more in our own back yard to help people and animals. The real question is how to find that happiness in new work to spread it into charity especially when one is starting all over again, like me. Now, starting up a company and I want to donate to certain causes but am struggling being an entrepreneur. I still have faith and know I will be successful but it certainly is hard to change over our psyche on how we operate. That is the main shift we all need to do. Animals in the wild do it naturally…humans are far more stuck to routine and habits. Loved the article. Keep them coming. Cheers. Jaima

  • Kim

    So TRUE!! I wish we all could live every day like we believed this truth instead of trying to “get ahead” of where God wants us to be.  Thanks for this encouragement!

  • writergirl

    When I was laid off two years ago from a job I loved, and one that I felt the Lord had led me to six years earlier, I questioned my purpose. I knew God had called me to be a writer, but there were no writing jobs to be found. I went from interviewing authors and celebrities and writing feature articles to help people grow in their faith to not being able to get work published at all.

    Eventually, God led me to a social services job where I learned a lot, but greatly missed writing. However, through that job God has opened doors to minister to people in ways I never imagined. Still, in my heart, I long for those days of writing and editing web content and feature stories–something I greatly enjoyed.

    Through it all, it has been such a relief to know that God always has a plan. He always uses the events in our lives for His purposes. I’d love a copy of Jon Gordon’s new book to further explore what other purposes God has in store for me.

    Above all, my greatest purpose is to live for God and share His love with everyone I interact with each day.

  • T K Bakker

    My bigger purpose is to prepare my daughter who is a single teenage parent to parent as well as bridge the gaps for my grandson who is almost 2.  It is a purpose full of joy, seeing my grandson develop and stress as you deal with a teenager that is still full of the me first mentality.

    T K Bakker

  • Jschumacher76

    As a school leader my purpose is to train a child in the way he should go. As scripture states, in the way he should go, not in the manner I would like him to go. As leaders, parents and teachers it is vital that we plant the seeds of purpose, their purpose, in the hearts of those we teach.

  • David Santistevan

    As a full time minister, I find it easier to connect my work with a higher purpose. But that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. It still takes discipline and focusing on what really matters.

  • Kathleen Pooler

    As a cancer survivor and nurse who is getting ready to retire from a lifelong calling, your question and post really touched me. I believe my purpose has been and will continue to be to make a positive difference in the lives of the people I share my space with~ to share the hope through my faith in God that has helped me transcend and grow through my life challenges.

  • M Giles

    I am a corporate recruiter and can see the purpose in my job every day! People are constantly saying how boring or repetitive my job must be, but I can tell you that it is far from that. I know that it is my mission to help people in their job search. There is a job out there for everyone, even though for most it will not be at the company where I work. I live my life each day to help do what I can for everyone to find that job through networking, job search tips and any other friendly advice I can give. I have been doing this for over 13 years and it is always what keeps me going! It has also made me very good at filling the jobs we do have open because I always end up with qualified referrals in the process.

    I love this post and will share it with all of my coworkers.

  • Matt

    The higher purpose for which I work is simple (but definitely not simplistic): The glory of God and the furthering of His kingdom.

    Growing up, the purpose I worked for was the accomplishment of my goals and dreams.  I wanted power, influence, prestige, and money.  I graduated from Duke University and was drafted by the Chicago Cubs and went on to play professional baseball.  I could clearly see my path and plans coming together as I was on my way to acquiring what I wanted.

    Then the redemptive love, grace, and sacrifice of Jesus Christ grabbed a hold of my heart and transformed it forever.  I retired from baseball and gave up my dreams of a big salary and worldly prestige, power, and influence.  I chose to live, and therefore work, for the higher purpose of glorifying God and furthering His kingdom.  That choice led me to full-time ministry – I have served as an assistant in the student ministries department of a church for the past 18 months, and beginning next week I will be transitioning into full time college campus ministry.  The Scripture that I have claimed as my life verse and pray daily is “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men” (Col. 3:23).  That’s the higher purpose I am living and working for.

  • TNeal

    Reviewing life experiences often uncovers life’s purpose. I discover more of who I am and my purpose in life as I examine every day encounters with others.

    Jon, I appreciate the practical experiences you share (the janitor, the employee in Atlanta airport, etc.). You offer visions of service and purpose that we can see and understand (and we can live out).

    One question: what’s a Chief Energy Officer?–Tom

  • Joe Hancock

    In my current job as a supervisor for my church’s janitorial staff my responsibility is to learn what God is teaching me. I have learned that I may not particularly love my job some days but I love the season in which God has allowed me to be a part of. The lessons of leadership that I am being taught will not only allow me to be a greater leader in the future where ever God may lead but also it is teaching me valuable lessons at being a greater leader to my family. This job has brought stress in various ways to my family and I but I know that God has made us stronger because of it. My purpose for working my job is that I want to grow into the man of God that He created me to be and I know without any doubt that this job is the defining moment to the future role I will play in the Kingdom. My ultimate purpose in my current job is to be leader to my staff but more importantly to be a student to the greatest leader. 

  • Don McAllister

    I’m a nurse and now in sales. In my career it is always my inner objective to point patient’s and family to God. for me, the mission field is right at work, right here, not in some foreign land. While it is a worthy goal to go abroad and serve, I find passion in serving all those people I come in contact with here. When you can follow your passion, it makes work so much less mundane. 

  • Gonzale-dolores

    I love working with and for people.  I love to see them happy.  I love to help them see how valuable they are to business and to all they come in contact with.

  • Bill Benoist

    My greatest joy has always been when someone on my team is recognized or promoted.  Their success means much more than any accolade I may receive.  Having realized this, several years ago I returned to school for my Masters Degree in Leadership.  I have always been a fan of Marcus Buckingham and know the importance of developing our strengths and passions. 

    Leadership is a journey, not a destination.  I learned a great deal from the masters program and now run my own blog on leadership.  I am hoping that I can share with others what I have learned over the years, and help them develop their leadership skills.

  • Thomas Campbell

    I read a great book by Piper called “Don’t Waste Your Life”.  One of the chapters notes “Life Goal:  Gladly making others glad in God”.  I really like that line.  Gladly working – no matter where I am – to make others glad in God.

  • Matthew Wainscott

    At the age of 17 or 18 a mentor told me his purpose in life was to be a developer.  He developed construction for his vocation, cars for his vacation, and us teens for his exhortation.  The fact that he knew himself so intimately that he could express his purpose in just one word almost haunted me for a decade.  One day, it finally hit me:  I am a protector.  It  began by protecting others through two deployments to Afghanistan, and now manifests itself daily by treating those I work for as clients (under my care and protection!) rather than customers. 

    Thanks Jon!

  • Jill Crew

    As a Childrens Pastor, I have found that there are two roads I can take.  I can take the road of simply making a fun and safe environment for kids (which are good things), or I can take the road of creating a fun and safe environment that challenges the next generation to change the world by becoming who God has created them to be.  I read once that “Who I believe I am will effect who I become.”  The bigger picture in my life is to help paint a bigger story that God is writing to the next generation so that they will see that God loves them and wants to use them to do something greater than they could ever imagine.  I know that it is a big and fluffy dream but my passion won’t let me give up on the dream that this world could be different.  If our children can truly believe that God wants to use them in a bigger purpose, who knows what the world would look like in 30 years.

  • Espeir1700

    This is a great post and offers fresh perspective. It’s easy to look at our lives and jobs as just routine. Part of finding purpose in your job is to get a different perspective. This past week my daughter was complaining about her bagel being burned and I gently told her that it was toasted and not burned. She ended up eating it! In any case, when we look for another perspective we can see our contribution to society. I work for a small ministry college and its easy to get caught up in the daily routine of administration and lose sight of the big picture. I often remind myself that I’m raising up the next generation of emerging leaders. At graduation I get a fresh dose of perspective!

  • MelissaW

    I am working towards the goal of using writing to reach others.  Although I am just starting out, I tell myself everyday that somehow the topics I write about will enrich others.

  • Anonymous

    I love this post!

    As for the question, ” What is the bigger purpose for which you are working?” I would say that it’s to inspire hope in people and make them happy. :)

  • Scobb

    The love and joy of Christ compel me, seeing the reality that all died in Him. Therefore I live by and for the joy of His presence. It’s not me but Him who lives and serves through me. 

  • Alex Humphrey

    Fantastic! I love the idea of this post so much, Jon. 

    Planting a seed, starting small, realizing that purpose is much more than the big dreams, but all the little small ones. 

    My favorite example was the KFC employee who’s purpose is to make travelers smile. How beautiful, how impactful. Can one woman change the world? If she that woman, yes.

  • Lroberts3

    I’m a retired teacher, my wife a retired guidance counselor. Together we led a high school Bible study at our public high school. It can be done but carefully. We could encourage a lot of kids. Now I drive military recruits from their recruiter to and from their testing, and swearing-in center about 100 miles away. There is plenty of time on those trips to encourage our future military, to let them know that we appreciate them, and now and then to get a word in for God. Sometimes we have deeper spiritual communication if they are so inclined.

  • Author Rich Nilsen

    To raise my young daughter, about to turn two later this month, to become a fine young lady who will follow the Lord, love others, and accomplish great things on this earth. I will set an example for her.

  • Author Rich Nilsen!/allstarpress
    Best of luck with this book! Looks great.

  • Tim Lay

    As a financial manager, I have gained a wealth of knowledge and wisdom to guide people to reach their financial dreams and goals.  Recently with the introduction to a “Life-Plan” I also encourage my clients to do more than just invest money.  We have recently developed a relationship with Flexible Plan’s – Faith Focused Strategy – – and excited that we are able to give 10% of the advisory fee back to the church or charity of their choice.  Tim Lay -

  • Jill Bratcher

    I’ve been to Atlanta a few times for Dragon*Con over Labor Day weekend. I think I’ve met Edith… :D

    Thanks for helping me see my job in a new light.

    I’m a CAD Drafter. I draw construction plans from which projects are built. My “bigger purpose” at my job is twofold: helping keep our field workers and foremen safe and contributing to building safe roads and structures mostly in the Pacific States and Arizona/Nevada (but occasionally also in other areas of U.S.A. when I help other offices of our company).

    An example of the former: By making sure I include utility information correctly on my drawings, I help keep our employees safe in the field; I wouldn’t want them accidentally to electrocute themselves cutting into a high voltage line!

    Examples of the latter:  We construct earth retention systems so that hospitals, libraries, universities, casinos, parking structures and many other kinds of buildings can be built safely and efficiently. Our projects also prevent/repair landslide/erosion issues to highways, so that motorists can drive safely to their jobs, vacations and Little League games. In the years since I’ve worked here, I’ve contributed to seismic retrofit (living in California, a high priority!), cancer & aerospace research facilities, construction in support of our military facilities, and relocating five miles of train to a below-street level trench to improve traffic flow within the “biggest little city”.

  • Lucinda Lowry Mason

    My current purpose, with two daughters age 11 & 13, is to raise them in the way that God wants me to. To introduce them to His principles, to live these principles out before them, to love them as unconditionally as I can, to nourish and to encourage them to seek God’s will in their everyday lives.

  • Kayce S. Hughlett

    As a writer, life coach and group facilitator, my bigger purpose is to bring joy and fullness of life into
    the world by helping people become healthier, happier and aware of their
    greater purpose.  By doing this, they learn
    to give compassion and love to themselves and then pass it on and pay it forward.  I work with high-functioning, under-living
    people to help them find their own purpose, light and joy, so they can offer it
    fully to themselves and share it with the world.  What the world needs is more people who are
    willing to be wholly alive. The rest will fall into place.  

  • Jill Bratcher

    FYI, the Twitter from “here” link in the three-rules-box doesn’t work. (The Tweet it button at the top works, though it puts a weird #respond#respond hashtag in the tweet.)

  • Geoff Talbot

    Hi Jon,

    This is a really great blog entry, super encouraging thanks for sharing. Sometimes we we want to go to Africa because we are essentially afraid of finding our purpose right where we are. What do you think?

    I mean it just seems easier to travel to the other-side of the world and make a difference (romantic too) rather than staying put and mining for gold in the mess all around us. It must come across as arrogance to those in the 2/3’s world that we would go and do our mission, find our purpose in their backyard; sometimes even uninvited.

    I think our purpose is a daily calling to add life where-ever we are, in a genuine fashion, giving to others whatever we have… whether that simply be wisdom, humor or best of all friendship.

    Again thanks for the blog it’s awesome.


    P:S: I am blogging and now always commenting in only seven sentences (

  • Ian

    Helping people recover from pain (primarily, back pain) through the surgical equipment my company manufactures, and for which I buy the material for. Also, helping college students stay grounded in the faith through turbulent times.

  • Asa Veek

    Very interesting and, ironically, revolutionary idea.  I think we, as a society (and certainly within the church) have come to the conclusion that only “big” things change the world.  Throughout history, though, it’s the collective movement of individuals that impact history.

  • Travis

    I am a civil engineer and have the opprtunity to work on public and private development projects. One of the things that keeps me coming to work everyday is the thought that I am helping to improve the quality of life for people in my city by changing the physical, built environment in which they live. What I do helps make spaces safer, more peaceful, more inspiring, and more welcoming.

  • Mark Kola

    My purpose is to help others change a small piece of their ecosystem for the better.  I believe in crowdsourcing change.  I must be an example of change for the positive. The effects are staggering. :)

  • Amanda Gurene

    I think that if people really viewed their work as purpose-filled, they would do their jobs with more joy & be more satisfied at the end of the day. I confess that I have just begun realizing, as you point out, that you don’t have to move to Africa (literally or metaphorically) to have a satisfying, purposeful job. I recently took a trip to Haiti hoping that it would be a confirmation that I should give up my life in America and go live among the poorest & neediest of the world. Instead, I became aware that my body & health are not (currently) suited for such a task. I felt very let down as I made the long flight home. However, the view of Memphis as I flew in reminded me that I can live purposefully here. Thank you for your blog, just the reminder I needed. The book spuds great, too.

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks Amanda

    • Amanda


      Sorry about that!

  • Kimberly Sutton

    Well, as a pastor’s wife, mother, and former missionary to Paraguay, even currently working at a credit card processing company in Houston, I am fulfilling my purpose. Helping others. Whether I am teaching in a rehab, on the mission field in Paraguay, teaching English as a second language, or selling credit card processing, I always look for the purpose.  This current job is giving me the opportunity to have the time to write a book to help others. That is my purpose now. NOT just selling credit card processing. I would love the opportuntiy to read what you wrote in your book!

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks Kimberly. You sound like a Seed Planter! Glad to hear it!

  • Wpetticrew

     About 15 years ago I read Bob Buford’s Half-Time and Game Plan.  Currently I am journaling in a Purpose Driven Life ( yes that book is older, but as my rector told me it is about God’s timing and placement).  The Seed – having read the first 2 chapters appears to be yet another way God is seeking to assist me as I seek to find myself and purpose.  Currently, I seek to let go of me so I can find Him and he will reveal the me He has always desired me to be.

     At age 54 I am in the process of my start-up company.  We provide away for grandparents to participate and share Bible stories with
    their grandchildren and provide a valuable source of revenue for partner


    Our products lets grandparents narrate, record and email Christian storybooks
    to their grandchildren for replay.  When envisioning this venture it knew it was so much bigger than me, and I know I can not do this with my power or skills or energy, but reliance on Him.    So I am learning to over come pride driven fears and ghosts that I have been carrying for decades and quite frankly am too tied to cary anymore.


  • Christy Lippert

    I am commenting on behalf of my son, Michael who will shortly turn 25 and who has been floundering through life – though I understand from my friends with sons a bit older that 25-30 is a magical age in the maturing process for boys/men!  He just started a job he loves and his life is stabilizing, but I pray that he will begin living life “on purpose” at a much younger age than his Mother!  I would love to give him a copy of your book for his magical 25th birthday in a few weeks :)

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks Christy. Don’t despair, he’ll come around. Sometimes it’s not in our timing but in God’s.

  • Anonymous

    My personal vision statement is the following:
    To be a woman of God who lives an uncommon life centered on bringing glory to God by studying and teaching sound doctrine, fervent in prayer and articulating great ideas while being a master strategist.  A willing vessel sent to minister in the marketplace as an expert marketer and able to apply principles from both realms to successfully lead, disciple, and equip the saints to build God’s kingdom. I get overwhelmed at times by this vision because it is definitely bigger than me and one that I know I cannot accomplish on my own, needless to say I have to stay close to the Father to obtain His instruction.

    • Jon Gordon

      Love that you have a personal vision statement Beverly. We all need to have one!

      • Anonymous

        Thank you so much for your response. I pray for God’s grace to live it out every day.

  • Carol Henders

    I agree we can make a difference in other people’s lives on a daily basis. We need to remember that we represent Christ and our purpose is to share that joy and light to the world. We can do this not only at work, but with a kind word to the frazzled grocery store clerk, or the mother with three screaming children on the bus or to the homeless person on the street. A kind, empathetic word and a smile go a long way in making someone’s days a little brighter, including our own.

    • Jon Gordon

      Well said Carol. Every action matters.

  • HopefulLeigh

    That’s what I’m figuring out!  After a lot of prayer, I resigned from my current position and am in the process of figuring out what to do next.  I might nanny for awhile and focus on my writing.  That’s how I envisioned myself when I was younger: writing and mothering.  It may look different a couple decades later but there’s no reason I can’t find purpose in those things.

    • Jon Gordon

      Congrats to you for pursuing!

  • Carlos Alberto

    Hi! I write from La Paz, Bolivia.

    Since I was a kid I had this sense of having a call. Now I’m a pastor and also work part time as a Business Coach and I have found that my true purpose in life is to encourage people.

    So everyday, no matter if it’s in the church or outside of it (most of the time), I invest my time and efforts to help people they can achieve the extraordinary by doing the ordinary things with purpose. I found that this is very encouraging.

    I loved this post because I feel Jon has the same feeling about it. Maybe I won’t change the world to accomplish my calling, but I’m sure, I can change my entourage believing that there is a higher purpose behind this.

    Thanks Jon, and thanks Michael, you blog encourages me in so many ways!

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks Carlos. Sometimes we think that changing the world needs to be some HUGE event but the reality is that if each one of us focused in on what we CAN change (ourselves and the impact we have on those around us) then collectively we WILL change the world.

  • Connie Brown

    This is a great post, one that hits a universal nerve. Thanks for doing the hard work of writing a book that help so many.

    • Jon Gordon

      Thank you Connie.

  • Karen Davis

    “What if work wasn’t just work? What if work was a vehicle to live and share a bigger purpose?”

    I love, love, love how Jon begins this great post! When I was studying journalism in college, I never imagined I would be happy doing anything other than chasing down a story, but here I am working on staff at an inner city church. We’ve just gone through our annual vision/strategy session where we had to go before the ministry leaders and volunteers and share our vision and mission for the year. I oversee the spiritual growth areas of the church and my purpose is all about “life change”.  I love to see the light go on in people when the words leap off the pages of their Bible and into their daily lives. That change can be big or small, but I hear about it nearly every day. I love the fact that what I do and what I lead others to do helps facilitate that process and I’ll take that over a Pulitzer prize any day!

    • Jon Gordon

      : ) Thanks Karen!

  • Jim Coats

    As a General Contractor, my purpose is to share the Gospel with evey subcontractor and eimployee, I also make a point to know their families names, age, health, etc. My mision is to grow small subcontractors to be professional, knowledgeble contractors.  I encourage my employees to want to have their own business some day.

    • Jon Gordon

      I’ve always loved this quote… “Preach the Gospel; if necessary, use words.” Our actions and simply how we treat others matters a lot. When we care, they care and we earn the right to speak into their lives.

  • Alan Fowler

    As a Naval Officer and an attorney, I support our country’s brave service men and women, I advocate for the rule of law in its forms and settings, and serve as a leader in the greatest Navy in the history of the world.

    • Jon Gordon

      Thank you Alan!

  • Keri

    Right now I’m staying home with my boys…no greater purpose than raising boys to be men of God.  My parents raised me to pursue all things with a greater purpose in mind.  I remember from a very early age they told me that whatever I do in life, to be of the mind of making a difference in the world.  I’ve never been able to escape that and I think it has helped me to be very happy and joyful in whatever He has for me at the moment.  Great post!

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks Keri. Raising up the next generation is so important. Positive Kids become Positive Adults!

  • Anonymous

    I have always wanted to go on a mission trip. Every time I had planned to go something happened and I wasn’t able to. Through that God showed me that I was already in a mission field. I didn’t need to travel 3,000 miles away; I could go right down the street. 

    Last night I took a non-believer out to dinner. Her favorite word is a four letter word that starts with F. She’s angry. She’s sad. She’s hurt. But I chose to love her buy offering her dinner and simply listening. I didn’t get a gospel tract out. I didn’t hit her with a Bible. I loved her with my actions and my words. I was on the mission field. 

    Though she didn’t walk away a believer YET, I am believing she will because of the mission God put on my heart. 

    I would love to meet that NASA janitor by the way. Very inspiring. 

    • Jon Gordon

      Well said. Every day we are on the mission field (if we choose to see it that way).

      • Anonymous

        Thought you may want to know the link to your blog isn’t working on the guest post description. 

  • Anonymous

    I working to create a “Father-less Free Zone” in our church and community. I believe that I am supposed to connect kids that don’t have fathers to the Heavenly Father first of all, but also men that can act as father figures in their lives. 

  • Kevin Respecki

    To use my construction company as a vehicle for community involvement and to be actively involved in charitable giving. It doesn’t matter if times are good or bad, it’s not that hard to extend a hand to people who need some help.

  • Dustin W. Stout

    So very true. I meet people all the time who have yet to realize the potential they have to effect the lives of so many because they’re convinced that where they are is hum-drum or inadequate. If God has you somewhere, he plans to use you while you’re there!

    • Jon Gordon

      Helping people see that is key. Glad you are a Seed Planter Dustin!

  • Nolan Bobbitt

    I loved and was challenged by the final paragraph: “Don’t wait until you go to Africa to start living with a mission. Don’t wait until the weekend to feed people who are hungry. Bring your mission to work, start working for a bigger purpose and nourish others in the process.”  Four years ago, I resigned a comfortable position as an associate pastor at church in a really wonderful ski town being caught in the crossfire of a power struggle among leadership.  My wife, daughter and I moved home to Tennessee awaiting God’s next place of ministry for me.  Little did we know at the time that He would have my next place of service in ministry be the local neighborhood Starbucks.  It’s funny looking back now because God has used this 4 year “detour” to completely re-educate and re-shape my heart.  I know longer look at ministry as something done once a week behind a pulpit for 30 minutes.  Ministry happens 30 seconds at a time as I add value to the most important part of a person’s day: their morning routine as they prepare for work.  By simply seeking to make my customers feel welcome, many of them have become like family to me.  I have people ask me all the time if I miss being in ministry and I tell them, I miss the opportunity to preach, but I have hundreds of opportunities to minister, it’s just one cup at a time now!  Jon, your book sounds great, and if I don’t get a free copy in the giveaway, I will definitely purchase a copy of it (and all of your other books) via my Kindle down the road!  I am so glad you posted here today so I could find out more about you!!!

    • Jon Gordon

      Thank you Nolan!

  • Jmhardy97

    I always was searching for the meaning for my life and then one day I finally realized that it was right in front of me. I supervise 500 people for a Fortune 50 company. What I realized is that God put me on this earth to add value to people and to make a difference in their lives. I do this by teaching, training and showing the how to live a Christian life.


    • Jon Gordon


  • Nick Hampton

    In everything I do, whether it’s at work or when I serve at church, the bigger purpose is to glorify God in how I do it. Since we are called to glorify him in all we do (1 Cor. 10:31), then that’s only bigger purpose I focus on.

  • Dan Kirkwood

    My purpose is to improve the lives about me.  While I am not perfect, I hope to make those lives that I touch each days just a little bit better.  If I can, I will make them a lot better!

  • Gail

    I work with students who have significant disabilities.  My purpose is to provide them and their families means in which they can live as independently as possible and to have meaning in their lives.  One other purpose is to educate others that everyone is capable of doing something, no matter how severe their disability is.  I have a poster in my classroom that says the “No one can do everything, but everyone can do something”.  It is getting pretty ancient, but it is the philosophy of my classroom.

    • Jon Gordon

      Love that quote Gail. Keep on doing what you are doing, you matter and you are making a difference!

  • Jfields

    As the Staffing Director of a non-profit, Hearts at Home, I have the privilege of meeting & working with moms [and some dads] who place family first [only behind God].  Our organization encourages, equips & educates moms.  Our feedback says we are successfully fulfilling our purpose, which energizes & inspires me.

    • Robert Ewoldt

      Moms are some of the most underappreciated people in the world, and yet
      their efforts are so vital. Thanks for doing this!

  • Anonymous

    I love working for God’s purposes in the world.  It is amazing that he even allows us to participate with him in his work in the world.

    • Jon Gordon

      Very true.

  • Staceyharris07

    The bigger purpose that I work for is raising children that understand the value of community and getting along with others while laughing and learning together. Teaching kindergarten is FAR more than ABC’s and 123’s.

  • Blair Howell

    For the past few years I was living life like Jonah.  I have been called by God for the ministry and unfortunately allowed fear to overtake that calling.  Thankfully, God did not give up on me and over the past little while He has set up ‘divine meetings’ to remind me of what I have been called to do.  Now I am moving forward in the calling on my life.  Fear still tries to creep in, but perfect love casts out all fear.  All Glory be to God.  Blessings…

    • Jon Gordon

      Fear is the killer or realizing purpose. So glad you confronted it and overcame!

  • Glen Lawrence

    This is so true.   We see others doing “great things” and feel that the only way to achieve any significance is to somehow attain to that when many times we just need to bloom where we’re planted.  As the old songs says,  “Little is much when God is in it. 

    • Jon Gordon

      Well said Glen. I am working on an article for Catalyst that speaks about this specific issue more directly.

  • Pat Katepoo

    As a flexible work adviser to working mothers and others, my bigger purpose is to strengthen marriages and improve child development. When a time-pressed professional has more time and energy for their spouses and kids after redesigning their full-time job to be more flexible, the whole family benefits.  Today’s post encouraged and refocused me!

    • Jon Gordon

      Love it!

  • Thankyoulord1

    To examine my heart daily. Ask God to clean up my heart, mind, and soul daily to keep my motives honest and my mind focused on “what would Jesus Do”?

  • Jon Stallings

    Great post – It really  helps to put our “purpose” in perspective. We need to find and live out our purpose where we are right now. 

    • Jon Gordon


  • Nathan Scott Hartmann

    I recently graduated from Clemson University and moved to Atlanta, Georgia hoping to soon begin my professional career.  Of course, but not unfortunately, I remain unemployed and uncertain of which path to take (it’s exciting how many paths there are in this city!!).  It might take me a while to find a suitable job, but this time has provided me a PERSPECTIVE I couldn’t have found elsewhere.  My purpose today is to be valuable. Whether it’s towards a friend, a stranger, or a prospective employer,  I have so many kinds of value to offer to so many types of people.  By presenting and projecting my value every step of the way I not only help myself, but I help others find their way and their purpose.  I WILL end up where I need to be and from there my PURPOSE will grow with me. Today until forever, I can change peoples lives and they will change mine.

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks Nathan. Love the way you are choosing to see it.

  • gary black

    To help people solve problems and achieve their dreams.

  • Rotimi Williams Bruce

    The bigger purpose for which  I am working is to make a positive impact on the lifes of every young individual I come across.  I am a passionate beliver in knowlege being power  and I will like to impact  the knowlege  I have to inner city youths so they may  know that its okay to sound educated , its okay to go to college,   let them know the resources that is available to them to achieve this ; there by building a better tommorrow and a better country.

    • Jon Gordon

      Great purpose Rotimi.

  • Don Von Ebers

    I have spent the last 35 years making certain that I am able to help folks be in a better place financially for the long term after they met me than they were before.

  • Jody Sneed

    Two years ago, I became an ‘accidental entrepreneur’…friends cajoled me into becoming a consultant and hired me to write grants for them.  I thought it would be an income until the next gig appeared.

    I kept up the job search while the number of referrals for my services continued until I realized this was my next gig.  All my work has come to me through referrals…I am more than blessed!

    Yet, there are times when the workload slims that I start doubting and worrying about the future.  Gaining the perspective of the bigger purpose I serve helps bring me back around to the reality of my opportunity in this role.  The bigger purpose is realizing God is ENOUGH.  When I accept this, I can understand that He has provided for my needs financially, He has lined me up with organizations I can wholeheartedly support and He has given me a means to impact many more lives than when I worked for a single agency.

    The bigger purpose is surrendering to Him and following in faith rather than sight.

  • Kerry Nipp

    our soul purpose in life is to bring people to the saving knowledge of our lord and savior Jesus Christ, go therefore into the hedges and highways and compel them to come in. Jesus died on the cross so we could have life, and have it more abundantly! you can reach people where you work,live,shop, your neighborhood, any where you go.We are ambassadors for Christ, therefore  I work for Christ, that is the Bigger purpose.     

  • Ed McGlasson

    I wrote Jon the following email this morning…

    I found you by way of your guest post on Michael Hyatt’s website, who I learned of while attending  I am 27 years old, and transitioning from the pro golf tour towards ministry/business here in Orange County, CA.  I’ve been leading a group of young professionals under the banner of INTEGRITY, through  We have been going through Bob Briner’s book, Roaring Lambs, which has inspired us all in many ways.  As a church, we are exploring ways to validate and encourage young people.  We have around three thousand people in their twenties, many searching for purpose.  Through prayer and council, I have considered writing on the very topic that you’ve published books. I’m considering entering consulting and ministry full time, opposed to business here in OC, and would value your opinion.  My father is, and I have been serving his ministry in a few different capacities this past year.  I’m intrigued by this idea of purpose, that all of us young professionals need to master brick laying, in the case of the parable of the brick layer.  Where there are three brick layers on the same project, all approached by an outsider, where the first responds with the fact that he can’t see past the next brick, the second see’s the building he’s contributing towards, and the third is overjoyed at what will one day occupy the building, people worshiping the Lord and changing the world.  Clearly the third is full of purpose, while he is still grinding on the ordinary.  These are a few of my thoughts to help you qualify a call/skype in the future.  —What followed was an awesome video skype that Dad joined in on, and now have The Seed on my kindle :)  Dad was able to talk him through the Father’s blessing, so cool.Great work, Jon.  Love seeing the power of social media, blogging, skype, and all others being used for the expansion of our faith

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks Ed. Glad we were able to connect.

  • Christianwomack

    What a relevant post for me. I graduated seminary 18 months ago w MA Christian Leadership and have been waiting tables ever since. I love being home w my daughter during the day but hate only seeing my wife during the handoff between her getting off and me going to work.
    So what is my bigger purpose? Guess I’ve been trying to sort that out while God has me in this season. My purpose is to be a great dad and husband and learn to love Jesus while I have some extra time to do so. I know a career will come but in the mean time it is my faith and family that keeps the depression and discouragement at arms length, most days.

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks Christian. God has a plan. It’s tough to be in the valley but He always sees us through.

  • Jaymie Dieterle

    I worked on a mission statement earlier this year and came up with this: “I believe I am called and equipped to inspire others to self-discovery,
    encourage in others self-expression, foster in others a love of stories
    and story-telling.” My personal passion is books, developing readers and linking readers to books.

  • Jesse Kreun

    My biggest pupose is to glorify God with my life. 

    My bigger purpose is to help men to become the men that God called them to be.  I do that by helping disciple men and work in the men’s ministry in my church.

  • Terence

    I am in the meetings and convention industry and what I enjoy and my purpose is to bring people together to share ideas.  I think there’s huge value in face to face interaction with individuals and I enjoy facilitating this on a daily basis and allowing people to grow and learn from each other.

  • Blog Sphere

    Since I’ve recently been given a 2 week notice that my contract will not be renewed…I have been deeply looking at “PURPOSE”, so this post is very timely…

    After much prayer, dying to emotions and intellectual reason, what is strongly confirmed in my mind and heart is this affirmation, “Your purpose is the same as the last time God worked in your life. Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind….do the work of evangelist…preach the gospel to all nations”.

    Just today, I had the unexpected opportunity to share the gospel to a co-worker that I believe I would have never otherwise have even met if I had not returned to to this former employer/company.

    Though circumstances, finances, personal feelings are low and perhaps a bit raw, I have been declaring around the office, God’s handywork in my life, even now, facing lay off. I am still marveling at how God awards us with clarity and purpose even in the midst of  life challenges…

  • David Lartey Gbebi

    I have been feeling that the main purpose that I am working to achieve is to bring light to my community, to my region, to Ghana and to Africa at large. I believe this is true because I looked at the ideas I get daily and they all almost have this one thing in common: they exist else where in the world but not this part of the world and they make life better for those around there.

  • David Lartey Gbebi

    I have been feeling that the main purpose that I am working to achieve is to bring light to my community, to my region, to Ghana and to Africa at large. I believe this is true because I looked at the ideas I get daily and they all almost have this one thing in common: they exist else where in the world but not this part of the world and they make life better for those around there.

  • David Lartey Gbebi

    I have been feeling that the main purpose that I am working to achieve is to bring light to my community, to my region, to Ghana and to Africa at large. I believe this is true because I looked at the ideas I get daily and they all almost have this one thing in common: they exist else where in the world but not this part of the world and they make life better for those around there.

    • Jon Gordon

      Wishing you success David!

  • Nathancamp

    I love the thought that my work life can be seen through the lens of eternity. So often, I feel like what I do Mon-Fri is disconnected from the realities of being a follower of Christ. I want to learn to engage God and his call on our lives, in the dirt and steel of day to day life. 

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks Nathan!

  • Frank Meyer

    I have a passion to see others succeed.  Whether that be in daily life, their workplace or in ministry.  The quote: “You can make a difference every day and touch the lives of everyone you meet.” really rings true.  For me seeing the smile on someones face when I can help them learn something new or the gleam in their eye when I can help then pursue their dream is what I am all about.  For years I have always been the #2 guy, whether at a secular job or in the ministry, and I have no struggle with that. If I can help someone reach a little higher in life by standing on my back, then I hope my back never gives out!  My success in life comes when I see others succeed.

    • Robert Ewoldt

      Praise God for people like you! There is such a need for selfless people
      that are willing to help others succeed.

  • Karl

    As an IT professional at a hospital I help improve the health of our patients by helping to advance our computer information systems.

  • Kristen Marble

    What a great perspective to keep front-and-center when the craziness and busyness of raising 10 children from all corners of the earth threatens to crush and confuse me….when I can’t make enough time or opportunity to fully live out my passions of speaking & writing….when I feel like I’m in a holding pattern waiting for a possible move across country….when I wonder if I’m spinning my wheels.  Thank you for refocusing my heart on my greatest purpose – living in, sharing & communicating HOPE found in Christ!

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks Kristen. If it helps, remember that all things come in God’s perfect timing. I’ve been frustrated plenty myself. God has an amazing way though of preparing us for what is coming next!

  • Bryan Thompson

    My bigger purpose is to grow others to be leaders and leave them better than I found them.  I do that at my work through coaching and a through passion for what we do. 
    I also grow future leaders through coaching soccer.  Thanks for post today! 
    Bryan Thompson

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks Bryan.

    • Robert Ewoldt

      Bryan, this is a huge purpose! How long have you been in the coaching

  • Doug Johns

    I  heard someone describe themselves not as ‘ADD’ but as ‘CDD’ – Career Deficit Disorder. I had been waiting a lifetime to get a handle on why I so easily get bored in my work. There are some of us with DNA that thrives on frequent change in employment scenery, or we engage in simultaneous  multiple work streams. We don’t have excess nervous energy or a lack of focus, as some are quick to insultingly suggest. Our constantcy – that which roots and grounds us, that which grows the good fruit of happiness – is our embracing of purpose. So Jon, this is the sentence I want on my desk, on my wall, on my business card: “Purpose keeps it fresh. And when we are filled with purpose, we tap into an endless supply of energy.” … Look forward to reading. Thanks.

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks Doug.

  • Lindsey Bell

    As a stay-at-home mom, my purpose is to raise my son into a man of God-one who will put his God first and others second. Sometimes it gets monotonous to change diapers all day long. If I’m not careful, it’s easy to feel like what I do doesn’t matter. But it does! Sure, my son might not remember every place we go or everything we do, but *hopefully* he will remember who we are.

  • Kelley Kizer

      I am a stay-at-home m0m of 7 and I have spent years searching for my purpose.  I figured that after I raised my children God would send me some “Great High Calling” and I would finally feel fulfilled and significant.  Surely I have more to offer than  making sandwiches and bandaging “owies”.   But what I have discovered is that my purpose IS motherhood.  Being a Mom isn’t glamorous, it doesn’t offer a paycheck and there is no room for ego but the privilege of leading a new generation into a relationship with the God of the Universe is the greatest purpose I can think of!

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks Kelley. You’re perspective is right on. What if one of your kids goes on to become the President of the United States and because of your upbringing and guidance they are able to carry the right values into their leadership? As a result…. you very well could have helped change the world. It’s all relative.

  • W. Mark Thompson

    The bigger purpose for which I am working is much bigger than me. I discovered it at age 19.

    My family (including myself) have struggled with depression as far back as I can remember – on both mom and dad’s side.

    Through a series of events that should have spiraled me into a depression that would have been an irretrievable hole, I was led to a group of people that saved my life.

    During this time, I was introduced to ministry. I applied for an internship. I got it. This is when I started to realize some things. First, there was more to life than what I wanted.

    I also decided to go to school and get a Psychology degree to learn more about myself. One study that I remember specifically was about how women who seemingly suffered from depression. Weird thing was when they had children, the depression disappeared.

    My theory was, if we get outside of ourselves, serve others (like mothers caring for their children in LOVE), and condition ourselves to be unselfish with our time and resources, maybe there would be a LOT less depression.

    SO… from inspiration of what I had discovered, I turned to the Bible. I started to believe a few things. I believe I was led to a new group of people. I believe I was led to a new view of life through horrible circumstances (at the time). I believe I was supposed to engage and cultivate a relationship with God Himself.

    And one day, while searching this PURPOSE, I found Psalm 139:13-14. Since I love music, I wrote a song about it. This encompasses my purpose that’s bigger than me. Essentially, my purpose is to glorify God.

    But you can listen to the song anyway if you’d like. I created a little video just now so you can check it out if you’re interested. The song is entitled “Sincerely Yours”.!v=CPNnquGevM0

    W. Mark Thompson
    Twitter: @WMarkThompson:disqus

    P.S. Haven’t had a real problem with depression since writing this song. Coincidence?

  • Allan Clarke

    My life mission is to connect people to Jesus through creative worship… Everything in my life is focused through that lens.

  • Renea

    I surely don’t work for the pay. But I work for the opportunity to help the people I work with. I help make their job easier.  I also work to stay connected to the wonderful people I have met because I work.  My EWI connections were made because of my firm allowing me to volunteer in a low-income school area where I set up reading programs for the children. I work because I feel I can make a difference being in the presence of others – to offer them a smile, a helping hand, a listening ear. I truly believe my purpose in life is to help others achieve great things. This is what makes me happy – helping others.  I enjoy my job and the people that I work with, but it’s the opportunities to reach out to others that gives my life meaning.

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks Rena. Especially like your opening line… “I surely don’t work for the pay. But I work for the opportunity…”

      If more of us took that mindset, we’d find greater joy in our work.

  • Rcaputo07

    I am grateful to be able to teach, educate, inspire, and develop leaders (at all levels) within our large healthcare system so they are able to creating healing environments for all of our caregivers, patients, and their families.  I am honored and priviledged to work in a place where miracles happen every minute of every day.

  • Mike Henry Sr.

    Jon and Michael, thanks for the great post.  This has been on my heart quite a bit over the last few weeks too.  We enlarge our purpose the moment we include someone else as the beneficiary of the action.  When we do something for just ourselves, our purpose is pretty low.  When we add others to our “constituencies” we elevate our purpose.  And an elevated purpose brings life.  Thanks for the great post!

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks Mike!

  • Sharan Madison

    As a grandmother, my grandchildren  are very important to me. I am concerned that they will be able to live a positive and productive life. I try to show by example and teaching that helping others and being considerate will go a long way in providing a better life.

    I have my eyes on something besides the present here and now and try to live my life accordingly. My purpose is to understand who I am and what I have been given and be the very best me I can be no matter where I am. Life is too short to stress out over temporary set-backs.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and reminding me to be true to my purpose as God works in my life leading me to think outside myself to others who may benefit from what I can share.

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks Sharan. Have you see the “Today We Are Rich” book by Tim Sanders. He talks about his grandmother and the positive impact she had on him in shaping his life and belief system. Now, her impact on Tim is impacting hundreds of thousands of people around the world as a result of Tim’s writing and speaking. Keep doing what you are doing and be an inspiration. You never know what amazing things God will do.

  • Bsballnut1

    I teach junior high students. I love them. I like to think of myself as helping to develop future leaders, missionaries, doctors, and Godly parents.

    • Jon Gordon

      And your involvement can totally shape their lives! Thank you for that.

  • Kimanzi C.

    I believe as a Christian my primary purpose in anything that I do is to glorify God (1 Corinthians 10:31), so when I feel down about my job or any work I perform, I remember that I’m doing it for the Lord! I have the not so glamorous job of delivering bread everyday, it’s easy to not see any purpose at 1 a.m. in the morning. However I look at each day as a chance to help someone, it could be as simple as helping a customer find a certain kind of bread they need, to as complex as consoling a fellow vendor because he just found out some devasting news. Each day hard work, but great opportunity to show others the love of God. This work has also given me a new purpose for my life, I believe my true calling, writing. The experiences have given me a wealth of material and a opportunity to be a voice for all my fellow vendors!

  • Linda Grant

    Timely advise for me as I’m struggling with “what am I doing with my life” here and now in a small rural town in Australia.  Today I am going to put all my roles under the microscope of  ‘purpose’, recognise my achievements and give myself a break.  As a wife, mum, classroom volunteer, small business owner, student, gardener and more, I have neglected to recognise the contribution all these roles make to the life of my family and my community.  Why am I turning myself inside out searching for a greater good? –  becuase until now, I’ve been blind to the value of my current contributions.

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks Linda. We all do it so don’t feel like you are the only one turning yourself inside out. It’s easy to see the big platform or achievements of others and get a false perspective of what a significant impact really is. Some are called to the big stages while others are making just as much impact in the silent shadows. We just have to trust where we are and do the best with what God has given.

  • Sbreeding

    I’m lucky to be doing my dream job, but even so, without a greater purpose in the doing of the work, it would never satisfy. Most of the people I work with in my field are unchurched; they don’t believe in God or are even hostile to Him. My greater purpose is to be the fragrance of Christ among them and, when asked, to give an account for the hope that is in me. On a daily basis, this might look like keeping a positive attitude in stressful situations, speaking well of others, showing appreciation or encouraging those who are struggling. 

    • Jon Gordon

      Well said.

  • Kennethacha

    I agree with you completely. I am a U.S. trained physician / pastor whom God called to drop everything and go serve orphans. Due to my call, I founded to take care of orphans and widows. That is my assignment and while that is a noble thing to do, I find that the only thing that is noble about it is that I am doing what I believe is the Lord’s will for my life. No job is intrinsically more noble than another. Obeying God with one’s whole heart makes any job noble. We believers are noble because we carry Jesus on the inside. A job is noble if we do it in obedience to Christ. A man once said that a Janitor who does his work faithfully may receive more blessings in heaven than a Billy Graham who didn’t preach as faithfully as God called him even though he won more souls, numerically speaking. The widow’s mite comes to mind. God certainly judges the motive of the heart, not the outward appearance of things even though we want to judge jobs outwardly.
    Yes, all work when done as a result of God’s calling and in obedience to God is noble and full of purpose.

    • Robert Ewoldt

      Truly living out James 1:27! Way to go!

  • Jomagee62

    Dear Mr. Hyatt,
    I find your blogs most meaningful. They help me to put life in a whole new perspective Ive not encountered. As with this book called “Seed”. I would like to know what it would be like  to experience your way of giving a gift of life to people I encounter daily. I am currently in business college training for a position in customer support. I will speak to people everyday over the phone. I want the ability to touch peoples lives in a way you describe. This would help give me a purpose, a way to give back, a way to serve our Lord. Anyways, thank you for the opportunity.

  • Cathy

    Another great blog! Too many of us think unless we’re out in the poorer nations of the world that we aren’t walking in a purpose or ministry. How about our families, our neighbours, our work or study colleagues etc – how can we make a difference here where we stand!!!! Use the tools and the position that we have been given to make a difference in someone’s world today. I’m currently walking out of a very difficult year after my marriage ended, thus hasn’t stopped me being “useful” or a blessing to those around me and them me. Put yrself out there and make a difference!!

  • Mary Samp

    What a great idea for a book!  I am currently a stay at home mom, but we have just graduated our youngest child from high school.  I love the idea of doing things for a higher purpose.  My motto when times are not as pleasant as we would like carries a similar thought and that is “bloom where you are planted”.  This means to me that where ever you are find your purpose: school, neighborhood, church or workplace.  We do not always know the big picture that GOD sees and his plans for us.

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks Mary. On my website (under newsletters) we have an article for 11 Tips for Graduates. Your youngest might like it.

  • Femimommy

    I love this! It’s so inspiring!! My purpose in life as a school administrator at the school district level is to make this world  a better place, one step at a time! Every interaction that I have with a student, a parent, a community member…I imagine that I am helping them in some way. I strive to treat everyone with dignity and respect, and want to make my community a better place!!!

    • Jon Gordon

      Love your Positive Perspective! Thank you.

  • rachaelmarie

    this post reset all my misperceptions the past few months and righted my upside-downness.  my purpose is clear…it is right here, at home.  helping my husband find his purpose, helping families tell their life stories through my images, being present for my children.

    • Jon Gordon

      Glad it helped you.

  • Patricia Currie

    Others. I love people.  I believe God loves people, too. That’s why I had six kids.  That’s why my husband and I try to help other parents.  That’s why we have college students in our home.  That’s why I teach school.  Others.

    • Jon Gordon

      Others… And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ : ) Well done.

  • Mrslisacarter

    My bigger purpose is to serve God by serving the staff and students at Blaney Elementary School where I am the principal.  Every day I seek new ways to be a servant leader.  Even if I don’t get a free copy of the book, I will purchase it because I love to read, love to learn to be a better leader and enjoy sharing books with my staff.

    • Jon Gordon

      Thank you!

  • Melissa – Mel’s World

    Fantastic!!! Love this post and the who concept…this is something that I tell my kids all the time. I also love to help people find out what that purpose might be. I’m truly blessed to be in ministry at the local church where my husband is one of the Pastors and I lead the Kid’s and Women’s Ministries.

    I love love love ministry and take Romans 12:1-2, specifically from the Message version where it says, “Taking your everyday, ordinary life…and placing it as your offering to God”. I’m paraphrasing, of course, but the idea is this…everything you do, from car line, to copies, to the home or at the office is part of your ministry and your offering to God and all of it has a purpose when we take our eyes off the ordinary and look at them as extraordinary.

    I would love to check out this book! Thanks again for a great post!
    ~ Melissa

    • Jon Gordon

      Thank You Melissa!

  • misty

    My goal and purpose is to serve…to make someone’s life a bit better by my contribution to their industry.  Particularly, having worked 15yrs in the Medical Industry for physician’s who are not taught business and have no clue about how to effectively run a Medical Practice, I want to share, encourage, teach and support them in becoming better business people. At the end of the day, I know nothing matters if it wasn’t first done for God with a heart of love and with humility.  None of us get anywhere in life without the teamwork and support of others who lead, guide, encourage and train so that we all become better equipped to do our work…work that matters.  I don’t know that I am doing my “dream job”, but I continue to follow the path as the doors open, continually trying to grow and learn what God’s purpose is for me and that I will fulfill the calling He has placed inside of me and  hopefully inspire others to do the same!  I appreciate your encouragement to us to do just that.

    • misty

      ( if you wish to learn more about me)

    • Jon Gordon


  • Mark Wager

    I gathered around me a few friends and we hosted a weekend event we called “LIFEQUESTweekend”. It is a special type of retreat to help men get their hearts back and learn to live out their lives able to offer their God-given strength for others.  I’ve also begun blogging.  I can really relate to the feeling that I can’t reach the whole world… but I’m so glad to be part of God’s larger story… living out my story in ways to touch others… and leaving the results up to God.  Thanks for the reminder that we can all make a difference.

  • elise

    In every relationship, I try to offer grace. I don’t always succeed, but I try to extend understanding, love, and forgiveness as a mother, wife, friend, sister, daughter, employee. I have also found one of the simplest ways to “serve” is by keeping a positive attitude and smiling at people throughout my meanderings. It can be as simple as treating the clerk at a store with kindness and appreciation. I have seen how this simple act can really bless someone’s day…and mine too!

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks Elise. You are right, it’s often the little things that make a big difference.

  • Nanzucar_641

    Perfect timing of this book for me since I am currently in a career transition! Should be an interesting read.

    • Robert Ewoldt

      Career transitions are the best times to assess your purpose :)

  • copygirl

    My purpose is to “sustain the weary one with a word” (Isaiah 50:4) so that we can joyfully serve God by serving others.

  • Holson_Laura

    I am a school administrator. My purpose is to make certain that every child in my school knows that they are loved, that we believe in their potential and that their lives and contributions matter!

    • Jon Gordon

      And a great purpose that is!

  • Chet Chin

    This post reminds me of a saying I saw on a postcard as a young Christian:

    “Bloom where you’re planted.”

  • Paul David Mercier

    I see myself working toward a greater purpose of rebuilding our inner city; it is no coincidence that the ‘Inner City’ as it is so called, happens to be situated in the middle – the very heart – of our city, just north of downtown…
    How does this rebuilding happen? It happens by blessing people, one at a time, through the music & meals that I have shared at Hope Mission; once someone has had a meal, then there can be room to share hope, through encouraging words, a smile, a hug, and a song.

    • Paul David Mercier

      Oh! And since 2000,this has been going on – through the mission’s kitchen, the sponsored children’s summer camp program, the primary & middle-school after-school program, men’s shelter janitorial, men’s shelter intake care, emergency warming shelter care, and volunteering for music, coaching/mentoring, and ministry with the mission’s community church team.  I keep discovering new ways to serve the basic needs of my community, and get to share the experience with a tremendous, caring, remarkable, inspiring team of people from every walk of life!  What a privilege!

    • Jon Gordon

      Excellent Paul!

  • Bonnie Jean

    I am struggling with finding purpose in my life and work.  I always believed I was meant to be a writer and an inspirational speaker.  I have spent 53 years “lost” in a maze of what everyone else thought I should do or be.  Now I wonder if it is too late.  I am trying to make a start in writing, but feel uncertain as I have always been put down and after years of physical, emotional and verbal abuse… it is hard to believe that I can do anything worthwhile.  Yet, I feel I have a lot to say that might help others with regard to a variety of women’s issues and family issues.  It is hard trying to figure out “who you are” at 53.

    • Jon Gordon

      Bonnie… first, it’s NEVER too late. There is example after example and story after story of people who realized their calling later in life and who went on to do amazing thing. Think of it this way… perhaps the first 53 years of your life were merely equipping you for what God has planned next. Look at the Bible, it is FILLED with accounts of those who God prepared and then used in big ways. Remember, He can do anything through us if we are willing but you need to have faith and believe in His plan for you and in yourself. I was put down a lot and as a write I was rejected by dozens of publishers early on. It’s not easy but nothing worthwhile ever is. If you feel God has planted a seed in you, let it grow!

  • Jeff Miles

    Last Monday I started my job as a computer programmer at a global energy company building tools for the people that work for the company. I am hoping that through our service group we can empower the people we work with make the next big energy breakthrough.

    • Jon Gordon

      Go for it Jeff!

  • Kellie Andrews

    I’ve recently discovered that I am exactly where God intends for me to be right now. I might not have gotten here the way He would have chosen, but by His grace I’m still here. I believe my purpose is to help people understand how to treat their ‘job’ as their ministry. My first project under this life purpose is a Christian roundtable group, currently in development. My draft mission is “We exist to educate, equip, and encourage Christ followers in the marketplace to demonstrate through their gifts and talents the love of Christ to those who do not know him.” Anything I can learn that will help me to do this would be much appreciated!

    • Jon Gordon

      Good for you Kellie!

  • Mynameishaydee

    Oh I really want to read the book. To be very honest, I’ve a desire to become a missionary since 2004. I’m not sure if it’s my calling, but if not, then why do I even think about it all the time? I love reading books about missions. I want to believe God is sending me to that country. I’ve been to Cambodia & I want to go to India in Oct. It breaks my heart to see people living their lives without knowing God.
    But it’s embarrassing to admit that I’m not an effective testimony at my workplace. I don’t like initiating talks nor do I like making friends with many cos I’m an introvert. It drains me so I just keep them in prayers. I can be an encouragement to people who know the Lord already, but I pray I will have great conviction to approach the person, share the gospel, bring him to church & be a mentor. :)

    • Jon Gordon

      Thank you for being honest. Don’t be embarrassed for where you are. God makes each of us unique and gifted for different things. The good thing is that it sounds like you have some self-awarness about yourself. That is huge. When we know who we are then we can better discern God’s calling for us. Stay true to that. Seek God’s will and when you believe He has spoken to you… GO (whenever He leads).

      • Mynameishaydee

        Thank you for your advice.

  • CoachBru

    “In any job our purpose waits for us to find it and live it”… this is so true. Over the past 5 years, I have seen an alarming number of my former H.S. student-athletes I’ve coached transfer colleges. They do so “chasing happy” and “chasing a bigger purpose”. Instead they often need to growing where they are planted and as a result make the “big time” right where they are. What scares me with students who repeatedly change schools in search of happy is that they are the same ones who later in life change jobs and change spouses in search of the same. I wish I could have given my last 4 graduating classes copies of The Seed.

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks Coach Bru. Chasing happy is so dangerous. Our society has it backwards so often. People seeking what feels good at the moment (happy) instead of the real, sustainable joy that comes with pursuing something more… purpose. I hope we can unleash a new era of Seed Planters to make a change.

  • laura@life overseas

    We are currently in Thailand running a Christian humanitarian foundation, and the longer we are here, the more we recognize that God works and purpose is given on every latitude on the globe.  

    I think we started out believing subconsciously that we had to leave America and “comfort” to embrace the bigger Story God had for us.  And while God has broken us and shaped us overseas, we are more convinced than ever that God is not working any more in us than He is with our friend in Colorado who is loving her autistic child or our friend in North Carolina who is choosing to stay married, anyway. There is a deep goodness in being Godly and being loving, right where you, wherever you are. Period.  And God doesn’t need drama to teach Him about Himself or to use us to change the world.

    • Jon Gordon

      Thank you Laura. Loved this line…

      “There is a deep goodness in being Godly and being loving, right where you, wherever you are.”

  • Sandy Hsu

    As a manager for a large  hospital department, I strive to make our employees who often feel invisible, visible. Too many people get stuck in a routine and feel lost and/or unseen. My managment style has been to know my employees as a person inside and outside work, to acknowledge them, to smile at them, to make them know that they matter. Our mission field is wherever we are.  I don’t want to just work because I have to. I want to reach people wherever I am.

    • Jon Gordon

      Very powerful Sandy. Sounds you are doing an excellent job. Thank you for being purposeful and living it out!

    • Robert Ewoldt

      Sandy, thanks for being a good leader!

  • Ruth Adkins

    The bigger purpose for which I am working is to complete my Master of Divinity program at Liberty University Online with a focus to provide spiritual support to our men and women returning from the combat theater. Having listened to so many stories of the emotional, psychological, and spiritual struggles these individuals go through after they have seen combat I knew I had to relinquish my leadership seat in our nonprofit organization to do something more – to give back at a deeper level – so spiritual healing can begin in the lives of those God places on my path.

  • Eternalskin4u

    Let your light shine before men that they might see them and glorify God who is in Heaven- this is what gives my life meaning each day whether at work or at the grocery store. I am a teacher. I know I am affecting the lives and experiences of the children, but I also make it my mission to impact the people I work with. I let my love shine through in the little ways knowing that God has equipped me to show and be the love of Christ. I love encouraging others and building relationships with the people around me.

    • Eternalskin4u

      This is my first time posting here. I hope I did it correctly.

    • Jon Gordon

      That’s outstanding! Thank you for sharing.

  • Brigitte Hay

    Thank you for writing style – very empowering. A friend kindly sent me the link recently and I passed the link onto others. 

    • Jon Gordon

      Thank you!

  • Cathy

    Another great blog! I did leave a comment earlier, but it’s disappeared!! Too many of us in today’s society think that unless we are a mission in a third world country don’t have a purpose or a ministry. While the third world countries are enormously Important so are our families, neighbours, work or study colleagues etc. I’m just emerging from a very difficult year due to the end of my 21 year marriage. I am delighted to share that this experience has allowed or enabled me to help others in similar situations and others also helping me. We have to learn to embrace the “now” of our lives and step out and be there for those around us. What greater purpose is there.

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks Cathy. Like all things in life there is a balance. No matter who we are though, God has a desire for us to do His work and do it well. We can do that overseas or in our own neighborhood. The calling depends on the individual and God’s unique design for them. The key is being willing to be planted where God wants us so that we can sprout and reap a harvest. : )

  • Clearly Salmon

    I was asked by a youthful Christian friend about this very question, three years ago! ‘What does the church offer us to change; that needs people to get their hands dirty, stuck into and really make a difference?’ I was caught unawares by her questions, and asked for more time to to consider it carefully. She was of course wanting to change people’s lives in a big way through missionary work, and at that particular time, owing to extenuating circumstances, I had to consider my answer really carefully, for fear of ‘losing’ a fellow Christian. 
    I came up with my answer, much less succinctly put  than here on your blog, but which at that time, did not hit the mark for my friend.
    Reading this today, has ticked all the boxes for me and I will now be armed to the teeth with inspirations thought and truth. Thank you for this post.

    • Jon Gordon

      Glad to hear it helped you.

  • Albert Lew

    My bigger purpose for which I am working would be to remind people of God’s loving truths at work in them through music and songs. I have been trying to carry this sense of purpose into my day job as an engineer but find it more challenging with the different environment. Would love to read this book!

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks Albert.

  • Anonymous

    Love the article!  I’m living it!
    I wandered aimlessly for about 6 yrs, trying to make sense out of being fired from a church over a lack of finances. “Why?” was the biggest question I had, and there didn’t seem to be an understandable answer forthcoming anywhere in the foreseeable future.  As a result, I even began to doubt the very existence of God, which is easy to do when you’re consistently giving your best efforts to Him during your best years and in return get a pink slip…FROM ONE OF GOD’S LEADERS.
    So I traded “The Ministry” for mail-carrying, not knowing how the United States Postal Service fulfilled God’s plan for me. (Yes, I believed again after some time had passed.)  Now, I’m glad to say that I’ve been living the victorious life for almost 2 years, realizing that our ministry is within our vocation, whatever that may be!
    During these past couple of years, God has used me to brighten the days of my coworkers and customers alike, while renewing in me a new spirit!  And the best part is that I know He’s only getting started!!
    Currently, I am preparing to launch a new ministry (Think.BE!) by month’s end, geared to assist churches in repairing/preparing their worship environments. I’m super-jazzed about the future, but equally excited about the present –> Bringing smiles to the Post Office daily is how God is choosing to work through me RIGHT NOW!
    Thanks for encouraging others, who have experienced similar dizzying circumstances to start making sense of a mess! :)

    Damon Paul Winters

    • Jon Gordon

      Congratulations to you Damon! Exciting. Thanks for being a Seed Planter.

  • Kate

    I love the fact we can always choose our attitude and make a difference wherever we are – we create, shape and influence the micro culture around us. Who knows how God can use us?

    • Jon Gordon

      Exactly. There is nothing too small or too big for God to use. Sometimes we don’t even get to see the end result but knowing that He is using us is what matters most.

  • Beverly

    As a children’s minister, the purpse that I am working for is to let every child know that God has a plan for them and that he loves them very much. Also, I am passionate about strengthening families, so I spend a lot of time reading to find new encouragement to share with parents!

  • Pingback: Highlights (06.18) | Alex Speaks()

  • Sharon L. Fawcett

    The idea that God’s purpose for our lives is often for us to
    “bloom where we’re planted” really resonates with me. Sometimes it’s in a
    beautiful garden. Other times, a crack in hot pavement…or even a manure pile.
    After surviving a nine-year case of a debilitating, life-threatening clinical
    depression, God called me to take that experience and touch other lives with it—to
    bloom in the dark, so to speak. So, I tried to spread hope (and help those in
    similar situations) by writing a book about what I’d learned and how I’d gained

    Following the book’s publication, I returned to university
    to get the education I’d need to live out, and work at, my ultimate passion: to
    address human rights issues in Africa and contribute to solutions. Sounds kind
    of cliché after reading the intro to this article, but it is what I’ve longed
    to do for more than two decades. That’s not to say I can’t also find purpose in
    many other ways, among those I come in contact with every day. I try to do that
    now at university as I work to be an encourager of other students, and a
    positive force on campus. I don’t think there’s ever a job—no matter how
    mundane or unglamorous—where we can’t find ways to make a difference in someone
    else’s life. There’s no place we may be planted that we can’t bloom. After all,
    some of the most beautiful and exotic flowers created bloom only at night, in
    the dark.

  • Todd

    I own a small Foodservice distribution company in Atlanta with our niche being child care centers. We sell all of their food, paper, janitorial, apparel and classroom supplies. But ar our company we answer the question asked in “Good to Great” – What are you deeply passionate about? with …. Making things better for others by giving ourselves away!

    We have a team that oversees our Better in Action Initiative that encourages individuals to find ways they can make things better for others. We celebrate those activities and even encourage them with grants to help fund them. And fo the company we have our own charity called Better for Kids that serves orphans in Egypt and Ethiopia currently.

    Sure makes selling green beans and toilet paper a little more purposeful! Thanks for this great post.

    Todd Harrison
    PureFUN!, Inc.

    • Jon Gordon

      That’s excellent Todd!

  • Joan De Winne

    As a trainer I contribute for a tomorrows better world for everybody in helping managers at all levels to take responsibility of  their own personal leadership skills and purpose so that the people they are suppose to lead are happy and are able to find also their purpose in the job. I consider it as trowing a stone in the water and the ripples this provokes will touch more and more people.

  • Emily Calhoun

    I’m entering my 24th year of ministry as a music teacher: 19 years in public schools and beginning my 5th in a private school. My bigger purpose has always been relationships, loving the students and families God places in my life with His unconditional love, to the best of my ability. (Michael’s “Project Management and Herding Cats” blog is especially applicable to my life!). Each child is God’s unique creation; I love meeting and getting to know each and every one! Excellence is one of my core values. The discipline of musical study provides a great way to experience hard work with creative fun. My hands are tied in that I am usually not able to openly share my Christian faith, but I pray that my students, their families and my co-workers see Jesus in me every day.

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks Emily. Living your faith and being an intentional example is so important.

  • Sherri

    “God is always at work in the world” Henry Blackaby said that in Experiencing God and it’s so true. He doesn’t separate life into sacred and secular as we are so prone to do. All of it belongs to him and his bigger plan is redeeming all of creation. Because of that we can know that our bottom-line purpose is to glorify God and to be his heart and hands to the world every day. The specifics of that will look different to each of us depending on our place of service – and for a Christian, everywhere we go is a place of service. It should give us a new perspective on coincidence (no such thing) and interruptions (God’s agenda, not ours). It will also take us out of our comfort zone to a place where we must depend on him. I believe that God is leading our community to address specific needs in ways that will require various churches – and even denominations! – to work together. To encourage that, develop interest and provide a point of contact and beginning, I have started a blog about Christian service and what that means. Funny, because I am not computer savvy at all. I’m probably one of the four people on the planet that doesn’t have a Facebook page or twitter – yet! The blog is simple, basic, and needs to grow and evolve, but for me it is a step of obedience, right where I am now. I believe that God will honor it, help me to grow, and use it to pull us together for his purpose. Can’t wait to find out exactly how he’s going to use us! 

    If you would like to check out my blog, I welcome any comments and suggestions from those of you who know what you’re doing. I am so thankful to God that he takes what little we have to offer and makes it something beautiful. How many times each day does he do that for each of us? Thank you for this post. God is using you to validate and encourage us!

  • Chad M. Smith

    This reminded me of a talk by Tim Keller (Redeemer Prebyterian, NYC). 

    Here’s the link (not a sponsor site in any way connected to myself): talks a lot about faith and work. He springboards off Martin Luther’s concept of work as masks of God. The article says, “God could easily give us His gifts without our help but it is through our works that He wishes to involve, train and include us as part of the family.“God doesn’t have to do it that way but He is. He’s loving you through other people’s work. He goes as far as to say that the baker and the farmer in work is God in disguise. These are the masks of God. God is loving you and distributing His gifts through work,” said Keller.Regarding the way God speaks to us about work in the life of Jesus, Keller says, “There is no menial work. Jesus came not as a philosopher, not as a general. He came as a carpenter. The Bible says that all works matter to God. All works. Not just works that make money.”

    This book sounds like a great addition to the ongoing and increasing conversation happening about faith and work.

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks Chad.

  • Andrea

    This post is such great timing.  I recently (about two hours ago) was contemplating how I could help a situation brewing in my company’s HR department.  This confirmed for me the need for me to act!  To make my mission helping others right where I am.  Thanks for this great article and encouraging words.

    • Jon Gordon

      Glad to hear it Andrea.

  • revitupmethodist

    As a United Methodist minister, I hope to be told “well done, good and faithful servant” at the end. I hope to be obedient and use the talents given me to make an impact in this world.

  • Susangoddard

    I agree with what he is saying!  Our group sings to nursing home 3-4 times a year. It lightens their world and they really don;t care if we are on tune or not.  (usually we are) but we go around and see the residents afterwards & the touch is important. I also look after my grand son and try to instill christian values in him he will soon be 5/  I think these things are important as going around the world. It is something I can do here at home!!

    • Jon Gordon

      Exactly. For some mission work calls them to travel and go abroad. For others, we don’t need to wait for a trip. We have a mission field right here… where we work, in our homes, in our schools, in every interaction we have each day.

  • K.C. Hartman

    This is my year of “Self Discovery”. At 51 years old I have lost 45 lbs, quit smoking, started a process of finding out who I am supposed to be  in/under/through God. I am working Dave Ramsey Baby Steps which has led me to a new and interesting Mentors, Such M. Hyatt and others. I am interested in seeing what purpose God has for me from this point forward…..

    • Jon Gordon

      That’s great KC. Go for it!

  • Writechance

    Everyday I work in the studio leading singers as we create vocals that will market a product or support a ministry.  It would seem on the surface that my job is about music, but I don’t see it that way at all anymore.  Over time, I’ve realized that my calling is not about singing – singing is the vehicle.  What thrills me is that I consistently help to draw out the very best in a singer, to help them sing in a way that they never thought they could.  To see a novice take giant steps forward in just minutes because of a few adjustments I taught them – to see a professional break down a barrier they were utterly convinced was there – that’s my job and my gift.  I love every minute of it – because it’s really not about singing at all, it’s about drawing out the hidden potential in a person.


  • Kwcurrie

    As an educator/principal, I have tried to raise each person’s awareness of his own dignity. I do this by learning every one’s name: student and parent. I listen to criticism and try to hear the part of it that is true. I give each teacher input into areas that affect their teaching and their classes. To me this is the first step to open the door to say to someone, “You were made in God’s image; live like it.”

  • wendy

    I am a church secretary. On any given day I talk with pastors and executives, co-workers, homeless people, community volunteers, my dad stops by on a good day, the janitorial crew, contractors around the building doing work, moms & kids, members, tenants, ministry leaders, Walt the UPS guy and I’m sure I’ve left a few out.

    On any given day, I have the opportunity to listen, smile, remember our last conversation, pray quietly, direct, go between, help by offering a skill, hurt for someone, joke and laugh and love. The most important of course is love! My job is the same as anyone else’s full of frustration and bad days turn into bad weeks, however I choose to see the opportunity (it does take a while sometimes), you never know what kind of difference you can make!

  • Ed Ruff

    Thanks for the great message!

    • Jon Gordon

      And thank you for reading. : )

  • Brenda Causey

    Several years ago, I had a lot of these same thoughts.  I felt guilty that I didn’t want to go on a mission to another country.  I got the message that I was not a “true” Christian if I didn’t sell everything and move my family to Africa.  Then God spoke to my heart and revealed to me my true “mission field.”  The people right there all around me.  My husband, my children, my extended family, my actual neighbors, and all the people I come into contact with at the grocery store, mall, church, post office, or school.  Since then, it has been so rewarding to share food, to give of my time to an elderly neighbor, to make baby blankets, to give special homemade items to someone who is down, and anything else I am able to do that may help someone.  One person can’t help everyone, but if everyone helped someone there wouldn’t be so many hurting people.  People all around us just need a kind word sometimes.  We have an opportunity to show them the light that God has shed abroad in our hearts.  My bigger purpose as a mother and aspiring writer, is to be a healthy part of the body of Christ.

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks for being an inspiration to others Brenda.

  • Paula Davis

    I work as a support staff memeber at a behavioral health clinic for children. The office can be chaotic and the job can seem thankless. But I have an opportunity to bring a change to the office by maintaining a calm and patient attitude. Adding a smile for my co-workers and clients can make bigger difference than many of us give creedence to. The other “silent” difference is made through the prayers I offer for the clients and their families. Sadly many of them have faced extreme emotional and physical abuse beyond what I can fathom and only our Heavenly Father can truly make that ultimate difference in their lives. Bringing each precious life before Him is the peace I can contribute.

  • Tracy

    I am a middle school teacher, and am helping 11-14 year olds discover how to be the person they were created to be by helping them see what their strengths are and how to use their weaknesses to make them better. I look for students (and teachers and administrators) that need encouragement and try to give it to them with a smile, or uplifting words. I try to challenge all the students to read more and learn new words to express their thoughts and feelings. 

    • Jon Gordon

      Good for you Tracy! I love working with schools and students. We even have a initiative called Perhaps you might find something useful there.

  • Josh Sells

    As a Chick-fil-A restaurant owner, I feel as my purpose is to develop leaders in today’s society. Selling chicken is just my vehicle, by which I do that. I Bethune chance to work with so many young people, and I hope to teach them to make good decision and realize their ultimate purpose in life.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I heard Dan Cathy, President and COO of Chick-fil-A, recently describe the business as “a ministry disguised as a chicken operation.” I loved that!

    • Jon Gordon

      That’s a great way to position it. Our product or service is just the vehicle!

  • Vsbrowning

    My mission is to facilitate growth. As the Director of Training for a building products manufacturer, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to bring passion, motivation, and purpose to audiences around the U.S. and Canada. Every day I have the opportunity to discuss individual branding and what impact our choices have upon the legacy we will leave behind.

    Shane Browning
    Director of Training
    Associated Materials, Inc

  • Craig Owens

    The bigger purpose I’m working toward is helping others get over the same hurdle I had to overcome. (Hopefully I can help them do this better than I initially did!) When I first felt like God called me to be a pastor, I had other pastors ask me, “Why do you want to be in ministry now?” And I was a bit stumped for awhile. And then it hit me: I’ve ALWAYS been in ministry! Just because I didn’t have the title “pastor,” didn’t mean I couldn’t be ministering. That was so liberating for me, and so I’m working hard to help others grasp this concept too. I think Jon’s book would be an excellent resource to help me in this.

    • Jon Gordon

      Great perspective Craig. Thank you!

  • Soumangue Basse

    Michael I definitely agree with you. I am a LT & a C-130 Search Rescue Pilot w/ the US Coast guard and I truly believe my purpose is to protect our homeland at the same time keep drugs off the street.  Everyday I suit up in my uniform, I get excited that I get to serve a greater purpose.  Thanks for posting this wonderful post.


    • Jon Gordon

      Thank you!

  • Mike McGinnis

    Joy in the clouds!  Simple as that. No need for big words. Blue Skies, Puffball Clouds, Brilliant Sunlight. Helping others experience the magnificence of God’s creation even if they don’t realize it.

    Helping people get on their planes and on their way into the angels’ playground. That’s what I do :)

  • Rtrettevik

    Great stuff. Great timing for me. I needed a reminer of the greater purpose in my work.
    I am am the CFO of a company that provides assisted living services to seniors living in our communities. I see my job as a privilege and stewardship to help our residents live the final years of their lives finish strong, living with dignity and meaning.

    • Jon Gordon

      Thank you!

  • Sonya

    Educate. Empower. Enrich. That is the vision I believe God has instilled in me to help others. I passionate about nutrition and encouraging and teaching others how to make  educated decisions about their diet and lifestyle. So often people get caught up in their busy schedules and just don’t make the time to take care of themselves. Not to mention the plethora of information out there about what to eat and what not to eat can be overwhelming. Empowering people with nutrition education can help enrich their lives!

  • Bleger

    I am helping build the kingdom of God. By God’s grace, I can be the leader He wants me to be as I lead His people to live up to their full kingdom potential.

  • Doug Osness

    Great stuff again from Jon. Life is bigger than us. Find your God-given purpose and fulfill it.

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks Doug.

  • Todd Burkhalter

    The work that we do is much bigger than just financial planning as many think of that topic. I truly believe that the work that we engage in with our clients helps families stay together with greater happiness. When someone has a grip on their personal finances it permeates throughout their life. They maintain less stress, thus impacting their marriage and their relationship with their children. In addition, we teach to Give, Save and Live promoting trusting God with the money has has entrusted us with gaining stronger faith and spiritual maturity.

  • Dale Aceron

    As a Father to 4 and a Pastor to many, I feel as though the bigger purpose that I am working towards is helping other parents in their struggles in parenting. I have a range of kids from age 4 all the way to age 16 and so I have been through some things that many of our younger parents have still yet to encounter.

  • Jontcarter

    Simple as it may sound, my family has a boat and we use that boat to teach others to ski. I cannot tell you how many kids we have taught to ski and what a mission it has been. Also, it is something the kids learn and never forget that positive moment. Sounds simple and it is.

    • Jon Gordon

      That’s great! Simple is very powerful, especially in such a complex world.

  • Luci

    When I was younger, I thought I was going to do something big to change the world. I spent long hours researching “important” jobs, to try and find my life’s calling, but to no avail. Went through college, got married, and was still waiting for God’s sign. I decided to try things that sounded interesting,hoping I’d get an “a-ha” moment. No luck. My husband and I had seven years of togetherness before we decided to have kids. Part of this was my concern that, as twins run in my family, we were going to have our hands full if we did have kids. As I figured, we had twins. As I’m sure has happened with many parents, once we held those little bundles of joy, it was all over. I never did get that “a-ha” moment, but over the years, I’ve come to realize that  it doesn’t matter WHAT job I do, but what I do in my life that makes a difference in the world. And my biggest priority is those twin boys. We had a difficult pregnancy, and weren’t sure they would even survive, but I think that made us realize all the more how precious they were, and how my “calling” was to raise them the best way we knew how. To be a positive influence on them, and our little corner of the world, and to raise them to become young men that would positively influence others, and keep the tradition going. It all fits so well, (and is so clear to me this father’s day): we know that this is our mission, and I can already see the fruits of it as my sons are working long hours as camp counselors this summer, making the world a better place for the next generation.

    • Jon Gordon

      Thanks Luci. I speak a lot about The Root and The Fruit. You have it nailed. When we focus on the root, we produce better fruit.

  • Deb Mills-Scofield

    As a consultant I work with many executives on strategy & innovation. My “work” is my passion. By helping leadership teams provide focus and direction and create cultures of innovation, they are also freeing their people to pursue their passions. As the company grows and succeeds, it can hire more people, providing jobs & opportunities and the cascading economic impacts, it can provide more to their communities (I ask my clients to match 10% of my fee and give that away to improve lives), and through changing the culture becomes a fabulous place to work. It is very exciting to see this happen…to see the creativity, the freedom, the empowerment employees feel which is a virtuous cycle. With 1 client, the janitor at at a plant noticed that toilet paper usage was up and felt free to tell that to the General Manager (which is amazing in itself) who then investigated what was happening, realized there were some issues with machines causing more downtime so people were taking more breaks and going to the bathroom, which led to a cuture in the plant of looking for “leading indicators” in strange places. The janitor’s job wasn’t just to clean, but to be a problem solver!

    As a Messianic Jew, my purpose with my work is to show the love of Ha Shem and Yeshua to my clients, By earning their respect and trust, and friendship, I am able to talk with them about meaning and purpose at work on a different level which many times gets them to view their employees differently (as someone G-d made & loves) and prayerfully may bring them closer to or create a new relationship with Yeshua/Jesus Christ. That is the most rewarding of all.

    Lastly, my children see how “mommy” has integrated work with passion and faith.

  • Jeanie

    I’m working with a team of people from a variety of faith traditions, some clergy, but many laity, who desire to get rid of predatory lending in our state–the state of Missouri.  With an APR of as high as 1995% we are the worst state in the union for this kind of lending!  Our legislature sees no need for reform (why would they? 4 big banks are pouring money into their campaigns!) to regulate this industry.  We did away with the usury laws that were in place prior to 1980’s.  Now the most vulnerable of our citizens are being sucked into debt spirals that have heavy costs!  It is gratifying work –to fight against uphill odds to work for the benefit of our society!

  • Binsurobinson

    i will pass the free offer ..but i like what u said …dont wait to go to Africa to begin living on purpose …
    maybe this is a good year to start !! NOW !!

  • Denise

    I run a large church’s nursery.  I have approximately 35 staff, 10 volunteers, maybe 300  parents/grandparents/guardians, and twice as many children 5 and under that I feel I am helping to know God and see Jesus in everything around them.  So I don’t think I need to find a higher purpose in my work.  But there is one. It’s God’s higher purpose: to keep ME closer to Him.  Many people can do my job.  But I think God put me here because I see God best through young children.  Without this job, I would struggle so much more trying to follow Him. 

  • Tim Geoghegan 

    Finding purpose has been my aim now for 4 years> I always told people I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. The reality was that I was not sure what I was supposed to be doing with my life. There were a lot of possibilities open to me and yet I was nearly paralyzed by this issue of purpose. I didn’t want to live a meaningless life and by worrying about it I found that was exactly the path I was headed down.

    I began to see that my purpose was to help other people become the best they could be, and by doing so I was much more fulfilled in my own life. I had found my purpose, to serve others in my field. It was both liberating and exhilerating. The really interesting thing is that now I have many more lucrative and influential oppotunities available to me that I never would have had, had I not found my purpose and lived it out.

  • Chris Gambill

    The bigger purpose in my life is to continually help people remember and respond to the reality of God. God has blessed me thus far by allowing me to do that in a full-time ministry capacity. But I know that even if I wasn’t a pastor, it would still drive what I did and how I lived my life. I count it a privilege that my work, calling, and purpose are all entwined. 

  • Cheryl Trowbridge

    I teach K-6 Art and I freely share my lesson ideas and tips for teaching on my blog:  My bigger purpose is to inspire creativity in children and in the adults who teach them!

  • Jonathan Schmitt

    As a pastor and college administrator, my purpose is to help other men and women find their true purpose as well. I am a guide who helps unleash the potential of others.

  • Pingback: Working for a Bigger Purpose « Simple Moments()

  • B_Schebs

    I am towards the purpose of allowing people to connect everyday.

  • Pingback: Resources, Links and Downloads for The Seed | Jon Gordon's Blog | Developing Positive Leaders, Organizations and Teams()

  • Mara Walker

    My purpose is to be a “lump of love and respect” for all of God’s creatures and to bring to people the light of God….

  • Sgmcneil

    My bigger purpose is to nurture and support my children so they can be happy adults.

  • Ssemrau

    I love jon Gordon – I wish I know what employers in the GrandRapids/Lansing/Battle Creek, Michigan area were using his teachings so that I could go work there!!

  • Colin

    As a musician, music producer and educator for 18 years, my primary aim has always been encouraging and empowering people through what I teach or the time that I spend working with them. I feel so lucky to have such a great medium to work with – within the pursuits of learning and creating music are so many principles that can equally be applied across to everyday life. The nature of my work affords me the opportunity to initiate these conversations and get my students and clients thinking about these things in a sphere beyond music and finding their own solutions and making adjustments to their lives. This is undoubtedly the most rewarding part of my job. 
    As from next year, I’m moving to Malaysia to start a music school that has a syllabus designed to maximise learning opportunities for different learning styles and to integrate new and emerging technologies – but the core vision remains the same – to be empowering people to grow. 

    • Emily Calhoun

      Colin, let’s talk! I’m also a music educator and our views are very similar. Our school is one of the first to give every student an iPad, so we can share some technology ideas as well. Emily 

  • Jeff Randleman

    I’m a youth minister.  My purpose is to reach teens with the Good News of Jesus Christ. 

  • Banne53

    With our purpose, we find the reason for our existence, thus begin a passionate life with focus, dicipline and determination.

  • Bobbi

    I truly believe me life purpose is to bring joy to everyone I’m in contact with either personally, professionally or spiritually (it all comes back to this one.)

  • VMouton

    In the business world, I have always believed you should enjoy what you do day in and day out. I’ve never taken a job that I couldn’t visualize that being the case. You’re right, you don’t have to feed the homeless to find that greater purpose. One of my favorite experiences came as a Realtor in the joy of finding my clients the perfect house at whatever stage of life they were in. Nothing like it!

    At home, my greater purpose is to show my children how to enjoy life and learn from life’s experiences. Our oldest child has Down Syndrome, so talk about some great teachable moments! He, alone, was the reason for my paradigm shift to thinking this way to begin with when he was born 14 years ago:-)

  • Theresa ‘Caplinger’ Harris

    I’m still working on my goal of becoming a health psychologist, but while I work on the recognizable part of my dream I am compelled to help others feel good about all the steps they take to become healthier mentally, physically, emotionally. -It’s easy to set a health goal, achieve it and feel great. I believe each victory along the way, each baby step in the right direction should be celebrated. My purpose is to provide inspiration and practical ways to make small changes to reach big goals, to feel great about right direction and not just crossing the finish line, to find beauty in the mundane.

  • Jeff Mc Clung

    I am the Children’s Pastor at High Desert Church. The heartbeat of HDC Kids is to help parents take on the primary role in the spiritual development of their kids. When this happens our families will become the world-changers their Oikos desperately needs them to be. With the business of life and the influences of the world, parents can easily lose focus on what matters most. High Desert Church desires to help parents help their families by guiding them into meaningful worship of God, together in meaningful relationships with each other, and nurturing a meaningful role in their lives so that they will be mobilized to demonstrate God’s love to a broken world.

  • Dana Doyle

    What a great, thought provoking post!

  • Jennyferlv

    My bigger purpose is still unfolding to me.  I feel like all these amazing energy forces have suddenly been dropped into my lap.   A conversation with one of my bosses leads me to the Jon Gordon weekly emails which amaze me all the time.   They help me question the kind of leader I am and that I want to become.  Someone else suggests a book that will tie into something Jon says which then ties into a situation that I encounter.  Everything is so interrelated.  Sometimes we are on our path and can’t see it because we are looking too hard or can’t believe that is it ours path to take.   I feel like I am gathering all this knowledge to help others, to motivate them to a better person than they were yesterday.  It is all about starting small and then a year later – all those small steps have moved you miles.   Just this past week I stepped out of my comfort zone to suggest that we start a company library.  Why keep such good reads like the Seed and the Energy Bus to a few people.  You never know until you talk to people if they would be interested in finding the joy that is their given right.  I hope this is just the beginning of how I can touch people’s lives. 

  • Cs

    The problem that I see in so many people I work with is that they live compartmentalized lives. Each day they work in many of those compartments and these are only linked by how one compartment affects another. They have the work compartment, family, church/religious, school, other friends, and personal compartments, to name a few. This results in having a purpose for each one, instead of focusing on the single purpose to which God has called them. When we are focussed on God’s call, all of life comes together around it and it impacts everything life.

  • Heather

    My bigger purpose…is the LITTLE things! As a school administrator, the “atta girls,” the warm smiles that greet people each morning, and the two simple words..that mean SO much…Thank You! Thanks to Jon’s many insightful books..I have been inspired to send a daily email to my staff…a quote and a “little explanation” of why I picked it was sent every night. I did this EVERY day for 180 days…every day of the 2010-2012 school year. As my first year as principal, this made such a positive impact for my campus and built many NEW relationships….since they were paying the POSITIVITY forward by passing it on to their other friends! In all, my BIGGER purpose…is definitely taking the TIME for the little things! ;)

  • Paul Davidson

    As a missionary who recently returned from overseas, I was able to work with many volunteer teams over the summers.  Time and time again I discovered that many of those who came over to work alongside us were not really living the same radical life at home on a daily basis like they were on a foreign soil.

    After much prayer, I am now back stateside mobilizing the American church to “live sent” on a daily basis.  As many others have said previously in their comments, it’s all about living out our faith on a daily basis, realizing we have a missional God, and that we are “sent out” ones just as God sent himself, the Son, to the world.

    This sentness has transformed my purpose in the last 2 years and I absolutely love it!

  • Teresa

    I’m a mom who ministers to my family and also to other moms in the throes of raising young children. As a Speaker/Parent Motivator I share authentically about the good, the bad and the sometimes overwhelming events that parents experience daily. Often I get caught up in the expectation that I should be doing more; expanding my speaking territory, my platform, etc., but after every presentation there’s a mom or two that help ground me in reality by offering their heart-felt gratitude for what I was bold enough to share. The occasional email that tells me what a huge difference I’ve made in someone’s family life always stops me cold — and reminds me that my purpose is right in front of me, and I’m fulfilling it one mom at a time.  Thanks for the wonderful post that gives feet to everyday purpose.

  • Cindie Thomas

    I am a Life Coach and love helping women find their unique calling…I am passionate about wanting them to see that God does have a plan for their life and that they can live their lives seeking to serve Him in every way. I believe it is important to give 100% of yourself in all that you do and to do it all for His glory.

  • Nomixformula

    The bigger purpose for which I am working?  A way to share my time,
    talent and energies… connecting with others through my heart and sharing the
    joy that I feel of gratitude, a life of purpose,  faith, thankfulness  and surrender.

    The bigger purpose for which I am working?  A way to share my time,
    talent and energies… connecting with others through my heart and sharing the
    joy that I feel of gratitude, a life of purpose,  faith, thankfulness  and surrender.


  • Kim Derrick

    My purpose is to have a lasting, positive impression on my children, biological and otherwise.  In teaching them to do the small things of being helpful to others, kind to all, and giving of their time and energy to make their corner of the world a better place, we are paying forward all the generosity that has been granted to us. 

  • Anonymous

    I’m currently an area director for a discipleship ministry in St. Pete, Fl. My bigger purpose has nothing do with me. There are numerous things that I want to accomplish. However, I know that at times they are all just worldly. I want to raise up a generation for Christ in St. Pete, Fl that at this moment doesn’t exist. I think it’s possible to do it by winning over one kid at a time. My biggest purpose is denying myself and taking up my cross daily and hopefully having a few people watching my every move.

  • Jobaker

    My larger purpose at this time in my life is nurture the students I teach…to let them feel loved and to know that someone does care about them.

  • Senoraallen

    This is at the root of what I want to get across to my students!  They each have something to contribute to the world, no matter how small their sphere.  Thank you for this!

  • Rich Beery

    I am a healthcare professional who has been employed, unemployed, self-employed, re-employed and now again self-employed over a span of thirty-plus years. It seems to me that Paul’s admonition in Col. 3:23 to “work as to the lord” is solid advice no matter what our employment situation. We always are working for some higher purpose. Even though we may see our “work” simply as a way to meet our own financial needs, we are working for someone else -unless we are self-employed – to meet the needs of others. I believe that in as much as we are meeting the needs of others in what we do, no matter what that may be, we are working toward a higher purpose.
    We must always consider ourselves to be hands and feet for God to work His will in the world no matter what that “work” is.

  • Scott M.

    As an auditor, I am often looked upon an the Internal Affairs within my company and out to get everyone.  While my official purpose is to make sure everyone is doing what they should, I believe my bigger purpose is to try to highlight and recognize integrity within the workplace.  I work for a large company that has been posting significant losses for the past few years and the desire for people to take short-cuts is immense.  I love my job and the opportunities I have to change perceptions and treat clients as people rather than suspects.  I had opportunity to join a mission in Africa and felt guilty to not taking it, but their is a mission for me here as well.

  • Catherine Garnett

    Working with purpose and intention is so important for a fulfilling life. No matter what your job, I believe that cheerfully giving your best to your work contributes to the greater good of those around you and shares the spirit of giving that Jesus would encourage us to do. Giving someone a smile or lending a hand with a challenging project is just as important as giving money or traveling on mission work. All needs, whether large or small, are important to God – and should be important to us. I happen to work at an advertising agency, which some would see as simply helping companies make money. But my coworkers often come together to offer our talents to help when we see a need. We recently volunteered our time and talents and launched a line of t-shirts we designed to help raise money for tornado victims. And once a year we work around the clock for 24 hours to provide free marketing services to non-profits because we decided as a company that giving back to our community is part of our purpose. While it’s necessary to work to live in our society, the kind of work we do doesn’t have to define us. If we truly LIVE with purpose and ACT with intention, then we live a life that makes a difference to those around us, and that makes for a very rewarding life.

  • Pam McDonald

    I work in leadership development in the world of wildland fire where an enemy, fire, seems to intoxicate its victims–the firefighter. These dedicated men and women perform admirable roles to protect life and property as best they can under incredible circumstances. A true sense of purpose brings happiness to many. However, for some the price paid in balancing family can be high.  My purpose is to provide pathways for firefighters to realize a sense of balance between a defined purpose and an addiction to the job and or power of the position.

  • Pam McDonald

    A special thanks to Billy Schmidt, FireGroundWorks blog, for referring me to this site and to Michael for always showcasing great leadership publications.

  • Bdeegan


  • Bdeegan

    The bigger purpose for me is sharing my knowledge with those in my life.  I believe that sharing this knowledge helps me lead them to better oral health.  Since this is mydailygoal I find great reward when my patients get excited at their subsequent visits.  We celebrate these achievements.
    Additionally, I share the benefits of the power of prayer to St. Jude whatever your need as you will find the answer.

  • Bonnie

    I’m working on a 40 year goal of turning acres of green space overrun with noxious weeds  in my neighborhood into a food forest.  I’ve just started.  I measure my success in five foot increments.  When I’m done, children and adults will walk into an area noisy with wildlife and lush with food. 

  • Sarahlynncreative

    My purpose: to  be Jesus to everyone I come in contact to. To call forth people’s stregths and help them find their destiny, strength and passions.

  • amykmac

    Great post! As someone who has always worked, lived & breathed in the non-profit world, it’s easy for me to identify my purpose in work. Many of my friends in the for-profit world get discouraged because they don’t think they have purpose but I tell them just what you say here: that they can have incredible impact just by loving the people they work with & serve everyday. Great post! God bless!

  • Lynse

    I am a woman with many purposes- some fulfilled, some in progress, and some still waiting to be known.  I have four grown sons, three grandchildren, two siblings and a parent who is bedridden.  I have been an educator, counselor, and educational administrator for 30 years.  In addition to the responsibilities that this  entails, I work FT as a director of special education managing the education needs of approx 700 students and 60 staff members.  As I ponder your question, it provokes a variety of responses.  My purpose revolves around being true to myself and the reflection of my beliefs no matter what direction my life takes each day.  Whether it leads me to deal with difficult parents, students, colleagues or supervisors, whether it means contacting doctors, hospitals or nurses for my ill parent, consulting with my siblings about family matters, talking to the annoying telemarketers on the phone at suppertime or simply rocking my grandchild at the end of the day, these people are the ones that have been placed in my path. EACH of them becomes my purpose for that moment in time and it is my words, deeds and actions that will determine the outcome. 

  • James R. Hepler

    If it can be said on the day of my funeral the things that I have listed, to my daughters and grandchildren, in an overly crowded funeral home, they can say, “he lived for the bigger purpose in life”. If my friends say to my family, “your dad: had prayer with my mother before her surgery; visited my parents in the nursing home; taught my sunday school class;gave me food when I was hungry; showed me how to live a christian life; led me to Christ; forgave me; always spoke to me; always found the good in me; was a great example and encouragement at church; was the most unselfish person I have ever known; saved our marriage; loved unconditionally; placed God first in his life; trusted in God when life was hard; lived his life  as a sermon and loved his family”. If this can be said, maybe my children and grand children will also live their lives with the bigger purpose in mind.

  • Donna

    My bigger purpose is fashioning a home, building relationship, with my three daughters, so that when they go out into this big, crazy world, they will have a center, an inner oasis, to turn to when they have trouble or struggles to endure. I love being a mother. Plain and simple, ordinary and honest, my work is never done but always changing. I pray for them as I flip mattresses and fold clean sheets, as I cook their dinners and wash their clothes and walk around the block with them and our dogs. I have words of inspiration up all over our home…plaques and sayings and even positive notes on a dry erase board on our fridge. I want them to go out into their lives with an evenness, a bright and beautiful spirit, and a deep down peace that will stand them in good stead no matter what they face “out there”.

  • Donna Reames Rich

    I am not sure my comment posted correctly. I will re-try. I was saying that my great life purpose is to build relationships with and create a safety net in our home for my three daughters, Zoe, Chloe and Caroline. Our home is small but happy and cozy and I try to incorporate my faith and belief in them through positive plaques, posters and even words scribbled daily on the dry erase board of our fridge. In my little ordinary, every day life as a mother to them, I pray for them, specific prayers for their lives, their hearts and futures…whether I am folding sheets, picking up Barbies, or helping with homework, my goal is that I am creating a sense of stability and safety that will stand them in good stead as they grow up and venture out intot he the world around them.  I once longed to be a missionary. I actually was a missionary to the Philippines long, long ago, but now my mission is to three young girls who need my heart the most, who look to me for guidance, who believe in me one hundred percent as I believe in them. Mothering : simple and homely, ordinary and honest. I am not Superwoman but I am a Mother and that comes pretty darn close in my book.

  • Lwwarfel

    I’m working at Olivet Nazarene University, helping to prepare Christians to make a difference for God in our world.

  • Amy Crawford

    I have the privilege of being a teacher.  With this incredible privilege comes a huge responsibility to be constantly mindful of the words I use when I speak to students and the manner in which I say them.  Because of the unique potential each child brings to this world, and because I’m a believer in the power of influence teachers have in the lives of their students, I founded a faith-based non-profit organization that reaches over 1,600 influencers each year at an annual event at the Tennessee Theatre.  My big dream is to see all teachers across this country to fully know, appreciate, and understand their calling to be positive influencers in the lives of young people. 

  • Melissa Hager Leembruggen

    I have found that in my part-time teaching job at a community college I have tremendous purpose in helping my diverse students of all ages to become more thoughtful and competent communicators. But I’ve been struggling with my purpose as the owner of a business (its complicated). And then I have purpose with my family as a wife and mother. But then I am a little confused about my hobby/sport.

    So for me I like what you said in a reply comment a few days ago, “Purpose should not be compartmentalized.” It really should transcend the priority areas I’ve been identifying during my life plan activities from Michael Hyatt’s ebook. So hmmmm, maybe some things just got a little clearer. Thanks.

  • Renata

    Life and work can become mundane and routine IF we let it. 

    Everyday I begin my morning by reading my devotional and praying that I see people in this dying world through the loving eyes of Jesus.  Little things, that seem insignificant to most, are the genuine kindnesses that make an eternal impact.  I have discovered these priceless gems to be a warm smile to a stranger we pass or lending a helping hand in carrying groceries for an elderly neighbor.  I pray that God reveal to me a new jewel of joy to give to others and show the love of Jesus. 

    In doing so, I took notice of a homeless lady always in the same location on my way home in obvious desperate need of love and help.  Being I always took half my work lunch home as leftovers, I now thought of her instead.  Every evening I cook it up before I leave and give her a warm meal that she looks forward to.  She’s so very appreciative and I continue to pray for her and her circumstances.

    So the “bigger purpose for which I am working” is actually the discovering these “little treasures of infinite love” that bestow immeasurable love and joy to a helpless, lost world. :-)

  • Magesh Sargunan

    Innovative marketing concept adopted. However I ‘m not writing this comment to win over ur book. I find it very meaningful & interesting to see our work in an altogether different perspective. I tried hard for finding one for me & finally ended up as ‘Since I work in an Automobile firm as Cost Reduction Specialist, my bigger purpose in life is to ensure developing new vehicles which will emit less to help reducing pollution levels & saving and keeping our environment clean. Going Green way”


  • Pam Gray

    To make an investment in the lives of others.  I am God’s instrument to inspire others to lean on Jesus Christ through every aspect of their lives.  To show others how to keep their faith while going through any type of adversity.

  • Seth

    As a student minister, I am striving to grow students in the word of God! 


    My bigger purpose is loving people in the midst of their brokenness. As a marriage & family therapist my desire is to help people as they process their pain and hurt and emerge a healthy and hopeful person in Christ.  I am living my bigger purpose and there is so much freedom in knowing that I am using my occupation to glorify God. 

  • Chris

    As a father, husband and professional I have multiple levels of “working”.  My professional life puts me face to face with small business owners across the United States.  My purpose for working is to be assured that their business is profitable enough to have meaning.  Small business owners know their customers, their products and their goals but many times they have trouble maximizing their efforts on the right prospects and customers.  I come in to be sure they invest their time, effort and resources on ideas that will immediately impact their bottom line so at the end of the day their business brings happiness to them and their family through a sense of worth, accomplishment and profitability.

  • Laurabo

    This sounds like a great book and I would love a chance to read it.

  • Shonaneff

    OK, so here’s one more comment in the already overflowing cup of abundance :)

    This concept is SO simple it is profound in today’s world where doing things in a grandiose manner seems like a must. I see people much younger than me with established writing and speaking career . . . I’m just getting started and my life it half over as far as age.

    But, I spent many years raising kids. What an important ministry I had within the confines of four walls. I didn’t  need to jet to the four-corners of the world to show God’s compassion and kindness to the world, I did it with the children I was blessed with.

    There are people called to travel the world for God, but equally important are the people in our own circles.

    Again, some of the most profound principles are the hardest to grasp because they are so easily overlooked.

  • Jenny2229

    “What if work wasn’t just work? What if work was a vehicle to live and share a bigger purpose?” = Great Stuff here. Wish we could all think like this 24/7 as we should. Keep it up!  –

  • Steve Blumer

    I’m a pastor and the challenge is to “professionally” be all that the bible says to be and to be all that I preach others to be.  Success for pastors seem to be attributed to how many people go to their church, etc.  I believe that people are attracted to true authentic Christianity because of the true authentic God, but that doesn’t automatically connect our workings to a certain result.  If one church has more and more people coming to Christ while another one, just as true and authentic and all that, isn’t, it makes a pastor want to leave and “Go where God is moving.”  I like how the title of the book is called “The Seed” because I’m reminded of how in the bible it talks about some people planting seeds and other people watering that seed, but it’s God who gets the increase. Finding happiness in life and work for God requires me to know that I’m doing exactly what God wants me to do and not focus on desired expected results.

  • Twitter.Com/JennyLynnSEM

    “What if work wasn’t just work? What if work was a vehicle to live and
    share a bigger purpose?” = Great Stuff here. Wish we could all think
    like this 24/7 as we should. Keep it up!

  • Jeremy Weddle

    Your line that says “You may not build libraries around the world, but you can find the bigger purpose in reading to your children” is amazing.  I thought of the new Trace Adkins song “Just Fishin” when I read your sentence.  There is indeed a bigger purpose, and when I read to my kids I’m not “just reading”.  Thanks for the post.

  • Greg

    I have struggled with this for a time, but feel like God has slowly changed my attitude to be that of a servant. I work in a cube, crunching numbers, yet my job can impact peoples’ paychecks. Therefore, I see my role as that of a servant. It’s very trite, but it is very true. I want to glorify God through the job that I do. Somedays I do a better job than others with this. Thanks for this great post, Jon.

  • Barbie

    I work at my church.  It would be easy to assume that the people I encounter every day have it all together.  That is so far from the truth.  Even in the church, there are hurting and broken people that need the loving touch of the Father on their lives.  I remember when the Lord brought me here.  I have a heart for the Body of Chirst and to use my gifts to bring hope and encouragement to others.  Whether I am serving my Pastors, working in Children’s Ministries, or ministering to others, I know that every day I have an opportunity to change lives.   It’s all for His glory!

  • Russ_hersman

    I work for a world where Bible poverty has been eradicated and where everyone has access to God’s Word in a language and medium that communicates best to them.

  • Lamzie

    I would have to say my bigger purpose would entail, sharing the love of GOD through what I do as well as what I say.  I believe it is of the utmost importance to share the love of GOD on a individual basis.   I teach character through precept and example.  I enjoy sharing JESUS by the way I treat family, friends and stangers and never based on how they treat me–all people.    I endeavor to esteem the least of us.  Loving and living for JESUS is a wonderful choice and its never to late. 

  • Linda

    As a stay at home mom for the last few years (hardest job I’ve ever had! :) , my job has been to build up the charater of my children, and lead them to live their lives.  As well, as I have found “school yard ministry” and volunteering an amazing way to connect people with Jesus.  Currently, I am looking for part time work, so I can still be focused on our family.  Any job/profession that I do I want to encourage and inspire people to live the lives that we are meant to live…God focused. 

    • Linda

      Ecclesiastes 5:19, “Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work — this is a gift from God.” (NIV)

  • Zenful83

    Without a doubt, the bigger purpose for which I work is love.  In true spirit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, we all are essentially seeking love and approval.  Too much negativity surrounds us on a daily basis, leading us to guard our hearts and build walls to keep out compassion, empathy, and genuine love.  I have worked in several different fields, finding a common thread between them all.  If you truly serve others with an open heart and allow yourself to show and let in love, your life becomes full.  Being able to bring a smile to someone’s face no matter what you’re doing for work is more rewarding than a paycheck!  I could not agree more that your work isn’t about your duties to the company but service to others with an open heart.

  • Lisa Bowen

    My ultimate goal in life is to be the greatest mom and wife I have been called to be.  Throughout my 18 years on this journey it has allowed me many adventures.  From staying at home with my three children when they were young, supporting my husband throughout his career and education, becoming a non-traditional student (at thirty something) and recently becoming a college graduate. My purpose remains the same and gives me the strength to continue to face hurdles and obstacles that stand in my way. I am now working full time in the work force with the desire to network non-profits with individuals and companies that want to share their wealth.  I have no idea what that looks like but I do know that my purpose at the end of the day no matter what has happened is to love my husband and my children.

  • Ramp

    Chinese proverb: ‘When the wind of change blows, some people build walls, but others build windmills.’ I strive all the time to accept change and steer and make the most of it in my own personal life.Being in the line of making change happen & promote excellence as a full time job, I come  across people who just hate change and think not appreciated enough in what they do.
    From what I’ve read in this blog post I’d be very interested in reading more about what Jon Gordon has to say in this book.

  • Tim McGee

    I love it. I am right there with you. I talk about this all the time with my friends, family, and at church. There is so much we can be doing right where God has put us. I really liked your perspective on how anything can become mundane if we let it. It really hits on the fact that we are in control of our perception of the world and that we can find value and meaning in everything we do as long as we are doing it for the right reasons, with life and vigor! 

    Create meaning, love dangerously, and change the world! 

  • Keith Woodruff

    Meeting peoples basic needs.  After retiring I came to my second career of ministry in  the church I had attended for 10 years and found “need” that I never knew existed.  Every day we receive phone calls and in person visits by people who tell us, “I’ve lost my job and I don’t have any food for my children.”  “If I don’t pay this utility bill today they will turn off my electric.”  “I  lost everything in a house fire.”  “I lost everything when my house flooded.”  “I don’t even have any clothes.” “I have no where else to turn.”  The “bigger purpose” stares me in the face every day and we rise to meet that need with God’s grace and provision. To know that they are important and that we care and God loves them.

  • Jmax5

    Our purpose in life is reflected in Jesus word’s when He revealed the greatest commandment, “You must Love the Lord with all your heart , all your soul, amd all your mind and a Second is equally import: Love your neighbour as yourself.”   We find purpose in life when we are “Living into others lives” with a Love like the love of God to us.   The opportunities are endless, if you just open your minds and hearts to others.  This is the way of Christianity around the world, we need to catch it here.

  • Nancy Bouwens

    Bigger purpose…for the past 11 weeks I have spent my mornings with my gravely ill sister..bathing her, rubbing her feet and caring for her very personal physical needs. We have cried and laughed together. No headlines will be written of our time together…but it is forever written within the deepest place of our spirits. This post echoes what God has shown me through this journey….he has called us each to serve ….one by one..each day each moment serving and being Jesus with skin on for those around us.

  • Heather

    Wow–thank you for putting these words on paper, so they could be read by more people. There is so much truth in what you articulated.  It’s funny how we so often think that purpose must be over and above what we do everyday, rather than present  within what’s already there.  Thanks so much!

  • Pingback: Sweat the Small Stuff » Living Life by Design()

  • Mschwartzintv

    The bigger purpose for which I am living is to help people embrace their own “innate” abilities.  I believe people overlook those things that they naturally do  because they come easily to them and therefore they discount the value.   Their is “magic” that ignites peoples passion once they discover their innate ability and learn how to apply that to their life and others they serve every day.

  • Pingback: Being Contagious | Contagious Community()

  • Pingback: Contagious Community: Being Contagious « Heather Schoegler()

  • Pingback: Leaders are Readers - 3 Books To Help You Expand Your Impact | Jeremie Kubicek()

  • Bespoke ;-)

    The purpose i  have been given is so clear , skills learnt by honest people stonemasons and fellow craftsmen . Used by greedy  businessmen  for there gain . will be provided to repair restore and protect . To feed our family’s not our lifestyle. Give what you have ! then the greedy will have no purpose .

  • Yomsy05

    I have gone through life as an Economist i discovered the basic thing is when are able to achieve your goal within the stipulated time.

  • Jennymack

    I am writing a 90 second report on my purpose with the company I work for, I am a bakery manager with a big grocery chain, and I am trying to find it, do you have any suggestions? If so please comment….anyone please…