“In order to be in control of your life, you have to have a purpose—a productive purpose.” ~ Ayn Rand, Playboy Interview
Every morning, I get out of bed. It may seem like a small, innocuous event. Yet that one small act is profound.
I could just lie there, mind blank, staring at the ceiling. I could lie there, wishing everything would just go away. I could lie there hoping to cast away the inevitable cascade of reality and wishing to escape back into my dreams.
But I don’t.
Every morning, I get out of bed because one thing – purpose. I have the reason, justification, motivation, and drive to do so. Certainly, there are mornings that are harder than others. Mornings when I just want to hit the snooze button, roll over, and fall back asleep. But ultimately, I get up. I get up because if I didn’t my life would end.
Purpose is action guided by explicitly identified values. Purpose suggests having thought through what is important and prioritizing the most important things to get done. Having purpose does not mean you are always right or always happy. But it does signify that you have intentions and objectives.
What’s more, purpose is a necessary component of life. If we choose to live, we must have purpose to guide us. Why? Because life is not guaranteed. It is something we must all continuously battle for. Action is a requirement for living. It may sound trivial, like getting out of bed, but still a truth. Without action, we would die. But not all actions are equal. Eating a medium rare steak versus eating arsenic is not equal. Swimming in a pool and swimming in a crocodile infested swamp is not equal. Thinking must guide the action for it be useful. That is precisely what purpose is. It is the reason why something is done or created.
And so, I get out of bed every morning. I get out of bed because of one reason and one reason alone – “I am alive and I wish to make the most of it.”