The 3 D’s of a Purpose-Driven Life

I was watching a talk Rick Warren gave on the TED stage some years ago and he asked the question, “What’s in your hand? What are you gonna do with what you’ve been given? That to me is the primary question about life. That to me is what being purpose-driven is all about.” What are you designed to do? What do you desire to do? What do you have a unique ability to do?

Most people ask themselves these questions at some point. However, far too many proceed through life without an answer. I was having a conversation with someone a while ago about a career opportunity they were chasing and felt a strong desire to pursue. Their only concern was the difficulty of finding work and the struggles that may come through that process. I encouraged her not to ignore that pressing feeling that she felt inside. There was something in her depths that was compelling her to travel a lane that most others cannot. Thankfully, she is young enough to be able to put all of her energy into that pursuit.

No matter your age, it is important to live a purpose-driven life. When we get behind the wheel of a car we have a destination in mind. Rarely, do we get in the car and drive up and down the streets or on the highway with no aim. In fact, without the destination the drive is pointless. If we are the ones in the driver’s seat of our own lives, doesn’t it make sense to know the destination? Wouldn’t it behoove us to chart our course to the best of our ability? Wouldn’t it be of great value to know the vehicle (in this case your life) we are navigating? If the answer to these questions is yes then we should stop, examine the vehicle, learn our vehicle, and position our vehicle in the direction of our destination. That destination for each of us is the fulfillment of our purpose.

A mentor of mine, Hubert Sugira Hategekimana, has an alliterative way of helping people make sense of their lives and discover their purpose. The three components or questions he poses are: What is my design? What is my desire? What is my distinction?


Design matters! Every few weeks where I live, especially in the summer months, everyone has to move their cars to the other side of the street so that the street sweeper can clean the streets. When I see the street sweeper go by it is impossible not to notice the large spinning brushes in the front of the truck swiftly sweeping the curb and removing debris. The window juts out so that the driver can see the curb easier. The trucks are even equipped with two steering wheels so that the driver can sit on whichever side is more convenient based on the side of the street they are cleaning. The street sweeper truck is specifically designed for its intended purpose. Could you drive your kids to school in it? Maybe, but it would be best used for the purpose of cleaning streets. How physically adept you are at various tasks as well as how you are designed, built or think will guide you towards the purpose that lies within you.


One of the worst things that people say in life is, “I hate my job.” A study released in Medical Daily, indicates that 70% of US employees say they hate their job. A purpose driven life prevents passionless living. Many of us spend too much time surpressing our natural God-given desires in lieu of a guaranteed paycheck and mediocre benefits. Fulfillment in life is the result of aligning our actions with the thoughts that were in the mind of our Creator when He designed us. This requires us to seek first His truth so that we know the truth about ourselves and the purpose-filled desires that we can’t seem to shake.


Everyone on the planet is unique in some way. Apologist Jim Warner Wallace calls this your ‘unicorn status’. What’s yours? Rick Warren posed the question “What have you been given?” Oftentimes your distinction is found in your unique testimony. Sometimes it is found in your unique way of looking at a situation while others settle for the status quo. Sometimes your distinction is found when a moment presents itself where you can either fold or stand tall and speak with confidence. Sometimes opportunities allow us and others to see the unique and distinct purpose to which our lives have always been directed.

Be fearless in the pursuit of whatever sets your soul on fire.” – Unknown

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