Weekly Impact is written for leaders by our Executive Director, Garth Jestley, who has decades of experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector. Each week he will share insights on life, leadership and faith.

Recently, I read an interesting article in the National Post about an “off-gridder” named Rob Dick. Off-gridders are men and women who choose to live disconnected from electricity, indoor plumbing and other conveniences. The lengthy article ends on the following note:

“Asked what advice he would give to someone considering going off grid, he pauses. ‘You’ve got to have a purpose…appear to be doing something that is beneficial,’ he says. He reflects on his own situation. ‘I can’t say that I’m necessarily fulfilling (my purpose), other than cleaning that wood up as I have been doing,’ he says. Where does that leave him in 20 years? ‘Dying I suppose. I don’t have a plan B.’”

Much ink has been spilled on the topic of purpose. The literature strongly supports the proposition that a purpose for living (other than simply surviving) is critical to longevity and our sense of fulfilment in life. Rob Dick acknowledges the importance of purpose then adds that he is not necessarily fulfilling his.

Rob’s comments beg the question: If a sense of purpose is critical to experiencing fulfilment, how do I determine my purpose in life? Personally, this search was what ultimately led me to an encounter with Jesus, which was the most important event of my life. Following that encounter, I have spent many years experiencing the presence of God through prayer, worship, reading the Bible and being in community with others who follow Jesus. As a result, I have discovered that his purpose for my life is far more fulfilling than anything I could have dreamt up.

Several years ago, Rick Warren, pastor and author, wrote a book entitled “The Purpose Driven Life – What on earth am I here for?” The book has sold over 30 million copies and, according to Publishers Weekly, is the “bestselling non-fiction hardback in history.” I have read it several times over the years.

In the book, Rick makes the critical assertion that a creature (us) does not determine its purpose (just as a computer does not determine its purpose). Rather, purpose is determined by the creator of us (and the computer). According to the Bible, “Everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him.(Colossians 1:16b (The Message))

As marketplace leaders, a sense of purpose is not only critical for our business success, but also our personal success.

As marketplace leaders, we are familiar with the importance of having a clear sense of direction for our businesses – purpose, mission, vision and goals. Since we are the leaders, defining the purpose of our businesses is entirely appropriate and critical to our success. Notwithstanding the numerous self-help books on the market and unlike the foregoing business analogy, however, we simply cannot invent our own purpose. The key is being in relationship with Jesus and discovering his plans and purposes for our professional and personal lives.

Exploring our purpose and other “big question” topics is what LeaderImpact is all about. Find out more about who we are to see how you can join the conversation.

Garth Jestley is a husband, father, grandfather, leader and business executive. Most importantly, he is a follower of Jesus Christ.