Are you on the right track ?

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Are you on the right track?

"Every calling is great when greatly pursued." -- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1841-1935)

Living on purpose. It's a growing, evolving process. It takes focus, clarity and regular reflection. Here's one story about a client's evolution and effort to stay on purpose.

Paul is doing some incredible things. His business bottom line is up and stronger than ever. There are new opportunities on the horizon allowing him to live his dream and in many ways he's on the leading edge in his industry.

I met Paul four years ago. He was referred to me when I was making marketing calls to businesses in my area. Paul was very interested in personal and professional development. Our first call lead to some interesting conversations and Paul subsequently participated in many classes I taught. Two years ago, Paul joined my purpose discovery workshop, resulting in his purpose statement:

"I eagerly seek to acquire and share knowledge to be of benefit to all."

Paul told me he had always wanted to be a public speaker and to him, his purpose statement was a clear reflection of this desire. By understanding this is what he naturally loved doing and sought to contribute, Paul began to shift his life and pursue his dream. We started a weekly coaching program. He also signed up for Toastmasters to hone his speaking skills and he hasn't looked back.

Paul's company is a small independent wholesale supplier of cleaning and sanitation products. You might be thinking to yourself, "That doesn't seem very glamorous. I thought you said he's doing some incredible things. He's just selling cleaning products."

Paul's business is selling cleaning products, but his real passion is infection control. He has taken it upon himself to develop an expertise in cleaning and infection control so healthy people don't get sick and sick people have a chance to heal. He's not a scientist, but Paul understands the science of infection control. His real specialty, however, is the Art of Infection Control. He's the "what to do and how to do it guy" people in his local health care community often turn to for advice.

Today, aside from running his business, Paul speaks at conferences and is connecting leading experts in the field of infection control with the front line hospital and nursing home staff across the country by leading and facilitating group TeleLectures on the phone.

Let's back up two years. Although he longed to speak in front of groups, Paul felt handicapped by a slight stutter. It wasn't until he realized what his purpose was, " acquire and share knowledge..." that despite his reticence, he decided to go for it.

Paul is developing an excellent reputation now and in just two years, is known as an "expert" in his field. He has no Ph.D. in science and doesn't really need one. He calls on others' scientific expertise when needed. He's able to make a fantastic contribution through what he knows, "The Art of Infection Control" -- how to use the Science.

Education in the Art of Infection Control is part of Paul's vehicle for touching the world. In the beginning, Paul had a lot of doubts about actually making this happen. "I need a degree," he thought. "No one will take me seriously," he told me. "I don't know how to speak to groups," etc., etc. All of these "issues" have been overcome and he is indeed living his dream. His goal of speaking and sharing his knowledge and insights aligns with who he is. It "just seems natural." When you act in alignment with your deepest drive to contribute, it never really feels like work.

Then, last week, with two years of success behind him, Paul called me and said, "I'm not sure if I'm on track or if my purpose is correct."

Sometimes even when we know the direction we want to go, we can get lost. We lose sight of our goal; we forget why we're doing something or maybe the day-to-day pressures and distractions make it seem like we're off track. Maybe we think our purpose is not big enough.

So, with this new doubt we took some time and reviewed Paul's purpose. (We only wonder if we're off track when we're in doubt, when we lose focus, when our vision is cloudy. Of course most of us don't review if we're on purpose, when we're feeling great, focused and aligned.)

This may sound simple, but in review, I asked Paul if he was still "eagerly seeking to acquire and share his knowledge". He said yes. Then I asked him to look at his drive to do this and "to be of benefit to all".

"Is this still what you are trying to do?" "Yes, it is."

"Does this purpose still reflect your deepest drive to contribute?" Another resounding "YES!"

"Then is this statement of purpose indeed still absolutely valid?" "YES!"

"Are you sure there is nothing missing or is there something else you need to add?" "No" said Paul, "I guess I wasn't really seeing things with my purpose in focus."

Paul was reconnected to his purpose.

Because of the clarity of his actions and intention, Paul is doing incredible things in all aspects of his life. His business, his church life, and his relationships all continue to grow and be aligned with his unique contribution, despite occasional feelings of doubt or distraction. Living a meaningful life, one of purpose, is an evolving process. As a matter of fact, it's a lifetime job.

SPECIAL NOTE Usually we equate success with being on purpose. But note: you can be 100% on purpose and not necessarily succeed or reach your goal. Your purpose is about your drive to contribute. It is "what you are trying to do" and at which you may or may not succeed. Purpose is the driver. In Paul's case, the driver is "to acquire and share knowledge to be of benefit to all."

Maybe he is unsuccessful in acquiring a certain nugget of knowledge or is unsuccessful in clearly sharing his knowledge. This does not mean he is not on purpose. The mere fact of attempting to acquire and trying to share knowledge shows alignment with purpose.

Sure, we all want to be successful but it is not the only criteria by which we measure your alignment with your purpose. We measure being on purpose as the process of authentically seeking to create the results you want. It is the process of being and doing and is not necessarily tied to immediate results.

Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Nelson Mandela all strived for years in the service of their purpose, often meeting with defeat after defeat. They too may have had setbacks and doubts, yet continued to keep focused on their purpose.

If you get stuck, try stepping back from the "results" and look at the bigger process. Are your actions aligned with your deepest drive to contribute and live a purposeful life? Only you know, and your answers will reveal to you if you are on purpose. You may need to make a few adjustments or maybe, if you are like Paul, just need a reminder that you are on the right track.

About the Author

Robert Knowlton is an Executive and Business Success Coach. Subscribe to my free e-newsletter, ON PURPOSE to get coaching tips and strategies for living a success-full and meaningful life. Visit my web site at:


Miss Bee 05.06.2013. 20:56

What track day for motorbikes is the best in the south of England? I want to buy my boyfriend a track day for his birthday for him to ride is sv 650. Where is the best track in the south west? What type should I get them there's a lot of opinions like format and track type? (full track, grand prix circuit ETC)Can anyone give me a in site into it. I want it to be a surprise so I can't ask him what's best. Help would be great.

Miss Bee

Admin 05.06.2013. 20:56

The South West is a big area but easily the best track that way is Castle Combe. If he's never done a track day on his bike before then he needs to do a novice session. THERE IS NO SHAME IN THIS!! He'll need to start at the beginning and build up speed, and it's much better to learn and speak with those who are the same level as you. The instructors will also give him the right level of instruction straight away.

Full track/Grand Prix etc. sounds like the actual circuit that will be used on the day. Many motor racing circuits have different circuit options built into them for different types of racing, so sometimes an event will be on the shortened circuit (this actually means more laps and therefore learning) and sometimes they'll be on a longer full GP circuit.

Anyway, link to Castle Combe below. Sure there are others but prices sound good, it's a 'proper' race track with history, it's fast and it's in the SW!


VAN 16.09.2008. 00:25

How to track a parcel from Thailand to Australia? Thailandpost can not track anything !
I hope that Australia post can track my item.



Admin 16.09.2008. 00:25

if you have a consignment number OZ post might be able to track it down as long as it's in the country


live! laugh! love! 04.08.2009. 05:58

How long before track should i start training? how long before track starts should i start training? because this is my first year trying out for the track team and idk when i should start training. so how many weeks or months before tryouts should i start training?
btw track starts in march and its august now. so when should i start training if track tryouts are in march?

live! laugh! love!

Admin 04.08.2009. 05:58

if you're serious about track then you should train every day =P


csi2girl 26.04.2009. 23:37

How should our track and field team fund raise money to have an outdoor track built at our school? Its been 4 years since the track program at our school been developed. In 2004 year there was a promise that we would have an outdoor track built in the next four years. It is now 2009 and still no outdoor track. The cost is around 400,000-600,000 dollars. So i was looking for ideas that would help us raise the money, because that money is no joke. So if you guys could come up with some ideas and suggestions i would really appreciate it!


Admin 26.04.2009. 23:37

I have a family member that is the person people call when they need to fund raise for specific projects.

He makes hoagies. Not everyone knows what a hoagie is, but it is a sub sandwich.

Food is usually the best thing to sell when raising money, because people like to eat.

These sandwiches have an amazing turn out.

In addition, so does pizza, high-quality chocolate, cookies, and spices. You can find suppliers in your local telephone book.

You can also find a willing retailer to donate an item that can be raffled off. In fact, you can get many retailers to participate, and then hold a "Chinese Auction" at your school by advertising to all the grades. This would prove highly successful, as even parents could provide gift cards, new items they may have lying around the house, etc.

You'll be running on that track before you know it!

Hope this helped you.


Republican until the day I die!! 31.12.2008. 04:38

When does dirt track racing start back in your area? I can't wait for dirt track racing season to start back here. My favorite track here Lancaster Motor Speedway starts back mid-March which is a Saturday night track. Carolina Speedway starts back around the first of April which is a Friday night track.
I buy DVDs that are sold at the race. I have watched them probably five times each since the end of October.
Golden Isles is somewhere that I hope to visit also.

Republican until the day I die!!

Admin 31.12.2008. 04:38

I love Lancaster Speedway....had Gator build me a model of a car that raced there in the late 70's early 80's. Our track here at Antigo Wisconsin dont race until the middle of May. TOO MUCH FROST IN THE GROUND TO BE PRODUCTIVE BEFORE THAT. I grew up in Great Falls, just outside of Lancaster.


Dean 21.09.2011. 20:26

How can I track a package I bought from an overseas country? Is there any way to track a package if it's sent to the US from a foreign country?


Admin 21.09.2011. 20:26

You can only track an item if it sent by a delivery company which offers a tracking service, in which case you should have already received a tracking number.


ALi 04.03.2012. 19:28

Is it possible to get an indoor track scholarship without doing outdoor track? I run inddor track right now and i have like three records and im only a softmore, so can i get a scholarship for indoor track without doing outdoor track?? Please help!


Admin 04.03.2012. 19:28

Most programs want you to do indoor and outdoor.
They do not have enough scholarships to field a team if athletes do not do more than one season.
This is true of cross country, they are expected to run track, not just cross country.


Brian P 21.03.2010. 15:54

What is the difference between sprinting track shoes and cross country shoes? I am doing track and cross country in high school. Do I need two pairs of shoes or just one pair of spikes?

Brian P

Admin 21.03.2010. 15:54

I would recommend keeping one pair of track spikes and one pair of trainers.
Cross country spikes are meant for rough terrain, since we run on courses, and track spikes are meant for sprinting usually. I wore my trainers all throughout XC season, even for meets, and I did completely fine. I still use them to practice for track, but during track meets, I wear my spikes.
So you should probably get a pair of track spikes and a pair of regular running shoes to practice in.


quexinfo 12.04.2010. 20:17

How do we track oversea registered mail into Singapore? Origin registered tracked upto point of exit. How do we track from point of entry in Singapore ?

I think I can get an answer here.

Many thanks.


Admin 12.04.2010. 20:17

Typically the 'sender' company or the original postal service provider does the tracking. Not the recipient provider. So you've to check with the sender.


mofo529 12.02.2008. 15:46

How do you break up a large music track into smaller tracks? I have an MP3 track that is about 2 hours long and was wondering if anyone knows how to cut the one large track into smaller tracks. I have a new Dell computor running on Vista, if that matters.


Admin 12.02.2008. 15:46


is a free audio editor for any platform Windows/Mac/Linux and includes features that will help you split up the track.

There's a guide on how to do so at the Audacity Wiki


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