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  • Writer's pictureChoice Recovery


Do you ever ask yourself questions like?

· Why can they lose weight, but I can’t;

· Why does she continue to get promoted, but I don’t;

· Why can they refrain from using, but I continue to relapse?

The answer to any question like this is, these individuals are stimulated into action by a defined purpose that drives their life. This purpose gives them the freedom to accomplish what they set out to do, regardless of what is placed in front of them. Their choices are driven by much more than words, but a way of being that transcends everything else. This state of being, a purposeful one, negates any fear, negative influence, roadblocks, timelines, or distractions that may get in the way of their efforts. While the road they travel is as rocky as the one we are on, their purpose keeps them moving forward when the rest of us seem to get stopped.

For decades professionals have talked about what characteristics we need to employ in order to live a happy and joyful life. We have heard that courage and vulnerability are the keys to creating a magical life. Others make the case that life success comes from a certain level of acceptance & discipline, strength & hope or the belief that to be successful at anything, one must simply grind through it with pure determination. While all these attributes support the creation of a life that you love, in my experience, it is one’s chosen purpose that allows them to live a meaningful life filled with joy.

Attributes like courage, acceptance, commitment and the rest are essential companions to an individual’s purpose. However, these admirable attributes, on their own, are incapable of continuously propelling us forward on a lifetime journey of success and happiness. For example, courage and vulnerability are not going to create a happy marriage, prosperous career, or life of sobriety. There is no doubt that attributes like courage, and vulnerability are critical as we tackle single events in our quest for success, but it is a greater purpose that allows for satisfaction and joy to be present over a lifetime. Finding peace within ourselves in a dynamic world demands we be adaptive in situational responses yet constant with intent across all we do. That is, we are steadfast in the principles that drive our decisions, but strategic on the approach used to accomplish each task.

To accomplish any objective, like a happy marriage or a life of sobriety, it is true that courage will be required at various times along the journey. However, at other times, it could be acceptance that gets us where we want to be, and at another, it could be determination or empathy. In our quest for a joyful life, we must have a toolbox full of positive attributes to navigate the road we travel. The foundation that leads us to happiness is not a single or collection of attributes; it is a meaningful purpose that inspires us to act. It is this purpose that provides the fuel to activate those characteristics that situations demand. Trying to navigate the demands of life with only courage & vulnerability limits possibility, growth, and happiness.

In our pursuit of a life that we love, the value of our greater purpose is that it allows us to be loyal to our beliefs as we go about our day. When a situation calls for us to be courageous, then we willingly act with courage. But as life quickly changes on us, which it will as our actions cause reactions, our purpose allows us to adapt and respond with consistent intent. By making decisions based on a reliable set of beliefs, we advance with meaningful purpose. It might be courage that finally gets us to tell our spouse that a specific behavior is unacceptable in our partnership, but what is it that caused us to act - a purpose for a better life. Once our spouse hears our case, a further conversation may be required. Relationships demand give and take on both sides to find solutions. The willingness for this give and take is driven by a larger purpose.

Transformational change of any kind demands a reason, i.e. a purpose. If courage is the characteristic that got us to confront our spouse, we might need acceptance, understanding, or empathy to find an equitable solution. There is a good chance that the determined solution will require some change on our part. We change not because of courage, but because of a higher purpose. Personal attributes like courage and vulnerability are components of a better marriage, but it is our purpose for a happier and more nourishing relationship that inspires change. To create meaningful results, one must elect to act. Our purpose is that foundation that inspires us to initiate change and as importantly see it all the way through.

In this complex and uncontrollable world, most of what we face is simply placed in front of us whether we like it or not. If we want to live a joyful life, we are required to address this stuff head-on. To be successful (please define success however you like) day after day in this pursuit, each of us needs that greater purpose. This purpose provides a safe and secure environment for us to live an authentic life. With a defined purpose, we can freely choose how and why to act. Our chosen purpose gives us the principles we now base our words and actions on. These actions are what advance us in all that we do. These meaningful actions allow us to enjoy the greatness of life as it unfolds. This approach creates an inner satisfaction, and this is when life is fun, and joy is abundant. When you realize this internal satisfaction has arrived, take it as confirmation that you are living with a defined purpose.


To truly experience all the greatness this world offers we must possess a vision that pushes us to be better every new day. A determination that keeps us humble in the good times and provides motivation when things go a-rye. A curiosity for what’s ahead and a passion that helps leave the past behind.

Ask yourself, would I rather wake-up tomorrow with a defined purpose that creates a passion for the day ahead, or the constant reminder that today I must motivate myself to be courageous & vulnerable in all that I do?

Why is a purpose so valuable?

Principles create purpose

Purpose creates desire;

Desire creates curiosity;

Curiosity creates vision;

Vision create commitments;

Commitments create actions:

Actions create outcomes;

Outcomes create success;

Success creates joy; And

Joy creates a life worth living!



Choice Recovery Centers is an outpatient alcohol and drug treatment center in Mesa, Arizona. We serve the Tempe, Mesa, Chandler and Gilbert neighborhoods. With IOP available in the morning and evening, Choice Recovery wants to meet the needs of those attending school or working, while providing the tools necessary to beat addiction. Learn more at


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