10 behavioral traits of people with drive and purpose in life

We all experience our share of bad luck and setbacks in life. 

But having a purpose and motivation in your life gives you an element of control and power. 

It allows you to rise above the fray and focus on what you want to achieve. When others are stuck in complaining or reacting, you’re taking action and getting one step ahead. 

But that kind of empowered approach doesn’t happen by accident. It happens by choosing to become a capable and purpose-driven person.  

Here are the most important behaviors and beliefs that people with purpose and drive consistently practice in their lives. 

1) Honesty 

First and foremost in terms of the behavioral traits of people with drive and purpose in life is honesty

Motivated and purposeful people are honest with others as much as possible. 

They are also honest with themselves. 

This may seem like a simple trait, but it’s crucial. 

When we’re dishonest to others, we breed distrust and hostility. When we’re dishonest with ourselves we lose faith in our own commitments. 

If others can’t trust you, they’ll stop working with you and helping you. 

If you can’t trust yourself, you’ll stop believing any promise you make to yourself.

2) Clarity 

Next up in the behavioral traits of people with drive and purpose in life is clarity. 

This means knowing what you want and why. 

To know what you want, you need to know your purpose. 

Many of us have gone through enormous frustration at trying our hardest in life to fit in and succeed in places we just didn’t belong.

We’ve hit our head against the wall to achieve goals and dreams that we ended up not even wanting!

The solution I’ve found was to take some time on my own to reflect on what I truly wanted and find my purpose. 

A great aid in that respect was the free masterclass on finding your purpose from Justin Brown.

Unlike many self-help gurus and online programs, Justin doesn’t ask you to “think positive” or visualize your perfect future. 

Instead, he shares a very effective new way to find your life’s mission that he learned from the Brazilian shaman Rudá Iandê.

Check out the free video here.

3) Self-discipline

Next up in the behavioral traits of people with drive and purpose in life is self-discipline. 

Society, culture, religion, family and work can put all the rules in place it wants, and some of them can help. 

But ultimate accountability is to oneself. 

That’s where self-discipline is irreplaceable. This also relates directly to the self-honesty I discussed in point one. 

Having self-discipline is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight, and there will be missteps and failures. 

But you get back up each time and try harder. You hold yourself accountable and practice honesty about where you’re falling short. 

Whatever you’re working on, you ditch the excuses in favor of the cold, hard truth. 

Where are you hitting the mark and where are you missing? 

The solution always comes back to self-discipline… 

4) Actionable and meaningful goals

Knowing your purpose and having a plan to get there are two different things. 

One of the top behavioral traits of people with drive and purpose in life is that they have an actionable plan to put their mission into practice. 

This means daily, weekly, monthly and annual goals. 

It means a versatile and conscious approach when things don’t go the way you hope and various fallback plans. 

It means working with others or alone as the case demands. 

It means holding yourself accountable and holding others accountable, too. 

Having actionable goals and a plan for progress is a necessity if you want your purpose and motivation to have any real benchmarks or measurable achievements. 

5) Recognizing value in themselves and others

Another of the most important behavioral traits of people with drive and purpose in life is that they recognize value when they see it. 

This is particularly true of them seeing value in others, and I don’t mean just being appreciative or encouraging those they meet to follow their dreams. 

What I mean is that people who have purpose in life and are working toward goals notice others who have value that may have been overlooked. 

They often see value where others see nothing, because they are looking at specific things. 

For example, the purposeful person may notice: 

  • An amazing singing voice in a friend, where others just saw a boring, mid-aged accountant…
  • A talent for writing in their mother who is trying to drum up the courage to write a book…
  • An incredible knack for comedy from their old highschool friend who most people consider boring and ugly.

And so on…

It’s not so much that all of these talents and gifts are useful to them, but that the purposeful individual has a perceptiveness and observational talent that others often lack. 

This also helps them with the next point…

6) Knowing when to collaborate and when to fly solo

The purposeful and driven individual knows when to work with somebody and when to go it alone. 

They have an instinct and a strategy for when to bring others in on their plans and when not to. 

For example, they may be working on a project involving a cellphone app that they could really use help on from a technical-minded friend, so they invite in an old pal…

Or they could be brainstorming a property investment that would be better off with several partners…

Alternately, they might be planning a new career path like being an artist which they want to explore alone for the time being. 

Maybe eventually they will invite friends onboard (marketing, museums, an agent?) but for now it’s a solo enterprise… 

7) Being discerning about who to trust and who to shun 

Another of the key behavioral traits of people with drive and purpose in life is that they don’t trust everyone.

It’s not paranoia or unfriendliness, but simply healthy cautiousness. 

They are discerning about trusting people and bringing anyone into their inner circle, especially in matters of money, business or serious life situations. 

They’re just not going to trust anybody right away based on a surface interaction. 

Trust takes longer to build, but once it’s there it’s ironclad. 

8) Practicing long-term vision instead of short-term thinking 

Our instincts are geared towards rewards. 

We want results: whether it’s in business, love or our own self-development. 

But good things take time, and many great accomplishments involve delaying gratification. 

That’s why some of the most crucial behavioral traits of people with drive and purpose in life is delaying gratification. 

Practice long-term vision and be willing to put off rewards:

That will put you ahead of 99% of the pack. 

9) Knowing when to work and when to rest

The truth is that we all need to rest sometimes.

Even the best bodybuilders, for example, will tell you that muscle is built on the days off. 

You need a good sleep and proper nutrition, not just tough workouts and cardio!

The same goes for every area of life. 

There are times to give it your all and work your ass off, and there are times to take a breather. 

The key behavioral traits of people with drive and purpose in life is that they are able to relax sometimes and give themselves a break. 

They can take a vacation and turn off the cellphone for a few hours. 

They can relax with a loved one and truly relax. 

They have an off mode, and that’s what makes their “on mode” all the more powerful… 

10) Playing for the love of the game 

Last and very importantly in the behavioral traits of people with drive and purpose in life is that they balance their purposefulness and goal-oriented action with a love of the game. 

They love hard work and they love their mission. 

They don’t expect life to come easy or without its challenges, but at the same time, the effort and innovation in response to roadblocks is part of the joy. 

A purposeful person never allows his or her mission orientation to destroy their humanity. 

They use their purpose and mission to enhance their humanity and become more well-rounded, empathetic and involved in their community and in helping those around them. 

Being purposeful doesn’t mean being robotic and always on mission. It means having your mission be part of your life and combined with who you are. 

It means authenticity in all areas of what you do. 

Becoming purposeful and powerful

Becoming purposeful and powerful is all about setting priorities and sticking to them. 

Life provides endless opportunities for distraction and dissipating our energy and attention. 

Becoming successful and achieving your goals is about choosing what to focus on and what to tune out. 

As you do this, your vision comes into focus and you begin to crystallize and clarify what it is you want in life and why. 

Finding your purpose is a process and it can evolve, but the more you work hard, know what you want and learn the lessons life hands you, the closer you get to making your dreams come true and lifting up others along the way. 

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