1. the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc.

2. an intended or desired result; end; aim; goal.

3. determination; resoluteness.
Most people have a purpose to their daily tasks. I do my grocery shopping on Sundays so that I’m prepared during the week when I get hungry. I fill out my budget spreadsheet every two weeks so that when I get paid, I know where to allocate my income. I ride my bike five times a week so that I can measurably improve my performance. This isn’t to say that I don’t take spontaneous trips or do something that I didn’t plan on. By and large, though, my weekly tasks are done on purpose.
What about your life, in general? Is it purpose-driven? Some people might say their purpose is their kids, for some it may be a charity that they contribute to or volunteer for. You may be wondering why I didn’t put “business” in that category as a purpose. I have talked to many business owners, and where the success of their business is crucial to their quality of life, the purpose is typically that – their quality of life, if nothing else. Your purpose has got to be so strong that you will persist without exception.
I have always wanted to be a Camp Counselor. Probably because I never had a chance to go to camp as a kid and Bug Juice on The Disney Channel was one of my favorite television shows. I remember job searching in the beginning of June 2009 when I had first moved to Atlanta and the job I got straight out of school just didn’t work out. I applied for several Camp Counselor positions when a good friend told me I needed to grow up and realize that I was in the big leagues and taking time off to work at summer camp was not in the cards for me anymore. Shortly thereafter, I found out that The Arthritis Foundation has a Summer Camp for kids with Arthritis and they were seeking volunteers. While it didn’t work out that particular summer, it stayed on my bucket list for two years. Every year as I got dragged deeper in to corporate America, the goal seemed farther and farther away, but I never changed it. I was persistent. This past summer, I was invited to volunteer for a week as a Counselor at the Joint Adventure Camp hosted by The Arthritis Foundation at the YMCA Camp Marston in Julian, California. This was a dream come true for me.
Many things could have gotten in the way: The necessity to take five days of already limited vacation time. The uncertainty of what to expect. Having to take eight days off of training for the California Coast Classic. Knowing I wouldn’t be able to follow my normal diet and routine. Being uncomfortably away from home in the hot climate. Speaking of the hot climate, it adversely affected my health and I spent the first four days with swollen and stiff legs and ankles, which lead to me beating myself up over my inability to be the energetic and positive counselor and influence that I knew I would normally be.
None of that ultimately mattered. My purpose was the kids. All of the over 300,000 kids that have a form of Arthritis and the 34 that I met this summer. I wanted to help them and be there for them so badly that I wouldn’t allow any of the above to stand between me and our – mine and the other incredible Counselors – goal. All of it was beyond worth it.
Last year I heard Andy Andrews speak at a conference and was blown away at his ability to entertain a crowd and speak with strength about leadership, taking action, and purpose. His book, The Traveler’s Gift, has been a staple amongst leaders in my organization so it’s no surprise that the phrase “persist without exception” is one that I hear over and over again and have built my life around. When I decided to name this website after the mantra I repeat to myself so many times, I did a quick Google search for it and found nothing but links to Andrews’s book. Ironically, I am currently reading another one of his books, The Noticer, which was given to me as a gift by a wonderful couple who are my mentors and friends, who were also at that same conference. I will be reading The Traveler’s Gift next.
I hope that my stories, videos, pictures, and books listed here can not only inspire you, but motivate you to make, as Andrew’s calls it, a persistent decision.