Sunday, March 28, 2010


“Before a diamond shows its brilliancy and prismatic colors it has to stand a good deal of cutting and smoothing.”
- Author Unknown

Have you even noticed how some people really stand out from a crowd—they seem to be clear about their purpose and direction in life and as a result they seem to sparkle and shine. It’s just like how a gemstone stands out from the rest of the rocks.

The funny thing is that it’s hard to define that something extra special.

For example, in trying to describe that something special that makes a stone a gem, I did some research; and, I discovered that it’s not that easy to define what a gemstone is.

The standard definition is, “minerals that have been chosen for their beauty and durability.” That sounds simple. But in actuality, this is not a complete definition of what makes a stone a gem and when it is merely a rock. For example, pearls and amber are created by living organisms and not at all minerals as the definition describes. And, opals are not at all durable as the definition says. Instead, they are notoriously delicate and fragile.

It seems there is not a clear what way to define what a gem is. We simply know it when we see it.

Likewise, defining what it means to live on purpose is equally elusive.

When I do coaching in organizations, I often have people come up with a description of what they think it means to live on purpose. And, so far, the best definition I have heard is, “It’s the opposite of living accidentally.”

Just like the gemstone, we know it best when we see it.

Rather than a definition, I have found it easier to describe the characteristics of people who seem to be living on purpose. For example, I found they tend to be:



Generous with their time and money


They walk their talk

And, they go beyond what is expected of them without any prompting.

But, the biggest thing I have noticed about people who are living on purpose is that they are better able to navigate the bumps of life with ease.

Just like a gemstone, there is something special that radiates from a person who is living on purpose.

.....Well, I know a woman who is a gemstone.

In fact, I think she’s a diamond.

Mary is brilliant and rare. She’s an incredibly successful and busy entrepreneur, and yet, she is accessible to everyone. Mary’s purpose is to help others be successful and as a result, people work hard for her and perform to the best of their ability.

On the outside, it looks as though Mary must have it easy. She’s beautiful and kind. Smart and funny. It would be easy to think she’s just lucky.

But just like the rest of us, Mary has faced many challenges. What shines about Mary is the way that she navigates the bumps of life with ease.

For example, when Mary was a young girl, her father passed way. The situation left her family struggling financially and could have put Mary on a path to poverty. But instead, Mary learned valuable life skills from the situation and used those skills to become financially savvy.

And, while still a young woman, Mary was diagnosed with breast cancer—a disease that had taken the life of her mother and sister by the time she received the diagnosis for herself. Can you imagine the fear she must have faced? Yet, Mary kept her trademark good humor and smile in tact and prevailed beyond all statistics.

Mary has become more radiant because of her challenges—not in spite of them.

Mary is a gemstone because she lives on purpose. It is evident that she recognizes her purpose is to positively impact the lives of others by genuinely caring about them as she helps them to succeed.

The thing that clearly stands out about people who are living on purpose is that you don’t even need to know the words of their personal mission. You can see their mission in the way that they live.

People like Mary are exceptions to some only in that they are clear about their purpose. In truth, each of us has a purpose that we bring to the world—our only job is to recognize it and allow it to shine.

© 2010 Lisa Ann Edwards

1 comment: