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The On Purpose Person: Making Your Life Make Sense: A Modern Parable

3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  342 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
Is Your Life Filled, Yet Unfulfilled? Do you feel pulled in a thousand different directions?
Are your days so busy you hardly have time to think?
Are you living up to other people's expectations while your own plans and dreams go unmet?
In "The On-Purpose Person" you'll learn how to discover who you are, where you are headed, what you should do, and what's most important t
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Published July 1st 2001 by Pinon Press (first published June 1st 1992)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 715)
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Gary Patton
Apr 26, 2012 Gary Patton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who need to get on track!
Many people who read this book and write a review make a similar comment: "I wish I'd read this book 20 years ago!"

I don't say that because I did read it 20 years ago. After reading it, I sent my first life purpose statement that I crafted to the author, Kevin McCarthy. (That was long before e-mail.) I asked for his help to refine it. Kevin and I have stayed in touch, ever since.

And this business and life-skills book written in modern parable form, helped me change the direction of my life in a
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Josiah DeGraaf
This book has a really funky style in kind of being fiction, but by utilizing characters who preach so much that it's kind of non-fiction. Really weird hybrid that kind of worked, and kind of didn't.

In terms of the actual point of the book (which was really more non-fiction), there were some good suggestions but for me, the book was mostly a waste of time. If the book had focused more on making Christ the central focus of the book and interpreting everything else through him, instead of merely
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Tim
Jul 06, 2012 Tim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I happened upon this free e-book and the On-Purpose Person is a good plan for personal organization, vaguely Christian in its format and emphasis on the spiritual and on purpose. While it's plan seems useful, the narrative format used to relate it is fairly painful, with a contrived story and even more contrived dialogue. More specific details of the "man's" purpose and plans would also remove the vagueness that accompany some of the steps that are to be taken. So definitely useful and thought p ...more
Diana Damas
Lo mejor que puede decirse de este libro es que es corto.

No lo digo en sentido despectivo, aunque pueda parecerlo. Sus 144 páginas se leen fácil y rápidamente (especialmente si eres una persona tolerante con la literatura mediocre), y se las arregla para transmitir algunas buenas ideas sin que tengamos que invertir demasiado tiempo.
Desde luego, calificarlo me ha costado lo mío. Al final me he decidido por las tres estrellas en lugar de las dos que inicialmente le había concedido, porque creo qu
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Dave Holzmann
Jul 11, 2008 Dave Holzmann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to quit saying "I didn't do it on purpose."
Written as an easy-reading parable, this parable will help you along the way to know what your Purpose is, and boil it down to essentially two (yes, TWO) words.

It also suggests a clever use of a common sports "tool" for prioritizing activities fairly quickly.

Together with The On-Purpose Business, this is a GREAT precursor to Todd Duncan's excellent book, "High Trust Selling."

DO NOT confuse this book with any of Rick Warren's "Purpose-Driven..." books.

Purpose is about your calling. It's not about
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Maria Miaoulis
If you've ever felt trapped by all that life is throwing at you, then do yourself a favor and read this book. I'll admit the dialogue is rather corny, but the concept will force you to re-think the way you're living. And even if you don't do exactly what the characters suggest, you'll learn to strip away all the layers until you find what's important to you.
Delbridl
Apr 16, 2016 Delbridl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked the methodical approach of organizing your life, goals, and purpose by very simple easy to understand and logical steps. It was a quick read and I liked the way the author led the reader through the different steps of how to be an on-purpose person by introducing a fictional main character to follow him through his process.
Alexia
Apr 09, 2015 Alexia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I do the purpose tournament in the book every quarter and it does help me think through my goals and the power of the subconscious to help me reach them.
Shawn Macleod
Oct 24, 2015 Shawn Macleod rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Got this as a gift about 20 years ago and it helped shape my life plan. Picked it up to read again this week and it still offers great perspective.
Diana Nagy
Jan 11, 2016 Diana Nagy rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
This was a great book. Really works to make you an "on purpose" person. Its short but good. Lots of great information contained within.
Donald L Clendaniel
A few good ideas buried in religious fluff

A fictional story of an executive that has lost purpose. The premises is unbelievable the writing on a fourth grade level and it takes a sharp turn after mid way into strong religious writing. The characters are secondary the the purpose of the book however more attention is needed to them, the low level of reality, cheesy story and empty humor attempts make this book barely readable. A few good organizational ideas are present in the first half but a fe
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Alex
Jun 13, 2015 Alex rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I got the eBook in a bundle at some point and got around to checking it out on a flight. The storyline structure was hokey, but when I just focused on the process it was espousing I got over that. I won't be taking up the full process as McCarthy designed it for sure. It seems more valuable for people who haven't done much introspecting. I did appreciate some general practices discussed, though. For example, using the trigger of switching a light switch to think if your current actions are "on p ...more
Desiree
Jun 13, 2010 Desiree rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Purpose is energy, it's the single most motivating force there is. Discover your purpose, be on-purpose, and you will have a life filled with meaning and significance." It is your responsibility to discover your purpose, anything less is just people-pleasing.

Answer the question, why do I exist, and you have your purpose statement. Know the flow and go with the flow. No sense in trying to change things you can't change and fight the flow. You need to be willing to lay down your life for your pur
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Tom
Jun 05, 2012 Tom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyones struggling with life-paths and the process of deciding.
Recommended to Tom by: Tim Sweet
Shelves: self-help
One of the best self-searching, self-helping guides. Every HS student ought to be gifted this book as a 9th grader, altho most won't "get it" until sometime later. Still, it never hurts to plant seeds that might take root and blossom.

Kevin McCarthy is a value-laden writer conveying not merely a worthwhile process for decision-making, but a firm foundation for the "why" of making a decision. Like the One Minute Manager, the concepts and framework are told in brief story/journey style, leading th
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Ronald Barba
For some reason, Seth Godin thought this piece would align with his main following. Indeed, the basic concepts/lessons in this book are things--I imagine--the average person aiming for "something more" in their life would love to gain; however, it should be duly noted that this motivational book is truly for the average person. Sure, if you can get past the 10th-grade Honors English approach to fiction-writing, there's definitely great advice on leading a purpose-driven life, but I would suggest ...more
Nathan Mckinney
Dec 23, 2012 Nathan Mckinney rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
The book is written as a "modern-day parable." It's really cheesy and almost too much to handle. If it hadn't been so short I wouldn't have been able to make it through it. Despite the corny and annoying story, it has some really great principles to help you lead a more intentional life. I will never read the book again and can't even really say that I would recommend it. But I will definitely be using some of the tools that I got from McCarthy for use in my own life and in mentoring others.
John Brooke
Preachy, simplistic easy to follow parable with subtle Christian over shadows. A good platform to check out what is really important to consider in living your life.

Valuable opportunity to take a guided look at living life. Good value at no real cost. Recommended by a mentor I felt I could trust. Definitely useful to the searching soul looking for balance. I discounted the 'cultish' coloring to this useful simplistic formulae, but I will certainly heed its forever value.
Hana Jay
I didn't know what to expect from this book, but it quite disappointed me. If you've already read Stepehen Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective people, it won't be anything new to you. Also, it was written in form of a dialogue, which I didn't like. Don't get me wrong--this books does have a good point and I believe it could be helpful for many people, but I think I'm used to different style of writing. Perhaps it would be more suitable for teenagers.
Dianna
Apr 27, 2012 Dianna rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is another of those supposedly inspirational books written in parable form. People apparently *love* these, I can't imagine why -- they're unreadable. Painfully unreadable. This reads like Eckhart Tolle fanfiction written by a high schooler. This will be put on the same metaphorical shelf as The Energy Bus and ignored forever. I downloaded it (free, thank god) after seeing it on Seth Godin's blog -- Seth, seriously, what are you smoking?
Nick Woodall
How to be on purpose all the time. Some good sound principles.
Antoinette Perez
More substantial than your average nonfiction fable, and could benefit from some visuals or a workbook in the appendix. It is a bit somber, which was unexpected, though I'm not sure I benefitted from the tone! I get it, this is serious business to find one's purpose. And still, I can imagine a few ways that some lightness could really help readers internalize and ultimately use the content.
Kelly Hendrix
May 11, 2012 Kelly Hendrix rated it really liked it


This book is written in story format making it easy to read and giving you clear examples of how to "do it". It requires you to do some simple assignments. It helps you " discover what is important. Not simply what is pressing or feels good or seems important. "
If you are trying to figure out your purpose or help someone else find their purpose this short book will help.
Todd Jagger
I too got this book as a free download via Seth Godin's blog. The premise and goal of the book is both commendable and important. But the writing is painful. I added one start to "it was okay" solely because I think many people, myself included, can benefit from the message. It's too bad the book reads like its target audience hasn't hit middle school yet.
Wendy
Jan 06, 2013 Wendy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves:
Confronting the feeling that I have deceived myself into thinking I am eclectic and have a rich inner curiosity....this book puts the fact straight out there that perhaps my happiness is in great proportion to the things I say NO to as well as those I say yes to. This will be my anti-clutter practice for 2013 and beyond. It sets a standard I found empowering.
Robin
An odd little book but a quick read (1 hour) and some nice bits in it to help you gain purpose or re-purpose.

I liked the bit that painted a picture of 3 types of people in a river: floaters, fighters and navigators. Do you go with the flow, burn yourself out fighting it or find the flow and work with it?
Lisa Macon
Everyone at work is reading this, so when there was an opportunity to download it for free to my Kindle, I went ahead and did so.

If you're looking for some way to find meaning in your life, this book give you a plan to do so. It is done through storytelling, rather than simply by giving instructions.
Tami Stackelhouse
This is actually a parable, not a "how to" book - though the "how to" gets covered through the parable. An easy to read, fresh, simple, and refreshing take on finding your purpose, mission, vision, and values - then living it out day-to-day as an On Purpose Person. Highly recommended!
John Hibbs
Dec 24, 2010 John Hibbs rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The author is also from Darden and I have met him. A good man who is doing his best to improve the life of both individuals and organizations. I found this book to be an excellent parable for developing yourself and realizing your potential in life; from every perspective.
Kristin
Despite being presented in a rather corny manner, the info in this book is still interesting and deserves some thought.
Cindy
Jul 03, 2012 Cindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! I highly recommend it to everyone that is on a journey to find out what their is purspose in life. It's an easy read and you will not want to put the book down.
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