Living your life with a clear conceptualization of where you want to end up is what Benjamin Franklin meant by living "to the purpose." Franklin developed a plan for his entire life when he was still a young man and tried to live up to it. You need to live a purposeful life with your own set of values.

Before you can clearly see your future, you must clearly see your present. In other words, to get to point B, you must first know the location of point A. You establish point B when you create goals for your life. You establish point A when you create your own set of values.

Creating your own set of values is a necessary step for getting from point A to point B. Most focus solely on point B--the goals or personal mission statement. We never consider point A. That's unfortunate because point A is where you are today or where you are at the beginning of any new stage in life. Franklin clearly defined both his point A and point B. His point A was his set of personal values that comprised his basic identity. His point B was his plan for his life. Franklin armed himself both with a knowledge of who he was and where wanted to go. Is it any wonder that he is still studied as a model of effectiveness?

Excerpted from Ben Franklin's 12 Rules of Management