Living on Purpose

This last weekend, I attended the World Domination Summit in Portland, Oregon.  (#WDS2015)

One of the (many) things I brought home from the conference was the importance of living the life that you want to live.  I have taken to thinking of this as “Living on Purpose” …

As it turns out, this concept takes on many forms and many permutations that are highly important to our personal, professional, and financial lives.  The most important thing that any of us can do for ourselves and our families is to take these things to heart and begin taking minute-by-minute, day-by-day, year-by-year steps toward living on purpose.

Personal – Live for Real

  • One of the concepts that I have become highly passionate about over the past few years is the importance of living a “real” life with your “real” connections, as opposed to a virtual life on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and all of the other social media sites that people use to exchange a small number of real connections for thousands of virtual connections.
  • The thing about living for real (#LiveForReal) is that it is frequently uncomfortable … deep connections get further into our personal lives.  They get offended, they say things that upset us, but they are connections that matter.  They are people we know we can count on for the things that are most important in life.
  • Another thing about living for real is that our real lives are imperfect.  Many of us have become skilled in using social media to hide our imperfection from the world by only posting the things online that make us look like major successes who never have a bad day, who are always right, and who always do awesome stuff.  Real life simply isn’t like that.
  • This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t have an extended network of casual friends … it is to say that we shouldn’t sacrifice our deep (real) connections for the sake of maintaining an artificial persona to a vast network of virtual connections.

Professional – Serve, Serve, Serve

  • Like most people in business, I frequently think about earning profits and making money.  This is a natural thought, but can get in the way of living on purpose.  The reason for this is because profits are a fundamentally self-centered concept … what’s in it for me?
  • What makes a change in our professional lives is to see how we can serve … to see how we can help people.  To come from a genuine desire to help, and being willing to break through traditional social conventions to provide the help to people that they need, but are afraid to ask for.
  • It is critical to keep the perspective of service in our minds consistently so that we don’t slip into the “Me First” mentality where our thoughts are always of getting ourselves ahead, of sacrificing other people’s success and happiness for our own, and looking at customers as just a way to make money.

Financial – The Goal is Avoiding Desperation, Not “Enough”

  • As a person in finance, this concept has been very hard to wrap my head around …
  • Most of us have picked up a cultural tendency to always want “enough” which a vague, amorphous way of saying we always want more, since it is certain that the definition of “enough” will increase as our financial means increase.
  • An alternative financial goal is to avoid becoming desperate for money and sacrificing our real life of service for an artificial life of pursuing more money.  The difference between seeking “enough” and seeking to avoid desperation is subtle, but critically important.

In the end, living a purposeful life has to be done deliberately.  The social pressures of life will relentlessly push us toward trying to appear artificially perfect, toward thinking of ourselves, and toward perpetually pursuing more money regardless of the consequences in our pursuit of “enough” money.

Each of us must make a daily decision to live on purpose … make yours today.

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