Purpose. What do you think of when you hear that word? It can be invigorating or illusive, depending on your perspective. It does, however, make each day more meaningful and productive. After reading this New York Times article by journalist Paula Span, I was reminded of my own purpose and what drives me. I’m a mother. A wife. A business owner. An author. A speaker. A woman. And a financial planner (along with so many other things). These titles represent how I spend my days; and I couldn’t thrive in one without the other.
And that’s why I talk so much about living your authentic life. When it comes to my career, I’m not yet where I want to be. I want to reach more people as a speaker. My goal is to financially heal the world. It may sound impossible, but that’s where I thrive. Though I’m not there yet, I wake up each day excited about what’s to come. I’m challenged. I’m surrounded by people who support me and keep me on my toes. I teach and I learn. I’m financially free to do the things that feed my mind, body and soul. And I am living my authentic life filled with both purpose and promise.
Many people live a life based on monetary and material successes or failures. I choose to not let that define who I am, and I hope that I have encouraged you to do the same. You are so much more than a job title or a salary. I may be a financial planner, but I counsel people not to be motivated by money. I guide them (and you) to devote your money to your past, your present, your future and your purpose.
It’s not hard, and you don’t need to be wealthy to do that. You can start small and build it up over time. Want to own your own business? Start today; put an ad on Craigslist about your writing, your sewing, exercise class or whatever it is you want to do. New job? Set up a coffee meeting with someone working in your industry. Reach out to your network and have a friend set up an introduction. Go to a networking event and start chatting up a few people.
Or maybe you just want something different in your life and you’re not sure yet. You lack passion and purpose and need some direction, but you have no idea where to go or what to do. This is your opportunity to spend time with yourself and on yourself. Get involved with different charities. Go to networking events. Try something new and different that piques your interest. Sign up for a yoga class. Every action you take is an opportunity to learn more about yourself, your purpose and your passion.
Purpose is what keeps me going on those long days where nothing seems to go right. It’s motivates me to do better when I’m faced with someone who is hell-bent on bringing me down. And purpose is what led me to get my finances in order and live my “dream” life. I’m healthy and happy, and I know that – like Manny – I have found the thing that motivates me each day.
That’s my definition of purpose. What’s yours?