Money, Success, & Purpose

The only thing that can overcome a person's commitment, is a greater commitment to their limitation.

Prosperity is an essential aspect to a complete and healthy Life.

People often think of prosperity as financial wealth. Here we say it's more than that. Having money is a critical part of a prosperous Life, but it is not the only ingredient. People, seeing that money does not equal prosperity, often attempt to be prosperous without money. Try being passionate and fulfilled while being worried about how to pay rent and you'll quickly see that this doesn't work either.

In search of prosperity, I see that most people take one of two paths:

1. Find a reliable and predictable career with a good salary and stick to it. (safety)

2. Pursue a dream or passion, at the risk of losing security. (adventure)

Let's take a look at each of these--

For many of us, this was the picture of success that we were taught and grew into: Work hard throughout school, find a solid and reliable career that pays well with good benefits etc. Those who have followed this path have most certainly reached a moderate to high level of success but tend to find themselves at some point mid-life saying, "What's the point of all this anyway? What am I doing it all for?"

Now for the people who have lived this model and love the career they landed in, experience passion and fulfillment on a daily basis, feel that they are contributing to something purposeful on the planet, and are proud of the work that they do, this conversation may not apply.

For the rest of us who are spending 40+ hours a week in a purposeless endeavor in exchange for $100,000/year (or even less sometimes), this is for you:

The Pros: The bills are paid, the family is taken care of, life is relatively predictable, rarely are there unexpected financial problems (although there are probably more than you hoped), and for the most part, you're able to plan and execute Life accordingly.

The Cons: You feel unfulfilled in what you do. Your work is boring at best, disheartening at worst. You probably work for people that you feel have less integrity than you do and possibly even less intelligence. What may be most frustrating is that you feel like a very large percentage of your life is dedicated to something that you have very little interest in and zero passion for. And what kills you about all of it is that you KNOW you have skills and talents that, if put to good use, could really make a difference for people, most of all for yourself. You pay the price of time. You trade large amounts of time for money and much of your Life is spent with what you don't Love, rather than what you do Love.

Those who choose a different path are the people that we call non-conformists--they made their own way, did their own thing, they are free-thinkers, pioneers. The people who fall into this class are often very creative people, intelligent people, visionary people. The problem that this group often runs into is that they Live by good ideas and good feelings.

Good ideas are only as useful as a person's ability to be consistent with that idea and consistency doesn't always feel good.

People who live for adventure and the rush of experience will be sure to have extraordinary experiences in their Life. If these people lack the ability to refine their adventurous nature into consistent and purposeful action, it is unlikely that they will have much else. This is why people who pursue art, music, and other creative endeavors as a career often do not succeed and why people who choose safe and predictable careers often regard those people as failures (even though deep inside they would love to Live with the kind of passion they see those people demonstrate).

Passion is the energetic drive that comes from doing something that you know is important and therefore, you are willing to be consistent with it and do whatever it takes regardless of how it feels.

Passion does not always equate to feeling good, although at times, it feels great!

Passion is cultivated through Purpose.

People who confuse good feelings with passion lack the consistency necessary to truly be successful. This is the reason that we find so many people who pursue their "passion" being unsuccessful. They confuse the good feeling around their work with their passion for it and they never create the mental and emotional fortitude that develops into true #commitment.

We find that most people are living with the idea that they must choose between a passionate life and a successful one. Hence people say, "Be realistic" and "Get a real job". In this paradigm, whether you chose path #1 or #2, you are left with a sense of sacrifice around it and a feeling that you have missed out on something worth having. In this thought system, whether you have $1 or $1,000,000, there is a sense of lack, scarcity, frustration with Life, and a feeling of unfairness.