Impacting Your Purpose

Depending on the study you read, anywhere from 60% to 70% of our fellow Americans are not engaged in their work. “What does that mean?” you ask? It means they are doing or thinking about something other than what they are being paid to do or dreaming about being somewhere other than where they are. That something used to be solitaire, now it’s fantasy football. That somewhere is still is still anywhere else.

 

All the while, it also seems many of us are trying to find our purpose.

In the hope of finding my purpose, I searched Amazon for a book on the topic and found over 200,000 titles. That’s a lot.

 

It struck me that we are focusing on the wrong problem, or seeking the wrong solution: like having a leaky roof and opening an umbrella in the living room.

We need to stop focusing on purpose and start focusing on impact.

It’s possible for every one of us to have a positive and real impact in every aspect of our lives: in our work, in our communities and at home. It’s a choice.

It doesn’t matter what your job is, you can have an impact.

 

One of my favorite stories is about the janitor working at NASA during the Space Race. President Kennedy approached the man and asked him what he was doing, to which the man replied “Well, Mr. President, I’m helping put a man on the moon.”

 

I believe changing the way we look at our work can have a positive impact on the other aspects of our lives. Simply looking at your job as a means to earn money has many destructive byproducts. When we change the lens through which we view work, we have the ability to change our lives for the better.

 

This message may not apply to you, but either way, start pressing yourself. Start learning and improving yourself. Start consciously making an impact. Become the best possible version of yourself. I believe if we are able to embrace this, we’ll be more grateful for the things we already have.

Same Day Fulfillment

A big part of my work as a financial advisor involves figuring out new and different ways to get people to save more money because the majority of Americans are not saving enough for retirement.  At first, I thought this problem was caused by procrastination (“I’ll save more tomorrow.”) But I’ve come to realize that, for many Americans, at the end of the month, there’s no money left to save.  We’re too busy over-consuming, accumulating debt, buying homes that are too big, and cars that are too expensive. There’s nothing left over for savings.

 

I think a lot of the problem stems from a lack of contentment.  For too many Americans, our work leaves us unfulfilled.  Gallup’s “State of the American Workplace” tells us that 70% of American workers are not engaged at work.  So I decided to study fulfillment in order to see what speakers and experts have to say about the concept.  I went to YouTube (which I find to be a limitless source of valuable and less than valuable information) and typed fulfillment into the search bar. Over half of the search results were about Amazon.com’s warehouses “fulfilling” orders.  That is, taking our online orders that we as consumers make from our phones, tablets or computers and delivering that stuff to our homes, often on the same day.

 

The irony was almost too much to bear.

 

The fulfillment I’m talking about is a feeling when we do something good for someone else.  Many of the most fulfilling experiences of my life have come from charitable work, community service, or times when I’ve done work for others and expected nothing in return.

 

It’s time to get back to the original definition of fulfillment.  It’s time to focus more on enriching our own lives and the lives of those around us.

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