It is a magical time of year for me. The season brings me back to an earlier time; when the school year was punctuated by holidays and trips to my grandparents’ home. The time was not just about the holidays but about time spent in nature in upstate New York where the seasons are very distinct. By this time of year, it has gotten cold, and it can snow. Adults looked upon snow as an interruption while we looked at it as an opportunity to play, build snow igloos, sled down the hill, and stay out until our fingers and toes were frozen. Then we would come inside to a warm fire and whatever treat my grandmother had made for us. There were always treats. When my sister recently asked for my grandmother’s apple pie recipe, I thought about how she made the pie and then about her pumpkin donuts. They were epic. I am not sure what all this has to do with purpose, but I am in awe of my grandmother who raised four children, then went back to work for decades and always managed to make us feel wanted, welcome, and special. I’d love to ask her today what her purpose was. I doubt she gave it a whole bunch of thought, but I am clear it was there all the while.
Finding our purpose has become popular these days. Maybe a bit too popular. While I enjoy Simon Sinek’s Start With Why, I think the search may be a bit self-indulgent. Then again, if you haven’t seen it is well worth the 17 minutes.
When I see her over the holidays, I am going to ask my mom what her “why” is; but do I have to look too far? She raised three of us. All healthy, all successful, and two of us each have two of the most intelligent, talented, and beautiful children a grandmother could ever hope to enjoy. She then worked for 20 plus years in a career to support early childhood education. I think her purpose is there to see for all, though I’d like to hear what that journey entailed. I am sure there were some twists and turns along the way. And likely, some moments of doubt and even some thoughts, “what am I doing?” and “is this the right way?”. Thank you, Mom, for being such a great role model and for being someone who lives her why.
What prompted these observations was thinking about what my “why” is and how I could live it more thoroughly, more purposefully. As with my mom and grandmother, some of my purpose is pretty obvious. Work with families, businesses, and individuals to increase their confidence in their finances. Look for low-cost, uncomplicated investment solutions that help people reach their goals. Provide a supportive, judgment-free resource so that people can accumulate what they need to meet their financial goals or enjoy what they have more. If I take it a bit deeper, my purpose is to give clients a glimpse of an abundant life so that they can move toward it, embrace it, and live it. Unfortunately, the gravitational pull, the prevailing viewpoint or mindset at the moment, is not toward abundance. It is toward lack, not enough, effort, and struggle with money, fear and loathing. My purpose is to promote abundance as a mindset and to eliminate, wherever possible, the viewpoint of lack. Am I in the right place? I think so. It took me a while, but I can see that all the career decisions I made were there and are there to put me right here, at a place where I can be a drum major for abundance, for your abundant life. Most of us are not wired for abundance. We have a mindset that keeps us in place. Has us be satisfied with less. My work, my purpose, is about challenging the mentality of lack and of not enough. That is my purpose.
Want an excellent inspiration for your why? Listen to Dr. Martin Luther King’s “Drum Major Instinct” speech. I thought it was his drum major for justice speech until I listened to the whole thing. That is why I encourage you to listen to the extended version.
It’s powerful. I always remember the part where he says, and I am paraphrasing, “Say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. Say that I was a drum major for righteousness.” I believe he was telling us to live our “why”, our best life, even an abundant life. I think it is a great inspiration for living your “why”.
If you get a moment to think about your “why” this holiday season, I hope you will give yourself some credit for already living it. You are a drum major for what is important to you and that makes the world a better place.
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