“May you live all the days of your life.” -Jonathan Swift
What is your purpose? Stop for a moment and answer that question.
I know that sounds pretty heavy and it is. Life is truly short (unless that reincarnation thing is for real). Roll with me for a minute here. Let me submit that we all have a unique script to play out. Given the choices before us, why not live a life with purpose?
How about we first provide value to others (such as our friends or customers or even strangers), rather than fixating on our own needs? Yes, the “me” generation might struggle at first with this notion, but the satisfaction of a life of purpose has its rewards. The rewards might be the respect and admiration of others, a sense of calm that you did something right, or, surprisingly, monetary rewards.
I met with a rich man the other day (far richer than me). His vast wealth was part hard work and part luck (he admitted to being born right). Yet, his money was not the ticket to happiness, instead his greatest satisfaction was giving to others. All his profits are given to charity. Despite that he gives away his profits, he continues to be rewarded beyond his dreams — more money, quiet satisfaction, and contentment.
In the same week, I met with a poor man, or so I thought. He had lost his house in a fire, declared bankruptcy, and had lost most of his possessions. Yet, his passion was music. His gift to others was his song and it was beautiful. My God it was beautiful. His music plays again and again in my head. I am a better person because I met him. I will do almost anything to help this man, but he needs little from me. He is rich because he lives a life with purpose.
Either story might be yours (or mine) and the ending is the same. Give to others unconditionally. Ask nothing in return. Live with intention. Live with purpose.
John Bradley Jackson
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