The reason I love my job is not because I love spreadsheets, formulas, or ratios, although I enjoy the technical aspects of my job just like a barista enjoys knowing the difference between French and Italian roasts. The real reason I love my job is not because I help rich people get richer, although certainly I do that. The real reason I love my job is that I help people achieve their dreams and that’s what this post is about—engaging with the question of “what is your dream in life?”
It’s a heavy question I know—one that people push off as long as possible for whatever reasons, but it should not be overlooked. Sadly, many people can plan more for their vacations than they do for their lives.
The default setting that people are drawn to is to make money the end-all goal—assuming that if one can drive a nice car, have a big house, and go on lavish vacations then he or she must be happy in all other aspects of their life. This common misconception is disproved weekly with headlines about the reality of celebrities’ lives, which tell us that the super-rich are just like us and that throwing money at problems doesn’t fix anything.
When you make money the end-all goal, then you prevent yourself from succeeding at what you really want. I’ve met miserable people who live in huge houses and delightful people who don’t have two dimes to rub together. The difference between the two is purpose. What is your purpose? That’s a heavy question that you can think about later, but here are some ideas to think about meanwhile. Replace the general goals of getting a bigger house, a nicer car, or a larger bank account with goals specific to your situation. Ultimately you will determine your purpose and passions in life, but they could look something like:
- Being a blessing to your community.
- Being a good father, mother, daughter, son, brother, sister, husband, or wife.
- Providing a comfortable lifestyle for your family.
- Travelling the world.
- Helping in humanitarian efforts around the world.
- Spending more time relaxing with your hobbies.
- Learning a different language.
- Starting a new career.
- Graduating from med school.
- Being a stay-at-home mom.
These are examples. If you had to write down your top five right now, what would they be?
When you have these concrete goals, money becomes a tool to accomplish those goals instead of the end-all goal. This is a subtle, yet very important distinction because it will motivate you in intense ways to accomplish your goals. Rob West with Kingdom Advisors has said, “Money can’t help you find a purpose, but it can help you fund a purpose.”
When you view money as a tool to accomplish your important life goals then you can place benchmarks on your goals—specific numbers that you can check off once you reach them. This can allow you to retire at a specific desired age (if you want and if you have a plan and work the plan), take time to care for your children, or accomplish virtually anything if you put in the time and effort. It also motivates you to win with money. When you have specific goals in mind you’ll be more invigorated about accomplishing them so you’ll be more proactive in your money management activities like budgeting, investing, and making wise decisions. Most importantly, having benchmarks lets you know when you’ve made it, which will allow you to rest and get back to enjoying more of that fulfilling, rewarding life that you’re experiencing through your purpose and your passions and there’s no price tag you can put on that.
So what’s your BHAG (big hairy audacious goal) and what’s
prohibiting you from pursuing it with everything you’ve got?