Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Finding Joy, Energy, and Purpose in Our Work

January 2009

Finding Joy, Energy, and Purpose in Our Work

These words of George Bernard Shaw inspire me deeply every time I read them.

"This the true joy in life—being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being thoroughly used out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy."

I can vouch for the veracity of those words, for the times I have felt the greatest joy have been when I have been clear as to my life purpose and have been full of drive and energy—a “force of nature” in Shaw’s words—in achieving that purpose. I’ve heard it said that “a man all wrapped up in himself makes a pretty small bundle.” When we find a larger purpose than our own comfort and when we exert ourselves toward achieving it, we stretch ourselves, unwrap that “small bundle,” and stand a little taller.

There is another joy beyond the direct, personal happiness that comes from finding and living our own purpose. This other joy is the kind that comes from working alongside another who has found their purpose and is stretching themselves to change the world for the better. When we have played some small part in helping them clarify and live out their purpose, we are able to share in their joy and energy. We are able to bask in their reflected sunlight.

My sincere conviction is that our greatest potential as professional advisors is not merely to help our clients make more money, pay less taxes, or pass on more of this world’s goods—and I in no way want to imply that these are not valuable skill, for they are—but rather it is help our clients live more joyfully by finding their own “mighty purpose” in which they can become “a force of nature” in their own right.

Over the past few decades, I have learned that Legacy Building and story-based planning are our quickest routes to this vicarious joy. That’s because in the story sharing that is the heart and soul of this approach to client services, our clients will discover the deeper meaning of their lives and find what makes them truly come alive.

Howard Thurman has written: “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that, because what the world really needs is people who have come alive.”

To which I would add: The world also needs those who can help others discover what makes them come alive. My vision is that I can be one of those.

No comments:

Post a Comment