Sunday, June 05, 2011

Making Myself Rich

About two or three months ago I was listening to The Dave Ramsey Show on the radio when Dave began the segment by interviewing a man he called his "brother of a different mother" because he connected so much. This man is named Tim Sanders and they talked about his new book called Today We are Rich. 

The focus of the book is developing total confidence in your life, which in turn, gives your life meaning and purpose. This is the recipe for a rich life. Not to mention it helps bolster your financial prospects.

Many aspects of the Today We Are Rich are practices that I already engage in on a regular basis. Some I did now and then but do more regularly now, like verbalizing aloud my intentions, requests for guidance and my gratitude. I get the opportunity to do that almost every morning along a quiet beach with a gorgeous view of San Francisco in the distance. WOW.

But there was one lesson in Today We Are Rich that took me by surprise and deeply affected me.  I would like to share that with you.

The most profound  takeaway from the book was toward the end, where Mr. Sanders dissected the difference between following your passion and following your purpose. Oh if only I had access to this advice15 years ago!!! I'd be a different person by now, but better late than never.

What is the difference between your passion and your purpose? Your passion is self centered while your purpose is your service to others. Sanders says that when you blindly pursue your passion you end up drifting aimlessly doing what you want to do instead of doing what you need to do to contribute to society.

Oh my gosh, this is so much my life because it wasn't until I moved away to Thailand in my early 30s that my life had any purpose and meaning. I chose to live abroad and teach so that I could make a difference to children and help them with one of the most important parts of life, their education. I also needed to take myself out of my familiar environment to heal emotionally.

It wasn't until I had a life of purpose that the things I wanted in life finally happened. I found love, got married and became a mother.

In my early and mid twenties, my life was all about partying. I was completely hedonistic; I lived for fun. It set the course of my life - self gratification.

Then I had been a dissatisfied drifter, deeply unhappy with unsatisfying relationships and vocations that  were just jobs. I was still living for the weekend and work was drudgery. I totally reaped what I sowed because I followed my passions, which back then was educating myself on topics Art Bell would talk about on Coast to Coast, namely UFOs and extraterrestrial life. It consumed me! And it is still interesting, though not worth so much of my invested time.

Then I got hit by the travel bug in my late 20s and early 30s and my life was focused on being adventurous by following my passion for travel. I was always looking outward, never thinking that looking inward and finding meaning in all of this would end all this seeking.

Now a decade later, I have finally matured and feel spiritually centered. In that time I have discovered  meaning after my first few years being a new mom and redefining my sense of self yet again. It has not been an easy road to take, and this is a huge lesson I plan on teaching my son so that he hopefully will find his way sooner than me. It certainly avoids much suffering!

So the bottom line that Tim Sanders makes in his book is to follow your purpose instead of pursuing your passion. Enjoy your passion because it makes you feel good and it's a fun play time. But in the end it is only self-gratification.

You might want to read Today We Are Rich as well, so that you can find a takeaway in your life that really makes a big difference and helps you achieve the power of total confidence.


OakMonster said...

Then again, for some of us our passion is our purpose: I have a passion to help people. And then my Buddhist teaching layers on top the fact that should not want more than I really need. I guess I can still live a passionate and purposeful life...

...except that we want to get in a house. So I guess I have to abandon both and find me some moolah first. LOL.

Amy P. said...

EXACTLY, Oakley. When your passion IS your purpose, you've found your sweet spot. You're very lucky in that you've achived that; very few people do.

I actually think I found it once living in Thailand; it satisfied my sense of travel and adventure at the same time I was teaching and fulfilling my purpose.

Good luck in your house hunt. You'll need lotsa that green stuff with living where you do! :) (I'm in the same boat).