How Looking Backward Changed My Focus Toward Helping Others
Do you sometimes wonder about the purpose of your life? Not sure where to start? Do you ever feel empty or undirected?
That was me. I was chasing big dreams, but they were not happening. I was stuck, I was frustrated, and I just could not seem to make things happen.
Then there was a defining moment. It was like flicking a switch.
That moment is when I discovered that my purpose was not to get rich, not to get famous — it was to be generous, to spend my life helping others achieve their dreams.
Now you may wonder, “How can someone who did not make his own dreams happen help others?” It’s a great question. You see, I had accomplished many great things, and I had accomplished substantial financial security and had many of the trappings of success.
But it was not enough. I wanted more. I was never satisfied. I had a great house, a couple of cars most people wished they could own, and I was traveling the world. Yet I was not going to be happy till I had the private jet, and a couple of Bentleys in the driveways of my mansions.
But something happened that changed it all.
I went to an event and a woman said, “Most of the CEOs in this room can never get enough. As a result, you’re not happy. But have you actually looked back to see what you’ve accomplished?”
It was a light bulb moment.
I thought back to when I survived for a week on a single jar of peanut butter, a loaf of stale bread, and a jar of pickles because I had no money in my bank account. I looked back at the rusty bucket-of-bolts car I had to drive and the tiny apartment in a bad neighborhood I lived in with a not-so-wonderful roommate. Then I looked at how things got better and better and better, better jobs, better cars, better houses, and as I looked back, I realized each of those was a blessing.
Suddenly, I awoke to a moment of awareness that I had enough, I did not need more, and that I was merely on a merry-go-round that would never stop. Even if I had gotten the mansions and jets, I would need more.
Then I realized I was happiest when I was helping other people, finding ways to inspire them, help them grow, using what I know to make their lives better. There is no greater mission for me.
I work in two areas I love. My early career was in radio, and I’m still heavily involved. And when I became an artist, that became my other life passion. So everything I do now is about those two passions and building new and fresh ways to help people in those categories, though my weekly blog, Sunday Coffee, is for everyone. It’s about life through my eyes.
I should also mention that we give a substantial percentage of all our earnings to organizations helping homeless people get back on their feet because we know any of us, myself included, could make one bad decision or have one bad thing happen to us that puts us there.