I recently received an interesting letter from one of our subscribers, quite complimentary. He pointed out that he particularly enjoyed one week’s edition of the newsletter having to do with success. Then he elaborated on the fact that he has achieved so many things–God has been really good to him–and his question was, “I guess it’s like winning the World Series or the Super Bowl. After you have done that, there simply isn’t a Universe Series or a Galaxy Bowl to win. When you are on top, how do you find a bigger hill to climb? Or do you?”
Emphatically yes! The writer did not mention his real purpose in life, or how many people he had helped on his way to the top. What he can do now is clear: Identify clearly and distinctly what his purpose in life is. When he does that, I believe he will realize there are much higher hills to climb. They’ll be tough, but very enjoyable at the same time. And out of it will come joy. Joy comes only when you do things for other people. You seldom experience joy when you focus on what you’ve been able to do. However, when you focus on what you can help someone else do, that lights a fire that is extraordinary.
Personal example. Many years ago, with the aid of key members of our staff, we created our Mission Statement to be the difference maker in the personal, family, professional and spiritual lives of enough people to make a positive difference in the world. Audacious? Of course it is! But when we wrote it, it was ridiculous! Very few people really knew who I was or what we did. Since then our works have been translated into over 40 different languages and dialects in several million books touting the philosophy that You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want. Following that philosophy, the bottom line is countless people have benefited.
The letters we receive (in public seminars I show a photo of myself sitting behind my desk, on which are stacked over 5,000 letters from around the world) reveal the benefits people get from following through on what we teach. Few writers, if any, mention anything beyond the fact that they benefited and then they elaborate on what those benefits have been. When I receive that kind of correspondence, I am motivated and encouraged to “keep on keepin’ on.” I encourage anyone who is ever in North Dallas, Texas, to visit our offices where you can read as many of those letters as you wish, but I always like to warn that if you read very many you will leave our company with everything we offer in the form of inspiration, training, etc.
Reality is when you have a specific purpose in your life you are far more likely to maintain momentum than otherwise. I could get in a little commercial here and say if you read my book, Better Than Good, you will be able to clearly understand why. But in the meantime, let me encourage you to start working on discovering your real purpose in life–what gives you real joy? Have you ever reached down and lifted someone up with your words, your example, your career, your life, and they expressed gratitude for what you did for them? If you’ve done that even once, then you know what joy is all about.
I have pondered this for many years–I notice that many people start out on a specific objective (getting in better shape physically, getting better educated, winning more friends, influencing more people, etc.), but along the way they had no specifically designed purpose and so they dropped out. I can tell you seriously, and if we were seated in front of each other I would look you right in the eye and say, “Since July 4, 1972, when my purpose in life was clearly defined, not one time have I even thought casually about abandoning our mission statement.” I had that dream and the dream had me.
Passion is important, but passion can wear you out if you don’t clearly understand what you are pursuing–in short, if you have purpose the passion simply fuels the purpose. If you do not have purpose, passion wears you out. When you clearly understand that, you will realize that regardless of how many bucks you have in the bank, how high you are on the corporate totem pole, regardless of how healthy and happy and prosperous you are, you still have a huge hill to climb–and that is fulfilling our Biblical application of the Golden Rule, helping other people along life’s path. When you do that, then your purpose will be crystal clear and the results foregone. God bless you as you ponder these things.