Sacrifice vs. Service:
Gaining Clarity and Life Purpose
When it comes to the stories I have heard from my clients, the thing that strikes me most is that no one ever says, “You know, Beau, I really regret doing this or doing that.” They never say that. What they regret are the things that they didn’t do. Ask yourself:
Are you doing what it takes to get by, or are you doing what you want?
There’s a true story I tell in the RichLife book about an accomplished theatre director who came to rehearsal each day wearing a leather jacket with a yellow button pinned to the collar that read: Don’t Die Wondering. On opening night he assembled his cast and crew and explained:
I have been a director now for over ten years, but you should know that hasn’t always been the case. Twelve years ago, I was lying in a ditch in the rain, too bombed out of my mind to even walk home. I was unable to hold down a job, and had pretty much alienated my family and anyone who tried to help me.
That night was probably the lowest point of my entire life.
The only thing I was ever interested in was the theatre, and everyone who ever cared about me told me it would never pay the bills. Told me it wasn’t the place for me. So I believed them. I got myself into a respectable line of work, one that could support a family.
But by the time of the night in question I was so miserable, spending the night in a muddy ditch felt preferable to returning to what had become my life.
That night I started wondering what would have happened if I’d followed what I really wanted to do. I was lying there thinking about that when I opened my eyes and saw this button lying in the ditch next to me. This button right here. And I saw what it said, and I went, all right, I’m going to stop wondering now.
In the end, that’s all it comes down to. You either die wondering what would have happened if . . . or you go and find out for yourself.
A lot of us subscribe to the idea that if we want to take care of the people we love, it must come at the expense of our own happiness. Many of us are convinced that the best thing we can do is focus our efforts on high paying jobs, regardless of their personal value to us, so we can send our kids to college, or save for our retirement. We are taught to cling to jobs we don’t find fulfilling, sacrificing our own desires and talents in the name of security.
There is another way to look at the work you do. A way that allows for both service to others and fulfillment of ourselves.
The RichLife principle is built upon the concept that we are responsible to ourselves and to the community at large, to invest in and live out our Life Purpose in the best way possible. What I have learned with regards to retirement and self-sacrifice is that it leads to an incomplete life. Putting all your eggs in the money basket for a grand retirement someday does not create happiness today, nor does it lead to the achievement of your RichLife.
Living your Life Purpose is the greatest gift you can give to yourself, to those you love, and to the world at large.
This is what God created you to be and do, and there is no legacy more powerful to leave behind for your children than a life well lived. Become a living example to them. It’s an exhilarating feeling to know who you are, what you are all about, and how you can contribute the most value to self, family, community and the world around you. Because here’s the secret:
Once you have identified your giftings and talents, the most direct way to securing success is to use them in the service of others.
That’s right. Using your gifts and talents with an attitude of service to others will propel you to eventually become one of the most respected, highest payed professionals in your field. And the really good news here is that discovering your Life Purpose has nothing to do with age, or the stage of life you are in.
I have seen many clients make more money in their retirement years than ever before because they are finally doing what they really want to do!
Why wait until you retire to do what you really want to do?
What obstacles do you have to overcome?
Who or what inspired you to finally stop wondering and start doing?
I’d love to hear about it!