362 – December 28
“We are not here merely to make a living. We are here to enrich the world, and we impoverish ourselves if we forget this errand.”—Woodrow Wilson
Food. Shelter. Clothing.
These are the basics that we need to sustain life.
Everything beyond that is entertainment.
There is purpose and reason to our lives—beyond sustenance and beyond entertainment.
What is your purpose? What is your mission? What’s it all about? My guess is that it isn’t about just staying alive, and it isn’t about who’s got the most stuff.
When you answer this question, from your heart and your soul, you will know true financial peace. You have what it takes to survive, to stay alive—because, after all, here you are, alive after all these years. When you understand that the search for wealth, riches, beautiful things, etc. is just for your entertainment, you’ll know you can be happy whether or not you have those things.
When I make High Budget money, I spend more. When I make Low Budget money, I spend less. Financial stress reduction is about being fluid and flexible with money—if you’ve got more, enjoy it; if you’ve got less, enjoy other things. Change your focus.
Beyond staying alive and entertaining yourself: What are you here for?
“I am happily fulfilling my life’s mission every day.”
My life’s chosen mission is “Joy and prosperity for all!” and my work is to spread that idea and help people achieve it. But life isn’t all about work, so along with that, my life’s purpose is to appreciate it and enjoy it. I think being happy contributes to the lives of others and brightens the energy of people around you. I know my family is happier when I’m happy, and I’m happier when they are.
Some people think life is all about “sacrifice” in this “veil of tears.” That rather takes all the joy out of life, doesn’t it? The purpose of life is to endure it? I think not.
Yes, there’s a lot of pain and suffering in the world, and its part of our human purpose to try and alleviate some of that suffering wherever we can. Some saints among us make it the total focus of their lives to sacrifice on behalf of others to the exclusion of all else.
Well, I call them saints, but sometimes I wonder. Shouldn’t there be some balance in there, too? Wouldn’t they be able to give more if they replenish themselves with fun and pleasure sometimes, too? But when I saw the young novitiates of the Dominican Sisters of Mary of Ann Arbor, Michigan on Oprah, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone glow with such joy of life as they did. They have dedicated themselves to serving God and others, and by so doing, achieve great joy in their own lives.
Deng Ming-Dao in 365 Tao says, “Those who follow Tao believe in using sixteen attributes on behalf of others: mercy, gentleness, patience, nonattachment, control, skill, joy, spiritual love, humility, reflection, restfulness, seriousness, effort, controlled emotion, magnanimity, and concentration. Whatever you need to help another, draw upon these qualities. Notice that self-sacrifice is not included in this list. You do not need to destroy yourself to help another. Your overall obligation is to complete your own journey along your personal Tao. As long as you can offer solace to others on your same path, you have done the best that you can.”
What service are you called to, and how far will you take it? Declare your purpose here!