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Money Jedi: Wealth and Purpose

Find your purpose in your work. Captain Saito's orders!

Find your purpose in your work. Captain Saito’s orders! Image by Nosleinad7 at Flickr Commons.

What is your purpose? What are you meant to do with your life, and for the world, and is that what you’re doing?

What is your purpose for wanting to be wealthy? Have you thought about the reasons behind your desire, and have you thought about what you’ll give to the world–really–in return for the money it’s going to give you?

I believe having a strong sense of purpose is key to being a Money Jedi. All of the rich people I’ve met have known exactly what they were doing, and exactly why they deserved to be rich for it. They have some idea of what they’re really contributing to the world, and they don’t downplay their influence.

In other words, rich people (those I know) are conscious of their purpose and its value, and they live that purpose every day.

A lot of us go around without a solid sense of purpose. We’re not sure what we’re here for, what we have to offer, and why we deserve to be super rich in return. We don’t spend a lot of time thinking about this, either–unless we’re about to enter college and trying to decide on a major. Most of the time, we’re just too busy living day-to-day, treading water in so many ways, that we don’t take the time to assess the trajectory of our lives, or what we’re contributing to the world.

Sometimes these big questions sucker punch us during a mid-life crisis. But like I said, most of the time we don’t think about them.

Time to think about them, grasshopper.

If you’re not sure what your purpose in life is, time to get clear about that. Money sometimes flows abundantly to people who simply find something they’re good at and do it over and over again. But it flows more abundantly, and more readily, to those of us who are living our purpose.

I fully believe that the universe (or God, or whatever you want to call it) will support us in doing what it is we’re meant for. I’ve experienced this to some extent, so it’s easy for me to believe.

Did I make a living before I became a professional writer? Sure. But not a good one. I scraped by. I worked minimum wage jobs and felt lucky I had enough for rent and groceries. But when I started flexing my writing muscles and asking for money in return, everything changed. Not overnight, but it changed.

It’s like Joseph Campbell said. Do what you are meant to do, follow your bliss, and the money will follow.

But there’s more to living your purpose, and getting paid for it, than following your bliss. There are several layers to this sandwich:

Know your purpose, live it, and monetize it.

Know why you want a lot of money.

Know why you deserve a lot of money in return for your contribution.

 

Let’s take these one at a time.

What if you don’t know your purpose in life?

If you haven’t found your bliss, there are tons of things you can do to find your purpose. You can take independent classes about things you’re interested in–your hobbies and such, like making pottery or cultivating sea monkeys.

However. You could dabble for years in various hobbies without finding your purpose. And if you don’t already have a burning passion for making pottery and providing the middle-upper class citizens of the world with unique handmade kitchenware, it’s unlikely a pottery class is going to inspire you.

Here’s a great article, by Umair Haque, about letting your purpose find you.

One point in Umair’s article really jumped out at me as a great way to get to your own core, and maybe learn what you’re really about. Go do something that breaks your heart.

Does it make you want to cry when you think about the number of animals euthanized because they have no homes? Volunteer at a no-kill shelter. Do you feel your heart twist when you hear stories about victims of domestic violence trying to rebuild their lives? Ask a shelter if there’s anything you can do to help.

Learn all you can. Go to the scary, hard, heartbreaking places. Don’t back away when it starts to hurt. That’s passion, right there. The more you learn, and the more you get invested, the more your heart will want to help.

Just imagine all the people you could help if you devoted yourself to a cause that touched your heart.

 

Now, ask yourself why you want a lot of money.

Don’t be shy when you answer. You’re allowed to want money for your kids’ college fund, but you’re also allowed to be selfish here. Take a piece of paper and list all the things you would do and buy if you had unlimited wealth.

But don’t just stop at the physical things–the Harvard fund, the hand-embroidered cowboy boots, and trips to Martinique. Also list the feelings you’d like to have. What would it really feel like to pay off all your credit card debt? To know you could send your kid to Harvard? To buy those cowboy boots and not feel guilty while two-stepping? Take your time when you make this list, and really explore what you want all this money for.

 

Now, here’s an interesting one. Ask yourself why you deserve this money. What will you give to the world in return for it? A Money Jedi isn’t looking for a free ride. A Money Jedi is looking to exchange great value for equally great value.

That’s why it’s important to understand your purpose. But answering this question goes deeper than just parroting what your purpose is. It’s about understanding its value–what you really contribute to the world.

If you discover your purpose is working with abused women, you’d say, “I deserve this money, because I’m helping women be safe and free. I’m helping them find refuges where they can protect themselves and their children. I’m giving them guidance and resources. I’m empowering people. I’m contributing to a world with less violence.”

Now, don’t you think someone like that deserves to be well paid?

If you think your purpose isn’t one that will provide you with a lot of money, I encourage you to think outside the box. Have you researched all your options for practicing your skills? The internet makes virtually anything possible these days. Don’t write yourself off and say you can’t make a fortune because, “counseling abused women is important but it doesn’t pay a lot.”

I’m not saying you won’t have to do legwork or be innovative. I’m saying that if you know what your purpose is, there will always be something worthy of great value there.

***

L. Marrick is a historical fantasy writer and freelance copywriter. She waxes poetic about swords and the Renaissance Faire at her author blog. She looks all professional-like at her copywriting site. She eats too much chocolate and still doesn’t believe downward dog is supposed to be a restful yoga pose. You can connect with her at either of her websites, and follow her on Twitter @LMarrick.


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