As we humans have evolved over the past thousands of years, we’ve moved from focusing on survival to focusing on prosperity.
It’s therefore been a big surprise for prosperous people to find that prosperity is not a final destination.
Over the past century, as humans have mastered the environment, refined technology and organised themselves regarding business activities, the way has opened for them to embrace capitalism, materialism, success and prosperity, which have been the western world’s version of “living the dream”. The rush to get more things and do more things has resulted in what John Sanei, author of Magnetiize, calls the “horny teenage boy syndrome”, in which grown men in executive suits and suites chase money, power and one-sided satisfaction.
And so all these overgrown teenagers continue to chase that extra million or two in performance bonuses to feed their primitive egos and make them feel important and successful. But there are enough stories of shattered personal and professional relationships to attest to the fact that, when they achieved their “success”, it just did not fulfil them because they still felt empty and incomplete.
That’s because prosperity is a very selfish, narrow minded state, and features very low on the scale of human consciousness. With all of us chasing it, you’d never have thought that, though.
Prosperity is all about the things I have and the things I do and the places I go. Try to explain that to your “average joe” executive who’s still chasing those extra millions at the expense of everything else and he or she will look at you as if you’re crazy. After all, isn’t success – and prosperity – what life’s all about?
No, actually, it’s not. And some of the more evolved, more emotionally intelligent, more emotionally mature people are starting to realise this. They’ve started to realise that prosperity is not the final destination. It’s merely one of the stops on the road of life. When we stop thinking in terms of one destination and start thinking in terms of one destiny, we start to understand that it’s not about prosperity but about purpose.
That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be prosperous. If you are not prosperous, you are one of those who needs help. So prosperous is good, but there’s more to life than being prosperous, so you need to find your purpose.
Yes, purpose is what fulfils us as people.
We need to find our purpose in ourselves, in our communities and in our country – as people, as parents, as partners, as leaders at home and at work.
If you don’t find your purpose you will die incomplete and unfulfilled. When you find your purpose, you can start living in the unique space that you alone occupy in the universe. People who have found their purpose don’t need any motivational speakers or motivational programmes to get them moving. They don’t need policies and performance appraisals to get them to do what needs to be done. They don’t need performance bonuses (not that they’re a bad thing) and they don’t need a boss micromanaging them.
They do what they must do without any of that because they are driven by a purpose that comes from within.
One of the greatest needs we have as humans when we get to the end of our lives is not a bunch of assets, recognition or fame and adulation. We want something very simple. We want a sense of completion. We want to feel that we have done what we needed to do in this life before we move on.
So, become prosperous, by all means, but more importantly find your purpose in life and you will know that you have taken a big step toward your sense of completion.
Alan Hosking is the Publisher of HR Future magazine, www.hrfuture.net, @HRFuturemag. He is a recognised authority on leadership skills for the future and teaches business leaders and managers of all generations how to lead with integrity, purpose and agility. In 2018, he was named by US-based web site Disruptordaily.com as one of the “Top 25 Future of Work Influencers to Follow on Twitter”.