Soul Purpose is the term I use to describe your unique combination of abilities, knowledge, values, and passions combined to deliver a specific mission to the world. It is your calling, your mission—the highest expression of who you are in service to others.
Every individual is born with a powerful Soul Purpose. Living Soul Purpose brings you the greatest health, wealth, and happiness while having the greatest impact on others. Furthermore, discovering, manifesting, and monetizing your Soul Purpose creates the most sustainable economy, both for you personally and the world.
Put simply, living Soul Purpose is doing what you love, what you’re passionate about, what feeds your energy. It’s the things you’d do even if you weren’t getting paid. It’s the things you may not even value because they come so naturally to you—but for which others are willing to pay you a premium.
Living Soul Purpose is the only guaranteed path to prosperity for the following reasons:
- When you’re doing something you love, you’ll stick with it through even the most difficult challenges.
- Spending sufficient time in your Soul Purpose makes you world-class at delivering your unique value. (See Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, which documents the magic number of 10,000 hours.)
- It helps you escape the commodity trap, which means you can deliver value that no other person on the planet can.
- You’re happier and more fulfilled, which makes for better relationships and greater cooperation.
- When you’re in flow with Soul Purpose, you’re more focused on value creation than chasing dollars, and dollars follow value.
- Soul Purpose is your area of knowledge, expertise, skill, and control, which means you’re much less prone to make financial and business mistakes. Even when you do make mistakes, you learn from them and recover much more quickly.
This isn’t just theory. In 1960, Srully Blotnick began a study of 1,500 people representing a cross-section of middle-class America (see Getting Rich Your Own Way). Throughout the twenty-year study, they lost almost a third of participants due to deaths, moves, or other factors.
Of the 1,057 that remained, 83 had become millionaires. When the researchers interviewed participants at the beginning of the study, the most widely shared impression they found was that "great wealth can come to you only as a result of doing things you don’t want to do." They also noted that from the start, most participants assumed that chance would play a decisive role in determining who became wealthy.
They found that the 83 successful people shared five characteristics:
- They were persistent.
- They were patient.
- They were willing to handle both the "nobler and the pettier" aspects of their job.
- They had an increasingly noncompetitive attitude towards the people with whom they worked.
- Their investment activities — aside from their main career — consumed a minimum of their time and attention.
Writes Blotnick, "We originally expected the people in our sample to become wealthy by taking the money they earned at work and investing it wisely, in such things as stocks, bonds, and real estate…We thought there’d be no way for [them] to become rich unless they used their surplus income to generate more income…It didn’t work out that way…More often than not they made little or no money investing."
In short, the study revealed that the main source of wealth for the successful participants was that they found something they loved to do and they did it well.
"In case after case," says Blotnick, "they did increasingly well occupationally, while their pursuit of investment profits proved to be largely a waste of time. In the long run, it was their work which made them rich."
Blotnick concludes that investing in yourself, what you do, and with whom you do it are the most important determining factors of wealth—in other words, living Soul Purpose.
The Soul Purpose formula is simple: "Do what you love in the service of people who love what you do," as Steve Farber says.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily easy. First of all, discovering it can be difficult, since it comes so naturally to you that it’s difficult to see. For this, lifelong education and mentoring are the keys. Secondly, it may take trial and error to package your value in a marketable form.
Soul Purpose is not a static destination, but rather a lifelong progression. But one thing’s for certain: If you stay on that path and "follow your bliss" no matter what, you’ll become much more wealthy than if you simply chase dollars.
[Ed. note: Garrett B. Gunderson is a Financial Advocate and the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Businessweek, and Amazon best-selling author of Killing Sacred Cows: Overcoming the Financial Myths that are Destroying Your Prosperity. Learn more at www.GarrettBGunderson.com or www.KillingSacredCows.com.]