Having a purpose in life that lines up with a chosen career is what many strive for and rarely achieve. Why is that?
Maybe it’s as simple as having allowed yourself to follow the career expectations of others, only to later find life experiences, wisdom, or an event (like a pandemic!) exposes cracks in the alignment between life purpose and chosen profession.
For many, the past year has caused them to take a hard look at their life purpose and ask the questions:
- Why am I building wealth?
- Is this my chosen career?
- Why am I endeavoring to achieve the next promotion?
- Why am I allowing life to hijack deeply held life goals and purpose?
Learning from the past
As I look back on my own journey, I often joke, saying I am a “reformed CPA,” but I seriously am. Having initially had a successful career as a chartered accountant in Sydney, Singapore and Thailand, and later in the financial services industry (running my own wealth management business), I always knew my career was more than about me conforming to a way of life.
That is, conforming to the script of have a good job, buy a house, invest and increase wealth. I think you get my point. But in reality, I always recognized something was missing.
My talents made me successful in my chosen careers but did not fulfill my passion, vision and values which I wanted to define and articulate in my life purpose.
I can’t say I was overly navel-gazing or looking for meaning in life; it was simply a deep belief that something more was going to be my career and purpose. The trouble was I didn’t know what.
Getting back to basics
I began to realize that if I wanted to discover my TIPS (talent, identity, purpose and significance) and get my career and life purpose aligned, I would have to do something about it myself. Hence the birth of DNA Behavior.
I recognized that using a behaviorally smart scientifically based discovery system I would be able to uncover areas of my TIPS that were not being recognized or used in my career – or toward my life purpose.
So, some 20+ years ago I founded the DNA Behavior business. It became clear to me that everyone should know and be able to share their unique “DNA style” with family, advisors, leaders, employees and clients. I knew that if everyone could share their unique style, the world would be a better place and careers would be chosen that lined up with living a quality life and inherent passions.
What I discovered and have spent the intervening years pursuing: My purpose and priorities lay in helping people the world over become more self-empowered through greater self-awareness. What I found is that I have a knack for discovering and making practical, unique behavioral insights, particularly in the still-new, still-underutilized field of behavioral finance. This is a much stronger calling for me than providing accounting and financial services, investments, and managing real estate.
The highly validated, scientifically based, structured approach to understanding behavioral insights for identifying talents, career paths and life purpose helped me discover my passion and now does the same for millions of people globally.
There is of course an irony – and a win-win – to the fact that my personal discovery and pursuit of that will enable the same for others. Of this I am doubly grateful.
And this is not a sales pitch; rather, it’s sharing an experience about discovering life purpose and making a career from that discovery.
Sometimes life intercedes
During the past year I have spent socially distant or remote time with countless people who are questioning many aspects of their lives. Now many are reviewing their career. Not because they have lost their job, but because they’ve had time to work from home with their family and have begun to “taste” a quality life.
They want to do life differently. They want to use technology to be able to have choices about where and when they work. Even more have commented on how successful conversations have become with their advisors as many financial advisors are themselves questioning their quality life.
One common theme in these conversations: It seems creating significant wealth is no longer their “true north,” not because they don’t want wealth but because they genuinely cannot find its purpose in their lives.
Wealth is great, but not at the sacrifice of life purpose. Why not have both?
Know yourself, then help clients do same
Discovering a life purpose that becomes a satisfying career needs to follow a well-defined approach that begins, not necessarily with qualifications, but with knowing self (talents, strengths and struggles). Focusing on those factors that reveal inherent behavior is crucial before setting personal life goals that enable you to take control of life in ways that optimize performance and happiness.
This approach to building a career based on life purpose is a strategy you can take to your clients as part of discussing financial planning and investment strategies, because many are searching for purpose and meaning. Even better if you lead the discussion with how you have rediscovered yourself, re-examined your goals and re-aligned key life facets like purpose and direction.