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“Money Does Not Buy Purpose”

Robert Carmichael


Just the other day a good friend of mine, Mr. Robert Carmichael, and I were on the road for just about 10 hours driving up north to High Springs from Fort Lauderdale for a business meeting exploring some opportunities there. The long trip there and the long trip back provided amble time and made way for long great discussions talking about the business, the opportunities at hand and many other things – including life.

Scanning through the radio stations our conversation happened to fall on music also. It was just two days prior that the famous and talented singer Witney Houston (age 48) died and our conversation soon touched upon this and how wasteful her early departure from this world seemed. I recalled also the fate of Amy Winehouse (age 27) who passed away last year and whose life seemed to bear some resemblance. Many more similar examples can be found of people who have reached high level of success in their metier and yet again seems unable to find happiness and balance.  Just look at many movie stars and other celebrities, who are subjects of many tabloid magazines gobbled up by millions of readers worldwide. We pondered this for a little and then my friend spoke the profound words:

“Money Does Not Buy Purpose”

Wow! Isn’t that the truth? We all need purpose in our lives or at least a sense of purpose. Purpose gives us directions and something to live for. Something usually much greater than ourselves. Purpose helps us stay the course even when things get tough and when we face obstacles and challenges. Purpose also often helps us align ourselves with good choices. Good choices on continuous basis lead us to good habits and our habits form our future. Whether for self or for grander scale of others, our purpose helps us be happy and helps us achieve a fulfilled life.

Now, we have all heard the phrase “Money Does Not Buy Happiness”. Well, neither does poverty. So while I do believe that money is not everything, I do believe that most people would be in a position where it would be easier for them to find happiness if their financial state was fairly comfortable or even better, great. Studies have found that most relationships often falter as a result of financial worries and certainly that many, many disagreements stem from unsatisfactory financial situations. But perhaps this discussion is getting off point and is the subject for a future post. The point of this post here is that we have all witnessed so many, many highly successful people having reached almost unfathomable successes in an area and yet completely seem to lack control over their personal lives.

Well, that’s not “Winning”.

I would venture to say, that my friend hit the nail on its head, by his words. So while I’m not presuming to know anything about the lives of the mentioned successful and famed celebrities nor what goes on in their heads, it would appear that these unfortunate people must lack purpose or a sense of purpose. They have all this success, money and fame that so many other swould love to have and yet their lives seem very – for lack of better words – messed up.


They say a life without purpose is a life without destination. Jim White who writes on Life Purpose says: “Like a boat adrift on the ocean, there is no telling where you might end up. With no direction to your life, you will be moved by random feelings and emotions into any harbor. Two thousand years ago the Roman philosopher Seneca wrote, “Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.” Adrift at the mercy of random feelings or unidentified urges, you will be capable of any evil because you lack control of your own life.

Purpose provides a vision that leads you to a vocation rather than to a mere job. It provides for passion and meaning to replace tedium and aimlessness. The question “Why Am I Here?” goes much deeper than finding what career is best for you. Finding a purpose is ultimately a spiritual endeavor because it involves a process of connecting with something greater than yourself.

Paradoxically, however, the process also requires you to look within yourself for your answers because that is the only place you will ever find them. You cannot use my answer to the question of your purpose, nor your father’s. You must come to your purpose by your own road.”

As for me I must admit, that I believe I’m still in the process of refining and defining what my life’s purpose is. I do believe more and more the answer entails something about helping a lot of other people attain success and happiness as I have found tremendous pleasure in seeing how appreciative and cheerful people have become when I have helped them even in small areas. Alongside I’m truly appreciative of having become a father of a most fantastic son and a beautiful girl yet unborn, an experience that gives and gives and gives and is a constant source of joy.


So what is your purpose? Still haven’t really thought about it? Probably time for you to do so. They also say that when you work in areas of your life purpose, work will no longer seem like work. You’ll be inspired and probably be a source of inspiration for others along the way. Remember as Jim White says: “The destination is not the ultimate aim. The joy comes from the journey. Purpose is bound up in the process.”




Gabriel and Mikkel Feb 2012

Gabriel and Mikkel Feb 2012