I have seen brothers closer than friends and friends closer than brothers. I have seen closeness drift into distance and unconcern transformed into compassion. I have seen lives bump from one crisis to another without purpose and I have seen such focus that made me marvel.
I have heard of people who, at a fairly early age, wrote down the goals of their life and set off on the course they had planned. I’ve known others who never put to thought or paper what they intended to be doing six months or six years or six decades later.
I am reliably told that studies have shown that those with deliberate purpose in their lives make more money, have more stable relationships, accomplish more and enjoy better health. I’ve also known people who raised families, paid off mortgages and lived to a ripe old age with the spouse of their youth without having ever put plan to paper.
The purpose-driven life can be no better than the purposes that drive that life. Focus is only of benefit if the focus is on the things that truly matter. A legacy of wealth and fame and power will last for some time, even after the passing of those who create such a legacy. We still talk of Vanderbilt’s and Getty’s and others nearly a century after their passing. But are the things we say of them the things we really want said of us?
Happier is a pauper who keeps his soul than someone who gains the whole world and loses his.