Traditional conditioning orients males toward achievement in areas such as earning money, job status, providing for one’s family, physical strength and talent prowess. Female development has traditionally centered around relationship qualities, such as compassion/empathy, nurturance, intuition and communication skills.
In recent decades, as gender roles have increasingly blurred (e.g. women gaining stature in the workforce and more men raising children), mounting attention has been devoted to both sexes engaging in “significance”-driven or “purpose”-based action that transcends ordinary measures of attainment or success.
In his compelling book “With Purpose: Going from Success to Significance,” Ken Dychtwald focuses on engaging in regular acts of service to one’s family, community, country or to the world at large. He champions “reinventing retirement” by becoming active to create a better life for others, in addition to the usual pleasure or relaxation-centered activities of retirement. Dychtwald invites people to leave a legacy via generous contributions of time, skills and love, beyond routine monetary donations.
Last year Chuck Blakeman published his award-winning book “Making Money is Killing Your Business,” to create a template for entrepreneurs to exit the proverbial “treadmill” and to gradually build one’s ideal lifestyle. While offering some strategies and systems, Blakeman highlights the crucial mindset riveted to passion and purpose—clarifying one’s “Big Why,” as he called it. The author maintains, “We are all made to be and do something significant, whatever that means to you.” More emphatically, Blakeman adds, “… We are made to succeed in bringing significance and meaning to the world, whether it’s to a small neighborhood world or to the global one.”
As a counselor and life coach, one of the exercises I’ve assigned to many clients involves writing their ideal epitaph in seven words or less. In the process, folks typically become quite clear about what really matters to them in life.
Blakeman, C. Making Money is Killing Your Business. Highlands Ranch, CO: Crankset Publishing, 2010.
Dychtwald, K. With Purpose: Going from Success to Significance. New York: Harper-Collins, 2009.