My dad did not have a study table growing up. They did not have blankets to cover themselves. They used hides. His dad probably faced what we consider “worse” living conditions. But my question is: Did they know that they were living in dire straits? This was way before the “revolutions” that we talk about reached his end of the world.
One day I think my dad cut himself with a machete accidentally while working. His dad scrubbed off the top of a matchstick as “medicine” and bound it. My point is simple: the further back you go in time, the more you get closer to how simple and basic life was.
From the Stone Age, to the Agrarian Revolution, to the days of Barter Trade, to Industrial Revoution all the way to the information age, we have “developed” through the ages as a human race. In one of my books, I have asked a pertinent question,
Picture this: Our fathers and grandfathers never had the internet, cell phones, iPads, iPods, tarmac roads, Mobile Money, sliced bread, chips and chicken, microwaves, major infrastructure and all the technological advances we boast of today.
Yet come to think of it…are we any better than them? No, am not talking about technology and development and dispensations and revolutions. I am talking at human and individual levels…are we better than our fathers? Are we more ‘impactful’ in life than they were in theirs?
How come when we want to create a catalogue of great men and women, for the most part we have to retreat to the annals of history?
The answer is simple. These great souls were souls on fire and souls on purpose. Regardless of the simplicity in which they lived, they managed to create major revolutions in their time that astounds us today.
Harvard Business Review has written a very powerful article on this topic. The subject of this article is :Companies with a Purpose Beyond Profit tend to make more money. In this very interesting read, they say the following:
“a new leading edge: those companies able to harness the power of purpose to drive performance and profitability enjoy a distinct competitive advantage”.
Frankly, I am not any bit surprised with this findings. Earlier on in my writings I had predicted that Purpose will be the next big Revolution. Once we enter that domain, the world will not recover again. In fact, I dare say that the ultimate recovery of the universe from its fall will be marked by realization of everything and everyone fulfilling their original intended purpose. That’s it.
I know that sounds like something that would take God to do it…and indeed it will. However, my prophesy is not on that kind of revolution. It has already been prophesied years ago. Mine is that before God comes to restore stuff here on earth, mankind will be living in heightened states of seeking, knowing and increasingly living their purposes in life. I feel that strongly in my heart.
In 2002, an obscure American preacher (at least to the rest of the world) set out to write what was on his heart in terms of purpose. He ended up writing a book titled “The Purpose Driven Life”. By that time, Rick Warren did not have an idea of what chord he had struck in the hearts of the entire human race. Just five years later in 2007, the Purpose Driven Life had sold over 30 Million Copies world-wide. What does that tell you?
Humanity is hungry for meaning. Viktor Frankl wrote my all time favorite book titled, “Man’s Search For Meaning”. I can assure you that money is not what most people are hungry for. They are rather hungry for purpose. Ask those people with lots of money and they will tell you. They are trying to be altruistic.
Perhaps we are living in a dispensation which unlike any other before it, offers the ready “market” for people to live on purpose. This means that however bizarre or weird we deem someone’s purpose, today it has a place in this world. Therefore, more and more people are able to be comfortable in their purpose and actually make a living out of it. In fact, the greatest killer of purpose is the perception that there are no benefits pursuing it. As dispensations come and go, this is proving to be a fear that is unfounded. As time goes by, it will be more natural for people to fearlessly pursue their passion and purpose.
No matter how “developed” we get as a human race, nothing has ever been invented that will fully replace the fulfillment that comes from pursuing and living on purpose. As we started manufacturing in the industrial age, we found out that we can mass produce processed food. Eating has never been replaced or made better. Even if we eat with golden spoons, we still have to chew with the mouth. The experience though is more amplified when you are eating at a fancy place with the people you love. So the “revolutions” that we have had have simply come to make our existence better, and not to replace our purpose. The sad thing however is that we have now become more complex and abandoned purpose and got lost into these “revolutions”. That is why people think that a fancy car or phone or house equate fulfillment and purpose. They soon find out immediately they purchase one of these luxury items…that they need to add another and another…it never stops until we come to recognize purpose.
Businesses are realizing (what they had always known) that productivity is tied to purpose. Real productivity is not just about numbers. Many sectors are also realizing that purpose is not just a religious thing.
In the Harvard Business Review article, the story of Toyota (TPS) is highlighted. It is said that companies that operate on purpose last longer and are six times more profitable than those who are purely focused on profits:
What happens in most organisations that have no overriding purpose other than profit? In a subtle alchemical shift, the metrics fill the vacuum, muscling out any wider purpose with the imperative of hitting the numbers. This transposition of ends and means is often disastrous because methods, now geared to meeting the metric, are detached from customer purpose — so banks sell payment protection insurance to people who do not need it, or VW managers manipulate emissions readings to meet targets. Look no further for the reason why companies lose their customer focus. (https://www.ft.com/content/b22933e0-b618-11e5-b147-e5e5bba42e51)
People are looking for happiness. None of what they have ever lasts. Lasting fulfillment comes from the knowledge that you have impacted someone positively and they appreciated it. Fulfillment is not found in getting, accumulating and protecting what you have acquired. It is found in giving what you have without ever wanting to get paid for it. That is how it works.