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Live with Purpose

| August 28, 2017

I just finished an extraordinary book, The One Thing by Gary Keller. There was an entire chapter dedicated to living Life on purpose. Maybe this is the reason it could be my favorite book to date. No matter, it gave lot of food for thought. What do you think the one thing that most people want in life? What do you want most in life?

Of course….happiness! Keller explains though we all want it, we really don’t know what it is. He shares this ancient tale called the “Begging Bowl” to explain:

Upon coming out of his palace one morning and encountering a beggar, a king asks, “What do you want?” The beggar laughingly says, “You ask as though you can fulfill my desire!” Offended, the king replies, “Of course I can. What is it?” The beggar warns, “Think twice before you promise anything.” Now, the beggar was no ordinary beggar but the king’s past-life master, who had promised in their former life, “I will come to try to wake you in our next life. This life you have missed, but I will come again to help you.” The King, not recognizing his old friend, insisted, “I will fulfill anything you ask, for I am a very powerful king who can fulfill any desire.” The beggar said, “It is a very simple desire. Can you fill this begging bowl?” “Of course!” said the king, and he instructed his vizier to “Fill the man’s begging bowl with money.” The vizier did, but when the money was poured into the bowl, it disappeared. So he poured more and more, but the moment he did, it would disappear. The begging bowl remained empty. Word spread throughout the kingdom, and a huge crowd gathered. The prestige and power of the king were at stake, so he told his vizier, “If my kingdom is to be lost, I am ready to lose it, but I cannot be defeated by this beggar.” He continued to empty his wealth into the bowl. Diamonds, pearls, emeralds. His treasury was becoming empty. And yet the begging bowl seemed bottomless. Everything put into it immediately disappeared! Finally, as the crowd stood in utter silence, the king dropped at the beggar’s feet and admitted defeat. “You are victorious, but before you go, fulfill my curiosity. What is the secret of this begging bowl?” The beggar humbly replied, ‘There is no secret. It is simply made up of human desire.”

Keller then goes on to say this, “One of our biggest challenges is making sure our life’s purpose doesn’t become a beggar’s bowl, a bottomless pit of desire continually searching for the next thing that will make us happy. That’s a losing proposition…Happiness happens on the way the way to fulfillment.

So, what is your purpose? Is it leading? Is it serving? Is it being a good parent, grandparent or teacher? Is it giving back? Is it simply being a good friend? Or encouraging? None of these are destinations, but all of them build a legacy your family will be proud of.