One of the biggest joys in my work is to see how our clients use their money to create meaning and purpose for themselves. This intersection of wealth, meaning, and purpose in life is something that sits at the heart of our business. We strive to understand and realise this space for each of our clients. We want people to see money as a tool for creating a good life, rather than an end point in itself.
This good life is different for everyone. Providing safety and security, opportunities for growth and fun, and self-actualisation is all a part of it. However, it seems to me, that meaning and purpose are the ultimate use of our money – the icing on the cake when it comes to a good life. When we think of using money for meaning and purpose, we may think of big philanthropic ventures that will create a legacy. But it need not be. It can be small incremental gifts or interventions that can make a difference to our own or someone else’s life.
It may be using our money to create opportunities for others, or funding a project that gives us a reason to still be engaged even though we are retired. For some, it’s helping with grandkids, for others it’s funding the development of emerging artists. It can also be big, such as eradicating poverty in Africa or saving our oceans. It’s about a purpose outside of ourselves.
When money is focused on our pleasure, at some point it becomes meaningless. And if it’s about boosting our own bank balance or ego, it never satisfies. But when it’s beyond ourselves, whether we are creating, helping, or nurturing, it becomes expansive. It has the potential to spark joy.
Of course, we should ensure our future survival but that is different from hoarding. It’s only when money is used that it is useful, that it can create your version of a good life.