Purpose, Meaning, and the Good Life


Posted on May 21, 2009 by Blake Leath

For those of you who were kind, curious, and committed enough to devour my last blog in its entirety, today I am serving a tiny and tasty morsel for dessert. 

This very morning, I had the most wonderful time attending a Professional Women's Networking Breakfast and sharing some ideas on the topic of Resilience.

Throughout, and particularly afterward, I was overwhelmed by their own resilience, positive spirit, degree of engagement, stories of inspiration, and general entrepreneurship and drive.  These dynamic women are clearly tackling the world with a zest for life; the morning was absolutely buoyant.   

One of the most common topics that arose in the 'post-presentation' dialogues was Purpose & Calling.  A number of the attendees inquired, "Where can I learn more about 'purpose' and 'calling?'  I am personally at a crossroads, and eager to read and learn and discover more about myself and where I am destined to contribute, collaborate, and work."

In answer to this perennial question, I offer up the work of Richard Leider as a great "go to" resource.  Dick is a best-selling author, executive educator, life coach, teacher, speaker, and counselor.  His most well known books include The Power of Purpose, Claiming Your Place at the Fireand Re-Packing Your Bags.  He is a calm spirit in a blustery gale, a temperament which serves him well -- especially given his profession.  I consider him one of the most pivotal mentors I ever had in my earliest years as I stared-down several proverbial 'forks in the road.'

If you have, are now, or ever do face your own 'fork in the road' moment, bookmark the following two resources.  You'll be glad you did.  

Are You Deciding on Purpose?  (An easy, breezy interview from Fast Company Magazine

Purpose&theGoodLife.pdf (1,016.52 kb)  (A rich, scholarly study on Money, Medicine, and Meaning as subsidized and published by MetLife) 


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;         5
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,         10
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.         15
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

 Robert Frost