• 12:28:03 am on September 15, 2008 | 13
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    Ryan’s Life Purpose

    Ryan is the first cab off the rank (well done!) by posting about his Life’s Purpose … feel free to weigh in (ask questions; make a comment, or whatnot) … I know that I have a question or two … for example, Ryan: what do you think it will take to live this kind of life (in time, and money terms) … in a general sort of way – we’ll get to the specifics soon enough?

    Why are you here?  An easy enough question to answer when you’re at Burger King, but slightly more complicated when we’re discussing your entire reason for taking up space on this planet.  For the lucky few, the answer is incredibly obvious and found early in life.  For the rest of us it takes some serious soul searching and is constantly a work in progress.  

     Michael Phelps is a Dolphin

    I was not born with the super human abilities of a Michael Phelps or the acting abilities of a Robert Deniro, but am just “pretty good” at a lot of different things.  The proverbial jack of all trades, master of none.  So for me to figure out what I am here (on earth) to do, I asked myself what I am passionate about, what drives me.

    Looking back on my life thus far, and my many different jobs, three simple things have remained constant.  I’m a people person, and I like to solve problems and be creative.  I have utilized these interests in my professional life primarily by building relationships with people and learning about their problems or wants and finding solutions for them to fix/fill those problems/wants (some of you might know this process as sales!).  While this has been fulfilling to a degree, I do not currently feel as though I am utilizing my talents to the best of my ability, but believe that I can develop these skills to effect real change (hopefully positive!).

    So that leads me to My Life Purpose, which is to build relationships that build dreams.  I need to help people in life changing ways.  I feel as though I can build the kind of relationships that will enable me to build dreams.  My dreams and the dreams of others.  Not with simple hand outs, but by being creative to help them help themselves, and each other (through things like networking).  My dreams include being financially able to have the resources and time to devote to others while still providing a good life for my family.

    This purpose statement certainly resonates with me, but I do feel like it lacks clarity in my mind.  In other words, I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to do it, but I’m nearly certain it’s what I want to do.

    When it is all said and done, and my next of kin are discussing my journey through life, my hope is that they see me first as a loving and caring father, grandfather, and husband.  Then as a good stewart of my talents and resources by striving to constantly learn and better myself while always helping those less fortunate than me.



  • Scott 5:06 am on September 15, 2008 | #

    And your off to a good start with your life’s purpose Ryan, by working with all of us in the 7m7y community to build our dreams. Good post!

  • Lee 6:54 am on September 15, 2008 | #

    Thanks Ryan, I really liked your post and even more so your “Life’s Purpose”. It reminds me that the most important item on a tombstone is not the date of birth or the date of death but the dash (-) in between. A dash lived with purpose and passion is a life well lived.

  • Ryan 4:03 pm on September 15, 2008 | #

    @ Scott & Lee – Thanks for the support. I’m looking forward to reading your Life Purpose posts soon!

    @ AJC – As for what I think it will take in terms of time and money, it will take a lot of both! I don’t believe I can do what I want to do in respect to helping others and spending a lot of time with my family while keeping a job. So for starters, I will need to at least replace my current income with a passive revenue stream.
    Next, while I don’t believe in “handouts” per say, I know that I will need a large fund to draw from to be able to affect real change.
    We also live in an area of the country (Southern CA) that has a high cost of living, and we don’t believe that it’s no sin to enjoy life (great food, nice house, vacations, golf, etc.), as long as you don’t have a lust for money. So our nest egg needs to be sizable to accommodate those things as well.
    We will get into specific numbers later on, but figuring out, in detail, how much all of that will likely cost and how big of a nest egg we will need was one of the best exercises I’ve ever done. I encourage everyone following along to do it. It gives you a goal and makes it more “real”.

  • Diane 4:53 pm on September 15, 2008 | #

    Hi Ryan! Congrats on getting “out the gate” while the rest of us still struggle with pen to paper. I don’t know how my “rear deck speech” could fit neatly within a blog, but I do have a couple of hard questions for you. When you say that you want to be remembered as a good husband, grandfather and father – hope I got the order correct, tho I assume that was not in any particular order – it is not clear to me what that really means.

    I have been thinking about this, and I think that there is something that each of us means when we say things like “a good person” but that it has a different meaning for each of us, much as Adrian said once. We want to live a good life or to be happy, but what that really means will be something different for each of us, and that in order to realize our dream, we need to be able to visualize it – to see it, to taste it – before we can make it happen.

    Do you have something specific in mind, or are you meaning, “I want to die with them wanting “just a little bit more” of me (rather than their being glad I’m gone” or are their specific traits that you would like to be remembered for, specific acts towards your fellow man, etc.? Only you know can know what those are, and these are likely to change throughout life as your perspective changes.

    Good luck, and thanks for leading the pack on this one!

  • AJC 10:43 pm on September 15, 2008 | #

    @ Di – Great questions! Ryan?

    BTW: there’s nothing wrong with saying “And, here’s my Rear Deck Speech:” 🙂

  • Sue 6:22 am on September 16, 2008 | #

    I can vouch for the fact that Ryan is already – ‘a good person’ as well as a wonderful father and great son. It has always been his nature to be kind, considerate and helpful to others.

    And I am not surprised to see him participating in this “experiment” as he has handled finances well from a very young age. When he was still too young to work, I loaned him money for a four-wheeler and for years he handed over his birthday and Christmas gift money to me to pay back the loan. It actually hurt to take it from him, but he learned an invaluable lesson about financial debt at about age 12! He also held a job in high school to pay his own car insurance.

    For those of you who are parents or hope to be one day – remember to teach your children the value of money early on – it is an priceless lesson.

    AJC – thank you for creating this opportunity for these very fortunate, ‘magnificent 7’!

    Ryan’s MOM

    PS – Hope is OK for an “outsider” to comment on this site.
    and Ryan – watch the double negatives 🙂

  • AJC 7:25 am on September 16, 2008 | #

    @ Ryan’s Mom – You are most welcome to leave as many comments as you want! I agree that a financial lesson learned early is a financial lesson learned well …

  • Josh 2:37 pm on September 16, 2008 | #

    Enjoyed your first post Ryan. I also enjoyed your comment about the “lust of money”. Adding to that, alot of people get the phrase wrong with “money is the root of all evil” the true quote is “the LOVE of money is the root of all evil.” And just by reading your fist post it sure doesn’t sound like you suffer from this incorrect relationship with cash.
    Looking forward to your next post.

  • Ryan 11:37 pm on September 16, 2008 | #

    @ Mom – Thanks!

    @ Diane – I really appreciate the questions. I think we need more tough questions about our posts because they are the ones that make us think and will truly advance us in our journey.

    I’ve actually quantified what it means to me to be “a good blank” (father, husband, son, grandfather) for goals in the past and considered posting them in the blog but decided against it because it seemed a bit tedious for others to read, and not necessarily pertinent for our discussions here.

    I think what’s vitally important, as you covered well, is that each individual knows in detail what those things mean to them, so that as with any goal, they can genuinely know when they’ve achieved it.

  • Debbie 7:03 am on September 17, 2008 | #

    Great post Ryan. I think that people who are “pretty good” at a variety of things actually have an advantage over people who are experts at one or two things. By being pretty good at everything you do, you have more opportunities… if the first thing doesn’t go as perfect as you’d like, you have all those other things you’re “pretty good” at to change paths when necessary.

  • AJC 7:40 am on September 17, 2008 | #

    @ Debbie – I agree; in fact generalists often exhibit a “beginner’s mind” i.e. the desire to always be learning … this has proven to be a key marker of highly successful people.

  • Mark 1:49 am on September 19, 2008 | #

    Hi Ryan, I like how you want to help people build dreams. Dreams give us hope and with hope, our mind will tell you that there is something out there to resolve your challenges and it drives us to take action and not to give up. It is a great life purpose.

  • Don’t be a wallflower! « 7:17 am on September 26, 2008 | #

    […] archives for the next 2 to 3 weeks after that post for the follow-ups) and then read some of the posts in the past few days to see the results … don’t forget to review the comments (!) and, […]

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