I don’t get the point of the exercise at all …

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I don’t get the point of the exercise at all …

This whole concept of the Number, Your Rear Deck Speech, and the associated “Lee’s List” is difficult because it is intangible and personal …

… it only has meaning to YOU and you alone!

That’s why I thought that I should share Di’s recent comments in response to a good-natured back-and-forth between us exploring the role of ‘hair salons’ in one’s Life Purpose:

Well, then I don’t get the point of the exercise at all. Am I supposed to have some higher-than-thou kind of motivation in order to BE motivated? I thought the point was just to BE motivated. Lee’s List looked like a bunch of “what I would do with the money” to me, along the lines of his personal desires. So did Scott’s. So, if I haven’t somehow in all those writings already said what I’m doing with the money, then it’s just not coming thru clearly.

My point is simply this:

I’ve traveled this road, and I can tell you that the road to the top of the hill (and, you’ve already had a ‘sneak peek’ at how steep each of the 7MITs’ roads might be) is going to be EXCEEDINGLY tough … emotionally tough … mentally tough … physically tough … and, the list of ‘toughs’ goes on.

On some level, you already understand this simply because you know a lot more people would be rich if it were simply a matter of luck, knowledge, or external factors (of course, they ARE factors, too).

It’s my belief, and experience, that a lot of motivated people simply fall off the path to riches because they hit Roadblocks Number 1 thru’ n, and eventually give up …

…. or, more likely, simply settle for less.

Think about it; you want $10 Mill. and you make it to $3 Mill. then a fork in the road appears: an easy way (stop now and pocket the $3 Mill.) or the hard way (say NO to the ‘offer’ and roll the dice again).

Which road will you take?

Well, you think you MAY know the answer, but I can tell you that you won’t KNOW for sure until you get there!

This happened to me, but somehow I persevered beyond Roadblock (n+1) …

… I believe THE reason that I managed this was because there was only ONE measure of success to me:

Achieving my Life’s Purpose as measured by the $5 Mill. that I needed for my travels and the fund for my ‘creative adventures’.

And, yes, I got the cars and the houses, and the home theater and all that stuff, but they really weren’t that important to me, and still aren’t.

For example, the US house is on the market, the Maserati at the dealership on consignment. Who knows what the house is like that we have bought in Australia (we haven’t seen it yet)? And, I know I won’t buy another Maserati there (at least not straight away … so here I am looking at BMW’s again) simply because taxes double the price of ‘exotics’ Down Under.

It is what it is …

Hardly suffering, but the point is, we buy what we reasonably think we can afford because we have a large bank account because we aimed for OUR top and got there.

Who knows what would have happened if our Number was $1M or $50M … all I know is that it was $5 Mill. (and, we got lucky enough to overshoot in the process of cashing out).

As for the tangibles – ‘finer things’ – in life:

I didn’t ever put a $4+ Mill. house or a Maserati in my Number; I did pick a ‘rich’ lifestyle – sure – but, that was VERY secondary to fulfilling my Life’s Purpose with: travel; time; and, a ‘slush fund’ … all of which allows me to do what I am doing right now (just STARTING to really LIVE my Life’s Purpose).

Plus all the other stuff that I have planned (and, for once in my life, left gloriously unplanned)!

So, Di.

This boils down to YOU … what is so important to YOU that you simply won’t back down until you get to it … the WHOLE shebang, not some ‘booby prize’?

It could be in what you’ve already written … it could be more than you’ve written … it could be less. But, when you find IT (if you haven’t already), you will know, without a shadow of a doubt.

Of course, if you have found IT already, that’s it … STOP … smell the roses for a while before we launch into the journey-proper … and, don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.

But, if you can’t find IT now – even after looking real long and hard – don’t worry … push on with what you DO know, but leave yourself open to the possibility that something more may appear … or, may not.

Oh, and if you’ve been following this discussion between me, Di, and the Others and this exercise STILL doesn’t make any sense, don’t worry …

… SKIP IT and simply make your best guess at a Number (and Date) and see what happens … nobody knows how Life will pan out for YOU; it may just work out fine, anyway 🙂

BTW: Since I drafted this post a few days ago (in fact, as soon as Diane raised the question), Diane has revised her Lee’s List – I can see from what she has now written that she totally ‘gets it’ – after a little help from Jeff – so I thought that I should share an extract, here:

I went back to Lee’s 2nd List and here it is, then paralleled my stuff to his organization. In the end, I like what Jeff said and will address that at the bottom.
@ Adrian – thanks for posting my life’s purpose…
A). $ 350,000 ……. Design, write and publish course materials.
(B). $ 500,000 ……. Travel to states & Countries 6 times a year.
(C). $ 300,000 ……. Help Establish chaplains programs & donate.
(D). $180,000 ……. Two vehicles & expenses (domestic type)
(E). $ 400,000 ……. Create & Publish Magazine (God & Stress management)
(F). $ 550,000 ……. Two yearly Personal “Family” vacations (stress relievers)

(A & B (B is for A)) Travel costs for 6 months overseas living, researching and writing, with no other visible source of income: $55,000
(to enable A & B) Living expenses: $90,000
(C) not enabling any programs or specializing in donating
(D) Vehicle within the states: $15,000 annually, with maintenance/insurance
(E) I’ll use a blog – free to me and readers – to gage and increase readership and interest, but not to the extent that I would detract from the “real” writing – no cost, tho perhaps might want to set up a LLC and a webpage professionally eventually – say $20,000 upfront (assuming I hire expensive designers to do it for me and then to run it) and $5k per year thereafter. Right now, Barry has one and it is about $20 per year and he updates it himself. So, I’ve been figuring this is negligible for us. IF the money from the writing allows it, then we do it. If not, we stay “free”
(F) Researching and writing and living like this IS the stress-free vacation – going home to visit them is a lot more stressful  and is considered part of the travel costs anyway (the direction that is backwards) for when it is necessary or desireable, hopefully the latter, but my parents are in their mid-70s and this will be when they are near or into their 80s, so I would expect some travel back to the states from time to time.
But…$6,000 for yard/garden – this is a big stress reliever as well.

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Reader Comments

Great reminder of the big idea of what we are trying to learn about ourselves. I think it’s easy to get caught up and lost in the material things(I believe they will actually cloud our clear vision of our life’s purpose sometimes)but we just have to remember that while they can be great luxuries, they will never set you free on your true purpose in life.

On a side note, it seems everyone’s life purpose includes ‘freedom from working a job’ and ‘to travel’, both to some degree and both of these require a fairly substantial chunk of money to do well. I think where we all get a little confused about finding our life’s purpose is that these things seem more like ‘wants’ than ‘needs’ to anyone(afterall, what we really ‘need’ is food, shelter, water and companionship) I personally still think that the other desires are different degrees of ‘wants’ and those who want them more will break through the challenges to their number, IMHO.

I feel that I understand both Adrian and Diane’s positions equally. Adrian wants us to understand the difference between our ‘wants’ and our ‘needs’, so that we have a true life’s purpose to drive us through incredible challenges that we will inevitably face achieving it, however Diane I think, see’s everyone else’s list, (including Adrian’s own personal list) as filled with many ‘wants’, no different from her own.

# Scott – This is true, I don’t see “Living Your Life’s Purpose” listed on Maslow’s Hierarchy 🙂

Equally, the whole point of this part of the exercise is to set yourself up to achieve something in Life that you REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY WANT (a.k.a. 99.9999% of NEED) to live / experience / achieve … it could be a simple goal, a grand goal, or no goal:

I just happen to believe that the ‘size’ (or importance/impact/etc.) of this goal will be directly proportional to how much money you need … and, end up with – for all the reasons you state.

@ Scott and Adrian – I feel I have a much greater understanding of this exercise after these two comments. Thanks fella’s.

@ Adrian – Gotta love Maslow, lol. But seriously, I definitely know what you are saying and I now understand whole-heartedly the purpose of the experiment and the kind of soul-searching it requires to master, that to me is now the easy part, the hard part is actually getting the purpose down completely for ourselves with a rear-deck speech that clearly defines it.

Over and over, I just keep asking myself, what would Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and others list their Life’s Purpose as. I imagine it had to be astronomical in order to propel them to the kind of business and financial success that they have achieved.

@ Josh – Any help we can provide is all yours Josh 🙂

@ Scott – … or else WB, BG, et al just got freakin’ LUCKY! 😛

ROFL, Hey, that could be true!

I think they were just after the Maserati.

I think you maybe right Jeff. Or else they basked in their triumph, took a vacation to Fiji and then developed another, bigger Life’s Purpose 😉

In a way, I would like for my Life’s Purpose to be “I want to be a rock star.” Then Nickelback’s song Rockstar would pretty much sum it all up…(I would leave the drugs part out). The lines in parenthesis remind me of something AJC would say…


I’m through with standing in line
To clubs we’ll never get in
It’s like the bottom of the ninth
And I’m never gonna win
This life hasn’t turned out
Quite the way I want it to be

(Tell me what you want)

I want a brand new house
On an episode of Cribs
And a bathroom I can play baseball in
And a king size tub big enough
For ten plus me

(So what you need?)

I’ll need a credit card that’s got no limit
And a big black jet with a bedroom in it
Gonna join the mile high club
At thirty-seven thousand feet

(Been there, done that)

I want a new tour bus full of old guitars
My own star on Hollywood Boulevard
Somewhere between Cher and
James Dean is fine for me

(So how you gonna do it?)

I’m gonna trade this life for fortune and fame
I’d even cut my hair and change my name

‘Cause we all just wanna be big rockstars
And live in hilltop houses driving fifteen cars
The girls come easy and the drugs come cheap
We’ll all stay skinny ’cause we just won’t eat
And we’ll hang out in the coolest bars
In the VIP with the movie stars
Every good gold digger’s
Gonna wind up there
Every Playboy bunny
With her bleach blond hair

Hey hey I wanna be a rockstar
Hey hey I wanna be a rockstar

I wanna be great like Elvis without the tassels
Hire eight body guards that love to beat up assholes
Sign a couple autographs
So I can eat my meals for free

(I’ll have the quesadilla on the house)

I’m gonna dress my ass
With the latest fashion
Get a front door key to the Playboy mansion
Gonna date a centerfold that loves to
Blow my money for me

(So how you gonna do it?)

I’m gonna trade this life for fortune and fame
I’d even cut my hair and change my name


And we’ll hide out in the private rooms
With the latest dictionary and today’s who’s who
They’ll get you anything with that evil smile
Everybody’s got a drug dealer on speed dial, well

Hey hey I wanna be a rockstar

I’m gonna sing those songs
That offend the censors
Gonna pop my pills from a pez dispenser

I’ll get washed-up singers writing all my songs
lip sync ’em every night so I don’t get ’em wrong


And we’ll hide out in the private rooms
With the latest dictionary and today’s who’s who
They’ll get you anything with that evil smile
Everybody’s got a drug dealer on speed dial

Hey hey I wanna be a rockstar
Hey hey I wanna be a rockstar

@ Adan – only he would sound a lot better than me 🙂

… then I would add, OK, now pull out the key items that you can attribute a $$$ cost to (either to BUY or BE) and, there you have your Lee’s List!

And, if you’re any good, my song would be “I wanna be your Manager … [so, how you gonna do it?]” 😛