Financial success important, but should not be life’s purpose

Published 1:38 pm Saturday, January 9, 2016

by Dr. Carletta N. Perry

Q. I’m a 45-year-old man with a good life, but I haven’t achieved the financial success I had hoped for. How do I stay driven?

A. First of all, congratulations on living the “good life.” I am constantly reminding myself that so many do not have the opportunity to live the good life or even have many of the things we take for granted. For example, many people must be thankful for being able to pick up items in the grocery store without looking at the price because sometimes you go into the grocery store with $20 and praise God when it comes to $19.99. Some people are able to eat out 2-3 times a week at $5-$8 per meal, whereas some people only have $10 until their next paycheck 15 days away. Some people are able to go the gas station and leave with a full tank, but others are still getting $10 on pump 3.

So, what is the good life? It is subjective! It is what you believe it to be, what you see as good and what you are grateful for. It sounds like you really do have a good life — you have been alive for 45 years (thank God), you recognize that you have been blessed (thank God), you have achieved some financial success (thank God), and you appear to be a man with a good work ethic, drive and determination.

What is missing? Purpose. I always say, you must know where you are going so you know when you get there that you have arrived. It seems to me that you have arrived, but you don’t recognize your house. In other words, you have been headed in an upward direction without a destination in mind. You may say: I do have a destination … more money! I would ask you to think about what it is you want to do with the money, i.e. retire comfortably, send kids to college, vacation or simply spend time with family or doing the things you want to do?

Now, money can help in many ways but many people are achieving those same results without a million dollar bank account. Their kids are going to college, they experience fun vacations, they spend valuable time with their partners and kids, and they even turn hobbies into businesses.

You asked: “how can I stay driven?” You are driven and will probably always be a driven person, but be careful that you don’t drive past all of the important things in life chasing financial success.

Life is a journey; not a destination. Enjoy life!

DR. CARLETTA N. PERRY offers therapeutic life, relationship and career coaching. Catch her television show, “It’s Life Changing with Dr. Carletta Perry,” on Sundays at 11:30 p.m. on WSKY/SKY-4 and on YouTube. Email her