When I was a kid in the 60’s, success for my father was a Cadillac. He was the pastor of a local church in Charlotte, North Carolina, but I’ll never forget his dream of one day owning a “Caddie.” For my friend’s parents, it might be a golf club membership, summer home, or regular vacations to Florida, but in so many cases, an “object” represented that generation’s “arrival.” Today, it’s vastly different. Not only do I have more opportunities than my parents, but I’m far better travelled, and been exposed to so much more. As a result, “arrival” for me isn’t a thing, it’s a state of mind. For today’s generation, success is about options – the ability to travel, to take time off, or spend more time with the family.
As a result, at Cooke Pictures, our media production company in Los Angeles, my employees value “time” as much as a raise. Particularly in today’s economy, they understand the economic challenges we face, and that’s why I’m far more open to offering them time off, extra vacation, or the opportunity to pursue their own personal projects.
When I wrote my recent book, “One Big Thing: Discovering What You Were Born to Do,” I uncovered a good lesson for employers across the country: allowing your employees the freedom to determine their own destiny. In the digital economy, discovering your purpose for living may be the most important reward of all. In a world of over-consumption and affluence, having another ski boat, or second home only adds to the pressure of living. But those few who have discovered what they were put on the earth to accomplish, are the ones who are truly free. They are unencumbered by fear, insecurity, or failure, because they’ve become comfortable in their own identity and purpose.
The future isn’t about things, it’s about purpose. And that’s good news, because it means that no matter the size of your bank account or title at work, you can discover a fulfilling and exciting reason for living.