Creative Leadership

What’s More Important: Your Salary or Your Purpose?

In college, I had a friend named Carl, who came to the same film and media classes I attended. We were friends and had the same goal – to work in the entertainment and media business. While we were in college, we both had different jobs and during that time, Carl worked in a furniture store. When we graduated, I started packing to pursue my purpose, but Carl got a nice offer from the owner of the furniture store. So he decided to take the offer, pay off a few bills, and “catch up with me later.”

It’s been 37 years, and Carl still hasn’t shown up.  Every time he was ready to leave the furniture store and come to Los Angeles, his boss offered him a raise. After a few years, he was married with kids and got into the retirement program, and the promotions and raises were a big help. But every time he accepted those raises, he was trading a piece of his dream.

After 10 or 20 years, the window of opportunity closed. Now, it’s too late to pursue that dream, and he’s left managing a furniture store in the Midwest. It’s a good job with a certain status and position. He’s a respected member of his community, but he’s not living out the purpose he planned.

What about you? Which is more important: the risk of pursuing your dream and purpose in life or the security of a salary?

It’s a simple question with not-so-simple answers. But either way, it’s up to you.

What’s your answer?

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