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Home > Blog > The Case for Purpose
Out of Our Minds
Monday, April 10, 2006 2:18 PM
The Case for Purpose
Anita Sharpe on Passionate Work

I just returned from what turned out to be one of my longest -- and one of my best -- vacations in seven years. It was a relatively quick trip with my son and one of my dogs to the Gulf, where I've vacationed many times; but I decided what made this trip special was the complete lack of grown-up concerns and conversations. I was basically out of cell range and didn't take my laptop. 

But within 20 seconds of walking in my door last night, I was hit with the news that my mom's younger brother had died in his sleep that morning. It was stunning -- the man I remembered as so young and vibrant, who always knew the top songs on the charts and drove such cool cars. 
 
But even though Uncle Fred kept up with culture, he really didn't build much of a life outside of his work. And he didn't work for himself. So at age 72 -- long past the age most people at his company stayed on -- he had to retire. He never seemed to know what to do with himself after that.
 
The doctors believe he died of heart failure. But I have to think that endless days with no real purpose also played a part. It's hard to be on vacation for the rest of your life.


3 comments

Janet Auty-Carlisle - 4/11/2006 11:43:52 PM
Some people spend their lives living to die while others live their lives dying to live. Anita, it sounds as if your beloved uncle was in the dying to live category. Good on him. When my dad retired, forced at 65, he took up a second and third and fourth hobby...He now belongs to a group called the Harmonichords and they go around to senior's homes to play the oldies...(my dad is almost 80) he is also part of a computer group and an avid sailor...I often tease my parents that it was a good thing they retired as they are too busy now. Sometimes I have to call and make an appointment days ahead.....My point....as you so eloquently pointed out..."it's hard to be on vacation forever." Find a hobby, do what you love, love what you do: always. It will keep you young at heart. Blessings to you and your family Anita. Living la vida fearless, Jan
Anita - 4/10/2006 10:22:08 PM
Thanks for the very nice words, Tracy. Those comments mean more than you know.
Tracy Misner - 4/10/2006 9:16:42 PM
Anita~ I just got through a little dinner by myself reading your magazine...I stopped by Publix after work and picked several magaines to read while I refocus...and Worthwhile was in my stack. I want to thank you for at least making me feel that my passion for HOW I do work is more important that WHAT I do.... I try to inspire my associates to feel that EVERY aspect of our projects is just as imporant as the project itself...but more importantly, is HOW we do it...How we make that client feel EVERY step of the way....and in doing so, the person who "just answers the phone" is just as important as the one who closes the sale...or the one who actually edits the video, or even the one who scans in the images for the editor. And guiding that ship, I feel a responsibilty to motivate and teach ethics and purpose...old fashioned values that stem from a basic premise that we are good people doing good work for good clients.... Please DON'T EVER NEVER EVER STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING!!! You give validation for those of us who want to inspire, motivate, create, and enjoy our work.

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