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Life Meaning

As little as 50 years ago, the scarce commodity in western countries was money. For my grandparents, their primary challenge in life was to make enough money to take care of their children. For example, my "Grandpa Whetten" grew up as a dirt-poor rancher in a small mountain colony in Mexico. As an oldest child, he was too busy doing things like driving herds of cattle through blinding blizzards to be able to go to grade school. Yet, through astonishing dedication to his ideal of being able to provide a better life for his children, he managed to get an education, put himself through college by shoveling coal, and eventually become dean of a major university. Growing up, our family motto was, "If it's tough, give it to a Whetten." Perhaps like yours, my family tree is filled with everyday heroes, and if I have accomplished much, it is "because I stand on the shoulders of giants."

Today, the scarce commodity is meaning. We live in a country where people drive to their protests. The majority of people in our country can take housing, safety, food, and medical care for granted. Yet, most of us are still fighting our parents' and grandparents' battle — unconsciously striving to make even more money, even if we no longer know why. Or, perhaps realizing that there is little fulfillment to be found today in the old American Dream, young adults flounder, partying and playing because they don't have satisfying role models for the question of "what do I want to be when I grow up?" I spent the first 30 years of my life climbing up every ladder of achievement I could find, and the "final straw" that sent me in to a personal and spiritual crisis came when our company went public, and I could no longer hide from the truth that simple success can not provide lasting meaning.

Success and achievement are key aspects of life, particularly in our 20s. However, without meeting our deeper needs, we will never find fulfillment. With Core Coaching, I delight in helping fellow high-achievers learn how to meet their spiritual needs of Growth and Contribution, in order to take their life satisfaction to the next level.


Today, in western countries, the scarce commodity is not money, but meaning.