Purpose and Pyramids

Most of this month I have been writing about “Purpose” a popular buzzword in the on-line personal, development world right now.


Maslows Hierarchy of Needs









I have also been searching out many other opinions on the subject from a variety of sources.

It has been an interesting exercise.

In my previous post The Power of Purpose, I touched on the idea of “Just Doing It”, taking action first, thinking about purpose later.

When the wheels fall off, or it all goes pear-shaped, our first priority is survival, taking care of the basics, food, shelter, clothing. That is our sole purpose, as unglamorous as it may be. Only once those needs are met can we move up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and start thinking about the nice-to-have stuff.

This week I have two articles to share with you, completely different but with a common thread. The first is about the substantial penalty, Vibram, the makers of the “barefoot” running shoe must pay to disillusioned buyers who discovered that this revolutionary footwear did not turn them into athletic superstars as they claimed the company’s advertising promised.

It is not the intention of this post to debate the merits of the penalty. My point in sharing it is that it is one more indication of the current quest for instant gratification. A quest temporarily satisfied by buying the latest shiny object that will produce results without the buyer having to do the work. The article refers to many other penalties against companies for misleading advertising, mainly in the weight loss category but also other sports shoe manufacturers.

No doubt many advertisers in these and other categories cross the line and make unsubstantiated claims, but what happened to common sense? It might require some technical knowledge to decide whether car manufacturers’ fuel consumption claims can be believed, for example. However, the real problem is too many of us look for the easy fix, rapid results, gain without pain, and are ready to believe any wild claims that support our fantasies of beautiful bodies, faster running or instant wealth.

The second article was published in Made in Dayton. It refers to the S.W.E.A.T. pledge which has been created by Mike Rowe, the handyman on TV. The pledge stands for Skill & Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo. Follow the links in the post to Mike Rowe’s site or the pledge itself. The one part of the pledge that stands out is:

“I do not follow my passion, I bring it with me.”

This article is in many ways the polar opposite of the first.

I am starting to see more articles, blog posts, comments, newsletters similar to this, that support the idea of hard work, than the first.

Am I just being more selective in my reading? Possibly, but I do sense that the swing of the pendulum is starting to slow. That it will reach the full extent of its swing to the entitlement mentality soon and start swinging back towards personal responsibility.

Let’s hope that point is not too far off. Then perhaps, more people will find purpose in what they do and take action.

What do you think? Leave a comment.


Peter Wright




p.s. One group that gets many brilliant common-sense comments is Chris Brogan’s OMFG group on Google+. It’s members only, but membership brings a daily email with excellent ideas. Membership is only $9.97 a month. (affiliate link)

graphic – wikipedia creative commons

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  2 comments for “Purpose and Pyramids

  1. Roberta
    May 29, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    Fantastic set of articles, Peter. And the link to my birth place, Dayton, Ohio made this post all the more appreciated by me.

    Where to start??? I do not have enough time or space to say everything I want. I may use this topic and these three articles in a blog post of my own.

    I have wanted to write on this topic for several months now but just could not find what I call ‘a hook’ around which to write. These articles have given me a hook. Thanks for the inspiration, Peter.

    I also heard recently on radio that Denzel Washington, one of my favorite actors and human beings, also spoke to kids recently and extolled hard work.

    America and Americans have become lax. In our haste to make sure out kids have every advantage we unintentionally made life too easy and caused our children to think they are inttiled to anything and everything without any effort or work.

    It has caused all sorts of unintentional problems in the USA.

    If we are going to survive and avoid the downward spiral that occurred in Greece, Rome, and England we have to right ourselves pronto.

    I too have seen and sensed the worm has turned and perhaps we can begin to right our overly permissive society and get back to some sanity and common sense.

    Thanks for the great reads, for writing on this subject, and for inspiring me.

    • May 30, 2014 at 9:24 am

      Glad you enjoyed the Ohio link, Roberta. Something I did not mention here but may in a future post on my other blog, is the huge swing in favour of the anti-European Union parties in England, France and Denmark in the recent elections for the European Parliament.

      I believe that was driven by a strong desire for people to have less government interference (at all levels) and more personal responsibility, in their lives.

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