I had an epiphany today, on a Sunday, in church–but it was not a religious epiphany. Rather, it was a secular, consciousness epiphany, inspired by a quote from Reverend Sonya Milton, the minister at Unity San Francisco. It was about what Unity is about:
Practical spiritual teachings that empower abundant and meaningful living.
A nice turn of phrase, but what hit me right between the eyes was the juxtaposition of “abundant” and “meaningful”. Though this concept is certainly not new, and I even talk in Moneylove about one reason people work in addition to money is to leave a thumbprint on the world, which I guess is a pretty good definition of a meaningful life. But something about the simple placement of these two words in this short phrase made me look at this idea with a sharper focus. Abundant and meaningful. To underline that abundant is not enough, not complete.
All along I’ve been saying that prosperity is about more than a lot of money. But this underscored it for me, and made me think. It coincides with some realizations that have come up in recent coaching sessions. A lot of my clients already have money coming in doing the work they love doing, but they are looking for a higher purpose than merely exchanging their ideas or their time for money. And “A meaningful life” is really what it’s all about, isn’t it? At the end of it all, do you want that marble slab to read “Here lies someone who made a lot of money.” or: “Here lies someone who had a meaningful life, who left a thumbprint on the world?”
When someone asks you to name a very rich person past or present, the names that usually come up are people like John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Richard Branson. All of these led or are leading meaningful lives as well as abundant ones. So it looks like the exclamation we should all be making instead of “Show me the money!” is “Show me the money and the meaning!”
Many of the epiphanies I’ve had in life were triggered by a single sentence or phrase, and I find that is often true for others. And sometimes very simple statements. The Merriam-Webster definition of the non-religious type of epiphany is:
A usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something; an intuitive grasp of reality through something usually simple and striking; an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure.
And sometimes the triggering mechanism can be an event, but it often is a sentence or phrase for me. I’ve often mentioned the simple comment from Leonard Orr back in the 1970s that got me into the whole area of prosperity consciousness, in which he just said that our attitudes about money itself dictated how much money we would produce. How simple can you get? But to my knowledge, while a lot of people talked about positive attitudes producing wealth, no one before Leonard specifically said that how you thought about actual cash affected your financial result. That was an epiphany for me, and led to a most lucrative and meaningful career.