Last week I had the opportunity with friends to see the movie “All the Money in the World”, which is based upon the true story of the kidnapping of one of J. Paul Getty’s grandsons in 1973. For those that don’t know, American-born J. Paul Getty (1892-1976) at that time was regarded as the richest man in the world and lived secluded in his palatial home in the English country side near Surrey. The movie was so good that I decided to read the book by John Pearson upon which it is based. The book was even better.
I allude to this not so much to provide a movie and book recommendation, although I do recommend them both, but moreover to relay that which struck me upon learning this incredible story and the family behind it. The biggest takeaway I could gather was the importance of purpose in life, for it is purpose that gives meaning to life. Without purpose, we become drifters, aimless, without direction and reason. And it’s this that struck home when learning about the numerous offspring of the richest man in the world.
Married five times and producing five sons, J. Paul Getty’s purpose in life was running his oil company employing some 20,000 people, which he built from scratch. His purpose was his business and to the seemingly neglect of his family, it was not them. That said, it’s not unlike many children of wealthy families destined to inherit a sizable fortune, who ostensibly lose all sense of purpose, and don’t know whether they’re coming or going. Dabbling in this or that, consciously, or subconsciously, there’s always a trust fund not too far off, where if need be, they can call upon resources for the next willy-nilly experiment attempted. The worry of placing bread on the table, a roof over one’s head and clothing on one’s back is never given a second thought.
It’s this loss of purpose that comes from making one’s own way in the world that I attribute the multitude of problems, which so many children of wealthy scions seemingly encounter. It’s ironic that Getty noted that “Money isn’t everything, but it sure keeps you in touch with your children.”
Naturally, numerous other factors come into play. For example, celebrity and the press that goes with it (sometimes sought and sometimes not). The pressure of trying to be someone in the shadow of a parental giant. The pandering from people one doesn’t know whether or not to trust. But in the end game, all these things are without power when one traverses life with a strong sense of purpose and self-belief (see Self-Belief: The Key to Personal Change…) Purpose provides the raison d’etre, while self-belief provides the power to achieve it. When we don’t require the former, the latter often isn’t there.
Hence, it’s of utmost importance in our own lives to recognize that for which we strive. But even more so, it’s incumbent upon ourselves to ask ourselves why? Only then will we realize our purpose, and only then, will we obtain that which gives life meaning…
For more check out the Global Ebook Awards GOLD & SILVER Winner of 2014 & 2016, The C.A.T. Principle: Change, Action, Trust – Words to Live By available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. See the latest Amazon reviews here. Sign up above and receive this blog once every two weeks to your inbox. Comments and thoughts welcome.