Too much purpose

Regular readers of this website will probably recall that I often write about the importance of having a purpose in life after leaving paid employment.

Today I’d like to share with you the danger of having too much purpose in your life. My personal story is around my role as Chairman of the National Cartoon Gallery in Coffs Harbour (previously the Bunker)

Two years ago the Board of the Bunker Cartoon Gallery faced the major challenge of making the Gallery financially sustainable when most community galleries were dependent on funding from Federal, State or Local Government.

Our solution was to build a second gallery above the existing Bunker  and create a permanent exhibition in this gallery which would increase visitor numbers by over 300%. (You couldn’t accuse us of thinking small)

We believed that a permanent exhibition that could generate such a big increase in visitor numbers, would show the history of Australia as seen through the eyes of the cartoonists of the time. It would be a very irreverent look at our history.

A lot of people said it couldn’t be done, but we’ve raised the money to build a $2.9 mill. gallery and  construction work is due to start before Christmas. We are currently planning the historic exhibition and chasing the $2.0 million we need to create it.

Managing these two major projects is a big job for a community organisation run largely by volunteers. The challenge has certainly required me and the others directly involved, to focus intently on the task and we now find that having a purpose in life is one thing, but having that purpose take over our lives, is something else.

For someone who’s been preaching about having a purpose and finding balance in our lives, I find it rather hypocritical  to be part of a small group of older volunteers who are working full time on a complex project  and don’t have any time to be retired. To make the situation more bizarre, this 40 hour a week job is going to be there for the next 12 – 15 months.

Clearly I’ll have to re -read some of my books about retirement life, to see where I went wrong.

If you would like to avoid my mistakes and get some sensible balance in your life, you can find my books on this web site.

Posted in Articles.