The term ROI is super easy to throw around when you are talking in business circles these days. Sprinkle in those three letters every once in a while and you might get in the Cool Kids Klub. If you aren’t so familiar with that phrase don’t worry you are still in the Cool Kids Klub in my mind. ROI stands for the return on investment (ROI) and it is a metric to measure the rate of return on money invested in some sort of financial transaction or venture. The metric is used to help decide whether or not you should take on an investment.
The point of ROI is to measure success over time but it’s also used to take the guesswork out of future decisions. You can use this metric to see how well your investment is doing but also see what areas need improvement as you set goals and expectations. The basic calculation is simply divide your gains from your cost and you are left with a percentage or ratio. If your answer is a positive number then you had some level of return on your investment, if that number is negative then you lost money on your investment.
This is all fine and dandy when you are thinking about investment on more worldly items. But what about you? How do you rate the return in investment for yourself? How do you decide if you should take on the investment of your health? How would you divide the gain in your life from the costs?
I need you to think just a little bit different and consider the return on your purpose.
But first what is our purpose? It’s the reason for our existence. Our purpose is our intention or objectives. If we follow the same calculation of ROI what are the gains of our purpose?
Purpose provides clear direction. We need to assign a high value to our purpose giving us a north star in times of uncertainty. Victoria Babb is a Community Resource Director with Cunningham Recreation and the Play 4 All Campaign. “My life continuously converges my purposes together, even during time of uncertainty. My purpose as a mother, a wife, a caregiver of aging parents, a community builder, and as a strong advocate for a more inclusive, kinder and playful world all share the same threads – my time, treasure, and passion. I may not always bear witness to the impact but I am rest assured that my purposes plant the seeds for a better tomorrow. Purpose becomes all the more valuable during times of crisis and while facing insurmountable challenges. Although it is often these very hardships that test purpose or cause purpose to pivot towards a stronger call. Purpose serves as the lighthouse amidst the storms, a beacon of light to guide and an unrelenting force that lifts. It’s when we align our purpose with others that transforms communities and make the most difference.
Purpose brings meaning. It is equally important to see the gains of how our purpose creates a positive domino effect between people. Doug Raines, CEO/President of Firestrong Leadership says this about how purpose helps us create connections with others to find meaning. “One of my favorite quotes is ‘be the type of person who makes everyone you comes across feel perfectly ok with being exactly who they are.’ My purpose is to find good in everyone. It’s important that everyone be accepted exactly who they are. Don’t ask why a zebra has stripes, don’t ask why a porcupine has quills. These are things you will not change, but through purpose we can make them feel better about themselves by acknowledging and accepting them.”
Purpose provides integrity. When you know yourself and your why for living it’s easier to live a life that is in alignment with your values. It can be easy to get caught up in the minutiae of everyday living and dismiss what we are meant to do and when we said we were going to do it. Mike Baue, owner/operator of OsteoStrong shares that knowing your purpose, or your “Why” is the greatest guidepost in decision making. “Purpose, not passions, helps steer our direction when making the right decision matters. Passions are fleeting. We like this one day, and love something else another, but finding our purpose serves as a ballast when the waters get rough. We each have a definite purpose, and harnessing the power from that God given direction carries us forward with integrity in everything we do.”
The return on purpose for our lives is pretty clear. When we focus on the gains from a life full of health and wellbeing the costs seemingly melt away. Pretty easy math in my book.
Stay healthy. Stay happy.