Happy New Year. The traditional greeting is that you will have "A happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year." Today, let's dig into the true meaning of the root of prosperous—the word to prosper.
A dictionary is a wonderful record of history for the change in meaning of words over time, especially as slang moves into everyday conversations. In the past decades we've seen in certain contexts that bad can mean good, and cool can mean hot, and sick is amazing. Sadly, modern usage can twist and dilute the profound, deep meaning and roots of words. Prosper has suffered a measure of this cheapening of meaning, especially the mutual aspect or the healthy win-win part.
To prosper evokes happiness as the founders of the USA intended and used the word. In writing about the inalienable rights of man, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, et al. saw happiness as a mutual raising of the human mind and spirit while also in service to the human condition.
In essence, to prosper is to be fully for oneself AND fully for others. Their point of view was a win-win, rather than a narcissist's zero sum game of self-enriched winners at the expense of the "losers."
What a wonderful ideal! In short, we're each capable of being a hero instead of a heathen. Yes, it is a high bar, but what's the alternative?
"You may have dollars in your pocket, but you will never prosper until you are at peace with yourself." The false notion that prosperity is purely financial sets us up for deep disappointment. Prosperity is so much more. It lives in our spirit and attitude and can trump our conditions.
Knowing your purpose empowers you to be more fully awakened and aware of who you are. This more intentional and healthier approach to life strengthens and emboldens you to live and lead in greater accord with the design of your life.
The centerpiece of the tag line for On-Purpose® is the word: Prosper. Within the On-Purpose Approach, each of us is invited to set our own standards for what it means to "Prosper." This is why "Prosper" is preceded with "Be Yourself." To prosper means to succeed or thrive in a healthy way. A "healthy way" invites a measure of self-control, morality, and consciousness of the well-being of others. In other words, it is a mutual rather than an individual concept.
My use of Prosper may border on archaic but, please, let's not let the rich inspiration and meaning of this important word get lost in time. To prosper is good for you, for me, for your neighbors, your country, and the planet. Embrace the ideal of being a person who prospers.
As always, my hope and prayer is that you will be on-purpose and use the "tag line" to guide your personal leadership development and to guard your heart from the sin of self-importance while stretching into service. If you want to make a difference with your life, the process is now before you about as simply stated as to be on-purpose.
In this New Year of 2015, may you prosper as never before.
It is easy to say, but it may feel impossible to realize. Consider On-Purpose Peace, a small group study for Christians which can also be used individually or as a couple.