Be Clear About Purpose

ADHD & Marriage - Weekly Marriage Tip - September 29, 2011

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“Author and leadership expert Richard Leider asked a wide-ranging group of adults over age sixty-five the following: “If you could live your life over again, what would you do differently?” The three themes that emerged were: “Be more reflective. Be more courageous. Be clear earlier about purpose.”

  • Christopher Gergen, co-Author of Life Entrepreneurs: Ordinary People Creating Extraordinary Lives

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Many who are suddenly faced with significant trauma, such as a diagnosis of cancer or a car accident, report that the experience provokes a striving for greater purpose in their lives. They are able to set aside “less important” and refocus with vigor upon “important.” But we all have a limited time on this planet – so why not listen to our elders and find that purpose earlier, without the trigger of trauma?

I have come to a place of greater purpose in my 50s with my late career change from marketing into marriage consulting. I very much enjoyed the intellectual rigor of marketing, account management and research. It was a good career financially, as well. But the psychic reward that I earn from my efforts, and the knowledge that I am providing new and life-changing information to many couples is much more rewarding. (And, yes, I am grateful that as a member of a two-income household I have the privilege of being able to make the choice of less money but more “psychic reward.”) There are many stories of those who also choose to give of themselves to others and reap the benefits – sometimes as a part-time or volunteer effort, rather than full-time.

Giving to others is only one way to find purpose. Others include exploration (finding new ideas, places, etc.), furthering education or policy, preserving part of the past for future generations…there are almost as many types of fulfilling purpose as there are people.

What gives you a sense of purpose?

For those in marriages impacted by ADHD
If you or your spouse has ADHD, please join our forum at to ask your questions and learn from others who share your issues.  In addition, you'll find in-depth essays to help you learn how to thrive in a marriage affected by ADHD.

Hope to hear from you there!
Melissa Orlov

© 2011 Melissa Orlov