How your purpose can help guide you and your money decisions

The mind-money connection

Writing a personal purpose statement can help you grow more confident in life—and with your money. 

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Bright Dickson (00:10):

Hello, hello, hello. It's time for another episode of "Money and Mindset With Bright and Brian," where we talk about ways you can boost your financial confidence and mental well-being and explore how those two things so often go hand in hand. I'm Bright Dickson, a lifelong student of positive psychology, and also a senior purpose advisor here at Truist. And let me welcome my podcast co-host and my buddy, Brian Ford, the head of financial wellness at Truist and an all-around money maestro. Hey, Brian.

Brian Ford (00:40):

Hey, Bright. Thank you for that intro. Money maestro, huh? I kind of like it. I might just add it to my business cards right after we get done recording today.

Bright Dickson (00:51):

I thought you might get a kick out of that.

Brian Ford (00:54):

Well, speaking of titles, your actual title at Truist, it's pretty cool. Senior purpose advisor. Break that down for us. What does that mean?

Bright Dickson (01:08):

Yeah, it's a little unusual. So the short answer to that question is that I help our teammates and leaders and organizations at Truist define their purpose and put it into action. So another way to say that is that I help people create and discover their why, and that's what can inspire them to live to their full potential.

Brian Ford (01:28):

Nice! So Bright, we've worked together long enough to know firsthand you are pretty dang good at your job. So friends, let me tell you, we are in good hands for today's episode, because we'll be talking all about purpose and even showing you how you can go about creating your own personal purpose statement. And there's nobody better than Bright to walk us through this. She is literally a pro. Like for real. She gets paid to do this stuff, guys.

Bright Dickson (01:57):

I do, and I would do it if I didn't, 'cause I, you know, I love this topic and, you know, let me throw those compliments right back at you, Brian. You're so amazing at empowering people to connect their financial habits to their values and vice versa, and I think that plugs right in to what we're gonna talk about around purpose.

Brian Ford (02:17):

Sounds like some good old-fashioned money and mindset stuff to me. Should we kick this off?

Bright Dickson (02:23):

Let's make it happen.

Brian Ford (02:31):

Now, I can pull up a dictionary or type the word "purpose" into Google, but I've got a feeling that's not going to get me quite the definition we're looking for, at least not the full meaning of purpose. So Bright, let's start there. What is it that we're actually talking about today? What is purpose?

Bright Dickson (02:47):

So usually when I'm working with folks around purpose, one of the things I like to do to start off is to ask a couple questions like, what brings you joy? What is something that you're proud of accomplishing? What's the best thing that happened to you today? So the idea with these questions is to get you thinking, and really feeling, about the strongest emotions in your life, so joy, pride, gratitude, but also those, you know, not so nice emotions like anger and sorrow, right? So I'll ask people like, what's a loss you've suffered and why was it so meaningful to you? So we get these strong emotions at big milestones, of course, but they're also a part of our everyday lives. So you might feel these emotions at a wedding or a graduation, and you might feel them waiting in line at the post office or on your commute at the end of the workday.

Brian Ford (03:40):

Hmm. All right, so if boredom counts, I've definitely felt some strong emotions while waiting in the line at the post office. So where does purpose come into play as we think about these kinds of emotional moments?

Bright Dickson (03:55):

So what these strong emotions tell us is that something important, something meaningful is going on, right? And this is where purpose kind of enters the equation. If meaning is what you take out of life, right—that emotion—purpose is what you put into it. So it's a guide, it's an inspiration for living with meaning. So a quick way to say it is your purpose is your why.

Brian Ford (04:24):

I like that. So purpose is what you put into your life. That is good stuff. Way better than anything I would've gotten from a dictionary. OK, so we know a little bit more about purpose, big picture, but how do you know what your purpose is?

Bright Dickson (04:40):

So that's a big question, and I think it helps to reframe it. Your personal purpose isn't something that you find by going out and looking for it. It's not something that's out there, it's something that's in here. You create it by looking inside. And your personal purpose is also just that, it's personal. It's created by you, about you, and for you. So when you ask this really big question of "Why am I here?" you're really the only one with the power and ability to answer that question. And how you can help spell all of that out for yourself is by writing a personal purpose statement.

Brian Ford (05:25):

Oh boy, why am I here? That's a big question. So while I'm contemplating that, tell me more, Bright. How can writing a purpose statement actually help us?

Bright Dickson (05:37):

When you're living with purpose, you're living intentionally, with your purpose sort of helping to tell you what to do on good days and on bad days. So when you write a personal purpose statement, you're kind of giving yourself a directive. So that aspect of it has helped me a lot. I'm like anybody else, I've got my insecurities. I'm like a complicated soup of human emotion, and you know, sometimes I get a little lost and forget what I'm really trying to accomplish. There's a lot of information out there, a lot of stuff that's trying to tell me what to do, but when I go back to my purpose statement, it's reliable, right? It tells me what to do, how to handle something, who I want to be in pretty much any given moment.

Brian Ford (06:25):

All right, so for those of us that want to give writing out our personal purpose statement a shot, how do we get started?

Bright Dickson (06:33):

I work with people in creating their statements all the time, and it can be difficult. So I want to say that, sort of from the start. It's not necessarily an easy thing to do. It can be easy for some people, but for most people, you're trying to put something really big into something fairly small, and it's hard. So what I try to stress for folks is that there's no such thing as a right or wrong purpose statement. The important thing is that your purpose statement feels right for you, and the "feel" there is important, right? It doesn't "sound right," it doesn't "make sense," it feels right. Your purpose doesn't come from nowhere, right? It comes from your life experiences, from your joys and your sorrows and your successes and your failures. And that's why it's good to focus on those things that make you feel strong emotions, positive or negative.

Bright Dickson (07:28):

Because it helps you ask yourself, what are the ways in which I'm already living into this? Right? It's already present for you. You're not inventing it out of thin air. You've already got it in you, and you want to sort of figure out where that light is and follow that little light. And creating a purpose statement is an emotional exercise, not really an intellectual one. So our brain's going to be involved, of course, because it's involved with everything, but you want to make sure that you're sort of coming from a place of your true self and sort of where you are and what matters to you. So when you read your purpose statement, you want to feel it. So when I read my personal purpose statement, I kind of have a physical reaction to it, like I can feel it, my heart swells a little bit, I think my heart rate goes up, it's kind of exciting to me.

Bright Dickson (08:24):

And that's what you're going for. You want to have a reaction to it. You need to feel something. It needs to make you feel something, to feel energized, to feel motivated, maybe just like a little whiff of anxiety, just the slightest touch of, that's challenging. You want to give yourself something to strive for. You want to have that little "hmm" in there too. And one more tip, Brian, I encourage folks to try, this is hard, but to try to get their statement down to like one sentence. One reason for that is you want to be able to remember it, right?

Bright Dickson (09:01):

You want to be able to use it, be able to call it up and not have to do it with a document, but just with your mind. You know, back when I was in middle school and elementary school, high school, I don't remember exactly when they taught us, but like the five paragraph essay where it's like thesis, paragraph, paragraph, paragraph, conclusion, right? This is your thesis statement. We're all going to have paragraphs to it, right? But your purpose statement is that thesis statement. It all boils down to sort of that one sentence that you can easily recall.

Brian Ford (09:32):

Yeah, I like that. I mean, there's always going to be this stuff behind it that we know personally, but just making it nice and simple, good stuff. I like where this conversation is going. OK, so it's called a personal purpose statement. So I get that it's personal, it's for me, but I can tell other people about it, right?

Bright Dickson (09:50):

Oh yeah, absolutely. I mean, you get to choose what you do with it, right? It isn't necessary, but I do recommend that you share that purpose statement with somebody or a few somebodies who you're close to, right? People who know you well, and people who are going to be honest with you. They can help you stay accountable and affirm and cheer you on. And when they're cued in to what's most important to you, that can be really clarifying in a way that sort of helps you learn even more about your purpose and yourself.

Brian Ford (10:25):

Yeah. I agree with sharing it. So for me, it adds a sense of accountability, and there's something about saying it out loud. So Bright, you know I've gone through the materials that you've created here at Truist, and you know, I've been working on my purpose statement for some time now, and in this spirit of sharing, you cool if I share mine?

Bright Dickson (10:45):

Yeah, of course. I'd love to hear it.

Brian Ford (10:48):

OK, cool. So I'm still playing around with it. I've fine-tuned it, I've shortened it, and I keep thinking about it, but OK, so here it goes. So my purpose is to strengthen families, increase happiness, nurture faith, inspire greatness.

Bright Dickson (11:09):

Mm. I love that, Brian. I mean, that makes so much sense from who you are in the world, right? And how I know you. Tell me a little bit more about sort of how you arrived there. Like what's behind that? What are the paragraphs under that thesis?

Brian Ford (11:24):

It's taken me some time and quite a bit of reflection, but I started with what brings me joy. And my family has always been at the core of who I am as a son, a brother, a husband, a father, maybe even one day a grandfather, but you know, these roles, they're important to me. A large part of my success, mental wellness, and inner peace come from my family. Not just the wonderful family I grew up in, but also the family my wife and I have created. But the research and sociology also back up the idea that the family as the basic unit of society is super important. So I definitely want to strengthen my own family, but it goes beyond that. I want to help strengthen other families as well.

Brian Ford (12:09):

And as far as the increased happiness bit, really there, I just kind of sat back and asked, you know, that big question that you posed earlier, why am I here? And you know, when I'm really just with myself and my own thoughts, part of the answer for me centers around being happy. I believe that we're meant to be happy. Not all of the time. In fact, I think our sadness, the sad times and our trials, they can actually bring about a deeper appreciation for the happy times. And it's not just about having fun, although that's a part of it, but for me it really is that inner peace happiness. I not only want to be happy myself, I want my family to be happy and I want those around me that I have some influence on to be happy as well. In fact, I'll say that this part of my purpose statement is my motivation for this podcast. I genuinely believe that what we discuss on this podcast will help others be more happy.

Brian Ford (13:04):

And then the third part is the "nurture faith" aspect of my purpose, and this has a lot to do with my Christian upbringing and my beliefs. I'm confident that a large part of my family's success and happiness come from our faith. So for me, in my family reading scripture, having faith, going to church, and just having a loving community around us has been a big part of my life and my family and our happiness. And I want to continue to nurture my own faith. For me, I've learned that it's fragile, so I want to nurture my own faith and point others in that direction, you know, when it makes sense.

Brian Ford (13:37):

And then Bright, finally, you know, we've got that last part in my purpose statement, which is the "inspire greatness." And that's the one I'm still tinkering with. I think about dropping it every once in a while and you know, I'm like, should it just be, you know, more simple, kind of the first three, you know, strengthen families, increase happiness, nurture faith, like end of story? And every time I think that, there's kind of this nagging in my soul that says, "Brian, you know, there's something more there." So I'm not ready to give it up yet, but I'm always thinking about it.

Bright Dickson (14:09):

Brian, that's awesome. And thank you for sharing that. And I think it brings up a really important point for our listeners to keep in mind, which is this, your purpose can and should change over time. It is not written in stone, it is not a one-shot deal. It should change because you're going to change, right? We change over our lifetimes as people, that is right and good and as it should be. And there may come a day, right? There may come several days where you want to or need to go back and recalibrate and update your personal purpose statement so that it reflects who you are now and who you want to be in the future.

Brian Ford (14:50):

OK, Bright, your turn. If you are comfortable sharing it, I would love to hear your purpose.

Bright Dickson (14:56):

Of course. Yeah. So my purpose is to use care, levity, and imagination to joyfully advocate for individual and systemic courage, integrity, and love.

Brian Ford (15:11):

That is fantastic. That is a Bright purpose if I've ever heard one. Please repeat that for me one more time so I can kind of grasp it a little bit more.

Bright Dickson (15:22):

Yeah, it's a little bit of a mouthful. It is. OK. So, to use care, levity, and imagination to joyfully advocate for individual and systemic courage, integrity, and love.

Brian Ford (15:35):

Mm. That's good stuff. So I'm curious, what was your process like for coming up with that? I want to hear more about the why, you know, behind your why, if that makes sense.

Bright Dickson (15:47):

Yeah. 100%. So it involved a little bit of everything we've been talking about so far, right? So, like you, it took me a while to sort of land on it and to feel that feeling in my heart, right? Where I'm like, yep. So I started by thinking about the things that move me emotionally, positive and negative. Like, what makes me cry in a good way, what makes me cry in a bad way. And I'm a crier, so there were a bunch of things that I wrote down, but I sort of narrowed it down to the ones that felt most powerful, because those were the ones that I really wanted to focus on.

Bright Dickson (16:29):

I'm an analogy girl so the way that I kind of think about it is like collecting shells at the beach. So when I go to the beach, I'll walk on the beach and collect seashells, and first I'll grab anything that looks interesting, right? And I'll put it in my pocket or in my bucket or whatever. And before I leave, and I don't take 'em all, I'll sort through everything that I've collected, and some stay. And then the ones that speak to me for whatever reason come and they're gonna get put in little piles around my home, right? Which is a thing, I've got like piles of rocks and seashells and bird feathers and all that kind of stuff around my house, right? So it's really about like, you kind of get everything you need and then you sort out what's really right here.

Brian Ford (17:13):

Yes, Bright. I have piles of rocks and seashells too. I'm excited I just learned that about you. Yeah. I love it. So one day when my family was walking back to the car after a long day at the coast, my daughter, who was just five, looked up at me and was like, "Dad, I think I have some beach in my bum." And so she also likes to take a little beach home with her. But, OK, look, getting back on track. So Bright, I mean, what did you do after you narrowed down the list of your strongest emotional seashells?

Bright Dickson (17:50):

What came next for me, and this is for me, this is my journey. So I started thinking about my character strengths, right? So, what's the unique cocktail of me that I bring to the table? And my strengths really are around these three things: care, right? Levity; so, humor, being able to lighten a situation; and imagination. And usually those are all kind of working together. And for me, the underlying thing behind all of that is curiosity, which is one of my favorite strengths in myself and certainly in other people. I think curiosity is one of the most amazing human traits ever.

Brian Ford (18:31):

Totally agree, Bright. I've learned that from you. I love that when we're chatting even with like a guest, you'll say, "I'm curious, tell me more about that." And I love that about you. So anyways, I'm just saying, I'm digging this so far. Keep going.

Bright Dickson (18:43):

I'm one of those why people, right? I'm like, why, why, why, why? Until I can get to the root of it. So it can be a good idea to include your strengths in your purpose statement because those are the things that you can rely on, right? They're unique to you, they're energizing, and for me, they kind of tell me what to do. I'm like, OK, I don't know what to do in this situation. And it's like, all right, care, levity, imagination. I'm like, all right, I can work with that. The part I'm still working on in my own purpose statement is the "joyful advocacy" bit. It's a challenge, but I'm glad about that. So I know how to like, angrily advocate. I know how to joyfully ignore. But the joyful advocacy is like, I'm still figuring that out. And the advocacy thing is super important to me, and that comes from my own life experiences and my emotions, and I really get it from my dad. So my dad worked in the legal system his whole life, which is hard, right? The legal system is a hard place to work.

Bright Dickson (19:41):

And he worked his whole life for people who needed help within a very complicated system and many times very difficult circumstances. So he was a big inspiration for me around that. And having that advocacy piece and the joyful advocacy piece in my statement tells me I need to speak up, I need to take action, and I need to do that with joy. 'Cause I, you know, in a lot of ways I get better results from that.

Brian Ford (20:09):

Yeah, taking action. I think that's an important part of all this, you know, because without acting on your statement, those words are, well, they're just words.

Bright Dickson (20:20):

Yep. Ding, ding, ding. So coming up we're gonna talk more about acting on your purpose and share some insights into how money can help you live your personal purpose.

Brian Ford (20:31):

That sounds good to me. Catch you in the next segment.

Brian Ford (20:43):

Before we go deeper into purpose, let's open up our inbox and answer a listener question.

Bright Dickson (20:49):

Yes, and a reminder to everyone out there that you can email us directly at Send in your money and mindset questions, your success stories, whatever else is on your mind, and maybe we’ll talk about it as a topic on a future episode. So, in considering what we've been talking about today, I'd even urge our listeners to consider sharing your personal purpose statement with us. We'd love to hear it, it can help clarify things for you and really inspire other people too.

Brian Ford (21:19):

Absolutely. I can tell you that just, you know, talking about my own purpose statement today has made me think about it in a fresh way. OK, so the question we're going to look at has to do with investing. It seems pretty straightforward on the surface, but I like it because I think it actually ties into what we're already talking about today with regards to purpose. So a listener writes, "I've tried searching online, but I'm still not sure I get it. What are target date funds?"

Bright Dickson (21:49):

That's a great question and I would like to know the answer too. And Brian, you might have to, you know, bring out the purpose connection for me. I'm not sure how those connect.

Brian Ford (21:57):

Well, I think, you know, we should be careful about making investing decisions until we've clearly defined what matters most to us. You know, lasting happiness doesn't come from stacking up giant piles of money, but it's from sticking to what we value and that means following your unique purpose. OK, so for target date funds, these are a popular choice for people investing for retirement, typically. Sometimes you'll see them in a 529 plan, saving for college. I'll talk about that in a minute, but typically it's a retirement thing. And I think I saw something like 75% of investors have at least some of their money in a target date fund.

Brian Ford (22:34):

A lot of 401(k) plans will actually default to investing in a target date fund. That just means if you do nothing, they'll go into a target date fund based on kind of your age and when you want to retire. And you can usually recognize a target date fund from its name, which will include a year, like 2040 or 2045, for example. That's the years you're planning to retire, the so-called target date. And the idea is that if you're planning to retire, let's say in 17 years from now, you could put your retirement money into a 2040 target date fund. And so the appeal here is that a target date fund, it automatically rebalances based on your time until retirement. What that means is the holdings in a target date fund, they move away from riskier investments like stocks and into more conservative assets like bonds as you get closer to that target date. And you know, that's following a, you know, pretty common strategy when it comes to investing for retirement. Essentially reducing your risk as you get closer to retirement and have less time in the market.

Bright Dickson (23:44):

OK, so the way I'm understanding it with a target date fund is that you can kind of like set it and forget it. Is that right?

Brian Ford (23:53):

Yeah, I mean that's the idea. And you know, everyone knows I'm a fan of putting our financial decisions on autopilot whenever possible. Target date funds can be a good choice, especially when starting out, or just for those folks who aren't really that interested in investing, but still want a disciplined approach. So target date funds can give us a diversified portfolio, which is essential, and it allows us to be relatively hands-off because the fund becomes less risky as we get closer to retirement. But of course, you may not want to be hands-off, you may want more choices in your investments.

Brian Ford (24:26):

Especially as you grow closer to retirement and get older, you know, you might also collect other assets that complicate your financial picture or change your risk tolerance in a way that could require an approach that's a little more tailored to you individually, and that's just fine. That's part of why it's so important to reflect on your purpose and your particular goals when planning for retirement, because it all depends on your situation, your risk tolerance, your age, and all these other factors that are unique to you. That's why even the most hands-off investors, really, I still recommend taking the time to do some research, consult with a financial planner, and ultimately make their own decisions. And that's why we should think hard about the things we value when investing for retirement.

Bright Dickson (25:10):

Yeah, and as a newbie investor myself, I also want to let our listeners know that they should definitely go back and find our past episodes about investing. Those have been really helpful for me. Actually, Brian, I got a text from my mom too the other day saying that those are helpful for her, which is so great. She was very enthusiastic about it. But particularly look for the episode, listeners, with the great Dr. Daniel Crosby, and for another previous episode called "Reasons you're not investing." So those are great resources for anybody who's sort of trying to beat those investing scaries and get into it.

Brian Ford (25:48):

Totally. Dr. Crosby had some great tips around investing. I still quote him to this day because of him being on our podcast. Definitely go back, check that one out. I think you'll enjoy those. OK, so we appreciate that question. Thank you. And if you have a topic you want to hear from us discussed on a future episode, please write us to OK, Bright, on with the show.

Bright Dickson (26:16):

On with the show. Let's get back to that conversation about acting on your purpose.

Brian Ford (26:32):

All right, Bright, I have to say that I kind of liked how you were singing as we went out of that last section. That was very unexpected. I like it though. OK. We've gone through the steps of creating a personal purpose statement. So once we've done that, Bright, how do we make sure that we're taking action and really living by our purpose?

Bright Dickson (26:56):

So again, like we said earlier, it's great to have a purpose statement. It doesn't really matter if you don't act on it, right? So how do you do that? So one thing is that you want to keep it in front of you, you want to keep it present. So in my case, and I recommend this to others, I do that literally. So my purpose statement is on an index card that sits on my desk at all times. You can save it to your phone, you can stick it on a post-it note, whatever works for you, but keep it present. And one of the things that that helps you do is to have it in your day-to-day. And so one of the things that I do with it is that I'll do a little end-of-day inventory about my purpose and say sort of like, "Where did I hit it? What was happening that I was like, on purpose?"

Bright Dickson (27:46):

And what was happening where I was off? Because this is not about perfection, this is about purpose. You want to make sure that you're doing a little inventory about how's it going for you, maybe not daily, but like, you know, on a regular basis. And that's growth mindset, right? So that's growth-mindsetting this bad boy and finding those opportunities to learn and change, because there's not going to be that day where I achieve my purpose and the angels sing and the sun shines down on me and it's like, you know, now I'm a good person and I've lived into my purpose. That's not the game here, right? It's a process, it's a growth process and it's a deepening process, right? It takes action. Your purpose doesn't mean anything unless you act on it.

Brian Ford (28:35):

Right on. I'm totally in line with that. I think purpose statements and these kinds of visionary ideas about our life, they're important. However, they're just that, meaning they're just a vision or a dream until we fund them. I think one of the ultimate acts of commitment and action on the part of a person or a company or an organization is what they fund. So if you want to know what an individual or a company stands for, don't always listen to what they say. Look for what they fund and what they actually put their capital behind. And Bright, I love this. This is really getting at the heart of why I love personal finance so much. I mean, we can make a vision or a dream or a purpose a reality by actually putting money behind it. And in order to do that, we need to live by good financial principles.

Bright Dickson (29:27):

Yep, totally. And it kind of makes me think, it's like the "money where your mouth is" saying, right?

Brian Ford (29:34):

Yeah, absolutely.

Bright Dickson (29:36):

It's like living by your purpose is almost like the alternative to those insecurities, right? It's the alternative to keeping up with the Joneses or like these other sort of mental traps we fall into when we are making money decisions that don't line up with our purpose and what we value. So when you're keeping your purpose top of mind in your actions, in your funding, all of that, things kind of start to fall into place, right? So you kind of have to design your life to meet that purpose and your purpose tells you how to design your life, right? So your education, your relationships, your money, all of that, you got to put your money where your mouth is and your purpose guides all of it. So purpose is a way that we not only stay true to who we are, but we make real who we want to be.

Brian Ford (30:36):

Yes! So true. That is a great statement. Make real who we want to be. Oh, it's brilliant. You also said something else that really resonates with me. What you said about, purpose is an alternative to our insecurities. It's brilliant, because it's so true that our insecurities can get us in trouble with how we spend our money. And our purpose statement is our way to reground ourselves and remind ourselves not only who we are, but who we want to become and how we want to spend our money. So if you think about some of the reasons why we spend money on stuff that we don't really need or want, it so often goes back to those yucky insecurities, but our purpose statement can keep us on track to financially prioritize the things we really do care about.

Bright Dickson (31:29):

Yeah, and Brian, I know this is something that you talk about all the time. Can you tell us a little more about how money connects to the things and ideas and dreams that we value? How does that work together?

Brian Ford (31:41):

Hmm. Yeah. I love that question because I think it gets to the real heart of what we do on this show. I wanna flashback for just a second to each of our purpose statements. So Bright, neither one of us in our purpose statements include the word money or finance. And I think that's significant. So, you know, to be clear, I love money. I wouldn't be doing this otherwise, but when people are like, "Brian, why do you love talking about and teaching about money so much? And, you know, why are you such a financial nerd?"

Brian Ford (32:15):

You know, my first answer to that is I don't really know. It's a little bit ingrained in me and it always has been. But my better, slightly more thought-out answer is, I love people, I love my family, I love my faith, I want to be happy. And man, if I can just get this money stuff down, everything that I value, everything that I love will be better. And I think of money as simply a means to a much deeper end. And it's not the only means, but it's a big part of it. I value money for what it can do to help me live my purpose and empower the people and things I care about.

Bright Dickson (32:53):

Yeah, that's amazing. And I think it also shows, Brian, how you can apply your purpose statement to specific domains in your life, right? So whether that's to your family, your career, your marriage, what we're talking about now, you know, your relationship with money. So part of purpose statements is that they're integrated into every aspect of your life, right? So it's not just the work statement or the leadership or the, you know, relationship, it's all of it together. So you can kind of ask yourself like, OK, if I were living my purpose in the domain of money, what would I do and like, what would that mean? And I think probably, Brian, like 99 times out of 100, what I'm gonna do and what most people will wanna do, is stick to those money principles that you talk about all the time because that's gonna build good habits and it's gonna allow you to live in integrity with your purpose statement.

Brian Ford (33:53):

Yep. And if we live good financial principles, we'll have more money to fund our purpose. But unfortunately, the opposite is also true. If our financial life is out of balance, the important things in our life are going to take a hit. But if you make money decisions with your overall purpose in mind, your money and the things you care most about in life will be in harmony, which in turn will increase your mental well-being.

Bright Dickson (34:18):

I love it. Brian, I know we could talk about this forever, but we can't. So, thinking back over everything discussed today, what are some of the ideas that stand out to you? So a couple things that I'm gonna take away, like one, I love what you just said about harmony, right? And that purpose can help you live in harmony and have that cohesion, that integrity across all of those domains. It doesn't mean that things are necessarily gonna be easy, right? It's not a silver bullet, it's not a golden ticket, whatever you wanna use, but it helps you be able to make it easier and smoother and more coherent.

Brian Ford (35:03):

Yeah, I like that. Two things come to mind for me. First, I like the idea that when I'm struggling, when I'm not my best self, my purpose statement can ground me and help me get back on track. Second, I believe that in order to fully commit to our purpose, we need to fund it. And the better I manage my finances, the more money I'll have to bring about my vision and dreams. OK, that's going to do it for this episode of "Money and Mindset." Thanks to all of our listeners for joining us and a special thanks to you, Bright, for being such a fantastic guide to all things purpose.

Bright Dickson (35:42):

Thank you, Brian, for being awesome as always, and thanks to our equally awesome listeners who can drop us a line anytime at We’d love to get your comments, questions, and even your own purpose statements. I'll be very excited to read those. And if you like the show, be sure to subscribe, share it with your buddies, or give us a rating or review. We will see you next time.

Announcer (36:21):

This episode of "Money and Mindset With Bright and Brian" is brought to you by Truist.

Your purpose can help you live your life to its fullest potential. When you know your purpose, you know your “why”—and when you know your “why,” the “how” often starts to come into focus, too.

In this episode of “Money and Mindset With Bright and Brian,” our hosts will walk you through the steps of writing a personal purpose statement. Plus, they’ll share how your purpose can help you make good money decisions that support your goals and well-being.

Listen in to hear:

  • Steps for creating your own personal purpose statement
  • How money can help support your purpose and values
  • Plus, Brian answers a listener question about investing in target-date funds!

Send us your questions and stories:

We love hearing your questions and stories, whether they’re about your money or your mindset. Email us at to share with us (you can remain anonymous). We may talk about your question or give you a shoutout in an upcoming episode!

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The opinions expressed are solely those of Brian Ford and Bright Dickson.

This content does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial, mental health, or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial, or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.