What the Mountains at Machu Picchu Told Me

A good friend told me the strangest thing:

“People who’ve taken the trip to Machu Picchu have returned and said it was “life-changing.’”

“That’s odd,” I thought. “Life-changing. How could that be?”

But as I was on the train up to Machu Picchu, I kept mulling over her comment. Would this . . .  could this . . . possibly be life-changing? 

I thought it was unlikely, but I certainly was curious!

Finally, up at the top of the mountains, it was truly a lovely experience. Even felt sublime.

But mystical? Not so sure.  Here’s my LIVE video from the top of the mountain!


But I am dead sure of one thing – there was a message for me up on top of that mountain.

The mountains were actually thundering a message to me – loudly. And it ricocheted all around.

The message was:

The Purpose of Life is to be Happy

Over and over it thundered. Whammo, right into my psyche. And I thought – oh my!  This is important. Am I really doing the things that create happiness and peace for me?

I wondered about what I could change right now – to be even happier.

Right there on top of the mountain, I took a personal inventory:

I asked myself: Where are my priorities? Am I finding enough joy? What do I really love to do? What could I add that would bring even more happiness, health and peace?

And I thought a lot about my focus: Am I really spending my time it in the right places and in the right ways?

The Purpose of Life is to be Happy

And I thought – I’ve just had another birthday. When I am dead and gone, what will really matter? That I was so busy and productive? (really now!!)

Or that I filled my life with things that I enjoyed. Situations, habits, people – that would give me life and joy – things that uplifted me.

As I pondered this – I considered, when my life is over, the only person who lived it was me. And it was up to me to make my life joyful, rewarding, easy, peaceful and happy.

No one else could give this to me.

So I resolved right then and there, to make some changes. To pursue more of those things that brought me joy.

To spend more time with my family and grandkids. More time just enjoying the beauty of clouds. More time relaxing.

“Enjoy yourself” 

I once had a nanny for my kids who kept saying this to me.

“Enjoy yourself,” she would always say.

That’s a tall order if you believe that working hard is the highest and best use of someone’s life.

What does this all this mean to you?

Ok my friend. Let me ask you – could you be happier?

Are there people and situations in your life that contribute to your unhappiness?

Some people are stuck in dead-end nonprofit jobs, in situations that are absolutely not supportive.

Are you in an organization that tries to carry out its mission on the backs of its employees?

Are you so committed to social change and justice that you don’t take good care of yourself? 

Are you seriously underpaid and overworked? Are you dealing with a dysfunctional staff or board or CEO who makes your life miserable?

Some people are in abusive situations. Or they are struggling with personal habits that can ruin their health, their relationships or their lives.  

We all have drama in our work and family lives. Being uncomfortable now and then is part of growth.

But don’t let yourself get stuck.

Don’t just stay in the status quo because it’s easier.

If you don’t want to make big changes, then where can you “rise above,” and overlook people and situations that disturb or hurt you?  

Take action now and make the changes that will MAKE YOU HAPPIER!

Start now by taking your full vacation days. Then perhaps try speaking the truth to your boss. (I’ll coach you on this if needed!)

Practice “rising above” the drama and disfunction you might see.

Join AFP and enjoy the moral support of your fellow fundraising colleagues. Seek out training to expand your skill sets.

Learn more about this vast world of fundraising – and make yourself more marketable.

Be curious. Get coaching to help you grow and expand.

Nobody else will do these things for you. It has to come from within you.

The Purpose of Life is to Be Happy

Life is short. Look for the good in life. No need to just stay there and just suffer.

What is the message in the mountains to YOU, my friend?