Perspective

In just 10 words, this former CEO of a billion-dollar company explains the purpose of life

There are many great mysteries in life. Why do some people develop mental illnesses within a family, while others don’t? How did those massive statues get onto Easter Island, and why were they put there?

Why do you press harder on the remote when you know the batteries are dead?

In all seriousness, there are plenty of elements of this crazy ride on earth that defy explanation. And one of them has to do with the point of it all. What is the purpose of life?

Philosophers have been taking a crack at answering this question since the dawn of time. And while titans of industry have rarely been included in the list of those with good responses, one rises above.

Alan Mulally is unique for a number of reasons. One is that he was absolutely instrumental in reviving Ford Motor Company. When Ford was at its lowest point (and could easily have failed), Mulally helped turn it around. He took a multibillion-dollar company on the verge of collapse and steered it to success.

So Mulally is one to listen to with respect to business matters. But, it turns out, he’s also wise when it comes to matters of the heart. This is in no small part due to his mother, who repeated three phrases to her children daily, drilling them into their little heads. The first two were:

  1. “To serve is to live.”
  2. “It is nice to be important, but more important to be nice.”

The third was about the purpose of human existence.

Read the full story at Inc.

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