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Purpose Stories: Ken Honda

By Hélène Stelian, Published June 5, 2019

What is your life’s purpose?
To guide people towards transforming their relationship with money and to make all the money in the world happy.

How are you living your purpose?
I live my purpose by writing inspirational books so that people can learn new ways to have a healthier relationship with money. My first English-language book, Happy Money: The Japanese Art of Making Peace with Your Money, teaches readers how to treat money as a welcome guest, allowing it to come and go with respect and without resentment. I also enjoy giving lectures to inspire people to start living the life they have been dreaming of.

How did you find your purpose?
I started to write about happiness and money in free booklets that I gave out to friends. They got so popular that a publisher approached me about writing a book. I have continued to write books ever since.

It all happened when I was at a park with my daughter. We were happily playing, when I saw a mother and her young daughter fighting. The mother was distressed and in a hurry. She yelled, “Your mom has to go to work! So, let’s go home.” But the little one kept saying to her mother, “We just got here. I want to play more! Please!” After a few minutes of battle, the reluctant little girl was dragged by her mother back home.

I felt so terrible for the girl and her mother. I knew that if that mother had a choice, she would have wanted to stay in the park too. At that moment, I decided I needed to do something. I wanted to help not just this mother but all parents and people struggling to make ends meet. So that very afternoon, after my own daughter was tired of playing, I decided I would write a short essay that would impart the wisdom I had gained over the years about making money and becoming prosperous.

When I was finished for the day, I was amazed to see that I had written twenty-six pages in one sitting. I got so excited that I printed the essay out, stapled the pages together, and immediately started giving them away to friends. To my surprise, they loved it. Soon strangers began to call me and say they had heard about it and wanted copies of their own.

At first, I didn’t know if people were requesting them because the content was good or because it was free. Nevertheless, I knew I was onto something. And when I reached 100,000 copies given away, I definitely knew.

At that point, a publisher actually called me and asked me if I would be interested in writing an entire book. Since that fateful day on the playground, I have published more than fifty books and sold almost eight million copies in Japan. Not bad for a retired dad who had an idea on the playground with his daughter.

What began as a stroke of insight and an urge to help out a struggling working mother turned into not only a career but my purpose in life. That purpose, I realized, was to help others find theirs—and to become prosperous and free in the meantime.

What advice do you have for purpose seekers?
Take a look at your relationship with money and make a plan to change your attitude to one of gratitude towards it. By appreciating money as it both enters and leaves your life, you will find a more fulfilling life.

When we talk about increasing money, most people automatically imagine investments and other techniques. However, for me, it means finding a purpose that you believe in from the heart and then aiding that purpose with money.

Seek to create a flow of money that you feel happy about by doing what you love.

See Article: Ken Honda, Author of Happy Money

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