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As basic as this question may seem, there is a much deeper meaning. What is your purpose for living? What makes you want to get out of the bed in the morning?

We fall into a daily routine. If we give thought to why we get up in the morning, it is a time of personal reflection or spiritual engagement.

Let me propose to you that our purpose for living is to learn, to light, and to love. To clarify, in a previous blog I referred to the life journey of aspirational giving. It’s divided into different phases: accumulation, opportunity, and distribution. A corollary of this life journey of aspirational giving is the life journey of aspirational learning, lighting, and loving.

Live to Learn

As noted previously, the early stages of our life journey is when we live to learn. We learn from our parents. We learn how to walk and become independent. Hopefully as we grow, we learn to be responsible and accountable for our choices.

We learn from our formal education in school and college as well as career-related education. We learn from our teachers, from mentors, from athletic coaches, from our friends' parents and from those who influence us. We have lived to learn.

Live to light

While we continue to learn from the school of hard knocks and our different trials and tribulations, there comes a time in our life journey of aspirational giving when we begin to learn to light. It is at this time that we live to learn and to light.

What do I mean “to light?” When we live to light it means we are teaching others by setting an example. We are lighting the pathway for our children. We lighten the path for those we lead. When done in an appreciative, positive way, it allows those we lead in light to become better versions of themselves. This is most notable if you are a parent, grandparent, teacher, mentor or in any other teaching role. You become the light that enables others to live their life in a positive, giving way. We become the teacher not the student when we live .to light the lives of others.

Live to love

During this whole journey of aspirational giving, hopefully, we have learned to love.. Most typically this is reflected in loving parents. Parents who bestow love upon us, and as we live, they’ve shown us how to love. Through the love demonstrated by our teachers, coaches, mentors, and others we have learned to love. From their examples of giving, we have learned to love and we have learned how to light.

In summary, the life journey of aspirational giving also embodies the principles of living to learn, to light, and to love. Our purpose for getting up in the morning is to learn through our life journey. It is also to light, to lead, and teach others so they too can live to learn, light, and love as well. Lastly, we live to learn and to light in the common theme of love. To love life and to make an impact on the lives of others is the end goal.

So, why do you get out of bed in the morning? The answer may be as simple as, “I get out of the bed in the morning to live to learn, light, and love!”

Now, let’s do some good!



©2020 Aspire to Give®. All Rights Reserved. Greg Doepke is a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® and a Certified Financial Planner®. Greg serves on the Board of Directors for the International Association for Advisors in Philanthropy and as the Philanthropist in Residence at Auburn University’s Cary Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies. As the founder of Aspire to Give® Greg educates and equips individuals, families, business owners, and foundations with both traditional and leading-edge philanthropic tools and techniques for smart, meaningful, and impactful giving. You can contact Greg at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Disclosure: Aspire to Give® is a social enterprise that donates 100% of profits to charity.