Transitioning to a More Purposeful Life.

September 7, 2021

Transitioning to a More Purposeful Life.

May 29, 2023

I once met a man on the Metro North train from Connecticut to New York who said he’s been heading to the same job on the same train for 35 years. At the time, I was young and that seemed mighty impressive.

Much older now and thinking back about his plight, it’s less impressive. Of course, back then I would have never guessed that one day I’d leave New York City and cross the country to Santa Fe, New Mexico to transition from a media CEO to humanitarian doctor.

Finding The Path

I’m not a self help guru. I’ve just lived a life that might inform others to consider one possible path. Are we truly best served by living our “life cycle and seasons” as suggested in Daniel Levinson’s book “The Seasons of Man’s Life,” all in one place? Or equally important, how can we best serve humanity? These are the questions I began asking myself around that pivotal moment of turning forty.

I grew up in a middle class life of privilege, graduated college with a degree in film & television, eventually rising up the ranks of a media company to CEO and owner. My wife and I were raising two beautiful children on a lovely farm in Connecticut. But despite having so many “resources,” something was missing. Maybe passing the homeless in Grand Central Station everyday was really working my subconscious. I used to explain to my children “that could have been us.”

It was time to make a change in my life. I don’t think men in general like to move from the known to unknown without a business plan or safety net. That was my fear, but somehow I managed to do exactly that. I stepped away from corporate America, trained as an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) and began working with an ambulance. People died in my arms, life’s fragile reality became much more real.

Later, after graduating university to become a Naturopathic Doctor, I began working in places like the Amazon Jungle and Africa. Suddenly, serving others less fortunate became my purpose. I found it decades later after my first media career.

We make so many important life choices before our brain is fully-formed. Our emotional and mental intellect are undeveloped and yet this is when we make the most pivotal decisions: our career, selecting our mate and choosing to have and raise children. A learning institute to help us with this later in life is so important.

Gracefully Moving Through Life

The world is a very difficult, harsh place with enormous suffering. Humans have a tremendous ability to inflict pain on other sentient beings. Personally, I just wanted to do my part and be the change. Giving back and helping others with compassion, empathy and kindness is so very rewarding. It doesn’t mean you have to go to Africa necessarily if that’s out of reach...it could be just daily acts of giving in your community. Here’s what I’m quite certain we don’t want to be: "The Oxygen Thief," an unkind individual who takes precious resources but doesn’t give back.

Andrew Lustig, ND is the Founder/President of Global Outreach Doctors, a charity providing medical staff around the world in war zones, refugee crisis regions, earthquakes and other natural disasters. He lives on his horse ranch in Santa Fe, NM.

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