What’s Your Top Currency?

When we look at the richness of our lives, currencies extend far beyond the realm of money. As we journey through life, we constantly reassess and reprioritize to reflect our evolving aspirations, goals, and values. Recognizing the multifaceted nature of these currencies—ranging from recognition and relationships to purpose and freedom—can offer us valuable insights into how we make decisions and navigate our paths.


At the onset, the pursuit of financial stability often takes precedence. Money serves as the bedrock upon which we build our dreams, providing the means to fulfill our material desires and secure our future. The allure of monetary success propels us to work diligently and aim for financial milestones.



Early in our careers, many of us embark on a quest for recognition. Whether it’s climbing the corporate ladder, winning awards, or basking in external praise, the allure of being acknowledged for our achievements can be intoxicating. However, as our journeys progress, we often realize that recognition, while satisfying, is not the sole measure of our worth.


In my late twenties, I was determined to make my mark. Money and recognition were paramount in my pursuit of success. The allure of promotions and accolades fueled my drive, leading me to devote countless hours to my work, sometimes at the expense of important relationships.

As time went on, my perspective began to shift. I realized that while money and recognition was gratifying, it wasn’t the only currency that mattered. Deepening connections and discovering my purpose became increasingly significant.



As we mature and gain a broader perspective, the value of relationships comes to the forefront. Nurturing and fostering connections with loved ones, friends, and mentors can become a top priority. After all, the support network we build can serve as a wellspring of strength and comfort.

The turning point for me was when I met my soon-to-be husband. I began to reevaluate my work-life balance. The bonds I had unintentionally neglected began to take precedence and I began to put up guardrails between work and my personal life.


BODY & SPIRIT  (Personal Well Being):

The currency of the body & spirit encompasses our health, well-being, inner peace, self-awareness, and vitality.  When we prioritize the synergy between the body and spirit something magical happens—the other currencies start to thrive too. A healthy body brings boundless energy to your pursuits, while a nourished spirit enhances your sense of purpose and the connections you make.

There have been many times in my life where these things were at the bottom of the list. I did not take the time to invest in my physical and spiritual health. As I get older, it has become a significant part of my daily life, exercising, eating right, and taking time for prayer and meditation.



Unveiling our purpose is a journey of self-discovery that can transform how we perceive success. While recognition and money may once have driven us, the pursuit of a meaningful purpose can now take precedence. Understanding why we do what we do, aligning our actions with our values, and contributing positively to the world can bring unparalleled fulfillment.

When I discovered my strengths, using Gallup’s Strengths Finder, I began to unveil my purpose. I reflected on the knowledge, experience and gifts I have been provided. As I developed a better understanding of myself, my desire to make a meaningful impact began to grow, a realization that steered me toward a more purpose-driven path.



Finally, the pursuit of freedom—both in terms of personal choices and work dynamics—can play a pivotal role in our lives. Gaining the freedom to choose the type of work we engage in, how we allocate our time, and where flexibility is paramount can significantly enhance our well-being.

Today I have prioritized freedom and flexibility. I can pick and choose what I do, who I do it with and what part of the day works best for me. My happiness is intrinsically tied to the freedom I have to shape my own destiny.


It’s important to acknowledge that additional currencies may be at play, unique to each individual. The heart of the matter lies not in adhering to a fixed list but in recognizing what truly matters to us and the legacy we aspire to leave behind.

So, the next time you stand at the crossroads of choice, let your personal currencies serve as your guiding light, leading you toward a life of fulfillment and purpose.

Linda Ruffenach

Founder / Chief Strategic Officer at Execuity. Linda is an experienced entrepreneur, skilled facilitator, and bourbon badass. Her 20+ years of C-level experience enables her to relate to the challenges business owners face every day. As the former CEO of a $100 million international enterprise, she has been through almost every stage a company can experience from fast growth, rapid decline, to complete transformation. In addition to running multiple businesses, Linda is Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Louisville's School of Business, leading and mentoring undergrad and graduate students on their path to business ownership Linda’s superpower is turning strategy into results.