What is it about the end of the year that makes us want to get together and celebrate? Around the world, the Holidays are a time for honoring longstanding traditions. Where do these traditions come from? Mostly, they grow out of a need to celebrate the people and things we value in our lives: family, community, peace, joy and giving.

The holidays are also a time for reflecting on our purpose and accomplishments. What am I here for? Is the life I'm building a life worth living? This fall we took our team through a course on how to become an effortless high performer. We learned that in order to be "on a roll" and excel in what we do, we need to identify our life purpose, then coax it into sharper focus.

For the people on our team, tapping into our heart's desire ran the gamut: "serving God," "being happy and making other people happy," "being on a sailboat, at one with the ocean," "living a life that doesn't stink," "becoming a more loving person," "growing in awareness of who I am," "building a business model for a philanthropic economy."

Underneath the ostensible differences, we found a common thread: we all yearn to overcome the illusion of separation and experience the bliss of oneness. When the reality of our interconnectedness hits us, giving to "others" becomes as natural as taking care of our own body or feeding our family.

What about philanthropy in business: is it any different? Over the past year, contributors to Networking Times as diverse as Peter Koestenbaum, Marianne Williamson, Frederick Reichheld, Anita Roddick and Peter Senge taught us that the purpose of business is to make life more meaningful for everyone. Our networking profession provides a living testimony of what becomes possible when we truly believe this and walk our talk.

In this combined holiday issue, we chose to continue our year-end tradition of celebrating and sharing the stories that are Moving the Heart of Business®.

Stephanie DuPre notes that because networking is a people business, it inevitably fosters a stronger sense of community and social responsibility.

Colette Larsen gives us a recipe for living and loving with an abundant attitude.

Dr. Denis Waitley sums up the Spirit of Giving by pointing out that "there will be no peace until everyone has a place at the banquet table."

Nido Qubein ties it all together by modeling "a life of significance"--as opposed to one of mere success.

Read on, enjoy the stories, and plug into the power of a purpose-driven life.

JOSEPHINE GROSS, Ph.D. and CHRIS GROSS are co-founders of
Gabriel Media Group, Inc., the publishers of Networking Times.