From a very young age, we all have been taught to join this rat race and compete with others. Without evaluating and understanding the things that make us happy, we keep on struggling and striving for more.
Is it really the purpose of life?
I am not saying it’s bad to compete but is it actually giving you happiness.
Here is a very easy test that you can do to test whether you really love what you do.
Let’s say you receive billion dollars tomorrow (that you can keep and use without any conditions), would you continue working in the same job?
Congratulations if your answer to this question is yes!
But if you said no, then you do not love your job.
I always wondered, why do billionaires like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk work 60 – 80 hours per week. They are not working for money. They are working for their passion. They truly love what they do. If you take out money from your job and still do it then that is love for your work.
I recently met the CFO of a 5-billion-dollar company. His net worth was $800 million but was still working 60 hours per week. I asked him why he is not retiring and enjoying life.
He said that he is enjoying life right now. He believed in the vision and goals of that company and wants to make an impact in the life of its customers. He said that he earned enough money to retire tomorrow and can live a luxurious life sipping beer on a yacht. But that is not what he loves. Although he still goes on expensive trips with his family, however, that is not the only purpose of his life. His goal is to deliver the products of his company efficiently and make the lives of its customers easy.
This was the first time I was able to understand why rich people work. I have met few millionaires in the past. Most of them claimed that they cannot retire because they don’t have enough money to support their expensive lifestyle. I was never convinced by those responses.
Think about Elon Musk. He is on a mission to send humans to space. He is not working for money but the betterment of society.
So, how to find the purpose of life? Let’s do the billion dollars test again.
If I give you billion dollars today, then what would you want to do for the rest of your life?
It may be hard initially to come up with that answer because from a very young age we are programmed only to do what this society expects from us. We are not given choices when we are young. By the time we realize that it is not what we want to do, it’s too late.
Finding the purpose of your life is like finding your passion.
What is that one thing that would keep you awake till 4 am?
For me it is music. If I am composing or playing some good music, then I can keep on going until I get tired. Music is a great healer. I want to create music that can help people dance, sing, meditate or relax.
For others, that thing could be golfing, traveling, supporting the community, collecting stamps, painting, exercising, playing games, and so on.
You may have multiple things that could keep you awake till 4 am. In that case, you may need to ask yourself another question.
If there is only one thing that you can do before sleeping, then which of these would you do?
Follow this exercise to narrow down your passion and purpose in life.
It is okay if you are unable to find that answer immediately. Ask your friends what they love to do. Look at the habits of rich people. This can give you few ideas that you can try and check if you love them.
These are very important questions that you must think about today.
After understanding the purpose of your life, the next step is to prepare and work towards it.
We all need to work to earn money so that we can fulfill our needs. It is completely fine if you are one of those people who do not love their job but are working only to support their family.
The question is whether you are doing something in parallel to move to a job that you love.
Stop reading and think for a minute –
What did you do in the last week that moved you one step closer to your passion or purpose?
If you are working towards your purpose then how soon do you think you will achieve it? What are your plans of action for the next 3 months, 6 months, and one year?
If you are not, what will you do today (not tomorrow), to move one step closer? It does not need to be something big. For instance, if you are someone whose purpose (or passion) is to travel, then research about the place that you want to visit next.
Small steps can make a big difference. It is important to find the purpose of life, but it is equally important to work towards achieving it.
You may think that you have been living happily without a purpose for so many years, but in reality, that may not be the true happiness that you have been looking for.
Have you been on a rat race all this while? Do you know the purpose of your life? Are you working towards achieving the purpose of your life?
Let me know in the comments section.