The countdown to summer has officially begun. Embrace the #summer selfies. Once summer is over we will start the countdown to Christmas. In the meantime, we have the countdown to our next trip and our next holiday. There is always a countdown to something. How about we pause, think and reflect on our life. How about we start looking for purpose and meaning?
Another pair of shoes and another holiday will not make us fulfilled. It will give us a dopamine hit, nothing else. Dopamine hits are very addictive. The problem with dopamine and this type of lifestyle is that it’s never ending and it’s unfulfilling.
Buying things for immediate gratification is nothing more than a futile attempt to make up for our dissatisfaction in life. Overspending and the need for immediate gratification have little to do with the actual item you’re buying, and everything to do with lack of fulfillment in your life.
I’m astonished at how people waste time on useless things. Things that really don’t matter in the short run nor in the long run. I understand why we all sometimes do that; we have a lack of clarity and purpose in life.
There was a client of mine that always spoke for an hour on the phone and made changes to the designs we proposed. The changes he requested made no sense, but it made him feel that he was doing something, it gave him a sense of fake purpose.
In the 1940s, Viktor. E. Frankl was held prisoner in Nazi concentration camps. In his book, “Man’s Search For Meaning” Victor says “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.
With all the brutality that was going on, he (Frankl) didn’t give up his relentless fight for his life. He found meaning in his struggle, and that’s what gave him the power to push forward through unimaginable pain.
Marketers around the world made us believe that we need a new pair of shoes and a new bag. When we actually buy something new it makes us feel good for a moment but there is a catch. It makes us feel good because…of dopamine and how others will perceive us. When we walk with a new LV bag we don’t need to speak; the bag speaks for itself. Others will think of how “successful” we are and how “rich” we are. We feel good because others “admire” us or want to be like us.
Today marketers endorse celebrities and send complimentary make up products to Instagram influencers. Who would say no to free products? Only a very strong woman out there that knows what they stand for. That’s why I like Nicole Arbour’s (@ibnicolearbour) message. She tells girls and women not to believe different propagandas about cosmetic companies.
You don’t need another pair of shoes or another makeup product. You are enough, you are amazing as you are. I listen to a lot of people agree that ‘we are enough’ yet the next day they go and buy another product that they don’t need.
Society, our parents, friends and the media taught us to believe that we are not good enough. Our insecurities are very profitable to brands.
Living “on purpose” means we live aware.
Being aware means that I’m making certain decisions and I’m taking a certain action. I’m aware that I’m living paycheck to paycheck. I’m aware that I’m buying things to impress others.
In my 20s I didn’t live aware, I lived as society told me. I bought things I didn’t need, I wasted time that I didn’t have and I lived in a delusional world.
A lot of people say “live today to enjoy today”, their actions are all short term. It’s like knowing that smoking is not healthy and it’s killing them yet saying that I don’t care what will happen in the next 10,20,30 years, I will smoke today one more pack to feel good and “enjoy” life. I know that because I was that guy.
Living with purpose means that we have a clear goal, we have a vision and we don’t get distracted by other minor things that don’t matter. It means that we don’t wait for the weekend to have fun, it means that you don’t hate Monday, it means that we don’t wait for another trip away and we definitely don’t wait to buy another pair of shoes/shirt/jacket.
For me, living on purpose means living with less (being a minimalist), having a massive goal, living in the moment and giving back. Giving to human beings.
Just surviving is not life for me; an ordinary life is what the majority of people have.
Only when we know our “why” will we find the courage to take the risks needed to go beyond, stay motivated when the shit hits the fan and move life onto an entirely new, more challenging and rewarding trajectory.
Society taught us to have a list of boxes checked; graduate school, go to university, marry, have kids, settle into a well-defined career path, and hang on until your retirement check can be collected.
This is the path that the majority take; direction of comfort, not purpose.
We’re so busy avoiding self-induced fears of not being ______ enough, smart enough, creative enough, pretty enough – that we rarely stop and think “Am I happy and fulfilled? And if not, how can I change things around?”
Parker Palmer in “Let Your Life Speak” says that we should let our life speak to us, not tell our life what we’re going to do with it.
Why do most people give up and say that looking for purpose and meaning is “foolish” when there are so many benefits you might ask. You can ask yourself why so many people eat unhealthy food rather than vegetables? Short term pleasure.
Looking for purpose and meaning is not an easy path, that’s why the majority of people will never know it. They fear the struggle, the unknown, the risk and the foolishness.
We fear what others will say and how others will judge us because we judge others.
So at the end of the day the majority choose a job that pays enough to survive and show others that we are happy with our brand new Range Rover.
Living without purpose is very dangerous because we will never be able to rewind time, we will never be able to go back and live our life again. We will keep looking for meaningless things. We will end up full of regrets on our deathbeds.
When you are 80 years’ old there is nothing much you can do. That’s it. I want to live life with purpose and passion, to inspire myself first and others around me. There is nothing more fulfilling in life than living with purpose.
There’s no greater gift than to honor your life’s calling. It’s why you were born. And how you become most truly alive. – Oprah Winfrey