Looking for your Life’s Purpose? I think I found it…

Have you ever wondered why it is you are here in this world? What the point of your life is? I’m pleased to say I may have found an answer, and it’s one you’ll like! I was recently reading Randy Gage’s Risky is the New Safe

Everything is changing

Everything is changing

It talks about how drastically the world is changing, and that saying the conventional path is no longer the safest option. That “Good Job” your parents wanted you to get? It may not exist much longer. Software like Xero is reducing the amount of work for accountants, the job market for lawyers is massively over-saturated with equally qualified young people all applying for the same position, and there’s a handheld machine being developed that can diagnose quicker and more accurately than a GP.  Sound scary? It is. But it’s also incredibly exciting, because now more than ever before, we each have the ability to make an incredible impact on the world.

Of course this raises two questions that plague many of us today:

1) How do we decide what we want to change in the world? There’s so much that needs doing, so many people that need helping, how do we choose a path in life?
2) Once decided, how the hell do we get started solving world hunger, curing cancer or whatever crazily ambitious life goal you’ve chosen? (You’ll be happy to know that you don’t need to decide that you’ll be the one to stop global warming, if raising a family is what gives your life meaning, then do that)

The answer to both those questions as to how we can really change the world is simple: by being completely and utterly selfish. The pursuit of our own happiness is the best way for us to make a truly meaningful contribution to the world we live in.

“Your highest moral purpose must be your own success and happiness” — Randy Gage

Are you shocked? Confused? I was too. But when you think about it, it makes total sense. When you are wealthy and prosperous, you are in a much better position to really change lives. See Bill Gates and his crusade against malaria, Warren Buffet’s work with the Buffet Foundation, or Oprah’s TV show that helps thousands of people every year.
Think about it, how many times have you turned down people of charities that ask you for money? Imagine if you were so successful that you actually WANT to be cornered by those annoying salespeople because you know the organisation does good work and it makes you happy to support it. When you have taken care of your own success, it is much easier to help other people, because doing so makes you happy.

So it’s easy to take the mission to pursue your own happiness and interpret that as an excuse to pursue hedonism – ie. the things that make you happy short-term, but are ultimately meaningless in the long run. Don’t come to me after you got completely wasted on the weekend and tell me that “But, it made me happy!”
That’s not the kind of happiness we’re after here. Sure, you can sit at home and watch TV all day, take naps during the ads and stuff your face with junk food. One or two days/weeks of complete laziness and rest are great here and there, in fact, I love spending an entire day every once in a while with permission to do absolutely nothing. But do it for long enough, and you start to feel frustrated, bored, or just plain numb. I used to spend weeks in a state of complete apathy, and trust me, it’s not as fun as it sounds! TV, sleep and junk food do not lead to happiness, and especially not to success!

I don’t know about you, but I feel relieved knowing that all I need to do to make my life meaningful is to make myself as happy and successful as I can possibly be. It takes this immense pressure off my shoulders. Yes, it’s up to each of us to change the world in our way, but we get to do that by living freaking amazing lives!

Smile. Life is amazing!

Smile. Life is amazing!

I want to know, what do you think? Is our own success and happiness the most important thing? What specific thing are you doing to pursue happiness and success in your life? Let me know below

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10 Responses to Looking for your Life’s Purpose? I think I found it…

  1. I do know one thing. Having a sense of purpose in tackling issues and problems has helped me in giving direction and boundaries to how my mind tackles stress and eliminates confusion. Having a purpose gives focus and clarity. It also allows a person to ascertain the sacrifices that they must make to achieve the purpose. The investment we are willing to make has a direct correlation with the sense of purpose that we attribute and use to drive certain behaviours. Is your purpose to make more money? Is your purpose to be a role model to others? The response is typically grounded in an individual’s value system. Hopefully, your purpose is linked to the values that you cherish or subscribe to.In the end the highest reward for any kind of work is not what you get from it (salary, experience or learning) but what you become by it. Try to figure out your purpose in life and don’t be shy to incorporate elements of purpose of work in your response. Is this a utopian ideal? I think that we create madness and a deep sense of frustration when we try to stretch ourselves in an attempt to deliver on the amorphous concept of purpose in life. Remember ‘life’ is what you make of it.

    See more at: http://deepakbhootra.blogspot.in/2013/04/can-you-find-answer-to-what-is-purpose.html

    • Annika S says:

      Deepak, thanks for the insightful comment. Having a purpose is crucial in making decisions that will majorly affect your life. And absolutely I believe it is important that your purpose is aligned with your values, why else would you make it your purpose?
      Life is what you make of it, life is not a dress rehearsal, you only live once – these are all expressions that remind us that WE are the most important person in our lives, and don’t we forget it! :)

  2. Reiss says:

    Good article. Thanks.

  3. Tom Grbich says:

    I TOTALLY agree Annika and congratulations on your discovery. Like the old “when the oxygen masks fall on the aircraft, whose do you put on first” question implies… you are no use to anyone else if you aren’t breathing. Every brake you put on yourself via societally imposed thinking, effectively limits your capacity to breathe, You CANNOT lift others up by limiting yourself. Some people lift themselves up by climbing on the shoulders of others, some by putting others down; but the REAL people of the world lift THEMSELVES up and take as many others with them as they can.

    • Annika S says:

      Thanks Tom, that is exactly the expression my mum used when I told her about this article last night! :) I believe we are all capable of lifting ourselves up higher, and then higher still. And I plan to take as many people along for the ride as are willing :)

  4. AJ Walton says:

    My brain almost exploded when you dropped the “being completely selfish” bomb. Totally counter-intuitive but spot on. So often I’ve tried to pursue some “selfless” world-saving project only to be limited by the various ways I neglected myself (health mostly). That type of altruism is really just veiled arrogance anyway in my opinion.

    If you don’t look out for #1, you rob yourself of all your power to do great things – for yourself and the world.

    I’ve been ruthlessly selfish since July and it’s totally turned my life around.

    • Annika S says:

      AJ, Woohoo!! Congrats on your new selfish life :)
      I think it’s a very common thing for us young’uns to get caught up in the idea that we need to be single-handedly saving the world, living on 2 minute noodles and depriving ourselves so we can give everything to our chosen cause. So long as that is what makes us happy, that’s perfect. But at some point we’re going to want more than 2-min noodles for ourselves. And when that time comes, it’s time to embrace it, as you did. I’m sure you can still save the world, and you can probably do it more effectively now that you don’t have to worry about your health anymore :)

  5. Colin says:

    Funny that I was just writing an intro video for my website on this very subject. You are spot on. I think it is our responsibility to live the best life we can; a life on purpose. Traditionally that is seen as being defined as selfish but maybe we can find a better word for it. Great article.

    • Annika S says:

      Hey Colin, absolutely, I think “selfish” has such negative connotations, when really it is the best thing we can do for the world. Link me to the video when it’s done, would love to check it out!

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