Lack of Purpose, Lack of Life

Ask yourself this—what gets you out of bed in the morning?

You’re always late, you sleep in frequently, or you’re just plain not motivated to do things. Your morning is a long slog repeated everyday, yet everyday you still don’t know how you manage to get through it.

A common factor to this is that you lack a purpose, or you just haven’t clearly defined one yet. If you think you have one—good, great, write it down on a piece of paper and tape it onto you bathroom mirror. Leave it as a reminder to yourself of what you’ve been working for. That’ll get you up in the morning. But for those of you who feel you don’t have a purpose, that’s fine—just keep reading.

The reality for our labor force is that we only have one broad, and very distant end goal. That’s retirement.

Two out of every three Americans save for retirement. Working throughout their early years, they save just enough money to pay the bills now and to live out their most feeble years without working at all later. And that concept in itself doesn’t age well. Because when you don’t have meaningful work, then you don’t have a purpose, and this work isn’t to be confused with your day job.

Consider this when you’re waiting for what money you have left to dry, and it’s either that or waiting to die.

Retirement is no end goal, it’s just a backup plan, and one that you should never have to fall back on.

A common problem with our retired elderly population is that they have a tendency to fall into depression. After having worked all their lives, when retirement dawns on them, they realize they don’t have a reason to get out of bed in the morning anymore. They haven’t defined a goal beyond what was already their end goal. They were already at the end.

But this can be combated, not matter what stage you are in your life. Purpose isn’t easy to find, but the fact of the matter is that it comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. They come numerously and you can pick up and try different hobbies, crafts, and jobs. You aren’t set to just one, so there’s no commitment.

Applied purpose is finding work that you find meaningful, enjoyable, and one that provides value to others (If you don’t think it does, think again, because there usually is a way to stretch this that you haven’t thought of yet).

Again, this isn’t to be confused with your day job. However, if you find that it is, then that’s all the better. But for most of the labor force, meaningful work is found as a project you’re working on outside of your work hours. Whether you’re working on a book or writing a song, whether you’re sketching art or starting up a new blog. Find some way to give value to society, because when you’re giving back to others, you’ll find that you’ll have a lot more purpose then when you’re just giving to yourself.

The gist is to never stop having a purpose, no matter what stage of life you’re in. Your lifetime is too short and negligible to live without one, because if you lack purpose, then you lack a reason to live.


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The Answer to Life

And it’s not 42.

Nothing compares to the feeling of coming home after a long work day. You’re tired, and all you want to do is sit on the couch and watch Netflix. You’ve earned it after all. You’ve been working all day, and what’s left of it is yours to keep. This free time is yours, so spend it as you will—that’s at least until you have to clock back into work the next day. Why else do you think you’ve been working? Because this is what you’ve been working for.

This is what you’ve been working for…

Is this all you’ve been working for? This moment of peace?

There has to be something more, right? That can’t be all there is to life. Day in and day out, working, restlessly working. It’s a vicious cycle, a tiring one, an endless one in that. You ask yourself, when does it end?

When you retire? Because that’s your entire life right there. If it isn’t for work, what else is there? You need money after all, and you need to live. Mortgages and rent don’t pay for themselves. Food especially doesn’t. With all these in mind, is there another way to provide?

The answer is…unclear.

Especially when discipline, determination, and tolerance vary from person to person. A person can only tolerate so much before they break, and what they tolerate differs as well.

Risk, it makes your heart pound. Day trading, starting your own business, writing your own book, creating lovely works of art. All of it costs money, and if not money, then time. Nobody likes risk and nobody likes risk as much as their dead-end job. If it weren’t for the money, then it would certainly be for passion. But passion, however, doesn’t pay bills.

So when the question is asked, and the question being, is there more to life? The answer to that is hazy. Everyone wants to pursue their passion after all, but at the same time, not everyone succeeds. That’s the hard reality. Not everyone can be winners, but the people who are winners tend to have the loud, rallying voices. They’re the winners, and they say that you can too if you buy their one hundred dollar course on how to be them. Their one hundred dollar course on how you can be just like them. Except, you aren’t, and they most certainly don’t want you to be them either. They just want to sell you a product.

The real answer to life is simple, and it’s not 42.

The answer, really, is that there are no answers. You could go your entire life not knowing how to go about your passion. The answer to happiness doesn’t come easy, but understanding that you are unhappy does.

Pursuing your passion is the easy part. The hard part is pursuing your passion and getting paid doing just that. Let’s say you’re a painter, a potter, an entrepreneur, or even a writer. Creating form is difficult, sure, but it’s plenty easier than trying to sell it.

So when it comes to what you want to do with your life, know that you’re making the choice between you passion and your job, risk and stability. There are no right answers, as both are right answers. It’s just the question as to which is right for you, and you can’t let anyone answer that for you. Because you, after all, know yourself the best.

Whichever route you choose, go through your life knowing that you should leave your mark on the world in some way. Whether it be small or large, knowing that you touched someone in some way meant that your life had some meaning beyond your day to day.


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