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Have you already discovered your life’s purpose?
In the twenty-first century, figuring it out is indeed a hot topic. How thrilling is it to be able to answer existential questions with confidence? To begin with, it is certainly hard and controversial. Globalization and innovation have made self-discovery more difficult than ever before. Mainly because of the unhealthy connection between complex social networks, information overload, and the evolving mass control of public opinion. At times, it feels like what we think doesn’t even matter anymore. Propaganda smashed meaningless attempts to stand out. One who perplexes people about almost everything. Never-ending conflict between right and wrong when each new scientific discovery flips the script. Feeling lost and behind? Congratulations! You are a member of contemporary society. World, where everyone is trying to pursue someone else’s goal.
Nowadays, it is considered awesome to dream about money, status, power, attention, and instant gratification. Only very few people are capable of being genuinely honest with themselves. Later, when you least expect it, the truth sneaks up on you to remind you about the power of ignorance. One that festers over time and eventually kills your soul in agony of regret.
What remains of a lost mind? Well, presumably to suffer in anxiety from social judgment, cancel culture, and pursue false hopes.
Is there anything you could or should do? First of all — Stand up for yourself.
Secrets are hidden in simple fundamentals. Few figure it out at such a young age. Thanks to the deadly combination of environment, parenthood, and the educational system, they have a 10- to 20-year buffer against anyone else. You’ve probably heard of them. You call them “privileged.”
There is another group that makes it too, but in a hard way. They work to disregard social norms, exploit the system, and defy reality, making them lucky misfits. Later, they try to teach us what to do by sharing wisdom for $9.99/month.
The rest are dragging through life. Find a way not to be in this group.
Principles of Reality
Let’s discuss the fundamentals. They proved to be straightforward. How do I know? Well, I learned, tried, and fought for meaning 15 years or my conscious life. I gained some insight from it, which I gladly share with you.
The world as we know is a metagame. You are given an opportunity to play by following the rules of a specific area. Think of professional athletes who win Olympic gold medals or inventors who create world-first technology. You practice until you are number one and can virtually win everyone else. Then, if you’re still not happy, you can go and find another area and repeat the process. Becoming number one in multiple “games” puts you in a position of authority and generates credibility to spend. You can now change some rules and enjoy fame. Who knows, you might like giving autographs or starting a course on Udemy.
Some basics I wish I knew much earlier in life:
First, we all begin by having no knowledge of the world or ourselves. We need to slowly absorb knowledge and discover some meaning. Don’t worry; it evolves as we go. The most important factor in growth is not being afraid to question our own beliefs. Then learn to critically think about what other people say. Now you are up to something. No guru can make you a follower; therefore, keep an open mind about the world.
Second, become a master of communication. There is writing, thinking, speaking, and listening. That is arguably the only powerful skill you really need in life. It helps negotiate, influence, explain, defend, learn, invent, and create. I dare you to challenge anyone who has mastered it to debate some subject. Don’t be surprised if you feel like running away in tears. Learn to ask probing questions and as many “Why?” as you need to uncover the unpleasant truth.
Third, you can only go as far as you are healthy. Surprise, surprise. Your body, mind, and soul are the pillars of your own fortress. It will be repeatedly invaded by haters and false believers. Make sure to dedicate time to working on it every single day. I mean it. Keep the body healthy with food and physical activities of any kind. Keep the mind open for new, meaningful experiences. Books help a lot, but nowadays any learning format is acceptable. The soul is you; it is lurking between the body and mind. Something that is extremely hard to recover from after failure. You can do it by being honest with yourself and being true to your goals. Do not corrupt your fortress with cheap pleasures and useless stuff, so that you can reach a selfless state of body and mind, enabling your soul to develop your character.
Fourth, you must approach everything with pragmatism. Financial stability, for example, can accelerate your life’s achievements but also provide dangerous comfort. Get rid of the spoiling and consumption mentality and put your resources to good use. Learn to build structure and order out of chaos in your head and in your home. Filtering out noise and misinformation can significantly improve your chances of success.
Fifth, learn to identify or create new patterns. Patterns of behavior, reality, knowledge, and beliefs. Nearly every system in the world is based on patterns. You can be unstoppable once you recognized and capitalized on this.It can transition you to a meta level. Make it a habit to structure and group information, continuously pushing your understanding of strategic context. It gives you control over your destiny.
Ultimately, keep in mind that it’s just a game. The decision to play is yours. On earth, there is plenty of land to live without being bothered by society. Just make sure you have excellent survival skills.
Agree to disagree
Why on earth would you need to know this in order to find yourself and your purpose?
It seems to me — it just seems to me — that we as humans — and I couldn’t find any legit proof, so feel free to throw a rock my way — just don’t know what the purpose is. We are even in denial about it.
That is why we never agree on one single version of purpose. The best justification for the unknown that I heard of was when people say “You have to figure it out for yourself.” I love that one. Thank you very much; it’s been very helpful.
What this also tells me is that purpose is shapeless. You can make anything your purpose and call it truth. Stay in control of your life. Now the game starts. Trying your hardest but failing to win? As they say, try a bit harder. Still can’t win? Welp, change the shape of your purpose. Call it “the discovery of a new purpose” and move on. I call it the BS of your inner spirit.
Jordan Peterson described purpose as “reduction of suffering”. Essentially, you are pitted against the world with no guarantees. Taking extreme accountability for the outcomes, results, and value that only you can create. That value can be useful for you, your family, or maybe the whole world. Hence, you need a toolbox to fight against eternity. Your starter kit consists of the five points I described above. It took me 30+ years to build my life around it. I trust you can do better than me, so please give yourself a chance to make it happen. You deserved to be here.
What alternative do you have? Hope for a second life?
It’s time to put your plans into action. To be effective, you will need:
Learning system. Building knowledge or a skill requires a learning system. Shocking statement. It doesn’t matter what system it is. The key is to be consistent. You can devote 60 minutes a day to a subject, which is 365 hours of pure education in a year, with an ideal mix of theory and practice. You can become an expert in one domain or a generalist, like me. My system evolved over time. I study finance on Tuesdays and psychology on Sundays, for example, and I don’t skip. Experiment and adjust as needed; make it work for you.
Planning system. Building the body, mind, and soul requires structure, discipline, and willpower. You must master the art of planning to ease suffering and control chaos. Plan your day, week, month, year, and eventually your life. There are so many wonderful planning and prioritization tools out there. Anyone can begin with the Eisenhower Matrix. When you get to more advanced levels, try lean techniques. I have a plan for 10 years ahead, and I revisit it annually.
Financial system. Achieving pragmatic financial freedom for most of us can be absolutely boring. Unless, of course, you have invested in Bitcoin at the right time, your only worry in life is the truthfulness of the people around you. Good luck with that. Secret financial life hack: save as much as it makes sense, invest, and turn it into passive income. It would take a lot of effort to go from a $0 asset portfolio to a $100,000 one. To go from $100,000 to $1 million, you simply need to make good financial decisions or avoid making bad ones. After that is accomplished, with good dividends and passive cash flow, it should be like a snowball.
Judgment system. Patterns are everywhere. One thing they do for sure is save your time. Everyone has the same time limit, so maximizing value is the best way to get what you want. After reading 50 business books, you will notice so many patterns that it will astound you. Who knows, it might inspire you to write a New York Times best-selling book called “Business Best Practices.” Patterns are fun. There is also a pattern to the people who walk into your life. Pay extreme attention to that. Everyone there is for you to learn from. Maybe you are ignorant, and someone is going to shake your world. Maybe you are too soft and need a lesson in toughness. Just don’t make the same mistake more than three times. Make judgment calls like a pro, and they will call you wise.
Alright, semantics aside. The point is very simple.
We have no clue what the purpose of life is. We can reduce the suffering of the unknown by applying our time and knowledge to create meaningful lives for ourselves and those around us. We can do it by learning to “play” the metagame and leveraging systems that put us in control. We can evolve and discover things that no one else has found before, making it practical for the next generation of adventure seekers. How about that purpose?
There is no end
There is hope that life can bring meaning to our existence, hence let’s behave accordingly. Be positively suspicious of anyone who claims to know all the answers from the past, present, and future. I’m not saying ignore them; just be suspicious. Remember critical thinking? Exactly. The body can be weaker than the mind; don’t fall too short for small pleasures. In the grand scheme of things, we are thinkers. It means reality is created in your head first, and all you need are tools to execute with grace, even when you fail miserably. not if, but when. Trust the process, and never stop or get out of the way for someone else to create your destiny.
Don’t be a follower; be a student of life.
(c) Artem Gonchakov