So, I never explained why I originally named my website “Questionable Existence” (now called Higher Purpose Finance).
This is supposed to be a personal finance blog and most people name their page something money-related.
So why did I name my site something so obscure?
The reason is that I want to help people earlier on in their journey than I am while acknowledging the fact that I’m on my own journey. To be honest, when I created my domain name I was at a turning point in my life and I don’t think I’m alone when it comes to figuring things out.
I hadn’t fully fleshed out what I’d do with my blog and it definitely wasn’t meant to be about personal finance in the beginning. It was just meant to be an outlet – a personal diary if you will (posts were password-protected and private, now deleted).
Now, I’m trying to make a business out of my blog.
That goes to show how things are constantly changing every day. You’ll never figure out what you’re meant to do if you don’t start doing something.
My brother is now a resident physician. My brother never openly announced that he wanted to be a doctor. However, for most of his life, his actions guided him to his purpose: what he studied in school, where he chose to live, who he associated with, and even what he did with his free time.
You’re considered blessed if you’ve managed to find something you’re passionate about. Many people go through life without really knowing what they want. Yet, starting from an early age, we’re expected to have things all figured out – choose a college major, find a job, etc.
When it comes to figuring out what you want, making a lot of money looks like an easy task.
Since the age of 18 until the present day, I changed career aspirations multiple times. And even now after starting my own business, I’m still figuring things out.
I’ve done my own reading up about the concept of “life purpose” and the definition I’ve chosen to accept is we exist and we never know when our life is going to end.
During our lifetime “we do things. Some of these things are important. Some of them are unimportant. And those important things give our lives meaning and happiness. The unimportant ones basically just kill time. So when people say, ‘what should I do with my life?’ or ‘what is my life purpose?’ what they’re actually asking is: ‘what can I do with my time that is important?'”
This goes against the preconceived notion that we’re destined to search and find our higher calling.
Everyone has their own destiny that they reach for with their own two hands. For you, it’s starting with answering a number of questions to assist you in figuring out for yourself what’s important to you and what can add more meaning to your life.
- 1 What Would You Commit to Doing Even Through Difficulties and Sacrifice?
- 2 Did You Have Anything You Enjoyed Doing When You Were Young, But Quit Doing As You Got Older For Whatever Reason?
- 3 What Makes You Lose Track of Time?
- 4 What Would You Take a Chance Doing and Risk Being Vulnerable?
- 5 How Are You Going to Make an Impact On the World?
- 6 If You Had No Choice But to Take Action, What Would You Do?
- 7 If You Only Have One Year Left To Live, How Would You Live Your Life and How Would You Want To Be Remembered?
What Would You Commit to Doing Even Through Difficulties and Sacrifice?
As I mentioned in a previous post, a person we know is truly committed to getting his Bachelor’s degree in engineering. It’s his passion because, despite having studied for fifteen years and counting, he’s not letting any setbacks get in the way of what he wants.
The average person may think that because you’re not getting that degree within a normal timeframe and moving on to earning money, it means you’re a failure.
The way you should think is “if I haven’t found something I care about in life that I’d stick with through thick and thin, THEN I’m a failure.”
If it’s just about making money, there are about a million ways to do so other than by pursuing an engineering degree when you’re not naturally talented in the field.
However, if doing that is what makes you happy and fulfilled, then that takes precedence over whatever the easier route is.
Being committed to your passion will give you a competitive advantage over people getting into something for the wrong reasons because they’ll give up when times get hard and you won’t.
Did You Have Anything You Enjoyed Doing When You Were Young, But Quit Doing As You Got Older For Whatever Reason?
When I was a child, I would hide away in my room for hours drawing comic book characters. I had a bit of natural talent, but I’d still continue to spend time perfecting my craft. Not because I wanted to impress anyone, but because it was fun.
I would be so focused that my parents would forget that I’m in the house.
We all have a tendency to lose touch with our younger selves. As we get older and older, other obligations get in the way such as school and work. We’re conditioned to seek external rewards in the form of achievements, accolades, and financial compensation.
This is how a construct, such as the rat race, stifles our creativity and optimism making us feel lost or stuck.
A good exercise for some self-reflection would be to ask yourself, “why don’t you draw anymore?” If your answer is “because you can’t make money doing that,” not only would you be wrong but your younger self would probably be sad. Your younger self wouldn’t care about money. He just wanted to have fun and that’s where passion begins, with something enjoyable and fun.
What Makes You Lose Track of Time?
You can’t say video games. For most of us, video games are an escape from the realities of life and a way to kill time.
For a while, after I quit my career in accounting, I thought maybe I could try my hand at professional gaming. It involved streaming my gaming session on Twitch, but I quickly found out that I was not very good at being in front of the camera. I didn’t have a “TV personality.” On top of that, I was never a really good gamer in the first place. I soon gave up.
I realized my passion wasn’t for the games themselves (although I do like them). My passion is for improvement. When I was playing my favorite RPG games, I’d enjoy accumulating virtual currency through buying and re-selling items. I loved the endless hours of leveling up my character, even though it entailed a grinding aspect to it.
Now that I’m applying my need for self-improvement to an internet business and writing this blog, I’m feeling like I’ve gotten back in touch with my younger self.
What Would You Take a Chance Doing and Risk Being Vulnerable?
In the book “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell, he talks about the 10,000 hours rule. The rule says it takes 10,000 hours of practice in order to master a skill.
Despite some saying that the idea is a myth, it still holds true that to be good at anything worthwhile you have to go through a steep learning curve. It’s not uncommon for people to avoid doing something in order to not look stupid.
No one likes continual embarrassment.
However, if you pass up on an opportunity to discover yourself out of pride or ego, you won’t ever do something that feels important or meaningful either.
If you find out it wasn’t right for you, at least you won’t have the regret of not trying.
You have reasons that you continually repeat to yourself as a way to rationalize not doing something that you actually WANT to do, even fantasize about doing.
If those reasons are, “If I failed, I’d look like an idiot,” then chances are you’re avoiding something significant to you because you’re scared of failing at something you truly care about not because you care what other people think.
But if that’s not the reason, then what’s holding you back? You’ll only be considered a failure once you’ve given up.
Greatness is by definition original and unique. Therefore, to achieve greatness, we must not conform and go against the herd mentality. And to do that is scary.
Just because a major life decision scares you does not mean that you should avoid it. The way to conquer your fears is to not take yourself too seriously. Don’t beat yourself up for any mistakes or obstacles between you and your goals.
How Are You Going to Make an Impact On the World?
To live a happy and healthy life, you need to have a purpose that is bigger than yourself.
There is an endless number of world issues and, though they may seem like Herculean tasks, you could be the one making a difference.
You’re not going to solve the world’s problems all by yourself, but you can contribute even by starting with changing yourself, your friends, or your family.
The feeling of making a difference will lead to greater happiness and fulfillment. Making a difference equals you finding your life’s purpose.
If You Had No Choice But to Take Action, What Would You Do?
For most of us, we get comfortable with what’s routine and familiar.
What people don’t understand is that passion is the result of action, not the cause of it. [efn_note] Wrzesniewski, A., McCauley, C., Rozin, P., & Schwartz, B. (1997). Jobs, careers, and callings: People’s relations to their work. Journal of Research in Personality, 31(1), 21–33. [/efn_note] [efn_note] Newport, C. (2012). So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love. Business Plus. [/efn_note]
I was always comfortable in the academic environment. For those of you that have graduated from college and entered the real world, you’d know the difference between the two.
The real world never has perfect conditions or circumstances. Whereas in school, a homework problem has all the pertinent information to get to the solution. In the real world, you might not have all the information and there’s no one set answer to a problem.
Maybe because, to me, earning an income and building a net worth is only a scoreboard, one metric to show how successful I am in life’s endeavors. I’ve never had a scarcity mindset when it comes to money. Never had to worry about putting food on the table or paying the bills.
When you don’t have to work for a living, it only makes sense that someone like me who thrives in a structured but safe environment doesn’t know what to do with all that free time.
These are the pros and cons of being your own boss and having financial freedom. Here’s our prescription to finding what you’re passionate about in life after achieving financial independence: brainstorm ideas, go out and try them all, it’s a trial-and-error process.
If You Only Have One Year Left To Live, How Would You Live Your Life and How Would You Want To Be Remembered?
By making your time left in this world a scarce resource, it forces you to prioritize what’s actually important in our lives and what’s not.
Even if you’re not a world-famous person that leaves a legacy that’ll be spoken for generations to come, the bottom line is to live life its fullest with no regrets.
Do you want your tombstone to read “Here lies so-and-so. He watched every episode of Friends…twice?”
According to the Guardian, one of the top five regrets of the dying are that they wished they hadn’t worked so hard. Another regret is they wish they’d had the courage to live a life true to themselves, not the life others expected of them. Another is they wish that they’d let themselves be happier.
Again, the point is not to try and impress others. Even in death, people spend a lot of money on huge tombstones or fancy funerals.
I admire my father for his values. Though definitely with his own flaws, he doesn’t waste time with people he doesn’t want to be around (something I struggle with) and knows exactly what he wants to enjoy life to its fullest (long trips abroad, art, long walks, playing sports, etc.).
Discovering the meaning of your existence isn’t about some great achievement, but finding a way to spend your finite amount of time well. Try to think about a bigger picture than yourself.
The other option would be to remain a, well, “questionable existence.”