In Search of Mark's Life Purpose

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In Search of Mark’s Life Purpose

I’ve done similar exercises before like setting SMART goals, creating life mission and vision – but none of them took up a whole month to complete. I’ve never been this serious, taking time to go through the exercises. It was a rewarding experience – I’ve learned a lot about … myself!

Now is a great time to revisit my notes. I find some of my answers rather interesting. For example, question 4 from “Let’s get started!” reads, “What do you dream about? What do you daydream about?”. I don’t day dream a lot but I wrote this down:

“I dream about being in interesting places, being able to acquire vast amount of knowledge and learning new things.

I daydream about being able to time travel and to relive the experiences of different time periods.”

The second part might be a little difficult. I don’t think I can find a time machine ๐Ÿ˜› – but it does show that I love to travel, experience different things, learning, and discover new things. I think of myself like a Maven (hopefully) as described in Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point.

One thing that surprises me is that money is not one of the things that are important to me! The most important things to me are to be happy, to enjoy good relationships, to be able to contribute and to learn anything I want. Right now, for some reason, I want to be able to play Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata 3rd Movement which requires a lot of time to learn (I’m not up to that level yet). That means I need to create more time for myself and others which in turn requires a lot more money.

I’ve read somewhere (probably from the Cashflow 101 board game) that “Money is not the most important thing in life, but it does seem to affect everything that is important”.

The Rear Deck Speech

It is hard to imagine myself being a bearded old man talking to young kids. How can we compete for attention these days with so many distractions? I did describe the setting where it is comfortable and informal. There are not a whole lot going on which gives me a chance to say something.

I don’t have the entire speech word for word but I did lay out the contents. It is definitely going to be about my life experiences. I did write about overcoming setbacks in my early years and how persistence and optimism helped me overcame it. I did tell these young kids about not being afraid to make mistakes as there is always something to learn from them. The best is to make them while we are young. Always view challenges as opportunities. There are some blank areas which will be eventually filled with experiences in this grand experiment.

My Life’s Purpose

The cumulative exercises from the beginning till “A little Self-Myth Busting” help formed my life’s purpose:

“To be a good steward of the resources I have, enjoy good relationships with family and friends, and enjoy life!”

It is simple! I know I’m not going to live forever and the resources that I have will be passed on when the time comes. However, I do want to make sure that the resources are put into good use – helping someone get a good education, benefiting family and friends but not spoiling them.

Travel did not turn up in my life’s purpose explicitly but my family and friends are around the globe. To maintain good relationships, I think I will need to travel a lot ๐Ÿ™‚

It is so important to enjoy life – it has a lot to give!

Mark is traveling again. Where?

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Reader Comments

@ Mark – I would hesitate to make any comments that might cause you to rethink your Purpose – hence your Number … as I recall, of all the Final 15 your compound growth rate was the lowest.

Lee’s was second lowest, but he’s just shaved 5 years off his time frame, so he’s now up in the stratosphere with the rest. Is this a good thing? It is what it is …

Mark – I’ve got good news and bad news. The Good News is, it’s a “great” plan to make all your mistakes in life while you are young. The Bad News is, to do that you’ll have to also die young:)

Good luck to ya Mark. These are definitely tricky exercises, but I can tell it’s making a difference to our level of thinking.

@AJC – I think my number is fine based on where I’m at when completing the exercises. Fortunately, I don’t need to spend a lot of resources to be happy. I believe the numbers will change over time as we faced various life events. This is a good starting point and I think having a lower compound growth rate may mean different bag of tricks to meet the goal.

@Lee – I get the good news part, both explicitly and implicitly. Are you implying something else about the “bad news”?

@Scoot – Thanks. I believe we all benefited from the exercises. I need to catch up with your comments!

MARK – Actually I was trying to be funny, meaning that the only way to make all your mistakes in life at a young age is to die young thererby not living long enough to make mistakes when you are old.
Guess it’s not all that funny after all. sorry.

@ Lee – We know that anybody’s comments here (be they jokes, constructive criticizms, et.c) aren’t meant to be personal …

… besides, there’s nothing serious about making money, so keep it up! ๐Ÿ™‚

@ Lee – ๐Ÿ™‚

LOL – I have to agree with Lee. What fun would life be if we all stopped learning (i.e., stopped making mistakes) when we were young?

Mark, having friends around the world will also keep the cost of your travels down, too, yes? I read there is some online group established where one opens his/her home to other world travelers in return for the same benefits. Have you heard of that, too? I am definitely someone who loves connecting with other travelers. When I tell people I want to travel, they think I want to be a tourist for two weeks and they say “and after two weeks, then what?” and I realize they do not know what I mean by travelling. It is great we have the internet and the instant chat and webcams for those who have families far away.

When I went to Georgia this week, my great-aunt let me take some books from her “library” and recommended another one by Frank McCourt called Tis. I’d read Angela’s Ashes (eventually) and then Teacher Man (having found it in my garage and thought I’d read it before selling it) and am now reading Tis. It is a good book that talks about being an immigrant in NYC and with no money and with problems, problems, problems. I have also been reading Dharma Bums which talks about that movement (beatniks or hippies) going on about the same time, and that plays in.

Barry has Irish roots and told me he had seen a sign (in an antique store) that said in New England that in the late 50s even, it said Irish need not apply, and Frank McCourt mentioned that in his book, the next chapter or so, so I am learning things about my country that I did not know. At least Frank McCourt makes me think it might be interesting to go to NYC. From what I have seen of it (two visits, and countless tv shows), it is nothing like the US and I don’t care to have anything to do with it. After his book, it is more alive and less dangerous, but I know that his book is still written about NYC 40-50 years ago. You might like it, too.

If you cannot imagine what you would say to your grandchildren one day, try imagining what you would want someone (left behind) to have enscribed on your tombstone or other memorial left about you.

I think you have great goals and a good heart and will find that happiness. I was discussing happiness today, and decided that the perfect measure of success is whether or not what I am doing makes me happy. For me, focusing on goals and knowing that I am “taking care of business” (those things which help me reach the goals I’ve decided are important to me) helps me to be happy, so those moments are success. I also feel bad when I know I am not doing something to help me achieve my goals, but actually leads me astray or distracts me.

@ Diane – Yes; the original E-Myth version that I adapted for our use here asked you to write your own eulogy … I thought a ‘rear deck speech’ might be a little less morbid ๐Ÿ™‚

@Diane – Yes, I’ve heard of house swapping and couch surfing. The internet is how I keep in touch with those who are far away. I’m glad it is so much easier now.

Isn’t it encouraging to know that many immigrants be it in the US or other countries, started out with nothing and end up doing great?

The rear deck speech, eulogy or legacy is still not 100% complete for me. I think it will get written as we go along with this grand experiment. I like to relate advice or lessons with what I’ve read or heard or my own experience. I think I’ve more to say as I accumulate more life experiences.

I agree that happiness is absolutely important. I’m generally a happy person ๐Ÿ™‚ I do find pleasure in simple things at times.

[…] Some of them are my own doing where I choose to travel to various destinations and enjoying life. I may have put too much emphasis onย  the “enjoy life” part of my life’s purpose. […]