We should not postpone thinking about our purpose because later may be too late

Unfortunately many people realize that something went wrong way too late. Take John for example. He was a smart kid and studied well. Right after graduation he found a sales job and started to earn decent salary. He could then easily get a mortgage to buy his own apartment. He was popular with girls but after a few years of wild parties he settled down, got married and had a son. He has been good at work and eventually got promoted to head the department. Except for his recent divorce he always thought he has been successful in life. Does this sound familiar?

Now all of a sudden, at the age of 56, John has been diagnosed with an advanced-stage cancer. It might have been caused by his smoking, stress at work or simply bad luck. Realizing he might have just a couple of months left finally makes John think seriously about what he wants from life. Only now when he is left all alone he realizes how important family is for him and he feels ashamed for the affair that brought him couple nights of pleasure in exchange for ruined relationship with his wife. He now regrets missing his son’s concerts because of work. But what work, was all that pushing products to people who did not really need them something that could make him proud of himself? He always wanted to travel around the world but it was impossible with all the commitments. Why on Earth did he take the mortgage right after school in the first place? Wait, and why did he study commerce just because most of his classmates did. Didn’t he actually want to be a scientist? He now wonders why he never talked seriously about the purpose of life with his buddies when they spent those hundreds of hours together and could name each other’s top ten favorite football players by heart…

Now, could not John have been some of your close friends in the future?

Couldn’t he have been you?

Do you want to take this wake up call or rather wait for a deadly illness to make you think?

Unfortunately, we can’t turn back time1 and we can’t just push restart and start afresh. We are in a one way-street so we had better think how we want to live our live before we actually live it.

Thinking about the purpose of life is painful. It makes us uncomfortable and therefore is often avoided. A big mistake is to postpone thinking about the purpose of life for later, believing that we still have lots of time to figure it out. We are all mortal and our time for life is quite limited. If you ask the elders, they will always say that the time goes by quickly and you don’t even realize before you become old. Time we have indeed is very limited, especially given the infinite amount of options for spending it. Some new possibilities appear for us only later in life with increasing wealth and experience, but more options vanish as you become older, because of the limitations of your body, your previous commitments and less time left. In other words you can accomplish more if you start working towards it now rather than 10 years later.

Whatever stage of life you are at, you would be foolish to waste more time doing something that might make no sense in the end. Rather you can be better off when you invest some time into figuring out your purpose of life. Even if you are still young and lack the experience to make a perfect decision, choosing a rough direction will be better for you in the end than having no direction at all. When you start moving in the right direction your goal will be closer and easier to spot. You may always fine-tune your bearings but at least you don’t waste time going left if you actually want to go right.

  1. Traveling back in time will never be possible, because if it was about to become possible many people would surely already have came back to benefit from their knowledge of the future. Either it is not possible because of the laws of physics or our civilization will get destroyed before we figure out the technology. Either way, you can forget about traveling back in time.