← Life lessons

Purpose and Meaning

Lessons about passion, purpose, ambition, aspiration, guidance, direction, and meaning.

Updated in

Bloom where you’re planted.

When you're young, you have time, you have health, but you have no money. When you're middle aged, you have money, you have health, but you have no time. When you're old, you have money, you have time, but you have no health. So the trifecta is trying to get all three at once.

Live your life in a way that reflects your own ideas. Do not seek inspiration from other’s paths that you can follow.

The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.

— Mark Twain

What pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for? Because that seems to be a greater determinant of how our lives turn out.

— Mark Manson

I don’t like to think about a lot of things. Labels are things. We are the average of the five people we spend time with. But we are also the average of the five labels we assign ourselves. I like to keep that list open. I am not an ‘entrepreneur.’ Or a ‘writer.’ Or a ‘minimalist.’ I like to wander around.

— James Altucher

You can’t find something if you don’t know what you are looking for.

We make a dying at work so we can live it up on the weekend.

— Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez, Your Money or Your Life

How much more pain do you need before you can make the choice?

— Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

Choose flexibility, control, and workplace culture over money.

Thus, the proximity of death, rather than depressing us, can be turned to our advantage. In our youth, because we assumed that we would live forever, we took our days for granted and as a result wasted many of them. In our old age, however, waking up each morning can be a cause for celebration. As Seneca notes, “If God is pleased to add another day, we should welcome it with glad hearts.”

— William B. Irvine, A Guide to the Good Life

We must learn to adapt ourselves to the environment into which fate has places us and do our best to love the people with whom fate has surrounded us.

— William B. Irvine, A Guide to the Good Life

Because they have learned to enjoy things that are easily obtainable or that can’t be taken from them, Stoics will find much in life to enjoy. They might, as a result, discover that they enjoy being the person they are, living the life they are living, in the universe they happen to inhabit.

— William B. Irvine, A Guide to the Good Life

Don’t seek to understand the past. You cannot find yourself by going to the past. You find yourself by coming into the present.

— Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

We are so wedded to what we do to ”make a living” that we perpetuate, without thinking, this confusion of doing with being. Who you are is far greater than what you do for money, and your true work is far greater than your paid employment.

You’re not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your fucking khakis.

— Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

You don't have to know what you want to do forever, just here in the moment. You can always take a different path later.

Success caused passion more than passion caused success.

— Scott Adams, How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big

Sometimes passion is simply a by-product of knowing you will be good at something.

— Scott Adams, How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big

You weren’t born to just pay bills and die.

One helpful rule of thumb for knowing where you might have a little extra talent is to consider what you were obsessively doing before you were ten years old.

— Scott Adams, How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big

If the path before you is clear, you're probably on someone else's.

— C. G. Jung

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.

— Steve Jobs

You can fail at what you don’t love, so you might as well do what you love.

— Jim Carrey

Look for the job you’d take if you didn’t need a job.

— Warren Buffett

The work you do procrastinating is probably the work you should do for the rest of your life.

— Jessica Hische

You know you’ve found the right occupation when you’re more alive at the end of your work day than at the start.

Ask yourself how you would spend your time if you could take a year off with pay.

— Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez, Your Money or Your Life

As long as the egoic mind is running your life, you cannot truly be at ease; you cannot be at peace. Things like possessions, the work you do, social status and recognition, knowledge and education, physical appearance, relationships, personal and family history, and other identifications—none of these is you. You will learn to know this at the latest when you feel death approaching, as death strips away all that is not you. The secret of life is to “die before you die”, and find that there is no death.

— Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now