Make money. Save Money. Invest Money. If life’s sole purpose was to accumulate as much money as you can, then these three sentences would be all you need to know. But life is so much deeper and complicated. You must also find yourself, and discover what you want to achieve. Making money is a one-dimensional act. Creating an awesome, wealthy life takes a brain that thinks in multi-dimensional ways.
Great leaders and elite wealth-builders realize that the purpose of life is to find a dream you want to live, and then executing a plan to become the person who can create this life. How do we become this person? I believe it starts with deciding what’s important to you, and choosing the beliefs you are willing to stand up for.
Money doesn’t change who you are. It amplifies who you are. There is more to being wealthy than just having a ton of money. True wealth also demands happiness, awesome finances, mixed with deeply powerful feelings of purpose and meaning. True wealth demands that you find yourself; know yourself; and create yourself into the human being who can create your dream life.
Why is wealth dependent on knowing ourselves so intimately? Because if we don’t know who we are, then we’ll never know the deepest dreams we should chase after, and our lives will become a lost, empty journey, where our only goal is to become the person other people want us to be. This post is about how to discover yourself, and then how to create yourself into the person you are meant to be. So how does one begin searching for their truest self? Here’s a tip that has worked well for me:
I first identify the ideals that are the most important to me. I ask myself, “Am I willing to stand up for these beliefs?” Because if you don’t have anything to stand up for, then you won’t have anything to fight for and dedicate your life to. If you don’t have anything to fight for, then you won’t find a mission, goal, or dream worthy of your time to achieve. The beauty in discovering your greatest beliefs, is that you will simultaneously discover the greatest things about yourself, and the things that will lead you to who you are supposed to be.
I’ve listed a few ideals below I’ve discovered I am willing to stand up for. I hope they can inspire you to ask yourself, “What do I stand for?” And: “If I want to find myself, what ideals do I need to commit to?”
Find Yourself: I Stand For Excellence.
Ten years ago a friend showed me this below diagram of the 5 P’s of Excellence, and it changed my outlook forever:
Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. Committing to the ideology of pursuing excellence in life was revolutionary to me. Early in my life, I made the mistake of coasting by on natural talent and charm to get through life. I put in mediocre effort, and therefore I got mediocre results. But as I got into my 20’s, I had a spiritual awakening, and I realized I wanted more out of life than just a mediocre life experience. I wanted to experience greatness with my one chance to be alive. I wanted to live great dreams, and legendary adventures. At that moment I realized that if I was going to live awesome experiences, I was going to have to put in awesome effort to create those experiences.
A truth to life is that the people who are living the greatest adventures, are the people who are dedicating the greatest effort to create these adventures in their lives. This revelation was liberating to me. I suddenly realized the key to unlocking the cage of mediocrity in my life, was to apply excellent effort and action into the dreams I believed in the most.
But before any perfectionists out there get nervous about the word “excellence”, I must clarify there is a HUGE difference between pursuing “excellence,” and “perfection.”
All human beings have flaws, so perfection is an unrealistic and impossible goal to achieve. Expecting perfection out of yourself is a maddening, exhausting, and losing mindset to have. But excellence is an entirely different mindset. Excellence is the act of standing up for the goals you believe in the most, and doing the best you can to achieve them. Once I realized I stood for excellence in my life, I was able to see and abandon every activity that led to creating mediocrity in my life.
Remember the 5 P’s of excellence and stand for them: Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. Pursuing excellence is the art of reducing opportunities for poor performance in your life. What happens when you eliminate poor performance from daily life? Excellent performance takes its place, and excellence is what will naturally lead you to opportunities to create wealth.
What does excellence look like? Plan. Prepare. Focus. Be on time. Be patient. Accept discomfort and pain as part of the growing process. Do the best you can to learn, study, and prepare to become the person who can accomplish your most awesome dreams.
Find Yourself: I Stand For Honesty and Truth.
Fifteen years ago, I quit partying and using drugs. Why? I identified my party-lifestyle as part of the problem that was creating my mediocre life. So I went to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting looking for help. At one of these meetings, I heard a profound truth that deeply impacted me.
The quote was from the great American Novelist Mark Twain. Twain said: “The greatest thing about telling the truth is that you never have to remember what you say.”
The revelation that honesty and truth were sources of internal peace was revolutionary to me.
For much of my young-adult life, I had made a HUGE mistake of trying to live two different lives. In one life, I tried to act like the person everyone wanted me to be: a good student, a good son, and a mindful citizen. But in the other life, I just wanted to get high and party, and abandon all thoughts of responsibility and normality. I became so lost in the maze of lies maintaining these two different lives, that I never became good at living the one life I was supposed to live.
I felt like I was always sneaking around the truth to maintain my perfect public image. I became very selective and careful on how I engaged with the truth, because if I said too much to the wrong person, I could get caught in all of the lies I was living, and my two lives would come crashing down.
I became skilled at only sharing information people wanted to hear, and nothing more. I justified my actions by telling myself, “I’m not a liar. I’m just not telling the whole truth.”
But let’s be honest, that way of thinking is a bunch of crap! What is the definition of a person not telling the whole truth? I was a freaking liar! And I eventually got sick of being a liar. Living a life full of half-truths becomes a confusing existence where you don’t even know who you are, what you believe in, or what reality you’re in anymore.
Once I quit all the drinking, drugging, and lying that comes with a partying lifestyle, I began to realize how awesome, simple, and freeing just telling the truth could be. There is so much beauty in telling the truth. What’s my favorite part about standing for honesty, and telling the truth?
It’s just like Mark Twain said: “I never have to remember what I say when I tell the truth.” When I stand for the truth, I can live with a perfectly clear conscious because I am simply living my truth.
Find Yourself: I Stand For Meaning and Purpose.
I had this revelation years ago as I embraced my spiritual awakening: I am most excited and happy when I am pursuing goals that make me feel like I am finding meaning and purpose in the world. Because of these feelings were so powerful to me, I committed to valuing purpose and meaning, over money in life. I chose to believe that the reward of pursuing purpose in life, was a better reward than a bigger paycheck that made me feel unfulfilled and unhappy.
Committing to a life of pursuing purpose, helped give me direction to every decision I have made since. Searching for meaning in life inspired me to save every dime I made, so that I would have more time to find more meaning in life.
This caused a chain-reaction of events to occur that accidentally led me to wealth. Because of all the money I saved, the less I had to think about money. The more money I had, the more energy I could devote toward achieving the goals that made me feel like I was finding my purpose in life.
Ultimately, the life I dreamed of — a life overflowing with meaning, purpose, experiences, and adventures — became the life I started to live. This all occurred because I chose to commit to the idea that purpose and meaning were more valuable to me than money in my life.
Find Yourself: I Stand For Fearlessness and Trying.
Life is about the journey, not the destination. The revelation that life is about trying during the journey, and not achieving the destination, helped me overcome my fears of failing. Why? Because I realized that life isn’t about whether I succeed or fail. It’s all about giving all the effort I have to just trying.
Seriously, who cares if I fail! Life is not about the destination anyway. It’s about the journey you go on to reach your dream destination.
If you fail, it’s Ok. It’s part of the process of discovering yourself. Life isn’t about being 100% correct. It’s about doing your best to learn how to succeed in your journey. Even if you fail sometimes, it’s Ok. Just learn from the mistakes, and do better next time.
Life is not about perfection; or becoming a billionaire; or becoming financially independent earlier than everyone else. Life is about finding yourself and becoming the person you were meant to be, and ultimately, learning what you are supposed to do along the way.
In conclusion, how do you discover yourself? You begin by finding the ideals that are so important to you that they’re worth more than money to you. Then, you commit yourself to these ideals, and stand up for them. Even if the easy path in life goes left, but your ideals go right, you follow your ideals wherever they may take you. Your ideals will be your standard of living, and principles to aim at. The principles you choose to believe in will lead you to the human being you will become.