Simon Tan
Musings of a curious developer ت
What do I want in life?
Trying to better understand my purpose on Earth 🌎

In the past few weeks, I thought about life more than I have ever done in my entire existence on Earth; not so much in a philosophical way but rather, trying to understand what I want to achieve in life. Our fast paced and highly efficient society tempts us to live our lives like as if time is unlimited; like a cog in a well greased machine, consuming as a means of relieving stress and repeating the entire process again when the sun comes up.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with consuming or being efficient. In fact, why work when you can’t even enjoy the fruits of your labour? But when everything you do is dictated by societal norms, is that a life worth living? We sell our most precious resource, time, to live a life that we do not necessarily enjoy, going through the motion because that’s what everyone did before we came along…

The last thing I want to feel when I am at death’s doorstep is regret - regret for living life as determined by society instead of me. With that in mind, I realised that many of the things that I have done thus far were more in part due to what society deems a normal human should be doing so I decided to stop going with the flow. Yes, life will carry on without me, markets will still run without me but I am no longer being swept away.

From today onwards, I am going to consciously choose how I want to life my life and what I want to achieve. I’m also probably going to slack off every now and then (I’m not a robot!) but since this is the life that I chose to live, I will accept it regardless the outcome.

To help me with this process, I came up with a few tenets:

  1. Time is priceless (spend your time on things and people you care about.)
  2. Fear is normal (everyone is afraid of something, you just need to keep moving forward.)
  3. Courage to take risks (sometimes all you need is to take that first step.)
  4. Life is not a zero sum game (be generous and kind, build a world that you want to live in.)
  5. Honesty triumphs everything (why make life harder than it needs to be?)
  6. Luck and privilege exists (it impacts your life more than you think.)
  7. Death is always at your doorstep (the only regret you can have is not making that decision for yourself.)

To be really honest, I think many of us (myself included) will never find our true calling in life and that is perfectly okay. Our purpose in life will change as we age but at least we tried to live a life that we want to live. Do me and do yourself a favour, take a step back from all the hustle and bustle and really think about what you want in life. You have to be very honest with yourself for it to work.

P.S. there is also nothing wrong to wanting a lot of money!

Stay safe and thanks for reading! ❤️


Last modified on 14 October 2020.
Attributions, if any, can be found here.