One day it will be someone’s job to eulogize you.
- They’ll summarize your life into a few words, sentences, or paragraphs.
- The family you created, the friends you made, the things you did.
- In those words are the meaning of your life.
What do you want those words to say about you?
- Life’s secret is that these words aren’t predetermined.
- We get to pick these words through our actions now.
We are not born with a meaning of life.
- We have to make our own lives meaningful.
Kids don’t need meaning.
- Kids live for the moment.
Adults can live for the moment too.
- The modern appeal of mindfulness and stoicism shows that many of us are searching for that peace.
- These practices help us be happy in the moment, but they don’t give life itself meaning.
We have everything we “need” and we’re still not happy.
- There is no suffering in our lives.
- But there is no glory either.
The solution isn’t easy. But it is simple.
- You have to make life meaningful.
The Japanese concept of Ikigai has gained popularity as an explanation for this missing meaning.
- Ikigai is the intersection of four key needs:
- What you love.
- What you’re good at.
- What you can be paid for.
- What the world needs.
- When we feel unbalanced, we need to find what’s missing.
What’s missing in most people’s lives is doing work that the world needs:
- What the world needs is external, and thus hardest for us to measure.
- But it’s also the most impactful because it improves our lives and others.
What is the most ambitious thing you could be doing? Why aren’t you doing it?
- The fastest way to change the trajectory of your life is to be more ambitious now.
The answer to these Hamming Questions will lead you to your highest calling.
- My answer to “What the World Needs” is to solve The World’s Biggest Problems.
Change your eulogy now. Make your life more meaningful.
- Do more of what the world needs and you’ll find more of the happiness you want.
This idea is a work-in-progress. If you’d like to riff on it, hit me up @neilthanedar on Twitter.