Finding your purpose is tough for most and maybe easy for a lucky few
It took me a lot of time to understand want I like and don’t like to do. What makes me tick. What drives me. What gives me pleasure.
I now know what to put forth
c. 1300, purpus, “intention, aim, goal; object to be kept in view; proper function for which something exists,” from Anglo-French purpos, Old French porpos “an aim, intention” (12c.), from porposer “to put forth,” from por- “forth” (from a variant of Latin pro- “forth;” see pur-) + Old French poser “to put, place” (see pose (v.1)).
Etymologically it is equivalent to Latin propositium “a thing proposed or intended,” but evidently formed in French from the same elements. From mid-14c. as “theme of a discourse, subject matter of a narrative (as opposed to digressions), hence to the purpose “appropriate” (late 14c.). On purpose “by design, intentionally” is attested from 1580s; earlier of purpose (early 15c.).
In the year 41 CE, Seneca was banished by the emperor Claudius for supposedly sleeping with Julia Livilla, the sister of Caligula. We don’t know if he was completely innocent of the accusation, but we do know that the incident was hardly an exemplar of justice. The historian Suetonius tells us that Seneca’s “charge was vague and the accused was given no opportunity to defend himself.”
In 49 CE, as Seneca tired of the burden and the distance of his punishment, he was suddenly recalled to Rome by the wife of the emperor, in order to serve as the tutor to her son. In the words of the historian Richard M. Gummere, “Fortune, whom Seneca as a Stoic often ridicules, came to his rescue.” Within a few years, he would be one of the richest men in Rome, his fame and power assured, influencing world events with the snap of his fingers.
Life is like this. It gives us bad breaks—heartbreakingly bad breaks—and it also gives us incredible lucky breaks. Sometimes the ball that should have gone in, bounces out. Sometimes the ball that had no business going in, surprises both the athlete and the crowd when it goes through the net.
When we’re going through a bad break, we should never forget Fortune’s power to redeem us. When we’re singing in the roses, we should never forget how easily and how quickly we can be humbled. Sometimes life goes your way, sometimes it doesn’t.
“I just try and avoid being stupid. I have a way of handling a lot of problems. I put them on what I call my too-hard pile. Then I just leave them there. I’m not trying to succeed in my too-hard pile.”
it has helped me fight insomnia, as well 😉 (true story)
One of the best ways to learn is a good conversation.
While there are many advantages to a good conversation, perhaps the best is that you can benefit from the lessons that other people have already paid the price for. Of course, that’s not all. Good conversations can also offer a new way to interpret your past experiences, discover something new, and remind us of something we already know.
A good conversation updates the software in your brain. But not all updates are the same. Learning more isn’t simply a matter of having more conversations, but rather getting more out of each conversation that you are apart of. Deep conversations with ‘people that do’ offer the richest source of learning. Conversations that skim the surface, on the other hand, only offer the illusion of learning.
With that in mind, we’d like to invite you to join us in the top conversations we had on The Knowledge Project in 2020.
It’s time to listen and learn.
Episode 82: Bill Ackman: Getting Back Up — Legendary activist investor, Bill Ackman talks about lessons he’s learned growing up, raising a family, what drives him forward and back up from failure, consuming information and ideas, and facing criticism.
Episode 94: Chamath Palihapitiya: Understanding Yourself — Founder and CEO of Social Capital, Chamath Palihapitiya sits down with Shane Parrish to chat about what it means to be an observer of the present, how to think in first principles, the psychology of successful investing, his thoughts on the best public company CEOs and much more.
Episode 85: Bethany McLean: Crafting a Narrative — Best-selling author of The Smartest Guys in the Room and All the Devils are Here, Bethany McLean, discusses how to write a story, the behaviors of CEO’s, visionaries and fraudsters and so much more.
In other news this year, we released a TKP youtube channel with full-length videos of our conversations so you can see the guest, as well as a “Clips” channel, where we are building the world’s best repository of nugget-sized information you can use in work and life.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”