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Entrepreneur, Businessman, Podcast Host

Why are you alive?

in Essays

I’m fairly certain that you’ll experience more bumps in life than others until you figure out why you’re alive. Well, that’s not entirely true… better said, you’ll experience a different category of bumps until you figure out why you’re alive.

I went to Cedar Point a few years ago with some family, and remembering that I got terribly sick the previous time at the amusement park having jumped from 70mph slingshots to yet other zero to 120 MPH in 4 second insanities, I stuck with the bumper cars this time around. (Looking back on it, that was the old man move… I’m back on that Dragster next time, just watch). There’s an interesting parallel bumper cars have to life that if you’re paying attention, you’ll notice. Take a journey with me for a sec.

You’re in a bumper car. There’s no specific destination — you see a nearby car, you bump it, obviously. But, there’s always a nearby car. So, you keep rotating, bumping more cars. When the horn blows and times up, you’re somewhere. No intended place, just somewhere. It’s likely that at no point you had even the thought to audit where you actually were in the rink as you were too busy chasing nearby cars looking for the next bump, and the next bump.

Then, there’s Billy. A scrawny pre-teen who in his adolescence has mastered the game of bumping cars. He starts at one end of the rink, sets his crosshairs on a car that sits clear on the opposite side of the rink, floors it and is now going the full 5mph, and barely gets bumped by anyone along the way to his target. When he does hit his target car, he hits it with more oomph – he has momentum working in partnership with his cars’ horsepower. Maybe that momentum only helped him achieve an additional .3mph. It doesn’t matter. The point is that he was barely touched along the way.

Little Billy knew what he wanted. He achieved it spectacularly.

Billy did get bumped though. But it was a different bump than what everyone else realizes. It was jarring. On one of his long distance passes a little yellow car driven by a cubicle worker who loves to make kids cry blindsides him. Billy was shook for a moment and probably forgot about his target, probably whined and almost gave up like most Billy’s do. This Billy didn’t call it quits though. His target had moved a bit so he regrouped and went on after it — and in the process became more focused, stronger, and developed a heightened sense of awareness for other obstacles.

You can likely name five people by the drop of a hat who chase after that next bump, and the next one, and the next one. There is no purpose off in the distance for them. No ultimate achievement to attain. Amusement is the thrill. They will certainly end up somewhere by the end of the game.

You, however, want to find yourself *there*. That magical and specific place you only dream about today. You’ve learned (or you’ll learn in the next few sentences) that it’s not enough to want to be successful. The success you want must be specified, stated. You don’t just lose some weight, you’re losing *10lbs*. You don’t just want a car, you want *this* car. You’re not looking for a job, you’re positioning yourself to secure *that* job. You might have only lost a pound or two, maybe even gained a few in your attempt, but you’re making determined steps towards melting away 10. You might drive a car or work a job today, but you’re setting yourself up, acquiring skills, getting in the right networks and meeting the right people, learning the how-to’s and getting the experience — taking determined steps to achieve some definite and precise things. You’ll get bumped just like little Billy did. These bumps will be of a different species though. They won’t be the random bumps everyone else gets — yours will test your spirit and they’re designed to do just that. You’ll hear ‘no’ more often — maybe not more often, but the no’s you hear though will break your heart as these prohibitions are the denials of admissions to opportunities you desperately crave. People with no ambition don’t have heartbreaks related to opportunities they couldn’t participate in.

Too many of the people around you leave life to chance. Do something about that. Maybe you’ll partner up and take control of your lives together — that might work, might not. Odds say not everyone will be as motivated as you are to achieve something for themselves no matter how much you want it for them. They’ve got to want it too. Maybe you’ll change the minds of the people around you, calling them up higher. That will be difficult. Maybe you’ll separate yourself. Also difficult, but maybe necessary. They’re your friends or family, so you’ll have to determine what that means. What I can promise you though is that as you change your life for the better, as you start sticking to things, as you learn more, as you lose the weight, as you progress, you’ll inspire them. Outwardly, they’ll celebrate you. They might also hate on you. Either way, they’ll be inspired — some people just have unique ways of displaying their affection for your influence.

Seriously though, why are you alive? What color is that car way across the rink? Answer that. If you can’t, your job then is to figure it out. This is your singular priority as every other decision you make is based on this purpose. Where you live or move to is determined by this. Who you date or marry and how many kids you have is predicated upon this. Where you vacation, what you eat, and the clothes you wear today. Its based on where you’re going.

Each of us live to fulfill something. Life should be a constant build-up. If you’re still breathing-no matter how old you are-it should still be in fulfillment of an objective. There is no rest from it.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably also breathing. Don’t confuse breathing with living. Everyone in the rink is breathing until they’re not. (Hopefully the rink didn’t kill them, these devil machines have severely injured people before).

Today, you’ll go to work. Today, you’ll watch your a decent show. Today or tomorrow you’ll have a conversation with someone. Why do you do these things? Why put yourself through it all? If it gets you to your point B, then do it. If this is your relaxing time, then by all means, watch the show. If you need to put aside some cash to start a business, then by all means pick up the extra hours at work or invest some you’ve already saved. Be intentional. Know what you’re doing it all for.

You’ll experience some things that won’t feel good. That’s the real reason why most people don’t achieve their ultimate goals. It’s incredibly hard. (They also don’t achieve their purposes because they just don’t think about it much. This is also not good. We all suffer for that).

My dad told me something when I was in my early teens that I’ll never forget. “Everybody in life pays, son. Some people now, some pay later. But, everybody pays”.

I have no problem paying if I know what I’m paying for. That, I’m ok with. There’s no sense in getting bumped all the time only to end up nowhere particularly.

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