There was a period in my life when I wasn’t sure what the point of it all was.
My Mother tried to bring me up as a Catholic, but from an early age I rejected Christianity. I read the Bible, sang the hymns and went to church until about seven years old. At that point, something clicked in my head and I decided that I didn’t believe in it. I can’t remember what my original reason was, but thinking about it from a logical point of view, Christianity makes no sense.
Now, this post isn’t a rant against religion. I actually have no interest in religion. I’m neither for nor against it.
What my Mum was trying to do however, was give my life a purpose, whether she meant it or not.
When you’re a kid, you don’t really think about death. If you do, you don’t really connect the dots. For me, it took until my mid-twenties until I really understood that my life was finite. During the years when I was pursuing the dream of becoming a professional musician, it was common for me to get stoned and ponder the mysteries of life and the universe. There seems to be a quality of weed which allows you to probe deep into a specific line of enquiry in your mind.*
Exploration Through Drugs
This one time, I was trying to work out what I would be thinking and feeling in the minutes and seconds before my own death. And then I suddenly realised, I’d be absolutely petrified! My own belief is that after death, the self is terminated and nothing of your personality or presence exists after that moment. This concept became traumatic to me for the first time in my life and eventually over the course of a few months became a fully-fledged neurosis. I would be too scared to go to bed in case I died in my sleep.
Eventually I went to a psychiatrist and instead of giving me some kind of tranquilliser or other drug to numb my over-active nerves, he told me that I would never be free of this fear.
“That’s no help!” I thought.
Then he wrote down the title of a book on a piece of paper, told me to read it and sent me away. I was disgusted. Like everybody, I wanted a quick fix. I wanted someone else to take responsibility for my problems. So, I waited a couple of weeks until I could bear it no more, then went to a shop and bought the book.
It was Feel the Fear . . . and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers.
I highly recommend this book to anybody who is suffering from fear. Which is practically everybody. It seems that pretty much any negative emotion you can think of has its root in fear. Just think of learning to game women:
- You’re afraid of what other people will think when you talk to a girl in the street.
- You’re afraid of a negative reaction from the girl.
- You’re afraid that she might think you’re too tall, short, fat, ugly, black, Asian, bald or whatever.
It’s all fear. In the book, Susan Jeffers just tells you that all you need to realise is that:
“I can handle it.”
However, this brief self-history and reprise of my earlier post on Avoidance is not the point of this post. The point is that there is no point. I eventually fixed my fear of death and other fears, but it left me with the question:
“So what should I do with my life between now and the end of it?”
Exploration Through Reading
I spent months reading about other religions; I even became convinced that Buddhism was the answer. However, as much as I think that meditation is a powerful tool for self-development, I still cannot bring myself to believe in rebirth and karma (both of which are inextricably linked).
So, I read the writings of various philosophers, and although I agreed with some concepts of many of their ideas, no one person gave me the answer that I was looking for. The closest I came to finding a practical way to live my life was the philosophy of Albert Camus.
I eventually came to the conclusion that you have to be positive about your life and that in the absence of ultimate purpose; you have to give your own meaning to life.
This is where I return to the point of definiteness of purpose. You have to find a meaning to exist and you need to be certain about it, because it will be the base upon which you build the rest of your life.
There are so many people in the world who live aimlessly, or even worse; look to other people to give their life a meaning, as my Mother tried to when I was a child. In the end, the answer came from the greatest resource of information in history:
I was reading a long-forgotten self-development forum and one of the writers suggested a test. If you’re feeling a little direction-less yourself, I recommend answering this question yourself:
“If you only had a month to live, what would you spend your life doing?”
I asked a friend and he told me he’d spend it with his family. My answer was:
“To fuck as many hot women as possible!”
Now, we may not die within a month. We don’t know when we’re going to die. But, the answer you give to this question should give you an idea of what you should be spending the majority of your time and energy pursuing right now and probably for the next few years at least. Since I answered this question, most of my time and efforts have been put into increasing the chances I have of achieving my purpose.
- I learnt game.
- I took public speaking classes.
- I learned how to be good in bed.
- I worked hard on inner-game and masculinity.
- I moved to a city where there are a large number of high quality women.
You can see that once you have definiteness of purpose, you are able to really focus on what you can do to align yourself with that purpose. It becomes like a massive arrow pointing in the direction of your life. I don’t have a fear of death any more, because I know that before I draw my last breath, I can look back and see that I followed my purpose and will have pride in what I achieved during the journey of my life.
* I don’t condone the use of drugs. Although there are some benefits to using weed, over the long term, the effects can be overwhelmingly negative. My opinion is that if you’re going to smoke weed, do it in moderation and infrequently.