(For the next few minutes until you finish reading this, imagine we do not have any bond and
emotional attachment between us.)
We are in a grand cruise. We are here for a world tour and we are now heading to Europe. The
cruise is just amazing. There is a swimming pool on it, there is a bar, we eat all kinds of cuisines on
the ship at lunch and dinner, we are super happy knowing that we are going to the place where we
have dreamt of going since our childhood. We have met each other on the cruise and the cruise life
has just been amazing!
Suddenly, while we are enjoying the exotic taste of an Italian Pizza by the poolside, the cruise starts
shaking. We just gaze up to the sky which is now grey in colour and we suddenly hear a thunderous
sound. It literally sends shivers down our spines and then comes the bitter, cold wind which gives us
a feel of something queer feel and the slice of pizza in your plate falls down. The captain of the ship
comes out of his cabinet, we fearfully look and him and he shouts, “Everybody just keep your
families safe. We’ll have to leave the ship as soon as possible. We are trapped in a terrible storm, the
ship’s gonna sink and if we don’t leave the ship, we die.”
The crowd on the ship immediately begin to find their families and make groups. The captain, with
his deep voice calls out the crew members on board and orders, “Get the lifeboats out and we are
All people one by one occupy the life boats. All the crew members have also boarded. On the ship is
just you, me and the captain. All our families have boarded the life boat. We were busy helping the
captain clearing the ship. There are two seats in the life boat and there are three of us. The captain
has to board the life boat as he is the only one who is going to direct other life boats ahead. The
captain screams trying to make his voice reach us through the harsh wind, “You’ll have to make a
decision, either one of you will have to stay with the ship and die. We cannot occupy two more
people in the lifeboat or else it will sink, risking the life of the other twenty people accompanying
you in the lifeboat.”
What decision would you make? If I were Donald Trump, you cannot let me die or else The United
States of America would be in trouble. You cannot be so selfish to risk the life of millions to save
your own. (And you probably won’t be that selfish, will you?)
How are you going to convince me that your living is more important than mine? What reason you
are going to tell me?
You cannot even tell me that your family is dependent on you, because the same is with me.
We don’t even have some feeling of friendship and sacrifice for each other as we’ve only met on the
ship. You obviously won’t die for me, will you? If I were Donald Trump, you would surely die for the
millions of American citizens. If I were Elon Musk, you would die for me because the future of Space-
X and Tesla is dependent on me which is ultimately going to change the world. You would make the
sacrifice for a better living of humanity. For humanity.
But now imagine you are in the skin of Elon Musk or Donald Trump, all in the same situation. Your
purpose is serving the humanity and my purpose (I am the second person or you) is serving my
family. And the world does not much care about my family, does it? Of course not.
The reason you are going to tell me for occupying that seat in the lifeboat is your purpose. The
smaller it is, the smaller the chances are of you living. Your purpose does matter. Your purpose
should be serving humanity and not just your feeding your family. No one would like to die for no
reason. And so won’t I. You have to tell me one reason why you should occupy that seat that out-
values my reason. Your answer is going to decide your future and my answer is going to decide the
future of humanity on mars (if I were Elon Musk).
All the fame, name, money, titles, honours, material and everything else is a bi-product. Bi-product
of you trying to go with your purpose. You purpose defines you and that’s what you live for. It is very
difficult for people to find their purpose but once found, they rock the world.
Do not confuse a goal with a purpose. What have I (and the world) got to do with your goals. You
working hard to buy a Ferrari is not your purpose. It is your goal. And if you think it is your purpose,
you will lose the reason to live and ultimately die. Would you like to die? This would have happened
but we don’t die out of trying to chase materials because there is enough of it out there and that
after one is done chasing, the other pops up and you start chasing it, then the other, then the other
and so on.
A purpose is never ending. If your goal is your destination, the purpose is the way (or road). It will go
as long as your vision goes. Align all your goals around the purpose. You cannot have your goal on
the south and your purpose towards the north. You cannot go towards north and south on the same
time. You have to go towards North and only north (or south if you like) if you have to be happy. The
people who try to go to both places go to neither any place. They just die where they were. These
people are the one who also want to play football at international level and make the nation proud
and also want to go in the army and protect the country.
Frankly, we live only for (around) eighty years and that we are most active only in the age of
eighteen to sixty. Of which one-third time we sleep, daily two hours we are busy with our families,
two hours in traffic on the way to workplace (or school), three hours with our devices and two hours
are spent in miscellaneous activities (like eating, bathing, etc.). This is exactly seventeen hours. You
have seven more left. All of them in work (or school). End of a lifetime.
The problem is that you think you have time.
You’ll never work for your purpose if you don’t have one. And certainly, it will take time to find it.
But remember, you might even be having one but you are not identifying it. Ask yourself if you are
living or existing. Are you working for something big or that you are going to be busy all your life
chasing material and instant gratifications.
I was reading a book recently, ‘Man’s search for Meaning’. In which it’s author, Doctor Viktor Frankl,
describes an incident which happened to him in the Nazi concentration camp. F——, his senior
warden in the camp, a very well-known composer, confided to him one day: “Doctor, I have had
dream.” “What dream was it?” asked the doctor. He replied with complete faith in his word,” We all
will be set be in March and the war will end in March- March thirty-one.”
When F—– told him this, he was full of faith and convinced that his dream will come true. As the
date was coming nearer, having some news about the war, the doctor thought it to be quite unlikely
to be free by March 30. On March twenty-nine, F—–, suddenly fell ill and ran high temperature. On
March thirty, he fell unconscious as the date was approaching and on March thirty-one, the day he
thought he would be set free, he died. Free form his body.
F—– had no purpose, and no materials to chase in the concentration camp, his life was meaningless,
without any purpose. And he died. Most people don’t die because the list of materials to be chased
is unending. Don’t be most people.
All the people without any purpose and meaning would have died if they did not have the attraction
towards materials and nothing to explore. F—— died because of false optimism. Because of
expectation. Because he could not move out of the camp and move around- seeing something new
and exploring the world around. I’m not saying having expectation is life-threatning but it should not
be the reason for you to die. Stop chasing materials and that is why people like Bill Gates and
Warren Buffett are minimalists. They have a reason to live and good lord, that is not chasing
materials. These people are purpose driven and do not care if they are creating a good public image
or that they are showing off in front of some hot girls. They are just busy doing what they love and
that is their purpose. They are never out of it. it never ends.
I don’t think anyone could have said it better than Dr. Frankl, “People in the concentration camps
never died out of food or water or disease. They all died out of a reason to live.”
Martin Luther King Jr. once said – ‘If you have nothing to die for, you have nothing to live for.’
Find your purpose and live limitless.