The ‘ultimate goal’ of human life is a question that is often argued when it comes to the big philosophical questions – but then again which ones aren’t? Every philosophical question is a point of argument and debate. This is what makes them philosophical.
Every answer is contorted and answered through the lens of the speaker in which the answer is shaped and guided by the culmination of the life and experiences of that person. Many writings have been published on answering this question, however I do not need someone from another time, who lived a completely different life than my own to tell me what the ‘ultimate goal’ of life is.
As I said before, philosophical questions are shaped to whoever is answering them. Being a coach and business owner, I have done tons and tons of research on successful people. I have done tons of research on leadership. I have done tons of research on motivating and inspiring people. All because this is what I want to do with MY LIFE. All these people I have researched have different views on different things as they pertain to life. They all made their way differently and all value different things – as do all of us. This is not a surprise.
However, there is one key ingredient they all share – and we all need to share if we are to ever fulfill our potential and ultimately accomplish this ‘ultimate goal’ of life. Unfortunately, most people never give this a thought. Most people simply play their lives out as if it’s already written. Go to school – go to college and get a degree – get a job you don’t mind – work your way up the ladder until you get paid good money for a job you hate – live for the weekend – rinse and repeat for 40 years and then retire to enjoy the fruits of your labor when you’re too old to really do anything you’d want to do.
Pure misery if you ask me.
What the hell is anyone who hates their job doing??? WAKE UP! Life is too short to pay bills and live for the weekend. It is called ‘making a living.’ People ask you ‘what do you do for a living?’ This is because your job and your career are what supply you with the resources needed to sustain your LIFE. If you have a job that brings you nothing but stress, anger, resentment, and hatred, what kind of life do you think that is going to sustain? If you don’t think it leaches into other areas of your life, then you are kidding yourself! There is a better way.
You must think to yourself – ‘why am I here?’ Why was I put on this planet? What is the ‘ultimate goal’ of my life???
Life has no clear definition. We all exist here together. Some people take life for granted. Some don’t. Some of us die young. Some of us don’t. No life is lived twice, and no one can speak of how they viewed their life after it was over. We must define our lives and their purpose while we are here; alive and well.
However, most of us do this without even knowing it. If we are to answer the question of human life and its ‘ultimate goal,’ then we need a non-subjective answer. When we think of a “goal” we think of either success or failure. You either achieve that goal or you do not. There is something to be attained. Contentment is what we are after.
I’ve always said to myself, my clients and anyone I speak to that’s trying to improve their lives – “The day you become content is the day you die.” More on this to come…
Expanding on the success and failure of the “goal” of life, we must ask ‘How do we view a successful life?’ Obviously, we can look to those who have made an impact on the world as a reference point.
For example, even though he died too young I believe almost 100% of people would agree that Martin Luther King Jr. lead and lived a ‘successful life.’ He made an enormous impact on the way we live today. He had a passion and a fight for giving his people [African Americans] justice and equality. Today we can see that he succeeded by looking at how different our society is as opposed to the one he lived in. Looking at the world today, would MLK be content with his life? Only he can answer.
Now let’s look at someone completely different. Let’s look at Michael Jordan. Someone who is still very much alive. Michael has a passion for basketball. He worked harder than anyone and lived out his passion. Won 6 NBA titles and has one of the most recognizable brands in the world which has changed the canvas of professional sports. At the end of his life do you think he will be content? Once again, only he will be able to answer.
Leonardo DiCaprio, Muhammad Ali, Jimmy Hendrix, Mother Teresa. This list goes on and on. I am naming famous people because they are easy examples that everyone knows. But most importantly, what do all these people have in common?
The answer is easy – PASSION.
They all had/have a passion for something and pursued it with everything they had. Only by living your passion are you able to make a true impact on this world. Because it is only in your passion where you can truly apply your heart and soul.
If you are to put in the amount of work that it takes to be truly successful, then you must do so with everything you have. You will never be able to put your heart and soul into something that you’re indifferent about – or even worse – something that you hate. Something that makes you miserable. Something that makes you question why you are even doing it in the first place.
Everyone has a passion in life for something. Whether it is motivating people to work hard in the gym to improve their quality of life, teaching kids how to shoot a basketball or even something as pure as being a mother. Everyone has something that they can put their heart and soul into and genuinely love doing.
I cannot speak for everyone who has or will ever die, but I can feel confident in saying that no one has ever laid on their death bed, looking back on a life full of doing what they loved, and said they regretted it. No one has ever looked back and said, “I wish I would have traded some of my happiness for some more money.”
This is not to discredit money or its importance. Money is an important part of life and there is no way around that. But we must understand that it is not the ONLY part of life. A lot of us have families and responsibilities that we must account for – I understand this. I am not saying that your career has to be centered around your passion. But your career should not keep you from feeling, pursing and growing in your passion.
To answer the ‘ultimate goal’ of life you must ask yourself what is truly important to YOU – and fight with everything you have in order to attain it.
Death is a certainty in life. It’s an unfortunate truth. But it MUST be this way. I believe we were given death for a reason - it is the ultimate source of accountability.
Look at an assignment in school, such as a paper for example. If students had “forever” to do a paper, I can guarantee that zero of them would ever be turned in. Why would they be? There is nothing to hold them accountable. They have all the time in the world to do it. But suddenly when a deadline is put on it, they must get to work. No longer can they put off their responsibilities.
Death gives us that accountability. Death is the ‘deadline’ of life, and we only have a certain amount of time to do what we need to do. Just look at the word itself: “dead” – “line.” We as humans must realize that we do not have all the time in the world. With each passing second our deadline gets closer. The only difference is we don’t know when this deadline is. It could be in 50 years, or it could be tomorrow.
You cannot live your life as if you will live forever because that is simply not the case. If you are not living your passion and fighting for what you want most in this life, then you are working on the wrong project.
As I said, I cannot answer for other people on if they viewed their life as a success. However, I can give you some example answers of a life that came up short. In saying that I do not mean a complete waste. I simply mean a life that could have been more. It did not fulfill its full potential.
This answer can come in a few different forms. Towards the end of your life when you’re looking back on it and the words “What if…” “If only..” or “I wish I would’ve…” come into your head, then you have failed yourself and sold the world short. For you did not give everything you had. Now instead of going out feeling content, you’re going out with regret. Realizing it now, at this point, is unfortunately too late. You have run out of time and your window of opportunity has closed.
I do not know what death is like, but I know that when I close my eyes for the final time, I want to do it knowing I gave everything I had. Knowing that I used every second I was given and utilized it to give this world what I was meant to give it. That living my passion left this world a better place than when I came into it. When the lights go out, I want those eyes to close with a sense of contentment as opposed to a sense of remorse.
“God has put a dream in my heart, breath in my lungs and strength in my legs. He has given me a race to run. I don’t want to make it to Heaven well rested.” – Tim Tebow
As I said earlier, the day you feel content is the day you die. That holds true for those that are still living! Because the day you are content with your life is the day you stop fighting. You stop fighting for your passion. You stop fighting for your goals. You stop fighting for progress. You stop fighting to make your impact on the world.
Even if you think you have ‘made it’ and achieved what you were supposed to achieve, YOU KEEP CLIMBING! If you think you have achieved your greatness, then that is merely a sign that you sold yourself short.
How do I know?
Because you have more time! You’re still here! Your deadline is still yet to come.
Which is just a sign that there is so much more you are capable of. A sign that there is more fight in you than even you thought. Sure, it will require hard work and sacrifice -
But the pain of hard work endured on the road to greatness is nothing compared to the pain of regret knowing you could have been great, if only you had worked harder.
What is the ‘ultimate goal’ of life? Through my experiences and even through writing this blog it has become clearer to me. The ‘ultimate goal’ of life is to live a life that will allow you to rest easily when you close your eyes for the final time.
When the deadline of life finally presents itself - are you ready for it?
Did you give everything you had to give?
Will you be able to feel confident turning your life in for its final judgment?
This is the only time in your life from the moment you’re born that you should feel content with your life. Because it’s only at this moment, when your life ends, that your fight should end.
They always say, “You only live once.”
But if you live it with passion – once is enough.